Friday, August 03, 2012

A Little Opera Goes a Long Way

40 acres in six days.  Three girls.  
Mornings started at 5:30, and the world was a cool, serene, vastly green world, walking from row to row tucking vine tendrils into the wire infrastructure.  It's hard to believe that all of this green sprang up since we pruned the vineyard back in March...
Heavy dew clung to each leaf and the sun slowly climbed out of the mountain and started it's journey across the sky.

But by 9:00, the dew had been scorched from sight, and a blinding, green-white world replaced the cool green darkness of a few hours before.  I left my water bottle at the end of each row as I worked it, and put each foot in front of the other just to get back to that water.
I always forget how much I dread to be hot... rain and mist and snow and cool green must be in my blood.  How so many Scots moved to Africa as colonists is beyond me.  I guess it's the stubbornness.
Wishing I had boots, but thankful for jeans.  California thistles are the meanest.
A simple object like the old barn or a stand of trees became a landmark of hope, as each row brought us nearer to the end of that scorching green world.

A Little Opera Goes a Long Way by Sky Sailing on Grooveshark
For some reason, this was the song I listened to over and over and over and never tired of that week.

But at last, and sooner than seems possible, all things come to an end.  
That week came to an end, and what, for one week, had seemed like the one reality in the world, became just a memory of endless blazing green, putting one foot in front of the other, counting the minutes till the end of the row, the hours yet to go to the end of the block.  It seemed to have no end, there in the middle, but how quickly it went by.  
And there was still incredible beauty, even sharpened by the effort it took to have the eyes to see it.
A mid-week break found us at the Lakehouse, a place so dear to my heart. Relaxing was sweet.
Though I missed Algy horribly.   I kept trying to twist the lens of the poor little Olympus... and hitting the zoom button thinking it was the on/off switch! Spoiled...

We left at 2:00 in the morning Monday for the Oakland airport, and whizzed through security at 5:00.  A sigh of thankfulness - I really hate doing that.  Settled in front of our flight gate, I gave myself up to two hours of delicious people watching.  But first, I went and bought a cookie crumble frappuccino at the Starbucks kiosk for the three of us.  Our FIRST EVER Starbucks drink.

Yes, it was good.  Really, really good. :smile:  And people watching makes me happy.  An old Amish couple, the wife asleep on her husband's shoulder and their hands clasped.  A sparkly and fashionable mother, blonde, with pink and black luggage and a barbie pink outfit.  Her three little daughters were carbon copies of their mother, giggling, holding hands, smiling and whispering.  We saw them meet their grandmother in Kalispell, MT.  
Ellen and I were pretty sure their black and gold dining room must have hot pink enamel dishes on a white trestle table, and the kitchen definitely had a black-and-white checkered floor.  The house itself was pink, with white gingerbread trim, of course.
And then soaring above the clouds, above the earth, thrilling to the the tremendous beauty that hides so far away from the everyday world down below.  Going home.  Thrilling to the privilege of seeing this place with my own eyes.  
Thrilling, too, at the privilege of having eyes to see the everyday world I live in.  
It's anything but ordinary.


  1. Looks like you really had your work cut out for you.
    Yah, the California heat sure gets old after a while. Fall sure is welcome after all the 110 degree days with the air conditioner running nonstop.
    Your first Starbucks?! You poor thing :( I can't live without there Tazo Passion Tea, it's the best. That reminds me I need to get a new box, we are running out.


  2. VERY well written, Kellie!
    Starbucks, ah yes. I've had one in the last year and a half since we moved here. I've had a few other chances to have one, but it no longer tastes as good as it used to.
    I used to fly back from Los Angeles to Phoenix a lot in college. I would love getting to the airport early and people watching. It was always fascinating to me, imagining their stories and journeys.
    Glad you were able to have some fun time as well.

  3. How much fun, Kellie! I love seeing all the photos you post.

    In case you don't know. . . The Portatos are doing a concert for the Wallace Accordion Festival. That will be 7 pm on Friday, Aug. 10. :D I wasn't sure how close that was to you guys - but I thought I would let you know.

    Hopefully we will meet again before the year is out - as I haven't seen you since November!

  4. Hot weather is so hard to deal with...especially when you have to be out in it all day working! Blah. But the pictures are lovely. And I'm glad you liked your first Starbucks. :) My favorite is the Mocha frapachino.

  5. I really, really dislike hot weather...anything above 80* makes me melt! Unfortunately, I'm going to be out in 90* weather at a renaissance faire this weekend, where shade will likely be scarce, and I'll be dressed in a heavy costume! I'm glad you were able to survive the heat, though!
    Aren't frappuchinos amazing?(: I love the java chip one!


  6. That looks like hard work! Last summer I spent at my aunt's farm in Missouri and the outside work was killer. :) I'm sure you're glad to be back home now.

    Ah, Starbucks. I remember when I had my first Starbucks coffee -- I felt so old and important and grown up. haha! :D Now once in a while for a treat I go to a local coffee shop which is located just behind my favorite Jo-Ann's. That has been a problem -- very tempting, indeed. :D

    I enjoyed your pictures too! They are very pretty, even without Algy. ;)

    Have a lovely day,

  7. Starcuck's is the perfect reqard for hours in the punishing heat of the California vineyard country! My favorite is a decaf soy latte! Hot or iced. The photos are so beautiful too. And, I absolutley love the song. Yep, a little opera goes a very long way!

  8. just need to wear pants. I was wishing I still had a pair when we were putting the hay in the loft...but I sorta cut up my only pair of jeans for a sewing project.;) Hay scratched legs are the worst.

    Love ya,

    P.S. Did I ever tell you how glad I am that you're home? :)

  9. You had...a STARBUCKS?
    Oh, Kellie.
    I'm so very disappointed in you!

    (Totally kidding. I love them.) :P


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