Eating Crow

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My mother is crazy. I’m sure that has been well-established in this space. She gets a story fixed in her holey brain and, as a friend put it, ‘hangs on to it like a junk-yard dog with a bone’ however often we put her to rights. Rebecca and I are never quite sure where her convictions come from: dreams, nothing to do but sit and think about what she wishes would be so in a perfect world, a life-long desire to write fiction, mishearing, misremembering; or a gallimaufry. And how great a word is that!

Tales from the Manor: The Brain on Dementia

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The brain is an amazing thing. When it works right. Equally fascinating when it doesn’t. That dementia manifests in so many directions is a testament to its complex beauty.

My mother’s brand has been subtle, unrecognizable to the uninitiated. But it is becoming less so, at least if the listener sticks around long enough to hear various iterations of the same story within a few minutes, or is armed with knowledge of the ‘real story.’

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Forward Motion, Lateral Movement

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…My mother, an avid naturalist and preservationist married to a forester who didn’t always see eye-to-eye with her, saw something that needed to be done, found people to help, knocked on doors and gathered signatures, wrote letters, talked to city officials and made it happen. She was all forward motion.

My mother wasn’t always “forward motion.” When we went on family hikes in the mountains it took forever to get where we were going. She had to stop every few feet to examine a flower, or take a close-up photograph. “Can we just go?” my sisters and I would whine in exasperation, or maybe it was just me. She was never deterred.

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Notes from Three of Earth Farm

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We are in a full-on, two-fisted grip of the rainy season here in SW Washington. As a true Northwesterner, I love it. The sunbirds leave for warmer climes, but I am content to wait for it to come to me. The winter rains foretell the verdant greens of spring and summer; indoor projects get done so I can spend summer outside.

I’m less crazy about the wind—living on the side of a water-saturated hill, surrounded by old trees—and it has been windy. A tree fell the other day (the only one that has fallen, at least since I’ve been back here). I heard the crash just before I was to leave for Seattle for time with the littles. (Have you ever heard a tree fall? It’s very loud. I often wonder what the rain forest and mountain forests sound like during a winter storm.) I envisioned something across the driveway, blocking me in. I donned my rain jacket and rubber boots and pushed my way through wind and rain to investigate.

It was the deciduous tree that fell two or three winters ago and was caught by other trees on the way down. It’s been leaning at a 45 degree angle ever since. It wasn’t endangering anything, so I had let it be. Nature will do what nature does. And now it’s down, and available for firewood, should I want to pay someone to cut it up.

Meanwhile, my Airbnb is hopping. Thirteen nights booked in January. The twin cities are a popular destination even in the dead of winter! I got the loveliest review in my in-box this morning from Alex, a young doctor from Madison, Wisconsin who was in town for a job interview. (Through his Airbnb bio, I learned a new term: locum physician.) He interviewed in Chehalis for a permanent position.

I traveled to the Pacific Northwest for the first time, and Gretchen’s lovely apartment was everything that I hoped for that captured the vibe of this part of the country. I’ll tell you my routine yesterday. I usually sleep poorly, but I woke up well-rested because the bed was comfortable and I stayed warm all night. I woke up before sunrise and ran down the hill that her home is perched on overlooking a green valley. I got coffee at Jimmie’s on Tower (damn good coffee) and jogged back as the sun rose. With the mat she provided, I did some yoga on the bluff and just chilled for a couple minutes…something I forgot do for many months rushing from one task to another. I then ate the absolutely delicious (healthy but hearty) breakfast of a homemade muffin along with homemade apple sauce, yogurt and granola (I now have a new favorite breakfast). I got ready for a job interview in the right head space…and I got an offer just after the interview! If you want authenticity, special artistic touches and the sound of wind passing through firs as you drift off to sleep, this is your place!

Isn’t that beautiful! It made me teary. The summer calendar is now available! You can read about Three of Earth Farm and book dates here. If you are local and have friends coming to town, let them know. (Oh! I have just been officially designated a “super host” by Airbnb! How great is that?)

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