Coming of Age

One Senior Drink at a Time

By Steve Carr

My mother is the daughter of a Danish immigrant. Consequently, she can’t speak a word of Danish, but does know every American English figure of speech—and then some. A century ago, when boatloads of Scandinavians came to Idaho to start anew, they immersed. They left their native languages, if not those difficult accents, in the old country. They insisted on English even if they did beat dead horses with Ben Franklin’s aphorisms and idioms.

A precocious child, Mom and her folks made ends meet on a forty-acre farm outside Kimberly. She learned Grandpa’s sayings while working beside him in the field, creating a few truisms of her own. Perceived needs became the mother of her invention.

She later imparted her many truths to her children. “There’s nothing more fun than learning something new.” And, “Don’t learn to do something you don’t want to have to do the rest of your life.”

I’m not as precocious. I’m often frozen with indecision, weighing up the joy of learning something new, like tweeting or Facebooking—which I might then end up doing the rest of my life, thus forgetting to get off the couch and go outdoors—against, well, going outdoors.

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