Spokane, Washington

To work! To play! To live! To love! That’s what’s happening.

Before leaving Missoula we visited Erin’s childhood friend Nora, her husband Patrick and their 4 week old girl Finley. We compared notes on raising a kid (Finley, like Jonah for us, being their first). Erin and I enjoyed holding Finley. Already we’re reminded just how much Jonah has grown.

After our visit we headed out of Montana. For whatever it’s worth, both Erin and I reached the conclusion that we could live and be happy in Missoula. We have no plans to leave Salem, but we were somehow forced into exile, we could live in Missoula and lead pretty contented lives (except for not seeing family and friends as often). In sum, we like Missoula a lot.

We stopped at Lincoln’s 10000 Silver $ restaurant again on our way to the evening’s rest stop, Spokane. Again, we found that any stop with baby equals the expected time plus one hour. That’s OK, but eventually we’ve got to get our expectations reset correctly or it will drive me nuts.

After the high 90 degree temperatures throughout the drive—Jonah being a trooper the whole way—it was a relief simply to arrive back at Brian and Tracey’s apartment in Spokane. This was made all the more welcome by their generous hospitality. And let me say this before I forget to mention it: I really enjoy that Erin and I have friends who are both smart and ready to laugh. Brian and Tracey both have doctorates in English—forgive my grammatical mistakes; I know not what I do—and eagerly find humor in the well-crafted ancedote or intelligent wittism. We quite enjoyed our time with them.

For the evening’s entertainment we watched their School House Rock DVD, perhaps the best thing Disney ever did outside of its association with Pixar. Oh man, the memories. Conjunction Junction; I’m Just a Bill; Three is the Magic Number; Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here, etc. I have no clue as to the teaching effectiveness of School House Rock, but I was amazed at just how much educational information these 2-3 minute cartoons packed into each song. (My favorite, by the way, was Verb: That’s What’s Happening.) I also really enjoyed seeing the now amazingly politically incorrect Elbow Room, which set to lyrics a young United States kicking the Native Americans out of their land. (“The way was opened up/For folks with bravery./There were plenty of fights/To win land rights, But the West was meant to be./It was Manifest Destiny!”) Remember, this represented the liberal view of the Native American rights question in the 1970s. A lot has changed in 30 years.