Garbage In, Garbage Out 

Sunday, October 21, 2001


This was supposed to be a stay-in-town weekend.  DH had volunteered to help out at his students' club fundraiser at The Pumpkin Festival held on-campus.  Families come from all over the area to pick their own pumpkins right out of the patch.  Each pumpkin is just $3.  What a deal!

Thank goodness for garbage. Last weekend, breaking our usual routine as we did by driving out to Landers, he forgot to take it out when we left the cabin.

So we decided to drive up to the mountains on Friday to get the garbage out before it stank. The hands-down highlight of our trip up the mountain was  a svelte, handsome coyote near Snow Valley.  He waited patiently at the side of road for a break in the line of cars before he crossed over to the other side. 

One week did wonders to the trees. The oaks are a riot of orange, yellows, and golds; the poplars, aglow in spectacular yellows. The aspens are quivering in their full fall glory.  

When we got to the cabin, we relieved that the temperature under the kitchen sink was cool enough to "refrigerate" the garbage.  There was no reek.

The garbage was immediately taken out.  And I got to have a mountain weekend!


How beautifully leaves grow old. 
How full of light and color are their last days.
~ John Burroughs 


Yesterday, DH was up at the crack of dawn.  He kissed me goodbye before he ventured "down the hill" in the darkness without me.

I had the whole day in the mountains to myself.  O & Freddy were with me, so I wasn't exactly all alone.

I decided to take a moratorium from the news of the world by not turning on the TV. I'd had enough anthrax coverage. No more overdosing on negative information. 

On the front porch with a cup of steaming coffee and cinnamon-raisin toast, drizzled with squeeze "butter" (made with olive oil!).  Body and soul nourished, I admired the beauty of the towering pine trees.  They are truly majestic. Beyond the upper branches, in the distance, I could see the austere monolith called Castle Rock. 

"Trees are the earth's endless effort 
to speak to the listening heavens." 

~Rabindranath Tagore

I love our house and its garden, so sweetly nestled among the pines. So much of my time "down the hill" is spent indoors.  In the mountains, I  connect with Nature, focusing on things that are alive and real.  

I savored the sweet, autumnal silence, taking time to examine the deep crimson of the apples on the backyard trees. I sat on the back stoop to appreciate the charm of our little woods and meadow. It was a time to be still, silent, and inward bound.

"All we can do is be silent unto God. 
And in the silence be touched."
~ P. Muncie

These reflective moments served as a tranquilizer, an antidote to a month of the unthinkable. Looking up, through the trees, the blue sky was expansive, silent, and empty—no crisscrossing jet trails, no helicopters.

Nothing like the outdoors to pick up my weary spirit. Invigorated by the cool, fresh fall air, I felt wildly alive and "danced" with O in the front yard. It's rare that my energy level matches hers. Our exuberant playfulness was contagious, and Freddy joined us in our frolic.

I collapsed onto the plush green grass, laughing, and was promptly smothered with doggy kisses. We laughed with glee. Me, with heartiness; O & Freddy, with wildly wagging tails.

Eye to the ground, I found beauty in a lone, cheery yellow dandelion bloom. I can hear DH laughing as I say that... You might say, I was taking in the spirituality of everything around me.

In the afternoon, as the sun slanted its golden rays on our mountain, DH came home, with a pumpkin under each arm,  to a restored wife, who missed his company, but thoroughly enjoyed her own.



Today is Sunday. DH and I spent most of the day on the more rustic side of the lake.  We had lunch over at the North Shore CafeRichard Ortiz is the owner-chef there. My huge crab and avocado sandwich was delicious, as were DH's fish and chips.  A crisp, sweet apple from the restaurant's backyard made the perfect fall garnish. 

Like old-timers, we've been coming here since it was Pepino's.  We still remember Pepino's eccentric restaurant hours.  We may miss his excellent Italian cuisine, but we have not been disappointed with Richard's culinary talents and his extensive menu. Even his hamburgers have a distinctive gourmet flair.

We stopped by the Scott's cabin, which is nearing completion.  The unobstructed view of the lake from their front deck is stunning.  

We met a very friendly couple, Sharlene and Mike, who just completed their house with the three window arches around the bend, after four years of building it on their own.  

I commented on Sharlene's plumeria earrings, and she said that they have a place in Kihei. They invited us over to their house, and we got a grand tour of their well-designed and beautifully appointed house.  

That's what I like about country living.  Friendliness.  Warmth.  Bringing home perfect strangers.  People still do that kind of thing up here.

Folksy. That's the way I like it.

"Life is a Gift."

Author Unknown


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, September 29, 2001.
September Morn © 2001