Sunday, June 29, 2008

a future for pies

     Tonight I went outside to take an exercise walk, and found instead it was a re-acquaintance walk. I fell in love again with the green barn and the white horse and took stock of the honeysuckle-laced blackberry bushes (verdict: another two weeks before cobbler stage). After the storm, the evening sky illuminated the purple-grey clouds with brilliant pink; now the hills are wrapped in a pocket of purple mist. Strange and lovely.


And lovely it is to be home, after a series of nightmare delays getting home from the Pacific coast. I can now mark off Life Experience #47: Spend the night in an airport. The worst part was not the cold or the nasty cots or even the fluorescent lights. But they played these three announcements over and over, like something in a South Asian POW torture camp.

Speaker One (male): “IMPORTANT AIRPORT ANNOUNCEMENT – smoking is only permitted in designated areas and blah, blah, blah”

Speaker Two (also male): “No es permitido fumar en blah, blah, blah”

Speaker Three (female and the object of our most bitter hatred): “Remember that you’re only allowed to bring THREE ounces of liquid onboard in ONE one quart bag, in your ONE carry-on bag. Remember, THREE-ONE-ONE.”


It was a very long five hours. And a very old cot.



But the rest of the trip makes up for it. I’ll list just three highlights.


  1. STUMPTOWN coffee(!!!) I never get this excited over any caffeine. But this is the same Stumptown coffee of the Nickel Creek instrumental piece, and I just ordered $24.40 worth of the Honduran blend because it’s smooth and amazing and it has a Nickel Creek song for goodness’ sake. I think this may be my favorite part of the trip?
  2. I was not excited about whale spotting with my family on a random overlook. If it happened it happened, as far as I was concerned. I shrugged, cursed Ranger Bob, and flicked imaginary ash off my imaginary blasé cigarette. Then I saw its back and spout and flipped out like a little kid. Next thing I knew I was standing on the fence (meant to keep excitable tourists from plunging to a wet and rocky death) waving my arms and shouting things like “Two o’clockWHALE, don’tyouseeit, I mean, three o’clock!” Yes, it was cool.
  3. I stayed at a 1920s hotel that Valentino frequented. And I got my fill (almost) of the gorgeous peonies which I have loved these six years and do not grow below the Mason-Dixon line or something.


And now, since I haven’t slept in 48 hours, bed sounds nice. Good night, my fog-shrouded moon. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

of Cokes and creeks

I finally got acquainted with the Cook Springs general store-type establishment my dad has been raving about. To all appearances, a dingy little concrete block building with doubtful bathrooms and dusty Coke bottles. I can't explain why, but it makes me really happy. They have wrenches and heavy duty flashlights hanging next to stacks of peanut butter crackers (and beef jerky. This is a beef jerky kind of place). The best of all is the center aisle with those random decor items -constipated angel figurines and plaques with inscriptions like "Love is the hug that never lets go."

I still don't trust it enough to buy milk there, though.

When we bought our ice and left, there was a little boy playing in the creek beside the store. And I remembered the time when a creek (or, um, very clean sewer) equaled endless, unadulterated happiness. Sigh. The biggest gap in my childhood was the lack of an easily reached creek or stream (well, I did get to play in a "creek" when my brother was at t-ball practice. And one day my mom found me and yanked me out of the sewer in horror, and for months I was convinced I was going to get cancer). We had to make do with the little ditch in the alley behind out house. 


In other news, Cook Springs and I are getting along well. I feel like I'm living in a Jane Austen novel, because people always ask, "And how are you liking life in the country?" I always get the urge to beam and cry out in my best Elizabeth Bennet, "Indeed, nothing could please me better!" But I really do love it here. I love the riot of orange day lilies growing around the mailboxes. I love the white horse in the field around the bend. I love the green barn across the road that peers over the crest of silken green hill. And I love how well I've gotten to know the moon, especially on nights like this one when it is full and low and golden.