July 25, 2012 | LXXII, No. 17

The Good, the Bad, and the Coulee

Letters to the Editor

I don’t miss this place. That’s what I kept telling myself as the sun baked everything in sight, the sage brush made my eyes itch, and the tourists in their RVs slowed traffic to 40 mph past the wheat fields of Wilbur and down the hill into Grand Coulee.

What made us put up with the snow plows that never cleared the roads fast enough, the potholes that threatened to take out an axle, or the never-ending, too-hot or too-cold, too-rainy, too-wet, miserable weather 11 out of 12 months a year?

Then we pull into Tim’s 4 Corners, where a former student yells out, “Hey, Coach, good to see ya.” At Safeway, someone stops to thank my wife (the nurse) for being there during their surgery two years ago. Driving past the dam, its face covered with white foamy spill-water (the power and magic of which has always impressed me as much as it does the out-of-towners) I started to remember. At Flo’s, after Emily offered up her pseudo-acidic, but always inviting, “Shut up and sit down, your coffee’s coming,” the thought began to solidify.

All weekend as we returned smiles and friendly waves, drove past the football field remembering Friday Night Lights, the middle school fields that held tents and booths for Relay for Life, or the lakes where we spent time with family and friends, we remembered.

Just like the crazy dysfunctional families we all have, we take the good with the bad. Despite any problems that exist, for better or for worse, the Coulee is always going to feel like home.

Rick Morton

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