Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A tent-ish kind of extravaganza!

Ah, tent camping! And while it wasn’t the kind of tent that a traveling circus or a film festival might find a home in it was still a home for all three of us that evening. And such a grand evening it was!

My Esteemed Companion, her boy and I took up residence for a night at Russian Gulch State Park. We were wondering, when we rolled up, if were even going to be able to get a space at all but the small gods of camping and children were about and passed along an offering of last minute cancellations. We found a space that suited us…clean, wide, with a rain canopy of short and inviting trees…all that we could have asked for and more for a first time out experience.

I always thrill to the setting up of camp, as it's always a challenge, always a wonderment to behold once it's up and operational. To go from an rustic empty space with a cold fire ring and a picnic bench to a full out inviting, warm and cozy outdoor abode is an amazing process. Coming into the campground that evening I was amazed to see so many new and interesting kinds of equipment about. I haven’t been on a camp out in quite a while so I haven’t been keeping up on the latest in outdoor technology. I suppose that it didn’t matter much, being old school, for we had all that we needed. Besides dry fire wood, a stove, a source of light after hours, a cooler of full of food, a water tight tent and a bevy of sleeping bags, what more can a person ask for?

Years ago I used to go desert camping with my father. He would bring me along to hang out with his motorcycle buddies who always came along well tricked out with RVs and trailers in tow. He, instead, would load up a cooler full of beer, a package of racetrack steaks, throw his motorcycle on top of the truck bed, then, almost as afterthought, swing by and pick me up, too. Now that was rustic! There is nothing quite like sleeping on a hard plywood bed under the stars next to a noisy encampment full of wild motorheads, soaking in a high desert night time cold that seemed to always find its way through my US government surplus bag.

Still, of all my camping memories it had to be one of the best for it was without expectation, only discovery and joy. This past weekend was an awful lot like that, too. It came packed to the brim with wild boyish wonder, with a bag of full of corn that turned magically into tent stakes and then back into corn again, with a trek to the sea shore that found us wading through a creek bed back to camp only to find out afterwards, wet shoes and all, that there was a trail with a bridge down to the water after all. We ate well, slept well, coped with the chill and the rain like true champions, took advantage of the after hours quiet time to revel before the fire without all the extraneous noise and found out that a good solid flashlight is really the best tool around to navigate to the restrooms after dark.

It was good fun, plain old fashioned sweet and wonderful fun. We didn’t need the latest in outdoor gear, we didn’t need to have gourmet food in the cooler, we certainly didn’t need a gas generator, an RV full of goodies, a boom box or a GPS device to find our way to happiness. We took ourselves down the shore, found our tentish selves full of hope and promise and lived up to that promise by sharing with each other a lot of mirth, merriment and glee. Now, what more do you need on a camp out than that?


1 comment:

kd said...

What a lovely golden glow you have going there at that bivouac. Beautiful! Nomad blessings and wishing you many more encampments.