48 minutes of Art Fair followed by the prerequisite thunderstorm accompanied by the usual loss of electrical power was enough to make me think it was time to leave town. So, as Sophie was noting in yesterday’s post, I got out my trusty carry all and headed west. When newspaper man Horace Greeley said, “Go West, young man!” he wasn’t actually the first to say it and he was really only referring to the tip of the U.P. of Michigan- home of the Bud and Jan Show- which was then both West and location of the world’s largest copper mining boom. I’m not young nor male and that’s not my idea of going west; it’s my idea of visiting the folks. I’ll do that next week.
Ever since Bonnie posted pictures of the Palouse and I thought that it looked like some kind of wonderful quilt for the Lord made out of nature I’ve been wanting to see that. And Hoss has been making the Sea Lion Caves sound so attractive. Seemed like this was the right time. Conveniently, it coincides with a trip to Oregon that F.G. has had on the calendar. We’ve been exploring the possibility of a major relocation without really discussing it out loud because it seems just too impossible to contemplate. So, I’ll discuss that in a later post if/when it is really on the table for consideration. For now, though, it’s time for me to be here getting a feel for the place. And last night, it was also time for the “wives” here to get a feel for me.
Have you had that kind of experience where you’re the new face and you’re being sized up? Just a tad unnerving, wouldn’t you say? Since I divide my professional time between sitting on the floor of my office playing Candy Land with odd children (aren’t they all?) and sitting in my chair listening to people whine and weep (don’t we all?) my wardrobe is comfy eclectic. Also remember, I can’t go to the Mall. So the first dilemma of this meet and greet was what to wear, what to wear? I don’t trust FG’s opinion on this as he has an East Coast wardrobe of dark suits and then the world’s oddest assortment of Hawaii shirts, 1960s shorts and sports logo clothing he gets from companies he does work for- most of it says Budweiser somewhere on the sleeve. Asking him what he thinks will be the wardrobe du jour is not helpful. But I only changed three times and ended up precisely at the right intersection of casual yet sophisticated, attractive and appropriate. Also, I was wearing a piece of jewelry that Patti made me and that became the focus and fuel for conversation (thank you, Patti).
The next hurdle is when the waiter asks you what you would like to drink. With nine people watching you the right answer can’t be, “Eight ounces of Grey Goose and a twist, please” even though that’s what I wanted. “Ice tea would be lovely, please.” After thirty years in my profession I’m psychic so I did manage to send him subliminal messages sufficient to get him to quietly slide in a drink on the side and then by mid-way through dinner it would have been rude to turn down wine from the pride of the local vineyard so that was all fine.
“And what will you be having to eat?” Let’s see, that filet with three sauces accompanied by a dungeoness crab cake with truffle burree…yes! that one! the most expensive item on the menu!…sounds delicious. “I’d like the insalata Veneta, please.” Actually, this ended up being the best dish ever: shredded fresh crabmeat, avocado, diced tomatoes with cilantro and a light rosemary vinaigrette dressing on a bed of baby romaine. I may go back for lunch.
“Do you have children?” Every woman at the table is beautiful, thin and has tiny tots except one dear woman sitting next to me. Since I’m psychic I immediately intuit that she has had her fair share of challenges with Starter People and I managed to rope her into the ensuing conversation rather than keep the focus on me. Because frankly, I have a wild alien that belongs in the sea and a jazz saxophonist living on ramen and even with a degree from the finest music school in the country, “musician son” sounds sketchy.
“Do you work outside of the home?” Uh-huh. Well, actually, I work at my home office but if you mean do I have a job, yes, I sit on the floor and play Candy Land with odd children and listen to people weep and whine. Usually, announcing that you’re a psychotherapist gets people to move on to a different subject. The talk turned to weather and as you know, I like weather. They were very obliging in answering all my questions about weather, growing seasons, light and rain and so forth.
These people were all gracious and fun and interesting and welcoming. It was a delicious meal with fine wines in a beautiful setting. They made me think Oregon can be a very swell place. They also mentioned the very same stinky Sea Lion Caves that Hoss has been writing about so today, while FG is in meetings, I’m headed ever more West, camera in hand.
Before I go, can anyone (Bonnie?) explain this phenomena to me? I took this photo from the plane over Walla Walla, Washington and it appears to give new meaning to the notion of “crop circles.”
Oh, and Bonnie? Did you ever wonder what team shirt Hoss wears on football Saturdays? Just think about it…
I just noticed: somebody may tip me over 20,000 visitors today. That’s a lot in 4 and a half months. And hard for me to imagine. It was probably that post about dogs eating glass back in March; you would be surprised how many people googled that one…