“Adjusting to life in Washington”
GRANDVIEW, WA – Kay and I have been six weeks on the farm, and we’re settled in… as settled as one can be when 99 percent of all his belongs are crammed into a 20’ by 20’ warehouse bin 2300 miles away.
The house that Susan is letting us occupy in her absence is fully furnished with stuff that belongs to her. When Susan was a kid, she wouldn’t let me touch any of her stuff, which was okay with me, because I didn’t give two hoots for her stuff.I reached adulthood, Susan realized I was less of a threat to her stuff. I believe it happened on my 30th birthday. (I joke, Susan!) While she’s still reluctant to let me wear her shoes, she did encourage me to borrow her fully furnished house. The place comes with towels, sheets, and even those little plastic balls of Tide to wash the towels and sheets.
Of course, there have been a few things that needed changing around this place. When we got here there was only one twist-tie in this entire house. It was displayed on a cabinet as if it were the last of its kind… which it was.
Safeway seals its bread bags with those small, square plastic, uh, binder things. They’re colored in the color of the day the bread was baked? Our green-dated clasp got lost four slices into the loaf, and was replaced with the only twist-tie in the house. I lost it the next day. I’m pretty sure it’s in the sock drawer.
I had to go back to Safeway to buy a box of non-Ziploc, clear, food storage bags that come with five times more twist-ties than bags. Now we’re twist-tie rich.
Did you know that Susan has no TV trays? She doesn’t need ‘em because she watches very little TV and eats at the table. Kay and I don’t eat meals at the table, because it’d be stupid. We spend much of our day with-in sight and sound of one another. What are we supposed to talk about? – “So, how was our day?”
I went ahead and bought two TV trays, so we could continue eating supper while watching the 5:30 evening news. Unfortunately, Susan doesn’t have cable or satellite TV. She’s got an outdoor antennae that pulls in about 8 channels. Twenty-eight if you count the evangelical and Spanish speaking channels. If I were to saturate my TV viewing with those channels, I feel sure I’d make it back to Conroe having lost my religion, but having gained a second language.
Since we’ve been here, I have yet to find a single person who watches the news or reads a newspaper. In fact I overheard one guy describe a friend as “…one of those guys who wastes his time following the news.” I doubt there has been a time in our recent history when the populace was less informed about life beyond the immediate.
Not me. Kay got me subscribed to two on-line newspapers. I remain on top of things. As a result, I’m reminded of a young Barry McGuire who sang on a recent PBS fundraiser broadcast, “Awwww, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.” To lighten things up, I also got to see a 70 year-old Rick Derringer of the McCoys sing “Hang on Sloopy.” A song that will always instill hope.
I also spend my time looking at stuff to order on-line. For only $17 I can order, from “Grommet,” all the materials needed to grow organic herbs in a small bag made out of used tea bags from India. A gallon-sized bag made of smaller bags? I love this country. I mean India. I love India.
I can also get a solar powered Mason jar that’s been converted to a self-contained jar-lamp. I have no use for it, but it looks so cool. Then there’s the $18 Negg, used for pealing boiled eggs. The “N” stands for naked. It’s one of advertising’s most marketable words. – “A naked what, Ethel? I might could use one of those!”
Kay has only let me purchase one thing. It’s a clasp that attaches to my cell phone and grabs hold of my belt or pants. I felt I needed a little something to macho-up my appearance. Kay gave it her okay, so she must be on board with that.
It’s all good. That’s the attitude I have maintained during our home-completion wait. Reminds me of a song we sing in church. “This place is not my home, I’m just a passing through; my treasures are laid up…” inside a warehouse in Conroe, some 2300 miles from here. – I’m sorry, but those televangelists are beginning to get to me.
You may contact Mark by email at firstname.lastname@example.org