Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Last Human Standing

Well, I’m on my own (at least for a couple days). Took Ian, my last bipedal compatriot, to the airport in Spokane today, a round trip of five hours for me or, yes, about the amount of time it would take for me to drive from here to Issaquah. Of course, included in that time was a stop at the Spokane Valley Mall so I could check out the latest fashions at Old Navy and Maurice’s (which I first found in Bismarck, North Dakota and which also has a store at the Palouse Mall in Moscow . . . that should give you an idea of how “fashion forward” the shop is . . . ). In all, Ian made it home before me. Also been and gone are two dear friends, Laura and Sonja, and their dog Jessie, as well as the wiggly and exuberantly bouncy Marlee, who caught a ride home with them (and with her, at last count, rode 24 ticks). Everyone remaining—me, Spackle, Kit and Loper, and the horses—is feeling the lack, except possibly for Shadow. Shadow is undeniably chunky (even my new-found hip looseness—which should allow me to grip less with my inner thighs and hold a bit more with my calves—wasn’t enough to keep my lower legs from swinging in rhythm with her rapid steps. No matter how loose, one’s legs can only fit so far around a giant barrel.), and so she appreciated going out for a ride with someone who didn’t need a saddle, and therefore didn’t need a girth biting into her soft, expansive underbelly, and who could, it turns out, stay on over unannounced leaps of fallen trees and the last small rivulets of spring runoff. Also, her grumpy old lady comes out with too many dogs panting at her heels—three seems to be about her limit before she becomes seriously annoyed (and Loper, who is the king of panters, almost got his noggin knocked by a hoof when he tailgated a bit too long).

Being alone out here is surprisingly social, though—I’m going to dinner at a neighbor’s house Thursday evening, I have riding lessons on Thursday and next Monday, a different neighbor dropped off half a delicious rhubarb custard pie this morning, and I’ve been a bit of a secretary for K&A (hiring K to perform a July 1 wedding), who are off in southern France on a canal boat cruise with Mom and Marsh and another couple. The people at the Harvard post office (size: 8 feet X 12 feet) know me, and the people at the Hoo Doo recognize me, too. I even occasionally run into the same people out trail riding. And on Friday another friend arrives, and on Monday my in-laws, who loved last year with a passion, return for a second go-around, and on Wednesday night a friend visits on her way to Santa Fe for the summer.

So yeah—tomorrow and Wednesday, when I’m all alone with nowhere to go, I’m gonna love it.

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