I think the real pathway to presence is to learn how to enjoy each moment of each day whatever that day offers. Yesterday, I did the Snake River jet boat ride. Tomorrow, I'm going to drive The Northwest Passage Scenic Byway which I anticipate will be breathtaking, even under cloudy skies. And, today? Today, I'll clean, grocery shop, cook, buy a Mi-Fi device, i.e. do the mundane things of life. Today is not a worse day than yesterday was or tomorrow might be, it's just today – a day in my life and therefore important per se.
I love Honeycrisp apples. Since I discovered them I haven’t found an apple I enjoy more. For years, I only ate Granny Smiths. One has to be a sadist to eat Granny Smiths because of their tartness. That being said, they are reliably crispy, and mushiness is the attribute I despise the most in an apple. When an apple doesn't cleave mid-bite, my brain says it’s rotten and probably full of worms. Yuck. Thirty years ago, I watched a toddler bite into something he didn’t like so he wiped his tongue on his mom's sweater. If I bit into a Macintosh, I’d wipe my tongue on his mom's sweater, too. Yuck. In Providence, RI Honeycrisps were only available from the fall through the early spring, and I consumed half an apple per day throughout the season. So, imagine my delight when I discovered them in Safeway in Beaverton, OR in the middle of the summer! This afternoon, I ate a whole, large Honeycrisp. Then I felt like a kid who had just consumed too much Hallowe’en candy. Yuck.
When my father and I were driving across Nebraska, I asked him if he knew what crop was growing beside the road. (For the record, there is one unending crop planted along I-80, stretching across the entire state of Nebraska.) He said, "I don't know. I only know corn. That's not corn."
My father has a flip phone. In January, I asked my father if he wanted my iPhone 5S if I upgraded to a 6-something with a wet bar and riding mower. He said no. The night before we left on our cross-country trip, I asked him if he wanted me to show him how to use my iPad so he could answer the plethora of questions which he will generate while we were driving across the country. He said no. That also meant he couldn't answer any of my questions, e.g. about crops. I could have let him drive so I could answer my own questions, but every corner of his Toyota Sequoia has house paint on it so I thought it would be more prudent to wait for the answers.
Driving alone through eastern Washington two days ago was beautiful: rolling hills of blonde crops which either become food or beer or Miss America, and short, leafy green plants which may be alfalfa, peas, onions, potatoes or something completely different. When I camped, I tried to identify the crops through Wikipedia and Google and neither helped. What I wanted is Crop Identification for Dummies. It’s probably just as well that my father didn’t want to use my iPad because he would have thrown it out the window when it failed to answer either my crop questions or any of his.
I lived in Portland, OR for two-and-a-half years in the Aughts. I have to say that it's the best place I've ever lived because of the city itself and its environs: Forest Park, the food scene, the Willamette Valley wineries, the Oregon Coast, Multnomah Falls, Mt. Hood, etc. If you are active, eat, drink, and are tolerant of everything, there is no better place to live. Plus, there's no sales tax which makes it a good place to buy an expensive car. I hadn't been back to Oregon in more than 10 years until last week. I hadn't forgotten its beauty, but I had forgotten that it doesn't trust people to pump their own gas. Ironically, Oregon does trust people to pump their own diesel. I don’t get it.
When we left my parents' home on our cross-country drive, my father loaded up BOB with: six liters of seltzer, two half gallons of artificially sweetened iced tea, a 750ml bottle of Scotch (for him), a 750 ml bottle of bourbon (for me), two four-packs of child-portion servings of Pinot Noir, a bottle of wine he was given in Germany last fall, six bottles of foreign beer, four servings of Gatorade, an unknown amount of Boost, a quart of applesauce, and five-sixths of a frozen lemon tart. Then we went grocery shopping.
He drank three liters of seltzer, and I still have the rest. He drank one half gallon of iced tea, and I threw out the rest because I hate artificial sweeteners. He drank the Scotch, and I drank the bourbon. He drank the Gatorade. Since he flew home, I have systematically consumed the items he left behind: seven of the eight child-portion wines; the German wine (which was surprisingly good); five of the six beers; one Boost; and, the lemon tart (which I ate in two sittings). The applesauce, which is half finished, is still in the refrigerator. As long as I can get Honeycrisps, I'm not going to eat applesauce. I still have sausage breakfast patties and bacon in the freezer from our inaugural grocery shopping trip. Maybe I’ll mail them to him.
Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.