Beach Buddies

Beach Buddies

Friday, April 17, 2015


I'm sitting in my hotel room at the SCBWI WWA (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators- Western Washington Association) Conference thinking about home. Missing my husband, and the kiddos who are both endearing, and exhausting all at the same time. I love this conference, this is my sixth one, and it's worth the long drive. People are surprised when I tell them I live in Idaho. Then they ask where Grangeville, Idaho is located. It's hard to explain to people if they haven't been there.  It's North Central Idaho, only fifty air miles from Oregon. Four hours North of Boise, three hours south of Couer D'Alene. Here's what's on our city page.

Grangeville is located along U.S. Highway 95 where the edge of the Camas Prairie and Nez Perce National Forest converge before rising 2800 vertical feet from the floor of the prairie to provide an unequaled backdrop for the City of Grangeville.
In the 1860’s and early seventies, prospectors and gold seekers crossed a large meadow on the Camas Prairie on their way to the Gold Fields near Florence and Elk City. That meadow later became the incorporated City of Grangeville in 1889, and in a few short years gained the designation of the County Seat of Idaho County in the election of 1902. According to an article in the Lewiston Tribune, the Nez Perce name for Grangeville was Sike-sike, meaning “the foot of the mountain”.
How did I end up in Grangeville? When I met Jeff I was living in West Seattle. I was a nanny, and on the Advisory Committee for this SCBWI chapter (I was the blog editor and loved it). I was all about writing, and being here in this vibrant writing community- though I did hate the traffic. Then I met this pretty amazing guy who lived in Grangeville, Idaho. He had actually just moved from Elk City, Idaho in 2010 (look up Elk City to see how much more it is than Grangeville). Jeff works for the Forest Service, which is why he ended up in Idaho (he did also go to school at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho).

As our relationship progressed it was time to make the drive to Grangeville. Recently my mom sent me an e-mail I'd written her a while ago telling her how great Jeff was, but that he lived in Idaho. I told her there was no way I would ever move to Idaho. But I decided to give it a try. The drive was gorgeous, and as you near Grangeville it's all prairie with the forest as a background. Grangeville has a little over 3,100 residents. Kids ride their bikes around town, people go up to the high school to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, and there's a drive in movie theater. It has a nice community feeling to it, and I realized I could live there. As I have lived in Grangeville over the last few years I've come to know what it's like to be part of a community as a library director, wife, and now as foster mom. Jeff, in addition to his Forest Service job  is also an EMT, so he gets to have different views as a member of the community as well.

But it's not the drive in movie theaters or cute coffee shops (we have a wonderful one that's right next door to the library) that make a community. It's the people. The people you work with, the people you see at the grocery store, the friends you make. I love our community. I love how our community has supported us as we've been fostering the last few months. Friends and strangers that help fill practical needs, friends that watch the kids, or ask us how it's going. I love being in a place where people know who you are, and what you're doing. I recently got to share our story with my friend Lorie at the paper. There is such a need for fostering in our community (as there is in many communities). We're excited to adopt through foster care, and to share about that journey with others in our lives- both in our community and beyond.

I never thought I'd be living in rural Idaho, but it's part of our adventure, and will be the place we get to bring a child to live when we adopt. I'm excited to show them the beauty of the area where we live, and to be part of the community that we love.

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