|There You Are Blue Heron!|
Thursday is town day, which means shopping for weekly groceries and washing laundry at the Loggers Daughter in Sandpoint, 15 miles south of Elmira. Todd is mowing the lawn and drowning gophers, so I have the car to myself. Windows rolled down, Fleet Foxes blaring and I can't resist the sign at Samuel's Corner that reads, "Greenhouse 6 miles." I turn right.
My detour follows the Pack River along the backside of the small, piny mountains from Elmira. It's drop-dead gorgeous. If this valley were in a beauty contest, she'd be crowned queen. From the Pack River I have a full view of the craggy Selkirks, still snowy above the tree line. Six miles in I see a sign that reads, "Kate's Greenhouse." I follow a bumpy dirt road that veers right into the forest and emerges at a beautiful old farmhouse with English cottage appeal.
I can't miss the greenhouse with it's sharpie-pen sign, "Honk." So I honk and get out. Kate greets me and we look over the last of her veggies--several varieties of cukes, zucchini and tarragon. I even get four more basil; pesto freezes well. The greatest discoveries are her tomatoes--Kate has one Italian Ice which I tasted last summer when buying produce from a farmer up on the Talache. Sweet! She also has a Japanese Black heirloom and a prolific tomato grown from seeds shared by a Russian friend. But alas, planting will have to wait for tomorrow.
At the Logger's Daughter I front-load three wash-machines, pour a cap-full of Eco laundry detergent and swipe my laundry card. Quarters are no longer needed, in case you're out of touch with what laundromats are like these days. Yet, they remain a great hub of overheard conversations. Like this one:
Man: "Excuse me, you look like you know what you're doing."
(The woman loading a machine glances my way, but I duck behind the pages of "The Dragon Reborn.")
Man: "Can you help me do my laundry?"
Woman: "Uh...the attendant can help you, or you can pay her to do your laundry for you."
Man: "I was hoping not to pay."
Woman: "Well, she can show you how the machines operate."
Man (sighing): "It's just that I'm newly divorced and I've never done laundry before."
Woman (dead silent; biting back a smile).
After he leaves the woman looks at me and says, "And I wonder why he's newly divorced."
I'm wondering if I should pack my camera next trip to town...
June 6 Evening Pond Report:
The lawn is mowed and Todd is smiling. I get out of the car and he says, "I even left your flowers." Indeed, the iris and daffodil circle remain intact, including several patches of wild white daisies. He hauls in my groceries and laundry, leaving his rucksack of clean work clothes in the car for when he returns to Moses Lake, WA for work.
No Blue Heron. No osprey. No more dirty laundry.