Coyotes and Camels

On the Road to All Things Good

Story and Photos by Amy Story

At a Toastmaster’s meeting in Nampa back in 2012, I met Mary Novotny, a delightful speaker who took an interest in me.“Let’s sit in the lobby and chat,” she said, and we spent the next hour doing so. Mary was a great listener and I’m sure I over-shared but she didn’t seem to mind. For her part, I heard about her new Idaho home, soon be completed, and her husband Gary, whom she described as kind and good. “You’ve just got to meet Gary,” she said.

Sometimes you find yourself in the right place at the right time—which is why even though I didn’t continue to attend Toastmasters meetings, I did keep in touch with Mary.

Four years later, she attended an art party I had organized, and she stayed afterward to catch up with me. But three more years passed and I still hadn’t slowed down long enough to meet Gary.

In the spring of 2020, eight years after her initial invitation, I visited the Novotny home in Nampa. On the back patio, Mary, Gary, and I spaced ourselves somewhat apart because of the pandemic. We laughed, talked, had nibbles and beverages, and I realized they were my kind of people. In their couplehood, they were who I hoped to be. Their heads leaned naturally toward one another as they nodded and smiled in mutual support. They abounded equally in humor and intelligence.

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Amy Story

About Amy Story

Amy Story is a food and adventure writer, artist, and art instructor. She makes her way through the state looking for good recipes and new friends, often found simultaneously.

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