Thursday, March 29, 2007
 

Breaking the Silence


Howdy, Wilbur here. I decided to break the silence since nobody else around her feels like posting. Not that I do much, either. But I do have some things to say.

Before all hell broke loose last week, I was working on a post, and Carla was typing for me. I threw that one out for now, though. After everything that went on here, it just ain’t important.

Mostly I wanted to say that Vesta Johnson was a friend of mine. I respected her, and so did the rest of the town. If anybody could get me in a church, it was Vesta. I’ve had my share of problems with church-goers not actin’ like the Christians they say they are. Vesta wasn’t one of them. She lived what she talked. In fact, she lived more than she talked, which is the way I figure it should be.

You should have heard the eulogies at Vesta’s funeral. People were asked to stand up and say something if they wanted, and that part just went on and on. So many had great things to say about her. How she took food to them when they were sick. How she always had a kind word. How folks looked forward to waving to her every day as she took her walk through the neighborhood.

Listening to all that, it made me wonder what folks would say about me after I’m gone. Not sure I want to be around to hear it. But I guess I won’t have to worry about that.

Second thing I want to say is—I know you all heard on the news how there were some pretty strange goings-on around here connected to the murders. I ain’t been one to believe in stuff like that, but this whole thing convinced me. Pastor Hank says he’s going to be preachin’ on the subject for a number of weeks. I figure I’ll head on over to New Community Church and hear what he’s got to say. The longer I live, the more confusing this world gets. I’m thinkin’ that’s not a good thing. It ought to be gettin’ clearer as I get closer to meetin’ my Maker. So I aim to get a few things straight between me and God.

That said—just remember: the fourth stool at the Java Joint counter still belongs to Wilbur Hucks. Some things just don’t need to change.


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 3 comments links to this post
Monday, March 26, 2007
 

Thank You For Your Notes


It's Bailey with you this morning. Wilbur was supposed to be up, but as you know, we've had a very difficult weekend, and I felt I'd better say a few things. Before all of this began last week, Wilbur was working on his post. (And giving me trouble about it--can you imagine that?) I will put it up in the next few days.

So many of you left concerned comments to my post on Friday. Then over Saturday and Sunday--I suppose as you heard further information on TV--I see that you left more. All of us here in Kanner Lake thank you for your kindness. We are slowly emerging from our shock. But to tell the truth, the weekend seemed very long as we struggled to understand. We still could use your prayers.

I'm not going to comment on what happened. You've seen it all in the news anyway, and if you've been with this blog for any length of time, you know this is not the place to foment more talk. Kanner Lake has never been about tragedy. As long as I've lived here, it's been a wonderful town, with beautiful surroundings. Until last summer, we'd seen very little to shake us up. Now it feels like we've been to hell and back. But God is good. And with His help our town will restore itself.

So many of you asked about Leslie. I know she looked shaken and worn in her Saturday interviews. Those clips have run again and again--I saw them on many different channels. But she wants me to tell you she is recuperating emotionally and will be fine. You know Leslie; she's a fighter.

In the past you've seen a few posts here about the proposed hotel in Kanner Lake. Some of you wondered in your comments what these murders might do to that project--will they scare away the investor who wants to build here? It's too soon to tell. Talk is rampant, and I wouldn't blame the investor if he decides to pull his project off city hall's table. But whatever happens, you know I remain Kanner Lake's cheerleader. You can visit here in the future and maybe stay in a new hotel, or you can enjoy the B&Bs around town and on the water, as before. Either way, we want you to come see us. You'll love the beauty of the area. Water sports in the summer, snow sports in the winter. Not to mention the friendliness of the town. (Please, please remember that what happened here recently is so far from what this town is usually like.) It has been such a joy to meet those of you across the country who've come into the cafe to say hi.

Thank you again, all of you, for your encouragement and love. And mostly for your prayers.

Until next time, from Java Joint,

--Bailey



Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 9 comments links to this post
Friday, March 23, 2007
 

Please Pray for Us


Hello, this is Bailey. Just a short note, as we are all still in shock. I'm writing this Thursday evening, to post for Friday. Thanks to those of you who've been asking about us. We have lost a very dear friend today. Vesta Johnson, a wonderful saint. A woman in her seventies whom everyone loved. I can't give details. The police are still investigating. I can only say that this is beyond our understanding, in many ways.

Everyone in town is just so sad. And sickened. We'd just pulled out of such awful times. Were looking forward to spring. Now this.

We really do need your prayers. Especially Leslie.

I will check back with you Monday.

-- Bailey


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 19 comments links to this post
Thursday, March 22, 2007
 

Leslie Checks In


Hi, all, Leslie here, taking a quick moment to check in.

I can't say spring is yet here in Kanner Lake, but it's coming. The snow is pretty much gone, and the weather's beginning to warm. Oh, come, spring! This town is so in need of sun and fun.

For the past number of days, (I'm writing this Wednesday afternoon to run Thursday morning), Paige and I have been very busy moving. Yup, we've found a great little house to rent at the end of a cul-de-sac, so now we're going to be roommates. We've moved in the basic stuff but still have lots of boxes in the garage to unpack. That'll have to wait for nights and the weekend. Right now we're both busy with work--Paige at Simple Pleasures, and I at the newspaper.

Paige is doing fine, by the way. She says thanks to all of you who've sent her cards and letters at Simple Pleasures. And she has enjoyed meeting those of you who've visited the town and dropped in to see her. (This part's from me--don't ask her anything about what she's been through, okay? I mean, really, if it were you, would you want to talk about it?)

Thanks, also, to those of you who've sent me letters at the Times office. Yes, it has been very interesting to be interviewed on some national TV shows about all that's happened here since last July. Some of you wondered why Paige wasn't on those shows. Again--trust me, Paige is pretty reserved. She hates the limelight and just wants to get on with building her life. The last thing she'd want to do is be on TV, even though certain producers pursued her hotly.

Meanwhile, we have plenty of new local stuff going on here. You've been hearing about the so-called hotel controversy here. I've been busy covering the issue for the Kanner Lake Times. Today as you read this (Thursday), I will be interviewing both the developer who wants to build the hotel and a woman here in town who is leading the charge against the project. Townspeople on both sides have been very vocal about their opinions. Jared Moore (owner of the Times) and I have been doing our best to cover the issue fairly. Bottom line, the question is--what will a hotel next to the city beach do for the town? Detract from its small-town feeling and ugly up the skyline? Or bring business to Kanner Lake, thereby helping the business owners and the city as a whole due to tax dollars? Or some of both? This is what the city council ultimately must decide.

Either way, hotel or not--we hope many of you will visit this summer! Remember, we have quite a few B&Bs in the area. There are also houses for rent right on the lake--so tow your boat on over. And don't forget to stop by Java Joint so we can meet you.

-- Leslie


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 10 comments links to this post
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
 

Birthday Shopping


Bev here, wondering: What do you get for a stubborn old lady who has everything except the one thing I can't give her?

I've visited every shop from Kanner Lake to Coeur d'Alene--it was worse than one of those all-day shopping trips on which Angie dragged me. Or used to, before she got so caught up in that woman's health club thing.

I stopped at Simple Pleasures first. Sarah and Paige both tried to help. But while there were many beautiful and tempting things Angie would have loved--the jewelry boxes, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, coffee-scented candles--none of them seemed quite right. Sara also suggested a gift certificate, but that's a bit impersonal coming from me, I thought.

So I tried other gift shops, but none of them had anything nearly as nice as Simple Pleasures. As for their service--I won't mention anything other than that Sarah ought to hold workshops to teach those owners how to properly run their stores.

I moved on to bookstores next. I looked at new books and used books. Fat books and thin books. Classics and even a few of those modern stories that makes one blush to look at the cover. Honestly, what were those publishers thinking!

Then I checked out certificates for fancy restaurants, but with Angie's current gym fetish, that seemed only impersonal and cruel. I considered flowers, but they soon die. In desperation, I even went into pet shops to look at leashes and toys for Cosmos. Nothing. The whole trip seemed to have been futile.

But as I drove back to Kanner Lake, I saw it. The perfect gift for Angie. So perfect that I got two. But I can't tell you anything more than that until Angie's birthday. We wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, now would we? But I bet you can't guess what it is.

--Bev Trexel

Bev's Tidbits:

Word of the Day: Futile--an adjective meaning of no use, completely ineffective; frivolous

Grammar Rule of the Week: Use who when it is the subject of the following clause and whom when it is the direct objective of the following clause.

Classic Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Poem of the Month: "Journey of the Magi" by T. S. Eliot


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 8 comments links to this post
Monday, March 19, 2007
 

Wilbur Takes the Challenge


Hey, all, it's Carla. Radling. Yes, the realtor. I know Ive been quiet for some time. Figured it's time I checked in.

First, I do not have a new dog. Jake can keep his Duke, and Angie can keep her ... what the heck's the name of that pooch, Cosmos or something? Why in the world would you name a dog Cosmos? And Bev can keep her yakky bird, Talkatoo. I live without pets, nicely and quietly. When I get home to my beloved little house, everything's just the way I left it.

So why had I been quiet? I've been busy with real estate. The market's gone through such changes. A couple of years ago houses in this area just skyrocketed. Now they've leveled off. Apparently northern Idaho is being "discovered"--especially by folks in California who want a second home, rental property or a place in which to retire. I swear you drive down to Coeur d'Alene, you'll find more Californians than in California. Might as well name the state Caldiho. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. New people means house sales.

Yesterday I was at Java Joint in the morning as usual. And, of course, there sat Jake and Wilbur at the counter. Bev and Angie at their table. And S-Man, still typing away on his manuscript. Anyway, Wilbur and I got into it. Actually he got into it. Wilbur growls and carries on; I just "discuss." So he starts in on this harangue about how the towns getting too big, and this new hotel might go in, yada, yada. I said, "Wilbur, what's the big deal? We're not talking about that much growth. And a few extra tourists will mean more people you can jabber at in here every morning."

He sniffed. "All the more people gonna want to sit on my stool."

"Sit on your stool? Are you kidding me? All this discussion for the town, and all you can think of is your stool at this counter?"

"Well, I got a right. I been here longer 'n' anybody."

"So what would happen if you sat somewhere else? You think the world would cave in?"

"Prob'ly."

"You're such a tough guy, why don't you find out? Go sit over there with Bev and Angie."

Wilbur reared back. "You outta your mind? Bev and me at the same table? Might as well put a cat and dog in a cage."

"Fine, then, go sit at one of the empty tables."

"Nope." He sucked on his coffee.

"Come on, Wilbur. For two minutes. You go around showing everybody your heart surgery scar, what a tough guy you are--you can handle this. One minute." I pointed to am empty table. "In that chair."

"Cain't do it."

"Chicken."

"I ain't no chicken, you pipsqueak! I done fought in a war with bullets whizzin' round my head. How about you?"

"Then you can handle this, Wilbur." I folded my arms.

Well, by this time everybody in Java Joint was listening. S-Man had even stopped typing. Wilbur looked around at everybody, his jaw working. Mumbling under his breath. Finally he huffed to his feet. "Fine then. After this you owe me some coffee. And a pastry. For the next week."

"Just do it, Wilbur."

And so he did. Shuffled over and plunked himself down at that table, fire in his eyes. Sat back. Tried to settle in. A pained expression crossed his face. He shifted. Shifted again. Laced his fingers and thumped his thumbs together. "How much time, Carla?"

I checked my watch. "Twenty seconds. You got forty to go."

He pulled in a long breath. Gazed around. "World don't look right from here."

"It's a new perspective, Wilbur. Once in awhile you need that in life."

"I like my old perspective just fine, thank you very much." He twiddled his thumbs. "How much time?"

"Twenty more seconds."

Somehow they passed. Somehow ol; Wilbur Hucks managed. At the end of the minute he pushd to his feet. Everyone broke out in applause. He pulled his head back, the corners of his mouth down and glared at us all. Even Bailey. "What’s the big deal, all's I did was sit in a chair. You want to see a real ordeal, look at this."

And he pulled up his shirt. Not until he made sure everybody saw that scar above his hairy belly did he pull it back down. Bev near had a fit. Then Wilbur headed back to his stool, head high.

Yeah, that Wilbur. He's a tough old bird, all right.


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 5 comments links to this post
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
 

Hotel or No Hotel?


Howdy, it's Jake. Been awhile since I made an appearance.

Just to get you caught up on me. Mable and Duke are doing just fine. For a woman who didn't want a dog in her house, those two are as close as stacked crackers. Sometimes I think Mable might even prefer to sleep with Duke over me, although she ain't said so. It's just those looks she gives me when I do something wrong. She never gives Duke looks like that.

Maybe that 'cause he don't leave his dirty clothes all over the floor.

Anyway, the latest thing around here is the hotel. Or maybe hotel. Some slick developer from outta state has come in and wants to build one near the city beach. That would put it just a couple blocks from Java Joint. A hotel full of tourists would be a good thing for businesses on Main Street, no doubt. But what about the other issues, like a building taking up the skyline where only the sky used to be? Lots more people to deal with. I don't know. I got friends on both sides. At first I was totally against the idea. But the city council keeps sayin' how much tax dollars Kanner Lake would get, and the business owners talk about the extra pennies in their pockets, and I know some of 'em are struggling. So we definitely got ourselves an issue.

Folks are downright fighting about this thing. There's a faction for it, lobbying hard and long. And a faction agin it, also lobbying. You'd think Washington D.C. upended a bunch a loud folks in Kanner Lake or something.

There's gonna be a vote on it--I don't know when. Maybe sometime next month. The newspaper's full of the story, people arguing on both sides. I tell you what, town's gettin' hot all over again. And so soon after the trial and all. I'm thinking we should all just calm down a little.

Can't wait for summer. I just wanna go fishin'.


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 5 comments links to this post
Monday, March 12, 2007
 

Moving Mountains


Some pastor friends of ours are in the early stages of a building campaign for their church. If you are a church-goer, and have at any time been a part of something like that, you know that everyone is asked to make a sacrifice of their time, money and talent, to see that work accomplished. Hank and I walked New Community Church through a building project a few years ago when we needed to repair our sanctuary. It was a challenging but rewarding process. We saw God truly work miracles in our finances, as well as in the lives and finances of our parishioners.

It's a unique experience. Being challenged to do something that, on paper, looks impossible. But being obedient to what one believes is God's challenge, and then to trust Him to make it all work out.

Last year some friends of ours in Washington state started their building challenge. The company that is orchestrating their capital campaign offered them several ideas for the promotion and 'sale' of their vision--the vision of their church. What they felt led to embrace has had a tremendous impact on me personally.

At the kick-off dinner, the focus of the evening was to give folks an opportunity to pledge what they felt the Lord would enable them to give over the coming two years. As they prayed over their commitment cards, they were then directed to take the card and deposit it into a box.

Surrounding the box was a variety of rocks. Creek rocks, really. Some large. Some small. Some smooth. Some jagged.

The point of all this was: God can move mountains, even if it's one stone at a time. Naturally, at this particular event, it was meant to apply to the financial picture of those attending--that God would move mountains in order to enable each family to give sacrificially to this fundraising effort.

When my friend shared this with me, it struck a chord. And the next day, I went out to Kanner Lake, and found a rock. I picked a pretty good-sized rock, because God had begun to stir some things in my heart about trusting Him. And I knew that in some ways, that was a big rock to move.

To this day I hold that rock in my hand during my morning prayer time. There is nothing mystical or magical about the rock, but it is merely a physical reminder that the Lord is at work in my life, moving my mountains one rock at a time. Sometime those mountains are blasted out of the way, almost miraculously, and other times, He just does it one rock at a time, over time.

After that first rock-hunting trip, I've made a few more. And I've given a box of rocks to several families in our church: to the young father whose wife elected weight-loss surgery to win a battle over a lifetime of obesity, only to "discover"
a new side of herself that needed freedom. She walked out and left him with their two young boys. This daddy needs God to move mountains. God will.

To the woman in our church whose father was in a terrible car crash. More than once this father was not given a shred of hope for survival, or any quality of life if he did survive. But he's still with them, improving every day. God is moving stones.

To the couple who had a fire in their home, only to receive the news the next day that the wife has a early-stage uterine cancer. God is moving stones for them, one at a time.

We may not see Him at work, but we can rest assured that He is working. When we can't hear Him, He's at work. When we can't feel Him, He's at work. Always. Never sleeping. Continuously aware of every little detail of our lives, and working to bring all things together for our good. Sometimes He actually moves the mountain, and sometimes He just gives us the strength to get over the mountain.


Know this: the mountains you see all around you are nothing to the One whose strength is great.

This week, maybe you ought to find yourself a rock. Or two. Put them in places where you'll see them often during your busy day. Let those rocks remind you that God is moving mountains on your behalf. Sometimes the wait is long, but in the meantime you are becoming stronger. And one day you'll realize the mountain isn't in your horizon any more.

----------

Read the personal blog of the author of this post.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 0 comments links to this post
Friday, March 09, 2007
 

A Post About Nothing


Well, have we been quiet enough around here for you? Everybody seems to be flying in different directions. This hotel controversy (Jared mentioned it in his post some time ago) has really heated up. But I am not writing about that. I am writing about nothing.

It has finally happened, you see, just as I knew it would. It's time for my biweekly update and I have absolutely nothing to write about. At least I am writing--which is better than I can say for some others around here.

I can't write about the recent trial, for that subject Bailey has banned. And the hotel issue--whether or not to build one at the city beach--rather bores me. My life will go on whether a hotel joins the Kanner Lake skyline or not. As for Angie--she's so into going to that gym now that she's become rather boring. Although she is losing weight, and I am happy for her.

I could write about my box sorting. But although I'm now through the one from my third year of teaching, nothing remarkable has been uncovered from among the stacks of paper. It has almost made me glad to have Talkatoo around. Almost.

(For my friends of more sensible taste who have been inquiring: no, I haven't convinced my inexorable husband to rename Talkatoo something more dignified. I believe it's a hopeless cause.)

About the only interesting thing on the horizon is Angie's birthday in a couple weeks. I haven't yet found anything that's perfect for her yet. She has forbidden me to get her another dog. I have no idea why she felt it necessary to inform me of that. Her house may be large, but not that large. Besides, the rest of the space ought to be reserved for a more, shall I say, complementary counterpart.

Perhaps one of you has an idea? Remember it must be good so I might sufficiently show my gratitude for Talkatoo.

--Bev

Bev's Tidbits (After all, I was an English teacher):

Word of the Day: inexorable--an adjective meaning not persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer; unyielding; inflexible.

Grammar Rule of the Week: Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction or to separate major elements that contain commas.

Classic Book: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Poem of the Month: Still working on memorizing Shakespeare's eighteenth sonnet. I'm down to the last two lines.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM 3 comments links to this post