As usual, we had another terrific holiday season on the North Fork. In my mind, the holiday season begins with the Caldwell’s Halloween party and concludes with the beach party on New Year’s Day. All of this sprinkled, heavily this year, with the joys of winter weather. In fact, this year we were not sprinkled with winter weather, we were buried with it – with -20 degree temperatures and feet of snow instead of inches. Our great grader man, Randy Houck, was kept plenty busy trying to keep the road open.
I missed both New Year’s Eve and the beach party, but by all accounts, both were well attended and both the food and company were great. Thanks to the Kellys and Leighs as hosts and Joe and Linda Franchini for a magnificent fireworks display. Most of us do not have fireworks on the Fourth of July because of the threat of fire, but we sure enjoy them when there is snow on the ground.
The beach party is now bigger than ever. In its early years, the entire party was held on the river bank with one – then two – roaring campfires. On was strictly for warming and one was for preparing dogs and beans and warming the other side. Even subzero weather doesn’t stop the party, but in recent years, a second party has been held in Bonny Ogles big kitchen. The party hosts the elderly, sick and folks without transportation to the river. The two groups share time at Bonny’s chili pot.
Always before, I have considered January and February as a period of “winter quiet,” with few social events beyond neighbors getting together over dinner.
Now, there is a craft day at the Leighs and snowshoe softball at the Home Ranch Store, which breaks the monotony. Even better, Debo Powers teaches dancing at Sondreson Hall every Friday. I suspect this keeps Bill busy lighting and operating the wood stove. The classes are taught for beginners and fun seekers. Everyone is welcome , even non-dancers and, since everyone brings a snack to share, no one leaves hungry.
Only on the North Fork!
Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.