Postcards

Wrinkly Bits


A Blog by Gail Cushman


I looked out my front window this week and shook my head. I am not much of a window washer, but decided I was going to have to do something. I could hardly see anything. Between the rain and the wind and the storms we have had this year, the windows had become opaque and I could see nothing. My mother was a supreme window washer and her neighbors warned her that she would wear them through with all her scrubbing, but not me.

I needed to do something about them, but what to do? Lightbulb flashed on! I had a couple choices, so I mulled over the pros and cons of each and I made a command decision: take a trip. I wouldn’t have to look out the windows anymore. I know it is a temporary fix, but the windows aren’t going anywhere, and if I were gone, I wouldn’t obsess over them. It seems oh, so logical to me. If I were lucky, it would rain hard enough to take off the dirt and I could put off the window washing for another few weeks. Brilliant. I would much rather take a trip than wash windows.


My sister-in-law, Nan, was visiting from the Nutmeg State and had never been north of McCall and we decided to take a little jaunt to see what we could see. We got to Grangeville, about 150 miles from Boise, and she said, “Aren’t we near Montana?” She has a bucket-list goal of visiting every state and state capitol and was missing only two: Montana and North Dakota.


I said, “Oh, sure, we aren’t that far,” so we turned east and headed to Montana. There wasn’t a single reason not to go, but we needed to get back before her plane left, so North Dakota would have to wait. The windows could wait, too. Missoula was bouncing, with college graduation just around the corner, but we found a motel, ate a good meal, and had a good night’s rest. Helena was just up the road, which was as curvy as any I had ever been on, but we got there and found the state Capitol. The legislature was in session and the capitol was abuzz, and we found a friendly legislator who gave us directions and took pictures of us in front of the capitol building, proof of achieving Nan’s goal.


We stopped along the way and bought postcards. Nan is the world’s biggest consumer of postcards. She jots a line and mails them to her friends and family, but I doubt she mailed one to me this trip because we took the snapshot in front of the capitol building. She buys postcard stamps by the gross, and says it is American’s best bargain. So, we have a stack of post cards, ready to be mailed, which means we must find another post office. She bought postcards at every Podunk along the way. We were quite proud of the pile until we realized that somehow, we missed a postcard of the Capitol Building in Helena!


I’d rather travel than wash windows but we are about ready to leave Idaho Falls, and head home. She’ll get on her plane, and, I’ll…think about the windows.


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