Right now I'm in Malad City, Idaho, a podunk little town just a short drive from the Utah border. I'm staying here with my grandparents who are quite possibly the coolest people ever. So I'm with the coolest people ever, in the coolest place ever. No complaints, eh?
Why is this the coolest place ever, you may ask? For starters, the house across the street is currently housing a large herd of sheep. Their late-night "baaa-ing" is music to my ears. Just beyond the houses across the street is a perfect view of the Rocky mountains. Seriously! It's absolutely gorgeous. Malad is home to just over 2,000 residents, so all of its conveniences are within walking distance. Perhaps it's because of my fear of traffic cops (as spawned from my driving inabilities), but I love walking. How often have I ever said, "I'm gonna walk down to the grocery store!" Never. Well, never with the exception of when I'm here.
Basically, I'm in love with the small town feel. I love how my gramma knows nearly everyone (either personally or through the grapevine) within a quarter mile radius, or more.
It's a funny place, Malad. So many stories to be told here. For example, there's a huge controversy over the local "chiropractic"/family health "doctor" who is in fact unlicensed and dispenses "medicinal marijuana." -- Bear with me on the quotation mark surplus, it's just all so, so sketchy -- There's a big trial next week over it all.
A story that's more specific to me is my gramma's neighbor Jack*. He's an interesting fellah my same age who always seems to show interest in any young, female family members that come to town. Malad's miniscule size and the proximity to Jack's house makes it next to impossible to keep a low profile. Last time I saw Jack (or should I say last time Jack saw me?), a couple of summers ago, he made his presence known. Ohhh boy, did he make it known...
He'd call a couple times a day. He'd come to the door a couple times a day. It was getting to the point where I just wanted to sit in the room I had made for myself and stay there. I would never leave the house alone. My gramma, mom and aunt (who was there also, with my cousin Beecher) soon got annoyed by my obsession with hiding that I was forced to hang out with him. Steph and Beecher had to come too. We got a tour of his farm; Jack sat me in the front MIDDLE seat of the golf cart, Stephanie got the tight-fit side seat, while Beecher was forced to fend for himself in the back... (And fending proved to be necessary - Jack tried to impress us with his motor skills, forgetting my poor cuz in the back, grasping anything to hold himself on the cart for dear life...)
At one point during the trip to his farm, I made the mistake of whipping out my phone. Mid-text, he asked me, "Do you have a cell phone?" Though I'm typically good at improv, (I'll share my most recent experience with a cop soon enough) I replied: "I don't have a phone."
(Not one of my prouder moments.)
Clearly, since there was a phone IN MY HAND, I had to come up with a better excuse. "Um, this is my sister's, I got grounded so I've been using hers."
"Oh," he said, obviously disappointed. "That's too bad."A few avoided phone calls later, and discarded invitations to lay on his fields with him to watch the stars, I left Malad and was never to hear from him again.
Until this past Sunday.
I should have figured I would run into Jack at church, seeing as his dad is the bishop and all. He saw me in the pew next to my Gramma Kay and asked, "Have you been here before?"
B: Yep...my sister and I collected chicken eggs with you a couple of summers ago..
J: Oh. What school do you go to?
B: I'm going to Utah State this fall.
J: Where did you go last fall? For college?
B: High school. I've never been to college.
J: Oh, so are you 18? Like me?
B: Yeah, I guess!
J: So...do you have a cell phone yet?Once again, that little booger of a cell phone was resting itself in my hands. I figured the whole "this is my sister's" excuse wouldn't exactly hold up seeing as she was in Missouri.
J: So if I give you my phone number are you going to call me?
That's when my gramma stepped in. Hallelujah.
After church, I was exiting through the back doors when I hear a muffled "here." I don't see a person, but instead see this in my hand:
HIS PHONE NUMBER.
That night, he called the house to see why I hadn't called. My gramma told him I was already asleep. The next morning, he called to see if I wanted to see his 600 chickens - yes, two 0s - and he was told that I was napping. Today he showed up to thank my grandparents for the graduation money they gave him, but decided to see if he could talk to me "since he was here anyway." My Papa gene told him "Sure, one second. Betsy, Jack would like to talk to you!" I gave him an eyelid-less deer in the headlights sort of look and Jack was promptly told: "She's occupied right now."
I wanted to read outside yesterday, but decided against it out of my better judgement. I feel like I'm under house arrest...
In the meantime, we've been making trips to Logan (Utah) to do some college shopping. I feel like one of those spoiled kids I'd on a normal basis complain about. But let's just leave it at this: thanks to my gramma, I will have the collest dorm on the floor...complete with Abbey Road poster and all. ;-)
*please note that Jack is not his real name...