The unstructured days in Valley View ended with packing.  Expertly squeezing every suitcase and bag into the Miata’s trunk and putting a few plums in the cooler.  Ridiculous how much I fit in.

My sister and bro in law, Mom and I were all grateful for good conversations, meals, laughs and sharing the joys of the hobby farm.  That sometimes meant throwing apple culls over  the fence for the neighbors sheep and goats, gawking at the cucumbers that began bolting and grew to almost pumpkin proportions, sitting on the patio after dark to try to see some of the Pleidades shooting stars, even with the wildfire smoke dimming the horizon.  It meant marveling over a flat, almost bonsai juniper specimen that has three berries and picking plums.  It meant rocking chairs on the front porch with Constant Comment after supper.  Noting the weather, watching the clouds and the humming birds be replaced by bats.

Meals included an alder-chip smoked steak one night, grilled salmon another, and shrimp and cod tacos with killer homegrown salsa another night. The dessert that night was a plum cobbler made with fruit directly from the tree and topped with local organic vanilla ice cream.  Food heaven.

Driving through the smoky skies today, stopping for lunch in Dunsmuir, we began the descent into the populated places.  Tonight we’re staying  in Redding, tasting the edges of civilization with internet and TV.  Mom has been watching Donald Trump’s NH speech so I found a nice little lane to take a walk.

Tomorrow we’ll be back in San Jose.  Mickey will be glad to see us.  We will do laundry and re-establish things in the house.  Water desperate plants…thank heavens there’s a day before work schedule begins.

I have taken this vacation thing — resting, doodling, dining, walking — very seriously.  I have recharged the battery as well as I know how.  It was a well-deserved rest and just a perfect way to ¨end’ the summer.



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