I always seem to forget the emotions that come to me about the area between West Yellowstone, Montana and Idaho Falls, Idaho and from Jackson Hole to the Mennan Buttes. I could call it the greater Snake River Valley or I could call it "Idaho" but really for me, so much of it just feels like Home. My dad would call it God's Country. And it's hard to argue that.
As I was driving up to "Idaho" this week, I was just flooded with so many emotions. Although I spent birth to 5 years old in this area and many scholars would argue that this is where the most important learning of life takes place, I feel my second time in Idaho was even more important. The years I grew up. Ages 18-22. Growing up is hard. It's a maze of exploration and of wrecking balls that haphazardly swing at will.
For better or for worse, I feel the years I spent in Idaho settled and cemented the person I am today. So every time I head north towards this land of farm land, sunsets, and an unbelievable amounts of mosquitos I get nostalgic.
As I spent the peaceful moments of the 4 hour drive while Brad slept I played through my mind all the memories, all the heart aches, all the struggles, but of course all of the love that was developed through my years in these lands. There will always be a very special place in my heart for it. It's like calls to me. Almost like a pilgrimage I have to take at least once a year. So when Erica told me she was going to be hanging out in Idaho for a week I jumped at the opportunity to go hang out with her. I feel like I have a check list of all the things I need to do when I go to Idaho. One of the most important: go for a walk at golden hour to watch the sunset as the day starts to cool and the smell of alfalfa rings through the air. Brad even met some cows!
The next morning I went for a glorious run around the farm fields of Teton. Oh how I love Idaho.
Erica and I and our boys went to reminisce in her old stomping grounds, St. Anthony. I feel like St. Anthony is such a hidden gem. It is absolutely beautiful with it's one stop light, beautiful parks, and the glorious Snake River running right through town.
The purpose of our trip to St. Anthony was to eat at one of the 3 eating establishments in town, Big J's. We shared a pizza bomb. And I must say, I had very low expectations and it was absolutely delicious!
Later we also went out to the Mennan Buttes to visit Franci. Because of my European adventures last summer, I didn't get to be with Franci last summer and oh how I missed her! She had another baby since I last saw her making a grand total of 5 girls! She isn't much into technology so if I want to communicate with her, I have to be with her, which I don't mind a bit. But here was the crazy thing in this world of technology of ours.... As I was talking to Franny, I got a message on Facebook from our cousin Sharla, who currently lives in Aukland, New Zealand. She had seen something on Facebook about a house in Mennan and she was afraid it was Franny's house. So she messaged me, is Franci okay??? And I sent her this picture.
As Erica and I were looking through Franci's fancy dancy cookbooks we saw a recipe and thought, uh oh. It was a completely different recipe for French Macarons!!!!! So of course we had to make them. (I updated my previous post about French Macarons and included the recipe because they WORKED!)
And Erica and I are ABSOLUTELY thrilled to finally have created a perfect macaron so we can move on to another delicious treat! (Hopefully one that is a little bit easier.)
The Parson Trio.
What was Brad doing all this time you ask? He was in straight up heaven! He loved all the kids around AND of course in a house full of girls, he found some wheels. (If you look at his face he is making the motor sound as he pushes the stroller around)
And he got just as attached to Idaho as I am! He didn't even want to leave.
When the nostalgia kicks in and I am thinking about Idaho I am just bursting with emotion. Of course it is darn near impossible to describe all of this. It's so overwhelming and almost too personal to even try. But of course you know me, I want to try. And the best way I can think of to describe it all is through songs. So here is a list of all the songs that remind me of "Home."
Kristin Parson's Idaho Playlist:
The Beetles - Good Day Sunshine
Simon and Garfunkel - The Boxer
Counting Crows - Mrs. Potter's Lullaby
Weezer - The Good Life
Simon and Garfunkel - Homeward Bound
Jewel - You Were Meant for Me
Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
MxPx - Without You
No Use for a Name - Room 19
Rancid - Journey to the End of East Bay
All American Rejects - Swing Swing
Taking Back Sunday - The Bike Scene
Toby Keith - Shoulda Been a Cowboy
Tim McGraw - Green Grass Grows
Good Charlotte - Girls and Boys
Norah Jones - Come Away with Me
Jewel - Near You Always
Yellowcard - Only One
Blink 182 - I Miss You
AFI - Sing the Sorrow album
Madd Caddies - Good Intentions
No Use for a Name - International You Day
Jimmy Eat World - Just Watch the Fireworks
Montgomery Gentry - Speed