Loverly day today, Eliza Doolittle!
"All I want is a room somewhere
Far away from the cold night air
With one enormous chair...
Oh, wouldn't that be loverly?
Lots of chocolate for me to eat
Lots of coal making lots of 'eat
Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet...
Oh, wouldn't that be loverly?
Oh, so loverly to be absolutely bloomin' still!
I would never budge 'til Spring...
Crept over-me windowsill!
Someone's 'and restin' on my knee
Warm and tender as 'e can be...
Who'll take good care of me...Oh!
Wouldn't that .... be loverly!"
If the lyrics above are a bit off, well, I typed them from memory. I used to love musicals and show tunes as a kid. Across the road from the tiny house my Dad built room by room was a great expanse of woods that years before had been logged. Running and skipping through the forest, I would sing to the top of my lungs, arms spread wide like Julie Andrews in a mountain field in the Alps, springing up to a stump to finish the song in a resounding crescendo. I knew lyrics to songs like "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Shall We Dance?" (I performed a particularly memorable "stump" rendition of that one, if I do say so myself!), and "We Got Trouble Right Here in River City!" What do kids today do without musicals to provide dance and lyrics in which to express their exuberance for nature and life?
What a loverly day today. We had a dusting of snow on the mountains behind us last night. Mt Hood is now blanketed in a pristine eyelet cover of white that sparkles even more in its setting against the cobalt skies. The oaks here in the foothills are ruddy, yellow and red and the air akin to an effervescent elixir. The scene simply could not be more addictive to gaze upon, and my love for this area we've been led to for our home is multiplied a thousand-fold. There is absolutely nothing about our town, our house, our property, our neighbors and our townsfolks that we do not like. Well, there IS one neighbor who could clean up his yard a bit more, but who are we to tell him?
It is interesting to me that we "fit" here so well. These are our kind of folks and I realise more than ever that we really were fish out of familiar waters in California. People here drive old, beat-up trucks, something rarely seen in that southern eco-friendly state we left. And we love it! They dress in flannel shirts and old, torn jeans (which were not ripped on purpose!) and dusty hats or oily ball-caps. Hair is worn naturally and make-up sparingly. These are our kind of people, just good ol' country folks who work hard for a living and help each other. Though this area sports a year 'round jacket of breathtaking scenery, it has very little for tourists to flock to if they are not into sightseeing, natural recreation... and nothing else.
This leads me to another thought. I've been blessed to have lived in some of the West's most scenic areas: Aspen, Jackson Hole, coast of California and other places of awe-inspiring vistas.
All of those places depend upon tourism and, in fact, have lost their rustic character due to that catering attitude. However, would those visitors who claim to come for those natural offerings still spend time there if there were no "shops?" Where we live now, our little town of 3500 has no "shops" of chi-chi souvenirs or furnishings.
So, which came first, the tourist or the shops?
I hope our community never changes. If my prayers are answered, this county will always be grass-roots, down-home, warm and comfy and inviting as a broken-in, overstuffed chair next to a flickering hearth.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the celery-crisp air is permeated with the pungent smoke from all of our neighbors' woodfires?
Take a deep breath......ah!