Friday, July 30, 2010

Some of this please.

This morning I was writing to Susan about how much I've been wanting to be at the mini-farm. Most evenings, I drive back to Seattle for one thing or another, acupuncture, Hugo House meetings, camera class, dark room time, but most of all, packing. It seems like I'm always loading boxes into my car right around sunset, sometimes remembering to make one last trip into the apartment for a popsicle to eat on the drive, sometimes not. No matter how much I've done that day, though, I am always happy to do the hour drive back to Bow, where I end up standing in the kitchen, eating slices of watermelon with Tom for the last hour I have of the day before sleep. When I come home, Emmy gets so excited her whole body wags and her teeth chatter. It's nice to have a dog love you. 

Tomorrow is the very last day of the Queenview. Five years wrapping up in a whirl of dust bunnies and fragile champagne coupes and old issues of Domino used as packing material. Then it's Lindsey's wedding that evening, and a drive home to the mini-farm afterwards. Sometimes it's very convenient to be someone who never drinks. Then it's Sunday, and for once, there are no plans for anyone to come over, or for us to do any chores. Maybe by the end of the day I'll know the answer to the question, When was the last time I sat down with a book? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where Was I?

That's been the question lately. The big living room on Queen Anne, with its views of Elliott Bay and West Seattle, is empty now, there's no soap in the shower, no towel hanging on the towel rack. There is one lonely nightstand, many stacks and bags and boxes of unsorted papers, not to mention the junk drawers in the kitchen and the coats in the closet. I just can't seem to get it all in hand. 

Soon though, July 31st is the last day I'll have the keys. The mini-farm shaped up nicely for the bachelorette party this weekend, 13 girls fed and watered and boozed up and barbecued then tucked in on air mattresses and sofas and in sleeping bags on Tom's bed upstairs. We sat around the outdoor (fire marshall approved) fire pit and played Ten Fingers (I won, or is it lost?), danced and sang to my Madonna DVD and hula hooped in the living room. I took a few photos of the girls all sitting up in the mini-barn loft but really the best photos were the ones we all took in our heads when Jen and I looked at each other and said "Cameras?", then "No".

As soon as they walked out the door on Sunday afternoon, boxes seemed to explode from the closets and the kitchen suddenly had more dishes and marshmallows and boxes of tea and plastic utensils than it did cupboards and drawers for them all. We kept finding Emmy curled up on one of the leftover air mattresses in the living room, or totally sacked out on the lawn, and she didn't even wait for any of the humans to go upstairs for bed before she did. 

I was in Seattle last night, craving the farm but still happy in a way to have just one small simple room there. A good closet can make all the difference sometimes. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I don't quite know what to say when people asked me if I'm all  moved yet. The weekend before last, the movers took almost all my furniture up north, leaving the old Queen Anne place echoing and lonely, but still cluttered with papers and closets full of clothes. The room in Ballard is entirely empty, though I have a key now at least. I'm getting quite a collection of keys. 

Up in Bow, Tom is clearing out the mini-barn, the greenhouse, the weeds in the flower beds. I pile boxes on boxes and still need more boxes for what's left in Seattle. There is finally balsamic vinegar in the kitchen and the rice cooker does work to steam artichokes but there are no water glasses, only mugs. More than anything, I just wanted to be able to sit on the couch and watch a movie, the dog at our feet and a late late dinner on our laps. Someone asked me if I had taken a bath in the new bathtub yet, and I haven't, but that wasn't the thing for me. The thing was the movie. 

Sometimes when the boxes in the house get to be too much, I get in the car and head towards the Skagit Co-op for groceries. There is always something more to need. There are infinite routes there, it seems, past little farms, the alpacas on Avon Allen Road, or the strawberry fields on Cook Road. On Saturday night I met this guy there, a peregrine falcon and his falconer. How is it that I never asked his name? He's kept falcons since he was 14 and had lost a new one that day, was getting things arranged so that he could go up in a small plane the next day with tracking gear, see if he could find her that way. Someone else had lost a falcon to a great horned owl the day before, and they have to look out for the many bald eagles that patrol the valley as well, always a threat. 

The road I met them on is the one I drive on most, next to my own. It leads right to the highway, which is always in view from there. I like the other roads better, though it's hard to find a place where you can't see where you're going. It's all flat where we are, clear views and late afternoon sun and roads that take you back to where you started from. Even when I try to get lost in the Skagit Valley, it feels like being found.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mother, Grandmother, Tractor Enabler

May 2010 029

Happy Birthday Mama!

The boys and I wish we were there to give you a big wet smooch!


Thank you for driving out to visit us and for being so willing and helpful while you were here. Spending hours in the car with the boys while we were test driving can't have been that much fun, and we appreciate that you were so gracious about it.

We miss you all the time.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fire Escape Redux

I took this photo again today. The cucumber/hearts of palm salad is gone, but the horse graffiti is still there and the summer salad had watermelon and pickled green beans and was impossibly good. I had barbecue chicken and Kate and Shanti split the pork chop with cherries and I did not let their last bite go unfinished. I vowed to make cucumber salad, Bee's Kisses and bananas foster at the mini-farm. Tomorrow, affigato at MoMA.