I told Darold last week to anticipate a rough weekend on our home front. My sisters and I met with Mom’s attorney, Alison, on Friday to go over her estate. We then paid a visit to her gravesite at the Weseman Cemetery. I knew after my two sisters left on Saturday to head back to their homes in Boise and Spokane that most likely the emotions would hit.

Maybe Darold couldn’t bear the thought of another Saturday filled with tears. Or, maybe he was just feeling adventuresome. I’m thinking the first is what inspired this ride.

Saturday morning he announced, “Get dressed, we’re going on a road trip.” When I asked where we were road tripping to, he said, “Just hurry up and get dressed.” I knew that meant this wouldn’t be a short road trip.

We headed up Grangemont Road. I assumed we were going to take a little jaunt to his current job, which is over an hour drive from our house, and he was going to try and play off a day of moving equipment or building road as an outing, or even a date. Can you tell this has happened many times throughout the years?

The colors were beautiful, and the distraction of wondering where we were headed was a pleasant diversion. Darold is always full of stories that I like listening to, even if some of them leave me scratching my head.

We didn’t go to the job, but instead traveled along the beautiful North Fork River. The fall colors were breathtaking, and even with the rain, it was a pretty northern Idaho day.

As we traveled along and looked at the scenery, I thought about what my mom must have thought, seeing this part of the world for the first time many years ago. Moving from Colorado and Kansas, this scenery was completely different from what she had been used to. She told me that she was in awe of the beauty of the country here and when she saw it, she knew it was “home."

We ventured over two high passes that I can’t correctly recall the names of. I think one of them was Hoodoo Pass. I know the elevation was high and we traveled through a snowstorm for quite a distance. We let our dog out to play in the snow while we looked at the vast beauty of the area.

We dropped down into Superior, MT, where we decided a car wash would be a good place to visit. One of our bucket list items (we have a very basic bucket list!) was to have a steak at the infamous to the Silver Valley area eatery, Wolf Lodge, located between Kellogg and Coeur d’Alene.

We lucked out and got right into the restaurant, and everything we have heard about the food being five-star was true. We traveled onto Lewiston and left inserts at the Lewiston Tribune for the next week’s issue of our paper, and then stopped for a banana split at Dairy Queen.

By the time we got home from our 12 hour “road trip” my brain was too exhausted to think about anything but sleep. It seems Darold’s plan to keep me distracted, and the tears away for the day, was a success. I’m thankful for family that when you voice a feeling of desperation and a hint that you need emotional help, they listen. Everyone should have someone in their life that will do this for them. I understand the makeup of grieving more now than ever, and I hope someday, if there is someone that quietly says, “I need help,” I will hear their whisper and be there for them. That’s what life is truly all about. Good steaks, banana splits, beautiful scenery and entertaining conversation doesn’t hurt either.

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