Alex and I got up here Saturday night. It was a grueling trip, as always. You fly to Seattle from LAX, then change to a tiny little commuter plane to Spokane. Saturday’s had six SCREAMING boys with their indolent mother right behind us. Thank you, dear God, for my Bose headphones. They saved my life again.
Then, a roaring trip from Spokane to Sandpoint. We stopped to get Panda take out in Coeur d’Alene, and then raced to Trinity Restaurant, right on the water in Sandpoint for delicious roast chicken.
The next day was hot and humid, but I took my usual stroll along City Beach in Sandpoint. It is a glorious sight to see so many families, church groups, young people, old people, taking in the sun and splashing in Lake Pendoreille on a peaceful day.
There is so very much peace here it’s invigorating to take it all in. Many people, usually older men and women, asked for photos, and as always, I happily obliged. I always wanted to be the cool kid in Junior High, and now I am The Cool Kid in Sandpoint, which is probably the coolest town ever in history.
It is a happy town and a happy people here.
Then, a long nap, and a rousing road trip along the Pendoreille River. The views of water, mountains, meadowlands, sky, wetlands, wild birds, including an immense wild turkey on the lawn of a bank, were breathtaking. We got to the lumber town of Priest River. We stopped at a gas station/grille, soda fountain/general store called Mama Mac’s. As always, the men and women who work there were super friendly and had cool hairstyles. Interestingly, two of the women who work there are in high school and want to be cops. (My absolutely favorite TV show on this earth is COPS.) It is a steady job but dangerous.
Then, up highway 57 to Priest Lake. We stopped at a tiny café called The Falls Resort, which features a bar with a glass floor under which you can see a rushing (or meandering) creek.
The joint was jammed with well-wishers. I think I could be a Congressman from here but I am not going back into government work. Plus, they have a perfectly good Congressman as it is.
Then, up to Hill’s, a large utterly unpretentious jewel of a resort on many acres of beach and forest land on Priest Lake. It is probably the most charming restaurant on this earth. A super outgoing hostess named Shale greeted us, told us she wanted to be a writer, then took us to a table looking through the trees to the marina, the boats, the piers, and the calm lake. A seaplane hovered, then landed. Kids played volleyball.
Three waitresses brought us our trout and ribs. Sarah, Anna, and Anna. Delicious, tangy, sweet and the vista was unearthly calm.
Then, a brief nap on a couch in the registration part of the resort, and then back to Priest River. I came within inches of colliding with what I think was a moose or a large elk. Scary. I was happy I was in my heavy and powerful Chrysler 300. I was also happy I had Sirius XM and could listen to hits of the 1950s. How did people live before Sirius XM? It costs a dollar a day or maybe less and is worth far more. Takes me back to the days when I dreamed of having a girlfriend. Now, I have had many girlfriends but the dream was better, except as to my wife, of course.
That night, I watched the TV news. Endless torrents of migrants streaming out of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They are raped, murdered, plundered, to get to what we totally take for granted: peace and the opportunity to make a decent living. The whole world will risk its life to get to what we wake up to as an everyday thing.
In the Middle East, innocent men and women are blown up as they shop or pray. Women are taken captive, raped, made pregnant, raped again, while their menfolk are murdered in the sand. Ukraine is invaded. The Balkans are next. In the lands south of here, there is banditry and murder. In Africa from top to bottom the Kalashnikov and the machete tell the tale.
And in my bedroom of my home in Sandpoint, in total peace, I watch the BNSF trains hurtle by, feel their power, count my blessings. I hear my wife’s breathing and an occasional snore, and soon it is morning — and another day of peace. The Lake at daybreak is a symphony of blue and pink and gray. In the key of peace.
On Monday, at about 4 PM, a genie told me to go into Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant, just to get some grub and some air conditioning. Three little girls were skateboarding outside. They were about 12. One of them asked me, “Are you going into Jalapeno’s?”
I said I was. She put down her skateboard and strode to the door and held it open for me. “You,” I told her, “will be a U.S. Senator some day.”
At a booth, six middle-aged women planned a Festival of music here and tried to get me to promise to attend. I told them I did not do music without air conditioning. Near me at the bar sat three young college girls, all blond, all beautiful. They recognized me and greeted me cheerily. I felt cool. “Be thankful you are young and beautiful,” I said to them. “It is a great thing.” They laughed and nodded.
This town is as close to paradise as I ever expect to get on this earth. The views. The food. Mostly the stupendously friendly people. At Montgomery Hills Junior High, in Silver Spring, I was hated for being smart. Here, I am a Cool Kid, once again. I want to be a Cool Kid for the rest of my life. That is a big goal of mine.
Today, Tuesday, I was having fun shopping, cruising on The Lake when I felt a wild jolt of anxiety. It drove me wild all through dinner at Ivano’s Del Lago.
When we got home, I had an email that a very dear friend, a really close friend, a truly great man, has had a major heart attack. He had been being tortured by the Securities and Exchange Commission for years over absolutely nothing. Just out of nowhere, he had his license yanked, his ability to feed his family removed, and his fine reputation sullied.
I attended a number of his speeches and saw nothing wrong with them, no deception, no intentional misrepresentation, no theft, no mistresses, no Ferraris, no private jets. Just a hard-working man who tried to help people retire.
The trial examiner at the SEC, probably a fine man who thought he was doing good, completely misunderstood this man, and now this good friend, who was working on his appeal to the full Commission, lies in an intensive care unit. I am sure the SEC thought it was doing good, but it was a steamroller that crushed an innocent man. I hope and believe that man will recover and eventually triumph, but what a terrifying entity Big Government is.
Meanwhile, can this be? The U.S. and the UN Security Council have approved a fake agreement with Iran which supposedly prevents Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Of course, Iran will not permit meaningful inspections. Iran will not allow inspectors anywhere near the key bomb making sites. And we, led by the Caliph of All Appeasers, Barack Obama, will never in any way stop Iran by military action. We have already proved that by self-castration.
Today or maybe it was yesterday, the top leader in Iran, Effendi Khameini, openly said his nation’s goal is still to hurt America and Israel in any way they can. They have said, “Yes. You can trust us. You can trust us to lie and cheat and do whatever it takes to kill America and Israel.”
And still Mr. Obama works night and day to get the deal approved. People, this is life and death. And Mr. Obama is leading America to the gallows. A real statesman would withdraw the treaty right now. Of course, Mr. Obama is not a statesman. None dare call it what it is, but we all know what it is.
But here, tonight, we pray for our pal in coronary ICU and we thank God for every moment in America, and in the shining Garden of Eden in America, our beloved Sandpoint on Lake Pendoreille.