The Best of Present and Past
Story and Photos by Eloise Kraemer
It stormed yesterday. The winter snow came down in huge flakes like chunks of white paper confetti covering the pines in an elegant dress. Today I awoke to fog rising from the valley floor. It slowly wrapped our hillside home in an icy white cover, as shafts of sunlight sparkled through the mist. A couple of deer silently slid through the haze like phantom shadows. Now I am in another world. It is a silent world of ghostly shapes with only the occasional sound of melting snow dropping off the trees, hitting the tin on the roof. The dog starts as a squirrel skitters up and around a huge ponderosa pine. A cone hits the ground. The silence is broken.
The sound of a chainsaw echoes through the slowly rising mist. Moments later, an eerie silence, then a crack, crash of branches, and thud as a huge tree leaps and falls. Our neighbors are clearing their lot in hopes they will get more sun in the winter while adding to the woodpile for their stove. Living in Garden Valley is like having the best of two worlds, the present and past. I can step back in time and enjoy a slower pace, campfires and wildlife in the back yard, yet I am close enough to groceries, entertainment, the internet, and medical assistance to feel comfortable.
Garden Valley is well supplied with everything you would expect in a larger community, including a fire station, law enforcement, and EMS services, churches of different denominations, an above-average public school system from kindergarten through high school, medical and dental services, a gas station with convenience store and fast food, a full-sized grocery and pharmacy, hardware, sew shop, senior center, restaurants, a post office and library, a rodeo grounds and park, a golf course resort, coffee shops, radio station, bed and breakfasts, and a motel.