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.