Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have a row of sand dollars drying out on our balcony in Ballard, they remind me of ripening pears on a Moscow windowsill from a Sam Abell photo I saw a long time ago. Beautiful white discs of time, seasoning. A long time ago I collected sand dollars outside of Lincoln City, in Oregon, on a trip to see Uncle Lee and Aunt Mary, it was hard to find the ones that weren’t broken.

Now we live in the Northwest and can see Lee and Mary pretty much whenever we want. We saw them a couple of weeks ago when they were celebrating their 41st anniversary. We stayed at the Thunderbird Hotel in Aberdeen, ate at diners and restaurants famous for wild blackberry pie and as respectable environments for the wives of loggers. We didn’t stay in Aberdeen long enough to get a sense for the depression that Kurt Cobain must have felt when he grew up there, instead we went to the Olympic National Forest and looked at huge Douglas Firs, giant Spruce that have stood in pretty much exactly the same space for 5 or 600 years.

Lee came to gab rather than look, so we spent quite a bit of time talking Segway tours in Berlin, language learning techniques, the purposes one might put advanced study of Chinese culture toward, the prevalence of gluten allergy among Gingerichs, future trips that would involve speaking Spanish, going out to the coast where museums tell the story of seamen lost and found. Mary quoted poems from her childhood, picked ambitious trails, spoke out against polyester, sought out mythical gardens. We went to the coast where we spotted driftwood like giant geckos poking up through the mist. Lee drove, I navigated. We played juvenile tricks on the women. I ate most of a giant cinnamon roll. We had a good time.