Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beach report page one

Oh the glories of the Long Beach Peninsula – Wind and omnipresent overcast and a 2 and a half hour commute through truly lovely scenery. Buccolic fields full of cows and calves, plantations of genetically engineered cottonwoods being strip farmed for paper pulp, quaint valley hamlets with the ubiquitous video rental stores because the surrounding ridges block all television and cell phone reception. Really picturesque winding narrow roads following the river and clinging to the hems of the mountain like a frightened child clings to mom’s skirt. There was one section of road that was one way for about a two mile stretch because the overhanging hillside had slid down across it. It was rather unnerving to drive along and look up at several tons of slightly unstable rock and dirt looming thirty or forty feet up and just biding its time . . . Landslides are entropy in action. Everything seeks the lowest level, including road embankments.
And sometimes, when the river rises, the lowest level gets pretty darn swampy. Riverfront houses are up on stilts, with a boat moored to the back deck by a loooong rope and a ladder. The cry of the loon, the pacing of the heron, flights of geese in the dawn all have their appeal, but if the river is actually likely to come and try to get in bed with you once in a while, I think I would rather seek higher ground for my abode. And NOT at the edge of a cliff, thank you.
Entropy has been a bit of a theme for me this weekend. Things slow down, things fall apart. This was the weekend for a huge community garage sale all across the peninsula. Everyone had their bits and bobs of gently used excess stuff out on display. Since many people move to Long Beach to retire, there are the no-longer needed elements of past lives. “We don’t need good china. If people come for dinner, we use paper plates.” “We haven’t been skiing in 20 years.” “Bob had a stroke so he won’t be needing those duck decoys or that shotgun anymore.”
On the other hand, used paperback books are moving like wildfires. I think they get passed around and around till they just fall apart. If your body ceases to go where you want, you have to travel in your mind.

The other element of entropy is all mine. I have been spoiled by the wonderful bed we have at home. A night in a strange bed tweaked my back. I am SO grateful to live in an era that has Aspirin and hot pads and BenGay ointment!! But still, I spent the weekend stove up and creaky.

MJ and Rick hired Mike, a professional sheet-rocker, to straw-boss the construction crew. DH has hung drywall in his time, and Rick is trainable (though as an engineer, he expects greater perfection than his team has the skill to produce.) MJ and Rick have a 13 year old son and a16 year-old son who each invited two friends. The friends were all girls. Very interesting interplays going on. The girls all slept in the four-bunk bedroom, were sweet and polite and even helped in the kitchen a bit. The boys slept on couches in the downstairs living-room. The teens mostly hung out and teased one another, while MJ and I kept food coming and plates washed, and the menfolks measured and cut and hung and taped and mudded from 9 in the morning till 10 at night.
Then, when we finally called it quits and drifted off to bed, the raccoons in the roof began partying down. Over our head, it sounded like they were pitching woo. Cooing and purring, thrashing and chirruping with primitive abandon.
Mike slept on a couch in the main living room. He said it sounded as if they had gotten a pinecone and were playing soccer. The last time the raccoons invaded, Rick hooked up a strobe light in the rafters to make them feel unwelcome. We tried it again, but this seems to be a new generation of ‘coons because the next morning we found they had stolen some aluminum foil off the grill on the deck and were presumably creating their own disco ball. Last weekend, Rick’s brother had been up with a pellet gun and discouraged a couple of adults and their four babies, but evidently the attic is prime real-estate because a new young couple moved right in. We even saw them coming and going. One has a severely truncated tail. We called him Stubby. The other, smaller and with an evil look in her eye, we call Esmerelda. No one was willing to go up on the slippery metal roof to search out their entry and exits, so the raccoons remain in residence. They live there all the time and probably think of us a horribly intrusive squatters.

The peninsula has a lot of undeveloped, forested areas, and the deer run rampant. Again, they are the permanent residents, and they obviously are really annoyed at the weekend people that show up and pester them. We were driving back from the hardware store at twilight, and a doe with two fawns crossed the road ahead of us at a leisurely pace, giving us a look of such profound disgust that I burst out laughing. Never before in my life have I been scorned by a deer.

As the guys were cutting sheetrock I heard them chanting a helpful mantra that I thought I might pass along. “Fingers bad. Sheet rock good.” This is to help them remember what to cut. It worked. DH still has a full complement of ten. He did, however, lose his cell phone. He feels seriously handicapped.


  • At 12:12 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    I drove up the Washington coast many years ago. My memory of the trip is same as you are describing. Lovely scenery, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there...
    Hmmm, "fingers bad, sheet rock good". A fine sentiment indeed! Should have had my friend "short finger" Sergio say that mantra last year--his digit clip came from brick laying, I think.

  • At 3:39 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    BTW, Mia did post 7 random facts this afternoon.

  • At 9:25 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    "Fingers bad, sheetrock good" and "racoons playing soccer with a pinecone"--I'm going to remember those for a while!! (I lost my cell phone recently...I found it in the drier--plugged it in, it still works...) Isn't it funny how boys and girls interact these days? Much less of the division that I remember from my teen years...

  • At 5:15 AM , Blogger Norma said...

    An excellent, giggle-filled vacation post.....

  • At 4:45 PM , Blogger Warrior Knitter said...

    Sounds like a great place . . . and a great time

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