In search of the Palouse, Sea Lions and other Pacific N.W. Anomalies

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.

Mt_ranierEver 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.”Cropcircles
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Oh, and Bonnie? Did you ever wonder what team shirt Hoss wears on football Saturdays? Just think about it…
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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…

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9 responses to “In search of the Palouse, Sea Lions and other Pacific N.W. Anomalies

  1. I loved your description of dinner. I would so love to meet you some day, send our husbands fishing, and sit in a great restaurant overlooking the water, and drinking and eating some great meal… with you wearing Paula’s jewelry, of course…

  2. You write so well you deserve even more visitors than that.

    I will “shirt up” in due course.

    The “crop circles” are the result of watering with a rotating sprinkler in the middle of the field. They ain’t yet got a sprinkler that makes big enough squares or rectangles.

  3. I think I tipped you…at least it says I am 20000! Great blog as always!!!

  4. Hey a lurker like me was the 20,000 person to visit.

    Take Care
    michael

  5. Please say it’s cooler there than here. Living in the South for as long as I have isn’t helping. The heat here plus the humidity….let’s just say in true southern style…I’m wilted. The caves and sea lions and sunset to the west on the ocean…it calls me. I’ll have to make do with sunrise on the Atlantic.

    Don’t worry about the “musician” son. My mom has one too. She takes every opportunity to tell anyone who will listen about her son who travelled with “Phantom of the Opera” and who is now a rising opera star in Europe.

    I just don’t know about a move to Oregon. Florida. Oregon. Let’s do the math here.

    Have a good time. Hope your kitty is more gracious about your trips than mine are. I had one who drug all the loose throw rugs in the apartment to the door and piled them up in front of it so that when we came back (only gone two days) we couldn’t get the door open. Your kitty looked pretty smart and a bit angry in that pic…not a good combination.

  6. I’m just going to wait here patiently at home and hear your stories in person dammit. And I promise to provide a curry (perhaps an egg curry?) and some raita for you.
    I made some of the best food this week and YOU missed it. Ah well:)
    (is that what “bad pennies” do?)

  7. Random thoughts regarding your wildly interesting post:

    You took your suitcase, left Sophie with your yarns, wowed the lunch ladies, AND got to visit Hoss?! If you squint just so you may see me waving madly at the base of Mt. Rainier.

    Prayers that Lutherans feel quilty saying because “Thy will be done in everything” is not even remotely present:
    Please let Vicki and FG move to the wonderful PNW!
    Please don’t tell me that Hoss shirts up as a Michigan fan!

    I play Candyland on the floor with odd children and listen to people weep and whine all day, too. Is this why we’re kindred spirits?

    I love how you describe your children! Does the jazz saxophonist ever eat his ramen dry?

    You and Meeta have succeeded in making my mouth water!

    Unrelated via the amazing Arethusa’s site: I’m branching out…who is this Tom Waits fellow and which CD should I buy first?

  8. 20,000 — wow. You have a big fan club! And I’m in it!

  9. You’re up in my neck of the woods? Come to Oregon, move to Oregon…!

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