One Fine Season after Another
By Desiré Aguirre
I moved from northern Sandpoint to Sagle because I wanted to be neighbors with my sister, Jenny Lopresto, who lives in Sagle on Herrmann Lake (a glorified pond) Road. The move made sense, because Sagle, south of Sandpoint, cut thirty minutes from my long commute to Coeur d’Alene. Best of all, Sagle is a hop, skip, and a jump from Long Bridge, five minutes away from Round Lake, ten minutes from public access to Lake Pend Oreille, and, with the new bypass, the drive to the base of Schweitzer Mountain takes just fifteen minutes.
Sagle is blessed with four distinct seasons, and at the beginning of each, I sigh and think, this is my favorite. Spring begins when the snow starts to recede, as slowly as the hair on an aging gentlemen’s head. It leaves behind muck, mud, and tufts of green that are as welcome as the soft fur on a kitten. Rivers and creeks fill with snowmelt, and by the time the Albeni Dam’s water level is lowered to top off the lake, daffodils and crocuses are in bloom, spreading their color like jam on toast. Spring harkens the spinning of bicycle wheels taken out of hibernation, the splash of boats taken out of storage, a switch from ski boots to hiking boots, and a call to the ferrier to put new shoes on horse hooves.
When spring’s abundance of almost-freezing lakes and rivers dips into summer, glorious sunshine warms the waters and paints the landscape in shades of green. Irises array themselves under the sun, followed by lilies, and, at the zenith of summer, when temperatures escalate—sometimes hitting ninety degrees or even higher—the service berries and huckleberries turn dark purple, begging to be picked and eaten. To help savor this nectar of nature, I store the round balls of summer in freezer bags, so that in the middle of winter, when temperatures are apt to dive into the teens, I have a taste of summer at my fingertips, cooked in hot cereal or buckwheat pancakes. Summer—the time of dipping into lake waters, boating, fishing, horseback riding, biking, camping, golfing, and gardening—always seems to pass like one long summer night, with a fire crackling and marshmallows turning golden brown on rough wooden sticks.