Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Porch Sitting

In honor of Independence Day, and all things possible, I give you the view from my porch:

Now that we have that out of the way, we can commence with some virtual porch-sitting. I'm going to step away from form and good writing and just ramble tonight. Small child is at camp, Large Dog is snoring, I've just poured a glass of Oregon red, and I've raised the shades and turned off the lamp in hopes of catching sight of the occasional Roman candle as it showers over the lake. Pull up a chair and let's just chat.

I am a fortunate individual. Every time I hear myself complain about something, I try to remember this. Much about my nation's government disgusts me. But today I am thankful that I am not living in a more oppressive society, that I had access to education and sanitary living conditions, that the streets I walk are, in comparison to most streets, safe. Yes, I wish America were better. Yes, I wish it had different leadership. Yes, I wish we were greener, more peaceful, less greedy, more tolerant, and the list goes on. Yes, I'm glad I live here.

This little town where I love to spend my summers, a rather liberal enclave, has the sweetest, old fashioned, 4th of July celebration. The parade, which draws crowds from all over, has retained its small town feel. I didn't go this year, so I don't know if perennial faves such as the wiener dog entry (scroll down a bit on this link to see Ashland photos) or Geppetto's dancing wontons returned, but it is worth getting up at the crack of dawn and staking out a spot. Afterwards there's food-n-stuff in Lithia Park. At night, there's a fab fireworks show at the high school stadium but you can watch it for free at Walker School playground, and "enjoy" your neighbor's fireworks while you wait for the big show to start. It's the closest I ever hope to be to simulated combat. The last time I went, I swear some incendiary device missed my head by an inch. I can hear the show booming in the distance as I type.

You've probably seen Sideways, and if so you know all about pinot noir. Oregon pinots are yummy. And all sorts of wonderful wines from California, Oregon, and Washington never make it over the borders. Tonight I meandered downtown to Liquid Assets and savored a flight of three 2004 American cabernets. I snacked on steamed asparagus with organic feta and chopped olives plus a wee portion of duck mousse.

This morning, as I was packing small child's camp bag, I kept smelling sausage. Breakfast sausage, a la Jimmy Dean. Could I be having an olfactory hallucination? A small cerebral event of some sort? I suspected a simpler explanation. I leaned over and took a whiff of Large Dog. He reeked of sage. There are three varieties out in the yard, and he had some telltale strands mixed in with the drool. Beats dog breath any day.

Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, I'm going to buy a bike. I really like the one I found online, but I think I'd be better off buying something I've actually tried. Surely one of the five bike shops here in town will have something. I'll feel better supporting a local business, too. If I'm successful, expect either bike path adventures or ER chronicles in a future post.

Happy Independence Day, wherever you may be.

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