Sunday, August 16, 2009

Goodbye, Ashland!

Somebody found my blog by googling "i found a lizard in my yard that is flat and has a yellow black." Huh. Not sure I can help, but, uh, good luck with that!

I said goodbye to Ashland yesterday, and a hardy "hellooooooo" to the Bay Area. They really sent the welcome wagon, too, what with the cars and the honking. It was like a parade! Like a 2 and a half hour, 20 mile parade, beginning in Vallejo. And there we were, the grand marshals, heading down 80 and over the bay bridge, at a snail's pace. Still, the San Francisco skyline takes my breath away, every time I see it, and I know I'm home.

Home. Where I can get a pair of socks or an ice cream past 6 o'clock at night. What up, Oregon? Hippies can't drive at night? Holy cow.

The abbreviated shop hours aside, there was plenty to love about our little trip. First and foremost? The teachers we were working with, from all over Oregon, were amazing. I felt so appreciated and so happy to be there! They gave me a whole bag of treats to remember our time together, each item a special reference to a funny or mathy moment from our week. It was incredibly thoughtful! And the book of notes they sent me home with? So humbling. I can't tell you what it felt like to have people tell me that they never liked teaching math, but that they now can't wait to get back and get started! Swoon.

And then there was the park. They called it a 'mini Golden Gate Park', and it was designed by John MacLaren. (sp?) And it was so pretty! You know you're not in Golden Gate Park, though, because you can park your car and the ratio of people:grass is such that you can still actually, you know, see green.

I love this. A picnic table near the creek. Sigh. It's all very Little House, isn't it? I've recreated an urban version, with my waterfall and my patio table, but there is something so precious about this!

I also loved the small group that gathered to watch two young men problem-solve a solution to a boomerang, stuck high up in a tree! They tried throwing a soccer ball, but that thing was waayyyyyyy up there! Then they had the bright idea to kick the ball, and soon enough the ball and the boomerang were making their way to the ground.

I don't mind telling you that I gave a wee little hop and a 'hooray!' before moving on. It was a hooray-worthy moment, for sure!

I love this red door too! We've since had our door replaced, but I had our front door painted red when we first moved here, and I only wish I had a red porch to go with it!

A rare open sign. But I'm not bitter, Ashland! Do your thing!

And I loved this cemetery! If we hadn't worked 75 hours last week, I would have had a picnic here, at least once. I love a picnic in the cemetery! And I like to read all the grave markers, though an entire family or a very young child will wreck me.

I don't think I need to tell you how I feel about this barn. But if you're wondering? LOVE. I pulled over to the side of this road to collect some cattails that were growing wild in the watery ditch. Cattails and pussy willows remind me of my Grandma Dot ~ she always had both ~ and I don't see them much around our way. Probably because we're always either on the verge of or actually experiencing a drought. There was a woman there, also photographing the barn. I found her to be utterly charming. Our little chat was a highlight of my trip, actually!

Another highlight was the Cabaret theater and the play we saw there on Friday night. It was a real-live dinner theater, and it was all so retro and chic. I know that Ashland is famous for their Shakespeare Festival, and I'm sure I'll go back someday and make a point of taking in a few shows, but I'd also like to say that you absolutely can't go wrong with this little dinner theater. We saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and as a group of teachers, we were a very appreciative audience!

So, goodbye, Ashland! I hardly knew ye! After a brief bought of culture shock, I fell in love with your mom-and-pop businesses (a copy shop that doesn't have automated copy machines? where you have to actually write down the start and stop counts to figure out how much you owe? in cash or check? seriously. no debit or credit cards accepted here?!?), your shy and lazy downtown, your Rogue Valley wineries, and your hilarious nudity laws. To wit: You can be nude in public, but you cannot be aroused; you cannot arouse others; and you cannot run. The last rule makes me laugh so hard I cry. Is that for your safety, or the safety of others? The mind boggles.

I'll go back, but I'm bringing my family. When I finally got home at 8 o'clock last night, Tommy was waiting outside for me, and Erik said he had looked him on Saturday and sighed, "A week is too long." I know what you mean, Tommy T, I totally know what you mean.


  1. When Kelly goes away to a conference, I have difficulty sleeping. I am very restless. Consequently, I know how the guys feel- more appreciative! Moose

  2. That's funny, Moose, because I slept terribly the whole trip! Apparently, I *need* to have somebody kicking me in the spleen in order to really relax. :)