I grew up in McCall. My parents are Mack and Rita Miller, who are well known in the community. My mother comes from a long-time Finnish family, who settled in Long Valley in the 1890's. She is my official treasurer. My father was a two-time Olympian in Nordic skiing, and my main advisor. His mother, Helen Markley Miller, taught high school in McCall, and after retirement, wrote and published 21 books for young adults, all set in the West, one in Long Valley and one in the Sawtooth Moutains. She was also one of the founding mothers of the Alpine Playhouse in McCall. (I'm also "Ralph's sister, Leigh's sister-in- law, Terra's aunt.") I think I'm 4th generation. I grew up with many of the opportunities kids in Idaho enjoy—skiing, hiking and fishing, feeling the security of a town where people know and care about each other. We raised chickens, sheep and pigs, and I chopped thistles on my grandparents' cattle ranch for one penny each.
I went to colleges in Massachusetts and New Mexico, lived briefly in Oregon, then Colorado, where I taught high school English for 18 years, along with one year in New Zealand.
Two years ago, I made the choice to come home to Idaho, specifically to Long Valley. I wanted to help my parents at this time, and grow potatoes on the land east of Roseberry (near Donnelly) that belonged to my grandparents, Tilda and Broad Barker. We grow 13 varieties of potatoes and other vegetables, which are for sale at the farmer's market in McCall. I feel fortunate to drive my grandfather's tractor, use his plow and disk, and other equipment found in the barn. We continue to pasture cattle (for the Little family out of Emmett). My mother remembers Dave Little bringing Dave Little bringing his cattle up to Donnelly in the 1950's.
I substitute teach in McCall-Donnelly high school, and participate in productions at the Alpine Playhouse. I joined a women's hockey team, and was recently inducted into the Payette Lakes Ski Patrol. I enjoy playing music with the "New Red Potatoes," "The Irish Wall of Sound," and the community orchestra. I am committed to this place we call home, and committed to the state I love most—Idaho.