Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The season of transitions and goodbyes

| August 24, 2022 1:00 AM

We’re at least a month out from pumpkin spice and the leaves changing colors, but this is the season of transitions. After more than a month of having our daughter take R & R from the airlines with us, I admit, I was spoiled. It’s been over two decades since Sarah was across the hall every night.

We definitely enjoyed a lot of adventures since the first of July. She joined me in announcing the Fourth of July parade in Coeur d’Alene and for the Rathdrum Days parade. We floated the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, and lounged at the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s infinity pool, took in a Broadway play in Spokane, attended a charity event for Children’s Village (one of her Grandpa Rankin’s special passions) and, on a scorching hot day, enjoyed Elvis at the movie theater.

We survived holding a garage sale of a million treasures and a road trip to Moses Lake for watermelon, just because. But what I’ll miss most about the rare blessing of extended time with one of our adult children is the mornings on the patio, just talking and the regular moments of everyday life.

She hit the road back to Phoenix on Sunday with her three pups. Although the house feels empty, our hearts are full.


I have several friends and another of our daughters experiencing transitions and brand new empty nests this month. Our youngest grandson, Connor, has arrived in Bozeman to start his college career at Montana State. Daughter Alyssa said she was most grateful for waterproof mascara.

Anne Hagman’s youngest (and only) child, James, graduated from CHS this year and last week headed south to Moscow to the University of Idaho. It may seem close geographically, but to a mama’s heart, it’s a thousand miles. Everything from this point on is changed. No matter how excited and happy you are for a child to launch, the nest is empty.

Anne had the best observation when she said, “You know Tony Bennett’s song about leaving his heart in San Francisco? He must have taken his kid to college there.”

Greg Prado’s son, Cade, is off to Boise State after a memorable four years at Coeur d’Alene High School. Greg said for he and his wife, Amy, their greatest gift and highest honor has been raising Cade to become the man he is and preparing him for what comes next.

“It’s not easy. Wandered into his room this morning, hoping he’d overslept, but the emptiness was there.”

Not all of the transitions are of the empty nest variety, as Anne Mitchell is learning with daughter, Margot.

“My little is not headed off to college, but she is headed off to real school this fall. In that phase, where we realize she is now officially no longer a baby, but a little girl. This summer she learned to ride a bike, ride a horse, learned to swim, took a zip line. She now has conversations. And when I take her around a group of children, she doesn’t hug me goodbye, she rushes towards them without turning around. This parenting thing is constant goodbyes.”

To Alyssa, Anne, Greg, Anne and all parents feeling the emotions this month, just remember that no matter how old our babies are, they sometimes come back for a long summer visit and fill your heart right to the brim!


I learned a new word this week thanks to my pal, Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame ... doxology, which is how he described the following ode to the fair. He overlooked my favorite food item from the North Idaho State Fair, which is the olden days when I first attended was called the Kootenai County Fair. Lions Club corn on the cob is a must-have for me. An elephant ear for dessert is optional.

O Lord protect this festival

The riders as they rise and fall.

The jams and pickles and the pies

Competing for the First Grand Prize.


O Lord we thank thee for this food,

When we are in a cheese curd mood.

For Pronto Pups and onion rings

Doughnuts and other deep fried things.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise him for fair and rodeo.

Praise him for sugar and for grease,

And may he grant our stomachs peace.


Happy Birthday today to Peggy Turrell, Karen Sorbel, Mike Dodge, Linda Fox, Lori Chissie, Sarah Rasmussen and Eric Burgeson. Tomorrow JJ Jaegar, Jeff Selle, Ali Shute, Angie Penzkover, Rhonda Budvarson, Staci Anderson, Cindi Carlson, Mack Mannschreck and Lydia Myers take another trip around the sun. On Friday Sofia Armstrong, Pam Grenny, Cam Crollard, Juilianne Rinard, Perry Peterson, Warren Bakes, Irene Watkins, Troy Blood, Lita Balbin and Phil Higgs blow out the birthday candles. Jan Berry, Peggy Sawicki, Ed Mitchell, Mike Wood and George Forgacs celebrate on Saturday. Super Sunday birthday wishes to Dirk Scott, Freya Jensen, Jack Reiswig, Marissa Leupold, Steve Slaney, Michelle Garcia, Samantha Dirks, Becky Fletcher, Darlene Johnson, Judy DeTar, Karen Huber, Laurie Sutton, Loretta Richards, Pearl Brown and Spencer Messina. Best wishes on Aug. 29 to Jeannie Peugh, who shares the date with Ashley Smart, Stacey Holley, Randy Marmon, Cindy Foulk, Bob Myklebust, Lori Barker, Cody Jewell, Merle Bartlett and Arvada Schmacher. Tuesday salutations to Cyndie Lempesis, Luke Sommer, Carrie Kralicek, Jarin Bressler, Bjorn Handeen, and Stefany Mealey as they enjoy a bite of birthday cake.


Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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