After the 4th of July.....

My mother-in-law used to say 'after the 4th of July, summer is all over.'

I'm here to respectfully disagree, because here in beautiful Coeur D'alene, Idaho, we're just getting started.

Since I was last here we've finished our time in Texas, loaded the van and covered 2200+ miles before pulling into our northern driveway.

And when everyone in the Dallas / Ft Worth metroplex is ready to be D.O.N.E. with all the blasted heat and humidity, around the end of June, summer is just barely raising her head up here.

This morning, when I woke up, it was 55 degrees outside. 55 degrees. So I did what anyone who lives in DFW half the year would do - I grabbed my cotton robe, a mug of coffee and headed outdoors to soak in the feel of such cool air.

I do understand why everyone doesn't live here December through April, but why everyone doesn't rush up here from May through November is beyond me. It's weather perfection. Cool mornings, then afternoons that offer skies so blue they look like they should be cut up into puzzle pieces. The temperatures may top out around the mid 80's or so, but then the evenings cool back down.

We find ourselves gathered onto the deck just about every evening, with the fire pit going, the hot tub bubbling away, and pinching ourselves from the wonderfulness of it all.

We added a deck to the back of the house after we bought it last fall, and it has become our happy place morning, noon and night. The deer that were lying down in our back yard are now mostly next door, but I'm okay with that. I think once the fawns are a bit older we'll see them more. And all the newly hatch turkeys should be showing up soon too.

We got to Idaho the very end of June, with just enough time to unpack before the 4th of July was upon us. Experiencing the 4th of July in CDA is like going back in time and landing in Mayberry USA.

Enthusiastic parade observers. 

I thought this one was very funny. 

Someone doesn't love loud noises. 

This would be Miss Lily being borrowed by a grandson's friend. :-) 

CDA has about 50,000 year round residents, but there's no telling how many people are here any given week during the summer. And pretty much all of them come out for the parade. Two hours of bands and horses and girls doing the queen wave, and every business in town driving a decorated vehicle down the middle of the street, groups of women who have possibly passed their prime but nobody told them, doing dance routines with shopping carts, etc. Big firetrucks with bigger horns blasting. It's just the most wonderful thing to be a part of. Then we all went home to our house where we grilled and made messes and lots of loud noise, and we finally finished off with watching fireworks from our new deck. Perfect 4th of July.

Today my Daddy, who I stopped to see on our way here, turns 93.

I spent a couple of days with him, talking about the viability of this year's garden, and will the zucchini produce or not, but more importantly the beets. Then he gathered a group of ladies he refers to as his harem, and they all taught us to play Mexican Train dominoes. Watching him add up the face value of all the dominoes for everyone at the table in lightning fast fashion was amazing. I swear he's just getting better with time.

So we're here now, enjoying our northern life. Getting ready for our first of three groups of visitors, but this first group is special because it's our youngest kid (they are always our kids, age has nothing to do with it) and his wife and their two kids. Our entire family hasn't been together in about five years (maybe more?) so I'm very excited to have us all together in one place, creating havoc and messes and enough noise to annoy the neighbors. I'm also about to call a local amateur photographer to capture some moments for us. Which of course I'll share here.

Lastly, I have a fun new friend in Texas who had us over for dessert a couple of nights before we left for Idaho. As soon as Cub Sweetheart ate one bite he told me, 'you have to make this again.' It's truly divine. And easy peasy lemon squeezy.

It's called Ice Cream Sandwich cake, and HERE'S THE LINK to the recipe. Make it no later than tomorrow, but today would be even better.

Happy Summer everyone, we're just getting good started. 


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