Sibling Assignment #28: Thirteen

Thirteen years ago I said good-bye to this house.

This week’s sibling assignment came from Raymond Pert. We were to write about thirteen. You will find Silver Valley Girl's thirteen books to read about the Silver Valley here and RP's soon here.
This week I have been shuffling through pictures, calendars, and boxes of memories from my adult life. I came across my date book from thirteen years ago. As I looked over photos and checked on events I recalled the summer of 1994 was the summer of change. I left the Tri-Cities area of Washington state after teaching there fourteen years. During that summer I taught a course at U. of I. in Coeur d’Alene, I went to visit Z2 shortly after her birth, interviewed for a teaching job, packed up my stuff, sold my house, loaded up my dogs, and moved. I must have just been on autopilot. Just reading all those events today puts me into meltdown mode. I left behind good friends, good times, and a school I loved, but I wanted a change of scenery. I wanted to relocate closer to my hometown of Kellogg, Idaho, a smaller school district where I felt I could make a difference, and after a difficult divorce I also wanted to retreat to a quieter place. When I interviewed in Inchelium, Washington I had to find the town on the map. I didn’t realize you crossed a ferry across Lake Roosevelt to get there or that there is another set of Twin Lakes in Washington. I went from a school of a thousand middle school students to a K-12 school of 250. Since Inchelium is located on the Colville Indian Reservation I learned a high percentage of the students were Native American. Between the move, the new job, different cultural traditions, and isolation I certainly got a change of scenery. Now I love the small school setting and the family feeling at the school and the community. It was a smart move and I have never looked back with regret.

When I first relocated teacher housing was available close to the school. As I was leaving Kennewick my friends kept saying, “You’ll never make it. There are no latte stands, banks, or plant nurseries. Can you even get a fountain pop?” I did make it. Later I moved from the community up the lake about sixteen miles. You do learn to live without certain things and trips to town are very organized! It was a treat to get a latte, a bouquet of fresh flowers in winter, or dinner out in Colville. I was blessed with gorgeous scenery, no commute, and a football field for dog runs each night.
Thirteen years ago when I started another chapter in life I retreated to a much quieter existence. I learned to notice my surroundings, be thankful for quiet, clear nights with stars in the sky, and appreciate the companionship of my dogs (which now have both died). I cherished the times when I could visit faraway friends, browse a bookstore in Spokane or plan a family gathering. I put energy into reading, teaching, and learning. Yes, it was the right place at the right time for a retreat.


  1. I'm so thankful for this post! I accepted a teaching position on the Olympic Peninsula, so will be moving there the middle of August. I've gotten some of those same comments, such as, "HOW many miles from a real grocery store?!!" but I feel that I need the growth and change to become better acquainted with myself and appreciate different aspects of life -- so thanks again for posting this!

  2. Ladies I must say you have a lot to feel proud about yourself s. I was wondering what tribe? I learned when I was in my late 20's that I am Inuit. I was born in Tacoma. It sounds so peaceful. Stop by for a visit.

  3. Lovely post! My sis has just this summer moved to the C.I.R. They are not far from Omak, I believe.

    Which middle school? H.M.S.? P.M.S.? D.H.M.S.?

    We really must exchange emails.

  4. Lovely, encouraging post about change in all its surprising forms. I'm glad you're settled in a friendly community and enjoy teaching where you do. You're an inspiration to me. Thanks!

  5. We've moved more times than I can count. One thing I've learned is that home truly is where the heart is! I love the country and country living the best! Hustle and bustle gives way to time. Country living has no time. The school you're at now sounds much like the one I went to as a child. It's since closed down but I loved how every family knew every family and when the school had a special event, it was all friends cheering you on!

  6. You sound so content. How great. I always believe that we end up right where we are supposed to be.

  7. Kristen: Congratulations. You will enjoy getting to know yourself! We wanted to visit that part of the state in June, but it didn't work out. I am eager to still see it.
    Doneta: Another Washington blogger. Welcome. I will catch up with you on your blog.
    LaTeaDah: I will email you soon.
    Noni: Thanks for the warm compliment. There have been many struggles also!
    I agree with you on country living Jennifer.
    Jackie: I agree with you. Fifteen years ago I would have shook my head and said " No way!"


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