Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm Starting To Like This Town

The sunshine here can be so deceiving. My Hal is going stir crazy anticipating the day when she can slip her smooth ivory skin into a sun dress once again. This morning I caught her kneeling on her bed surveying the sunshine creeping across the field outside her window.

"Can I today, Mama?"
"No sundress today, my love."
"But look at all that sun out there. It's so warm."

I know how she feels. For that brief moment my insides fill up with joy that I just might get to put on my flip flops and allow my feet to actually get to breath once again.

And then...


And then we step outside. And our bare, dry skin gets brushed over with the quick, cool breeze, and we fight hard against the shock of it all.

"Coats, hats, gloves, it is." I try to say it with a smile but inside I'm just as disappointed as she is that the sun out here tells a different story than the wind.

So we both try to make it fun and she picks out something pink to match her pink converse... me, something brown, I feel comfortable in brown.

And the whole fam loads up in the car, trying our best to make the best of it all.

We drive down the loooooong country road.

Siah inquires, "Are we in town yet?"

I chuckle to myself. It's still surreal that we actually live OuT of town.

Today's adventure, the local nursery... new hope for our dried up farm.

We drive up and down a few streets looking for the sign,

High Country Gardens (home grown plants, wine & beer)

We look around for a place to park. There are no spots marked on the asphalt. So we just pull up and park in front of the sign that says 'Enter Here'. I walk in while Joey waits in the car with the crew, four treasures eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches in the back seat.

I open the door slowly, poke my head in, and don't see a single soul.

"Hello?" I call out.

A white bearded man comes around the corner and introduces himself to me as "Woody." He points to a back room and says, "That there is my wife Catherine. She loves gardening. She's a master gardner in this here high country."
I smile. This is just the place I was looking for and this is just the man I was hoping to meet.

I tell him a bit of our story.
"We came from suburbia by the beach. We have a little farm up the road in need of some tender loving care. Thus far in my life I have been unable to keep a houseplant alive for more than a few weeks. Is there any hope for me?"

He smiles, "Well, little miss, you came to the right place today."
For the next ten minutes I bombard him with my questions and he pours hope into this city-girl, wanna be farm-girl, soul of mine. He takes me around his store, the store that he's owned for more decades than I've been alive. I ask about strawberries, he smiles and says, 'That's a piece of cake." I ask about the tomatoes, the peppers. I tell him our dream of a mini orchard. I remind him that I wanna start small, don't want my eyes to be to big our first year of planting. I tell him about the planter box that sits right outside our sun room windows. He asks for the dimensions and plans out a little starter garden for me. "What about our acres of dead weeds? Can wild flowers thrive up here?" He smiles again and shows me pictures of some of the most beautiful fields of wild flowers, his fields, local and breath-taking. His passion for the earth sparks mine. We have a nice little chat and he invites my Joey and I to our our first high-country farmers class on April 2nd. "It's free for the locals," he says.

I waved goodbye to Woody and thank him one last time as I close the old blue door behind me. When I hop back into the car I can't stop smiling, trying to convey to my Joey all that the nice old man had told me.

My Joey smiles too. "We can find a sitter, and go out to dinner before the class. We can make a date of it." He reaches across the center console and hooks his fingers into mine.

We drive down the road a few blocks checking out the town and looking for a bite to eat, and see a cute tea house on the corner, sitting across from a quaint little bookstore. Behind the books, down the ally a bit there's a home decor store with a sign out front that reads 'Margos.' We find a spot on the curb across the street from the bookstore, unload the troops, and meet up with our true friends, the Peeks.

Tara and I get to explore the tea house and the home decor shop with only one child each. The husbands take the rest of the treasures to the toy store at the end of the road. The tea house reminds me so much of the Pannikin back home, and I just smile from ear to ear thinking of the little, yet detailed and intimate gifts that the Lord gives to brighten up my days.

When we walk into the home shop the sweetest old lady greets us at the door. Her store is filled with this farm girls dream. Distressed, old barn wood. I run my fingers across several of the pieces trying to conjure up a plan in my head of how I could make this stuff out of the old wood scattered around our acres. My eyes get big in wonder. I ask Margo about several of the hutches that she has so invitingly placed around her store. It is so fun listening to her talk, one could taste her passion.

Outside, the streets are a windy mess, the breeze is cold and somewhat obnoxious. But when we step foot into each place, the kindness, the zeal in each one of these folks brightened my day. And for a brief moment I even heard myself saying out loud to my Joey,
"I think I'm starting to like this town."

He smiles and pulls me close for a brief moment, then we all walk into the wind and head back to the car... start down that long country road... back to our little farm house... with a hope and a happiness... for this sometimes home-sick soul.

It's was a sweet sweet Saturday.
As the sun goes down, the mountain stands tall under the rain clouds...
the view from our sunroom windows.

And the view from our front porch... Both glorious!