Sunday, August 26, 2007

On the Road At Last

For most of July and August, I have stayed close to home - the festivals, beaches, and long, hot days of summer have been consuming. But it was time to see the big skies, and land of sunsets. So on Friday, off I (Julia too of course) went to Spokane.

Julia on vacation.

Now, technically, Al lives in the city of Spokane Valley (yes, a valley called a city) and even more specifically, he lives in the community of Opportunity. Now how could one have a better named place? Opportunity is just outside of your door, at every corner... well, you get the picture.

Now if I was a reporter, I would go and do research about how a place came to be called Opportunity. But in this case, I think the imagination would have a good deal more fun with it. Perhaps it was named by a man who won a lot of land in a poker game. Or it was named by the person that built the first casino there, to lure others to their establishment. Or someone who was just plain glad to be alive!

We didn't stay in Opportunity on Saturday - off we went to Greenbluff to see what was happening with the harvest. It was peach time, tree-ripened! Where we ended up, though, was at a farm that allowed us to pick our own raspberries and blackberries. Sadly, the raspberries were not ripe. ???? Well, I learnt that there are two seasons for raspberries. The upshot was that Al and I spent our afternoon picking blackberries. I tried one, two, three and then ventured to have four, but with each assessment, my conclusion was the same - I don't really like blackberries. I like the berry part. But the actual taste. Nope. But I could appreciate that they are heaven-sent... so beautiful, and inspiring... as you can see.

I have been reading and hearing a lot lately about the 100 Mile Diet; with this food plan, people try to eat food that was grown close to home. I read in the Inlander newspaper today that there was a conference on the petroleum industry promoting this plan (though they called it the 250 Mile Diet), as it makes a lot of sense in the consumption of our natural fuel resources. There is a general idea that is spreading like wildfire that it doesn't make sense for us to be hauling food such vast distances - not nutritionally nor earth-nomically. (Yes, I did invent that word.) If we adopt this plan, we would not be hooped if there was a transportation problem.

In that copy of the Inlander, there were several stories of farmers quite committed to the notion of growing organic food and animals on small farms in the Pacific Northwest. I was struck by how their dedication and plain hard work is really what sustains us... literally. And allows us to eat peaches that are vine ripened. The variety I bought was called Sweet Dreams. My wish to you.