It’s full-throttle panic time here in the Corrie N. Cody household, with chestnuts unroasted, wreaths unhung, Christmas tree unchopped, bows untied, holiday CDs unplayed and a front yard red-nosed reindeer uninflated.
At least I have my gift list completed. I’ve even checked it twice.
Here’s what I have in mind for the many ladies on my list.
For my intrepid but impatient mother – A gift certificate for an all-day fly fishing float trip on the North Fork of the Shoshone River. I chose this trip for Mom because it will satisfy her craving for action with lots of great trout fishing but it also will remind her to enjoy the bounty of eye candy – shores teeming with wildlife and the beauty of northwestern Wyoming’s backcountry all around.
For my adventurous but scatterbrained sister – A pack of thermal socks from one of our sporting goods stores – all still in pairs with their sock mates safety pinned together in the hopes that this is the year she manages to make it through without her traditional late-year mismatched daily sock show, which entertains the locals but embarrasses me.
For my fashion-forward, consistently clumsy friend – A new pair of low-heeled, bejeweled cowboy boots, so she will look good when walking, or failing that, when the helpful and handsome EMT is removing her boot after she has sprained her ankle, which she does at least once a year.
For my sweets-loving, cowboy-crazy cousin – A gift pack of candy cane truffles and a framed copy of the New York Times story about how handsome cowboy Tim Kellogg went from being a rodeo bronc rider seeking funding for a new saddle to a maker of flavorful, preservative-free truffles with a Meeteetse shop and an online gift store that sends packages to truffle-lovers around the country.
For my flighty, feathered-friend loving neighbor, another new pair of binoculars with a heavy-duty neck strap so she can safely and clearly observe the raptors soaring above the Absarokas but avoid leaving the binoculars behind on a stump or on the hood of her car.
And for indoor-loving, screen-obsessing teenage niece, a framed photo of Wapiti Valley, the prettiest valley in the West, so when she finally looks up from her gadget, as Aunt Corrie dearly wishes she would, she will see the beauty of Yellowstone Country on her wall and perhaps be inspired to put the screen away and go outside and play.
Until next time, I’m roasting, hanging, chopping and inflating – and lovin’ life here in Cody/Yellowstone Country.