I think the best part was having Alecto at my house. As soon as she pulled onto our road, one of my most powerful omens took wing. It is funny how that omen has changed through the years, yet remained the same. I always think of it as an omen and a different thing as a totem and I'm sure it doesn't matter and I'm not telling you what they are anyway.
It is a funny thing, this friendship with Alecto. If you started naming things we don't have in common, you could make a list that might never have an end. And yet, we have a sympathetic vibration.
And Cielo, you know, we've known each other since we were nine. Also vast differences and yet we can sit around for four days and be comfortable in silence yet never run out of things to say either.
Last year Alecto spearheaded food. This year I seemed to have done that. There wasn't a lot of planning, or a lot of sticking to any plan that was made, but we ate well, mostly thanks to the garden.
And Cielo's coffee. I love coffee. And Alecto's eggs.
My family killed and dressed a rooster for me one day when I was at the barn, so we had one properly aged dead chicken to take. Because I had worked every day up to the going, I hadn't packed until after Alecto arrived. The next morning, after grits, we went to the garden and the bounty of the late summer garden is mostly what we ate. Squash, potatoes, chard, onions, tomatoes.
I got to take Alecto to Shangri-la too, where we got apples which we had with most every meal, and with which we made promptly devoured fried apple pies.
It took us until our second morning to come to our morning routine -- get up, drink coffee, do yoga (the 26 Bikram postures minus the hot room), sit in the hot tub, cook and eat breakfast.
It took Alecto two days to forgive the non-primitive condition of the so-called cabin. I don't think Cielo and I had a problem with it.
We also got ourselves some cheese at a local cheese shop on that jaunt, and mmm, do I love cheese. I could live on cheese and bread but the bread was a different story. Alecto made her trip on Wonder Bread and Twinkies. Yuck (but Mallomars and HoHo's are ok). I brought the dry mix for a no knead loaf (and the iron to cook it in) with us. After I soaked it and went to knead it, it looked like the yeast had given up the ghost. So Cielo bought some more yeast . . . and the results still did not look promising. So Alecto said, fine, let's make crackers, but *then* it decided to rise and we ended up with well fermented whole grain brownie bread. It was delicious.
Cielo and I gathered materials for Alecto to spit roast the dead rooster. During the gathering I found some really cool quartz and some buckeyes which I thought were chestnuts. I know that in some places chestnuts do survive to nut bearing age and I'd never in my life seen a buckeye. Well, now I have.
We ate the rooster in the dark which was probably best. And we only ate two buckeyes. (they are poisonous)
I got very antsy being outside of my life. I learned from vacating with my friends that I don't vacate very well; that I run toward home, not away.
I learned from the hot tub that I am really easily over stimulated. Turn off those jets. It also may be related to that point of stillness thing; a cow chewing her cud.
Ladies, this is my love letter to you.
And to my family.
And to life on the farm.