Wednesday, September 07, 2016

southland, greenland

I am back from five days in the camper with my sweetheart and our dogs. As predicted, in real life, not here, we were unable to obtain lodging on the coast for more than one night at a time on the coast. We are not planners, and these days, counter-intuitive as it may seem, to be a camper, one must be a planner. Now, you must jump online nine-months in advance, say, January one, and grab frantically for that choice spot, the one with the perfect view at sunset, competing with a bzillion other campers, and hope you get through. I like campground camping, just not on Labor Day Weekend. So, we didn't get a spot but for one night, then another for another single night, then we headed south, where we camp in the front/back yards of our relatives. Who live, as you know by now, off the grid.

But they all grow weed. And September is high time, pun intended, for near-harvest activities, and we learn this each year. Nobody has time to sit and chat. There are plants to water (by hand with buckets) and deals to be made. It is so odd, driving through the land where I misspent my youth, past fifteen-foot high fences with bright green bushes peeping over the tops, bursting with pollen, garden after garden of skunk smelling dank, selling like hotcakes on every street corner, billboards along I-5 encouraging off-road purchases: Need Marijuana? Next Exit. I can't absorb the rate of social change. A sure sign of aging.

But we finally made it a spot on the Applegate River, gated and private-ish, because my step-son is dating a sweet girl with a quarter mile of river frontage. It meant we didn't have to stay all the way upriver with the outlaws. We had the place to ourselves so we decided to have a party. It started innocently enough. By Monday, there was a crowd of family and near family, food and drink. I don't drink.

I did find time to sit on the river and read my book. It is that river, that water, that is home to me. And to my kin. My son came down from his garden to hang out the night before, but the crowd of Labor Day scared him off. Smart guy.

There were too many people and my father-out-law's wife is unpleasant. She arrives and expects. As a lifestyle. She expects. She waits. Her face is permafrost. She is never invited except by default. She brings out the assassin in me.

Tuesday morning we headed home, after buttoning up everything before nightfall on Monday. While I was still in bed, Kurt hooked up the trailer and as soon as I could get things arranged, we were off. It is good to be home. I have the remainder of the week to be on vacation, so need to find something to do that doesn't feel like homework.

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