Monday, June 30, 2008

Pouring Bells, and all the while sporadic amorous noises in the background

Just got back from a really fantastic visit to Massachusetts and Vermont. Here are some great things to report: In Massachusetts we walked around Smith and talked about past times spent there (I had only a handful of anecdotes to share--but they were good ones). I prowled around what's left of the glorious Northampton State Hospital, which isn't much, but enough to excite my imagination, for sure. We went to Nicole's house and hung out (watching Animal Precinct, watching her dog do tricks, sitting in the hot tub), and then headed up north to wild green mountain country. The rental car was a trusty Ford Focus, and we listened to our handful of mixes many times in a row. Montpelier is a great town with dozens of ramshackle old mansions clinging to hillsides. Everyone knows each other and they take turns raising carefree children who dawdle from one group to the next in search of adventure.

The town seems to be in some sort of competition with Olympia. The rules and parameters seem somewhat hazy, but it gives folks something to talk about. They also talk about fresh produce, and we drove from cute town to cute town, gathering carrots and tales of what had recently happened down this or that dirt road. We ate eggs freshly produced by chickens. We picked lettuce for a salad. I mostly ate (I'm not so handy in the kitchen) but it still all seemed very close to the source. One night we stayed out in Marina's mom's beautiful old farmhouse, where I scared myself silly listening to the creaks and cracks of the wood and the country noises. It was tranquil and a bunch of us sat on the back porch as the sun sank. It rained most every day, which was lovely, and there was one gut-shuddering thunderstorm that we observed from the safety of the couch on the covered porch, warmly sandwiched between Peanut and Casey, an exploratory but temperamental cat. On Friday the whole town turned out for a dance party at the Cafe with a band that did 80s covers. Nothing brings the generations together better than a good cover of Walk Like an Egyptian.

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