Like a lot of people, when we went looking for a house, we drove all over Bonner County evaluating various areas and driving by potential properties. Then we went out again with our real estate agent so we could go inside the houses on our list of "serious contenders."
On one of these jaunts, we headed up here to look at what would end up being our home. On the way, we passed a number of cars. As a car went by, the driver waved. Our realtor waved back. Another guy drove by and waved. Again, our realtor waved back. Meanwhile, we were sitting there thinking, "egad, this guy knows everybody." At some point, we finally asked, "okay who was that?" And he said, "I have no idea."
As it turns out, when you get far enough out of town, people figure you must be a neighbor (or really lost) if you’re out and about willingly subjecting your automobile to the rutted dirt roads. So people wave as they drive by. Or they did back then anyway. As the years have passed, these remote areas don’t seem quite as remote as they used to, and a lot of the newcomers don’t wave as you drive by anymore.
Some of our neighbors have lamented the change actually. It’s really sort of sad when you think about it. A friendly wave may not seem like much. But when people talk about Sandpoint being a friendly place, I often think of all the people who still wave as I’m driving home.