Friday, May 25, 2018

"So....How Is Living In Boise" They Asked

OK folks, gird your loins.  I'm doing well in Boise.  I love the 4 seasons, especially fall, and the winter was mild with sunny days a LOT of the time - not like Northeast US winters at all.  I only drove in snow one time because I wanted to finally experience it.  My husband became an expert at driving in snow, but since the winter was mild there wasn't a whole lot of snow ever.  It did have the decency to snow on Christmas Eve and that was wonderful.  Meanwhile, we thought we would be stuck in the house all winter, but we took lots of short trips around and in Boise and enjoyed the outdoors a LOT during this past winter.

We have a lovely house in which we put new flooring and furniture, and then promptly ran out of money, so the kitchen remains 80's bleah and the master bathroom countertop is the worst color I have EVER seen.  Yes, I could paint the cabinets in the kitchen and the bathrooms, but that would take more WORK, and after moving across country with four crated cats in a Kia Soul (need I say more?) I'm not into more work.  Maybe someday.

However, the greatest joke ever is that my husband does NOT like Boise.  He can't wait to return to Florida.  While I miss it a great deal, mostly the wildlife and my mother - it is quite lovely and very civilized here.  It is like going back in time to the 1960's in general.  You never have to wait at the Dr.'s office or the dentist.  Everyone who waits on you from McDonald's on up is super polite and cheerful and helpful.  There is some diversity here, but not much, and that affects the food choices which are not as varied as they could be.  But Boise is growing by leaps and bounds and it is changing FAST.  It is interesting to watch the changes, while it will be sad if Boise loses its' "small town" feel.

About the wildlife.  In Florida, we had a back yard that was like a jungle and had more birds and butterflies and insects and lizards - all in balance because we used no chemicals - than anywhere I have ever seen.  I literally had Knight Anoles and Iguanas (neither of which are native to Florida) hanging out on my window looking in at me on a regular basis.  We had a screened in patio that my cats miss like CRAZY.  And when they look outdoors here, there are no lizards anywhere.  In fact, there are a few bird species, a lot of wasps and a couple of squirrels.  The squirrels are bigger and prettier colors than the little gray squirrels of Florida, but they are petrified of humans.  My Florida squirrels would practically eat out of my hand.  That is the extent of wildlife in our yard.  If you go out of town into the desert, you risk meeting up with serious Diamondback Rattlesnakes, especially in the spring.  In fact, Idaho is much more serious and severe a natural place than Florida.  Yes, we got hurricanes and bad thunder storms in Florida, but those are nothing compared to the mountain roads in Idaho with no guardrails, the desperate wildlife that WANTS to catch and eat you, and the killer Poison Ivy/Oak, etc.  This place will seriously kill you if you make a wrong move, and it has killed a lot of people.  An avid biker fell down the side of a mountain off a trail outside the city of Boise a couple weeks ago - and he died.  Period.  There was no pick yourself up and get back on the bike - not when you are in the Rocky Mountains, which are serious mountains (not humpy and full of pretty deciduous trees like North Carolina) and don't mess around.  That's why they are called rocky - there are lots of landslides in the spring of tons of rock onto roads.  Just driving up route 55 past Banks, Idaho, the hills got craggier and craggier, sharper and sharper - and even though there were guard rails and it was a four lane highway, I was really nervous.  I felt like we were on the moon - no trees, just sharp jagged rocks looming over the road in piles looking precariously like they could avalanche at any moment.  When you go for rides in the country, it is majestic and beautiful and powerful, but not enchanting or pretty.  It always feels dangerous to some degree.  You could freeze to death in the winter on a road no one much travels, you could be walking along the desert and a chasm opens up in front of you and you find yourself looking at a giant canyon below you - a few more steps and you would be history, because you can't see these cracks in the surface until you are upon them.  It is wildly beautiful, but never feels safe.  You must remember in rocky places to ALWAYS be aware of snakes.  If you see a dead prairie dog that has just died and is laying there - you can be sure a predator is near, probably a snake, who just killed the prairie dog and is waiting for you to go away or to bite you.  On country roads you see maybe some farms that have horses, cows, some llamas and goats, but no wild animals.  No animals or birds on all the miles and miles of hills around you, at least that you can see.  No movement.  In the spring this improves for a while, and then the summer heat sets in and emptiness reigns in most places.

We have seen prairie dogs this spring, cute as they can possibly be.  Huge warrens of holes in the ground where they pop up when you turn the car off and are quiet for a few minutes - then they peak out, see the coast is clear and begin eating the grasses.  We have seen more birds this spring, but nothing like we had in our own backyard in Florida on any given day from August through May.  I miss the lizards like crazy since I always thought of them as miniature T Rex's and thus really cute.

All of this description to say that we have moved here, used a tremendous amount of money to do so, we are settled, have had and still have the extreme assistance and love of my brother in law and his family, and it isn't likely we can amass enough capital to turn this process around and return the way we came.  My husband thinks otherwise, but I don't think, unless we win some serious lotto money, this is a possibility.  So he is unhappy here and stuck here for quite a while at least.  There is only one thing I have to say - if you read my posts that led up to this move, you know I talked to my husband about all the realities he wasn't considering and he would not listen.  So now all I can say is, "I told you so."  Nicely - I say it nicely.....usually.  Meanwhile, I am living in the now, learning about a new place, and making the best of every day.  Most of the time here the weather is fabulous with some rainy or snowy days thrown in depending on the season, but not enough to complain about.

I mentioned poison ivy above.  In March we went to "Jump Creek Falls" south of Boise - it is one of those chasms in the rock that open up like a crack in the earth.  You approach it from below, so you climb into it and up towards the falls.  There is a posted warning about Poison Ivy in the spring, which I neglected to take seriously.  I've walked barefoot in Florida, a tropical haven for all kinds of poisonous things and creatures and never had a problem.  I never got Poison Ivy in Florida  - ever.  I also didn't know that in Idaho Poison Ivy grows in bush form.  Needless to say I of course touched a bush with both my hands - to move it out of the way so I could proceed.  By that night I felt feverish and my face felt hot.  Next day the itching and redness began.  But only on my face.  Later, as the weeks went by, my right eye swelled up and nearly closed, my face looked like I had the pox, and various parts of my body broke out in seepy, itchy blisters - my arms, my legs, my waist and back - evidently I had touched most parts of my body after moving those bushes aside.  My jeans have a habit of slipping down from my waist when I'm hiking so I had to adjust them a bunch of times.  This bout of Poison Ivy was NOT fun - I have made several tongue-in-cheek "jokes" about Idaho Super Poison Ivy - like everything else here, it doesn't mess around.  I had Poison Ivy as a kid, and yes it was itchy, but I don't remember EVER having it like this for over a month before it finally cleared up.  I had to get steroid pills and take benadryl for the itching.  Plus I scratched like a monkey and the itching woke me up at night.  I will never return to Jump Creek although it was a lovely place.  How anyone goes there and DOESN'T get Poison Ivy I don't know.  My husband didn't get it - but there is greenery in an otherwise barren place all around the narrow - as in not much room to move and only one way to climb - canyon toward the falls.   My in-laws mentioned that I had been noticed to have a habit when on walks of randomly touching plants and flowers, as I always have all my life, and they thought it was unwise.  And they were right - do NOT relax in Idaho.  Unless you are hermetically sealed.

So that is it so far for the Great Move West.  That is all for now......👀.


Anonymous said...

Just saw this linked to another blog...and found this entry most interesting...I lived about 11 years total in Idaho. Mostly in Nampa. Hubby lived there about 19 years of his life. It has changed a great deal over the years. And we have lived in 5 other states as well, both on the West Coast and the East Coast. My most wonderful year of life was spent in Coeur d'Alene though that was decades ago and many people have moved there now. Some of the hardest times of my life were spent in Nampa...which was never much like wonderful Cd' it likely depends upon what town you end up in as to how well you like it. The coldest winter ever for me was in was about 35 below in winter that year with the wind chill. THAT was miserable. We have no desire to live in Idaho again, unless maybe in the north...but the cold can be brutal up there too...and with age, that can be hard! I wish you the best!!

Patti said...

I am reading through your blog posts, and I just have to say that we are neighbors. I live in Boise! I have lived in the Treasure Valley for nearly 19 years, in Meridian, Nampa, and Boise. Am currently in Boise. When we first moved here, I greatly struggled with SAD. We had come from Florida, and I greatly missed the sunshine and blue skies during the winter. Eventually, I adjusted, though, and I love it here. I hope you are settling in well.