Rosalie Sorrels’ 80th Birthday   Leave a comment

I got a birthday wish!

At Rosalie Sorrels 80th birthday bash, I got to meet Rosalie.

My wife, Mary, our dog Murphy, and I made the 500 mile from Seattle to Boise in 9 hours…taking a well-deserved  long weekend from selling our house and looking  for a new one.  We checked into the Motel 6 near the airport.   I asked the clerk if any discounts were available and she said, “I would offer you the senior rate, if you were over 60.”  And I heard Boise was supposed to be a tough town.

rosalieWhat’s more, as guests of the establishment, we were entitled to a 15% discount at the nearby Denny’s.  Yes, we were finally living the dream.  Yes, we had dinner and breakfast at Denny’s.  There were actually a few items we could eat between our combined  vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, gluten-free, high protein, low-carb diets…each with 15% off…the senior menu!

So, fully-sated, we headed up the 30 miles to Grimes Creek and Rosalie’s wilderness world, a log home built by her grandfather, off a dirt road roughly between Boise and nowhere.  Being the first day of the three-day weekend, we were among the first to arrive…being greeted by a committee of people and dogs.  Murphy, the self-appointed emperor of Marymoor Dog Park, was immediately initiated into the pack and from that point on was only sporadically visible, checking in occasionally to assure himself we were still around.

We were escorted into the cabin where we were introduced to Rosalie, looking older and frailer than I had imagined but also alert, charming and beautiful.  We chatted briefly and returned to the great outdoors so she could talk to other visitor.  Most of the guests were staying on the land either in RV’s or in tents.  Considering the weather was well below normal…downright chilly, actually, the Motel 6 was a warm and welcome homestead we were looking forward to returning to.

Naturally, the guitars came out and we formed a song circle.  Rosalie came out on the arm of her daughter and joined the circle, as an observer.   As the dogs continued to scramble helter-skelter here there and everywhere, conversation turned canine.  Naturally, when my next turn came around I did “Life Goes Better With a Dog!”  Rosalie seemed visibly pleased which visibly pleased me.  Other original and “cover” songs followed but all I could think of was…what other song can I do that will impress Rosalie Sorrels?  When eyes turned back to me I was still undecided…hobo stuff?  Road-weary stuff?  Rage against the machine?  Somehow, when I opened my mouth, “I’m Gonna Marry GE!”  tumbled out.  The one song I have the most difficulty in remembering…so many lines…and rhymes…and I was doing it for Rosalie Sorrels!  I guess Saint Woody, the patron saint of folksingers was working that day because I made it through without missing a beat…and when I looked up, saw Rosalie laughing in all the right places.

Okay, so Rosalie returned to the house and we were invited to visit the natural hot springs near Idaho City, some 20 minutes north.  We shared a great bath with some wonderful folks and went out to dinner in the vintage western Idaho City where I had the tallest hunk of banana cream pie I had ever seen.  Even after I had passed it around for the table to sample it was mountainous and intimidating but I conquered…rather a dubious achievement considering my commitment to avoid sugar and carbs…but it was Rosalie’s birthday weekend  when calories didn’t count.

We returned to the party.  Rosalie had already retired so, we sat around in dueling song circles until late when Mary had to gather up a reluctant dog and husband and lead us back to Boise and the Motel 6.  It was difficult to leave knowing that there would be two additional days of music and people and dogs…while we faced a nine hour trip back to Seattle the next day followed by a full day of house hunting after that.

So, was it worth the 1100 miles and all that quality time in the car, two empty-nesters and their dog?

I can answer that in two words:  Rosalie Sorrels.

See you next year, Rosalie!










Posted July 9, 2013 by garykanter in Uncategorized

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