Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vistas & Venues

I've been waking up at the reasonable hour of 8:24 every day, as if there is a magical alarm clock in my body, set for that time. It's kind of nice actually, although I do miss the days when I was sure my bed was the warmest, coziest, most comfortable place in the world.

I spent the morning drinking coffee, tidying up my messy apartment and downloading music. Interesting turn the musical treasure hunt has taken: I've discovered an active country music scene in Scandinavia.
Image courtesy of

Which is kind of interesting when you think about it. Country & Western, like Hip-hop, is music that's culturally rooted in its history. So it is interesting when it springs up somewhere, free from all the emotional and political baggage. I imagine Jamaicans are equally surprised about the Reggae that pops up in the US.

Here is an example:

Translation: She is dreaming of Nashville, Tennessee.

After that, with my iPod all juiced up, I left to finish my rounds of newspaper delivery, feeling like I was in a movie with a cool soundtrack and great scenery.

Pacific Ocean
I can never take a picture to do justice to what my eyes see, especially while driving.

En route to Trinidad, I had that breathtaking experience I love, coming over the rise just north of the airport when the vista of the Pacific Ocean opens up before you. The sky was very blue today, so the sea was as well.

The Redwoods

Road to Fieldbrook, photo courtesy of Rambling Jack's Laboratory

I drove to Fieldbrook through the forests and saw more vistas, this time of jagged redwood-tops in hazy layers. I wondered, as I always do, why people in Northern California tend to secrete themselves away in these remote places.

It seems serene there in Fieldbrook, and I look around at the little houses for one-half a moment, then shake myself out of it. I want to travel, not settle.

Wild Mushrooms
These became an amazing pot of soup later...

I also delivered papers to this interesting little store on the Hammond Trail, Roger's Market at the end of School Road. On first glance, it's just a corner store, but in reality it's a little treasure house. All the unusual ingredients you might be searching for can be found there.

This time, there were all these beautiful knitted wool hats someone local had made. And best of all, two big flats of chanterelle mushrooms someone had gathered locally. I bought $3 worth, enough to make an amazing pot of soup for dinner.

Little Treasures

McKinleyville has lots of little treasures like that. People are out there dissing this town and writing it off as Hicksville or worse. I say, that's fine; it's fine with me if those people stay away.

When I moved here in 2008, I began an experiment to see how much of my business I could keep in McKinleyville. I rarely go anywhere else to buy anything, with a few exceptions. My eye doctor is still in Eureka, for example. And after awhile, you get tired of Mexican food and must venture out for sushi and the like.

There's a hardware store, auto parts store, a cool coffee shop, a well-stocked video store (with two whole shelves of Scandinavian films), and a bookstore that will order whatever you need including textbooks.

I've even heard there's a car wash, but I can't find it. And there's a farmer's market that lasts well into autumn.

The Senior Center

One Mack Town treasure I'd like to point out is the Senior Center. I won't even mention what a treasure it must be for lonely seniors, whose lives because of it are a hell of a lot more interesting than mine.

It's a shopping treasure for the rest of us. They have a gift shop there, where nice little old ladies have contributed their handiwork, proceeds from sales to go to the Center. Things are cheap! I bought a knitted hat and three really cute shopping bags to give to friends for Christmas.
I kept one of the really cute bags for myself and carried my lunch to work in it the next day.

While I browsed, I was soothed by listening to one little old lady telling a long oral history to two rapt cohorts. Memories are treasures too, lest we forget that right now -- while we're making our memories.

And, there is a new thrift store in town, a charity outfit for rescued animals. I bought a Woolrich sweater for $1.99. Having recently lost my favorite Woolrich sweater, and since local temps have recently dropped to freezing even on the coast, I know the value of that find.

Things Change

Delivering papers is my excuse to get out and explore. Without an exigency to drive around, I will hole up in my apartment and study or worry about studying. And now that I'm finally getting the hang of it, my delivery days are over. Jack and Kim will be back from their honeymoon this week, and business will return to usual.

Or will it? How will it be for Jack to return to his daily grind after three straight weeks of romance, ancient ruins and passionate Italian culture and food? If he's in anything like the shape I was in on my return from Sweden, he will have a little cultural adjustment to make when he gets home.

No comments: