Simple Girl

This was our 3rd year renting the same cabin on the North Coast of California.  It sits right on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean.  Most days were socked in with a cold fog, the occasional electric blue sky peeking through.  I brought just one sweater and one sweatshirt.  For 11 days.  Nothing like being prepared!  Still, when that coastline emerges from the mist, it doesn’t even look real.

I brought this stack of books and figured I’d make it through at least half of them.  I read none of them.  I started WOLF HALL and had a hard time keeping the characters straight.  This is the 3rd time I’ve tried to get going with THE KNOWN WORLD.  Not much reading got done this year.  No time.  (more on that later …)

I did manage to read this one.  Less than 150 pages, and my introduction to John D. MacDonald and his Travis MacGee books.  This is not your standard crime thriller.  The man can write.  I can’t wait to read #2 in this long series.

This plaque adorns the door in the cabin’s kitchen.  I wonder, where did it come from?  How did it get here?  What the hell does it mean?  Are you talkin’ to me?

I also started this book (IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS) which I picked up at the local independent bookstore, The Four-Eyed Frog.  I love buying books here.  In fact, I’m going to try and remember to order from them.  It’s the kind of place where the owner greets you on your way in and offers you a cup of tea or coffee.  And then he actually gets up and gets you the coffee or tea and brings it out to you while you’re browsing.  The perfect place.

And in other news ….

“Thank you” is not nearly enough for the local, small town veterinarian, Dr. Bohn.  The day we arrived our puppy had a urinary tract infection.  Simple, right?  We saw the good doctor twice.  Then, this past Friday, dear puppy got into something toxic (fertilizer, we think) and got very very sick (an understatement).  When I called Dr. Bohn — at HOME — at 9:00 on Friday night, he met us in 10 minutes and saved our puppy.  As for me, see Kitchen Plaque above.

(p.s.  puppy is healthy and back to normal)

“What do you think?” I asked my new friend, Dr. Bohn.  He replied, “I think maybe she’s just not a simple girl.” 

There’s a lot to be said for disconnecting from cell phones and the internet and whatnot, all the modern conveniences of “home.”  And maybe, just maybe, if our disconnected vacation would have lacked the canine medical dramas, I’d have been more relaxed about it all.  But.  I’m not sure it’s possible to describe how thrilled I was to get home to my washer and dryer after the pup lost her bladder too many times.  I could stand up and cheer for cell phones, a door that locks properly, modern toilets, an oven that heats to the right temperature, our fenced in yard (no matter how miniscule), the pizza delivery service, and an internet that can look up, instantaneously!, “common pet toxins, symptoms and treatment.”   No matter how much I might fantasize about being Laura Ingalls Wilder, the reality is I’m not such a simple girl either.

But I will miss this sunset.

The sun going down over Seal Island.

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18 thoughts on “Simple Girl

  1. macdougalstreetbaby

    Beautiful sunset.
    I missed you, too. Blogland wasn’t the same without you.
    Welcome back.

  2. Teri

    AmyG, Lisa, and MSB — I missed keeping up with all of you! Here’s to getting some good writing done this fall and winter!

  3. Downith

    I missed you too! I hope you get to read February at some point – as you know, I loved that book.

    Glad Jojo is okay. She sure has caused her share of drama already!

    1. Teri

      I started FEBRUARY and after about 20 pages realized I needed to focus, so I’ll have to read it when I have bigger chunks of time. I love the structure of it. Very smart. Cutting. Gets you right in the gut. So I’m looking forward to it.

      Oh JoJo. My little drama queen! We are the vet again yesterday — which turned out to be nothing, but dear lord this dog!!!!

  4. erikamarks

    Oh, welcome home, Teri! You have indeed been missed–but what a vacation! Oh, Jojo…no rest for mom this trip. I know that sunset looked even more beautiful when she got her clean bill of health.

    After your post, I’ve decided I’m ready for summer again. Anyone else?

    1. Teri

      What a wacko summer this was. I’m ridiculously excited for fall to come, for Halloween and dry leaves and sweaters. I’m even looking forward to the holidays this year. And do you know what? I have never, never, in all my 46 years, looked forward to the holidays. There’s a big old shift going on.

  5. Lyra

    You’re back, you’re back!!
    Poor JoJo. No, she’s not a simple girl. She was brought to you to keep you busy so that you have to cram in writing time as if you had a newborn. JoJo may seem innocent but she is wily in her desire to see you published. She’s trying to make it harder so you want it more.
    Or maybe that’s just what I tell myself about my kids…
    Tomato. Tomahto.

  6. Bobbi

    Oh my, this post speaks to me on many levels. One, I see you have Lisa Moore’s February, I know her, she’s awesome. B, the sea, oh how I miss it and three the mental ward, oh how I do not miss it!! And finally I want a puppy now…

    1. Teri

      The vet bills would seriously cut into your wine budget. As my next door neighbor said, he loves that WE have a puppy he can visit with and then go home to his nice peaceful house. So, do you have a neighbor with a cute pup?

  7. lizisilver

    Teri, you’re back! I like Dr. Bohn-I think his assessment works well for humans too. Hopefully next year in the cabin will bring more sunshine and less mysteries.

    p.s. The Known World is one my all-time favorites. S got it for me during one of my hospitalizations and I never got around to it. A year later I picked it up out of sheer boredom. When I finished it, I wish I had never read it so it would be new to me all over again. Lucky you.

  8. Laura

    “Not a Simple Girl” sounds like a perfect short story title. And JoJo, by the way, continues to slay me with her cuteness. That face!

    Welcome back. 🙂

  9. Sherry Stanfa-Stanley

    I agree with Laura–definitely love “Not a Simple Girl” as a title!

    And even amidst the combination of terror and excitement, you really sound relaxed. Maybe we all should take a couple weeks off and head to the coast–say every two months or so? Who’s with me?

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