Sunday, May 30, 2010
In Which Mt. Droop Is Scaled
I am a fan of thunderstorms. I always have been. They simultaneously terrify and enrapture me, much like turbulence of airplanes (don't ask me why). I was worried about Vista, but she was more alarmed about the sound of my boss, Mr. H, squeezing his empty water bottle than she was about the thunder. A benefit from spending the first 10 months of her life tied outside, I suppose. The nice thing about storms where we are is that they fill the mountains surrounding out little valley with the loveliest mist. Folks here call it mountain ghosts. The paper predicted partly cloudy weather all weekend, which I have come to realize is about as good as the weather can get around here. Party cloudy means partly sunny, which means maybe probably no rain, which means heck yes, we can use the clotheslines!
This is my life now. The days I can do laundry are the good ones.
Our third roommate was set to arrive on Saturday, but Emily (my roommate who's been here since day one--check out her blog almost heaven?) and I decided that a free, sunny day was too valuable to waste. We needed groceries, Vista needed toys and a bed, and we both desperately wanted to get out of the valley for a while. The nearest "big city" is a place called Lewisburg, in the next county over. It's an hour away, and the drive takes us over a mountain called--I am not making this up--Droop. We left keys in the mailbox for Kat to use when she arrived, loaded up reusable grocery bags and a cooler, and started the topsy turvy climb up Mount Droop.
My long-lost Kentucky cousin, who I met at the VISTA Pre-Service Orientation, is stationed in a little town 18 miles from Lewisburg, and was driving in join us for lunch. We arranged to meet at an itty-bitty bookstore simply called "The Bookstore," which was a wonder of dusty spines and old records, but sadly lacking any romance novels. I read many other things, of course, but romance novels are a favourite way to lose myself of an afternoon. I've run into an inordinate amount of used bookshops carrying everything but romance, and have saved up enough indignation for a whole other blog post. So, you know, something to look forward to.
Long-lost cousin Lilly joined Em and I and we explored the single street which is downtown Lewisburg. I popped into another bookshop which DID have romance novels, and happily walked out with two old Harlequin westerns which cost me a whopping $1 each. Joy. We stuck our heads into cafe after cafe, eventually finding one which wasn't too rich for the budgets of three girls living on the poverty level. It proved to be a good choice, and we walked away happy. A continued exploration of the street revealed an organic clothing store with prices unbelievably high for the area, even taking into account the proximity of The Greenbrier. Emily fell in love with a fantastic pink dress, and has been talking about it ever since. Knowing her, she'll end up buying it and will find the perfect opportunity to wear pink sequins in rural West Virginia. We also found a place specializing in West Virginia wines, another oddly pricey clothing store, and a gallery which carries some of the pieces made by the woodshop where I work.
Then, Cousin Lilly headed back to her little town, and Em and I braved Walmart. On a Saturday. In West Virginia. To say I was terrified would not be overstating. The place was humongous and baffling, and I found myself making big circles, backtracking and cutting across racks of children's clothing to find what I needed. Unsurprisingly, 90% of my purchases were for Vista. Seeing her absolute joy in her new toys when we got home was completely worth it, however. Her main occupation has become running around the house which each toy in her mouth, prancing and gleeful. Sweet girl.
Kat and her parents were at the house when we returned, and now we are three. Three VISTAs and a dog. Named Vista. Confusing, but happy.