Saturday, January 7, 2012

Raw Goat Milk, Earth Worms, and Classical Corea


Being back in Olympia felt like how it feels when your ears pop after being up on a mountain all day. Just like you normally don't realize your ears need to pop until they do, and when they do it feels terrific, Olympia brought back the same everyone-is-my-friend sentiment I normally get when I romping among the 46,428 residents.

I don't know that I've gotten to Olympia the same way more than twice (that twice being with Tucker). This time, I was fortunate enough to get a ride with Ethan and Scotty after the contra dance they had been playing at (piano, bass, guitar, fiddle) and I had been dancing at. Perched between the two of them, it was the second time I had been in a truck in around a year. The only other time was when I was hitchhiking back in November in Canada. Paul Newman was the soundtrack. Lemurs, hair rights, knee to eye contact, and orange food marked the passing miles. I pumped gas for the first time in my life. I felt rebellious and hesitant as I "topped up"

Since Joelle lives a decent 27 miles out of downtown Olympia and it was already just about 1 AM, Scotty let me crash the couch in his basement. Being covered in neon green and blue faux fur, the couch was the epitome of luxury. I felt like I was sleeping in the ocean. At 7:32 or so in the morning, the lights came on and one of his housemates peered down. I shouted out my "good morning" and he go to sort out who the strange girl sleeping couch was. I was up by 8:28 and talking to David in the kitchen where conversations drifted from contra to blues to swing to Alaska. I managed to spend 58 minutes of time writing a letter to Collin - the guy I went backpacking with back in September. At around 10 AM, I calculated that Scotty had had at least 8 hours of sleep and woke him up. I felt pretty bad about disturbing his rest but I hadn't seen Joelle for six months to almost the day. That's a long time not to see someone who you consider to be one of your favourite people in the entire world.

We were quickly out the door and into his beast-of-a-van, earthworm in tow. I felt powerful in the Chevy van as I knew that I was capable of doing a summersault (that is a beautiful world) in such a spacious vehicle.


The Washington State Employees Credit Union greeted us as all great financial institutions ought to. I checked out their privacy policy and discovered a draft of warm air in the hallway, in addition to an employee to laugh with. According to Ethan, of all the WSECU's in the world, this one is the least friendliest. After such a pleasant experience (one lady let me use her handsanitizer), this opens up a wide realm of imagination sessions, thinking up the wonderful possibilities that the other branch locations could hold.

The post office provided yet more friendship (friendship -  it seems that I have come to define that term very, very loosely these days) from Jaime, the man who sold me the fantastic stamps of designs of household products. I specified that I wanted my letter to go to "this country" which he found amusing. His amusement caused me to get my own build up of joy.

Last stop was a drop-off at the library where I was to meet Joelle.

In my waiting, I stumbled upon a free book of old Scottish folk tales and two tapes containing Beethoven's Violin Cencero, Chick Corea playing Mozart in '88, Songs Delmoni's Mother Taught Her, and Christmas 1987. I was sifting through some maps when a jean-clad man walked over, grinned, and asked if I had found any of Ireland. His name was David and he was a musician who was going to immigrate to Ireland. A delightful conversation followed as we spoke of the things we had in common - Celtic and folk music and the instruments we play.

Joelle walked up and it was such a reunion! I buried my face into her sweater-ed-up shoulder to stifle the joy-bursts that were trying to escape me in what is supposed to be the silent haven of the city. Yes. Yes she did smell great. Turns out she had met David before, so we all talked a bit more and then to the librarian who plays the accordion.

 We left the library via "EXIT," entered the car, and puttered over to Costco so she could get her gas fix. All filled up, we dashed, arm in arm, into the Costco to see if they had any good samples. A meal of Greek yoghurt and Lärabars sustained us as we cruised and perused (I'll take Merriam Webster definition 1.b on thsi one) the aisles of food we didn't want to eat. But, when we got to the car, we were key-less. Pockets were searched, the store was searched, and AAA was called. In the meantime, Joelle daintily devoured a slice of pizza. Within 15 minutes, AAA arrived in a non-traditional AAA vehicle with a snowboard on top. Within 2 minutes we were back in her car, keys in hand. Thank you AAA.

Fred Meyers told us we had low foot pressure.

A stop at the Co-Op seems to be a tradition for Joelle and I stopped by. By the time we reached the checkout counter, are arms were filled with sponges, Kombucha, seaweed, and raw local honey. The man at the checkout counter was a bit resistant to letting me use Joelle's membership card, but quickly let me sign up as low-income. Within minutes I had a new purple card for my wallet (and a 10% discount).


More driving took us to a fantastic house marked by a toilet by the side of the road. We climbed up onto the porch of the little red farm-house where a rusting refrigerator was, a jar of money next to it. The ladies who live here keep goats and sell the raw goat milk, well, sort of. They can't technically sell it because that involves paperwork and processes. Regardless, I put $3 in the jar and got a large bottle of milk in return. I open it up, took a gulp, and was satisfied. The ladies than invited us in and we got to talk to them for a bit. Joelle took me out back to meet the goats. I like them.


Back into the car and into the Evergreen Forest, another place we always visit together. Some of my first memories with Joelle took place in that forest. I shouted out to the trees because they seemed to be glowing and made me feel giddy down to to my toes. Our meandering route encouraged continued conversation and all the good catching up friends need to do after such a long time apart.

3:40 PM - time to head back to downtown Oly. Essential oils. Artesian well (always visit the well, always). And then it was time to say good-bye.

Knowing that we'll have the quarter together is encouraging. Seeing her again was such a delight. I really had missed spending time with this girl.

After another hug, I set off, bag and milk in hand, towards the library where I would meet up with Ethan for the trip back to Seattle for another dance. In my waiting, there was David again! No, he doesn't live there. We had both left around the same time and had come back again. He was in need of an interesting book. We checked out an atlas and that was when Jan entered in the conversation. Jan was from the Netherlands, so we exchanged information. I'm going to visit his family, if it works out, when I'm over there in a few months. Ethan showed up at 4:45 PM and my time Olympia was complete.

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