Road Kill, Buck Teeth and the Silence of Creation.


silent of the woods

All week I’ve been writing about my exploits in the mountains of the Idaho panhandle.

It’s been a Hillbilly adventure.

I must confess- it was not my idea to introduce the term Hillbilly. I blame that on the Canadian/US border.

“Where you headed?” asked the guard when I came through.

“To my nephew’s wedding,” I responded, “In Idaho.”

“Where in Idaho?”

“Well,” I paused as I tried to retrieve the name of the obscure town from my already overloaded memory bank, “It’s..uh…close to Sandpoint. Up in the hills.”

“So,” he said with a grin, “It’s a Hillbilly wedding.”

The guard made a motion as if he were reloading a shotgun.

“That kind of wedding?” he asked.

Who was I to argue? I could see the open road just beyond the wicket. And, I was ready to roll.

“Shot gun..ah..yeah..” I said. He waved me through.

The rest was history. My spiraling descent into what some would term Hillbilly hell. One of my own making. I morphed into some kind of laptop maniac bent on making my  relatives sound like they were

  1. mixing moonshine like cupcakes for a bake sale.
  2. sprouting buck teeth that would make a beaver proud.
  3. spiting chewing tobacco and watermelon seeds faster than a slot machine. 
  4. snatching up road kill just in time for those special dinners like Valentines and Thanksgiving.

With great dignity,  my brother-in-law informed me that if I was going to make fun of Hillbillies he would prefer I use the formal term HillWillams.

Duly noted, brother-in-law.

Truth is,  these Hillbillies (or HillWilliams) are not so backwards as they seem. They’ve got 

  • Costco cards,
  • Satellite TV,
  • Electricity.

Of course, I wasn’t kidding about the road kill and the moose roaming around my sister’s yard. Yes, eating her apples. I guess she’s running some kind of backwater drive-through.

Let me tell you about their skies at night. The stars light up the sky without the competition of

  • street lights,
  • passing cars,
  • or shopping malls.

Ogling the constellations as they show their stuff against  the night sky?


Walking down the hill in the morning.  Alone. Not a sound except the chirp of a sparrow, the rustle of leaves or the hum of a bee. My favorite part.


The kind that makes you listen from inside your soul instead of from inside your head.  The kind that lets you hear that low steady beat of creation. 

That’s when everything falls into place. No clutter to hide it.

God is God.

I need to be reminded of that more. Thanks to these hills and the folks who allow me to wander through them, I am. 

Tune in tomorrow for the last and final adventure. 

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