Sunday, August 09, 2009

small talk

(My occasional traveling companion, Ed, returns unexpectedly early from canoeing up north on the Boundary Waters.)
Was it beautiful?
Sure, in an unchanging sort of way. Lots of conifers.
I’m glad you found the peace and quiet that you love… wild camping…
Well, actually, the campsites are quite frequently used. Not too many breaks in the forest.
But no people out on the waters?
Not too many… Saw some groups, one was a whole pack of canoeing women… Paddling together and singing "Kumbaya."
There! Soulmates! Wilderness loving women like yourself!
(eye roll)
How old? --
my daughter asks.
Actually they were kid type people with a few counselors thrown in...

(Earlier, at the Farmers Market, from the flower vendor.)
Are you still with that guy?
(I want to ask her to narrow that down a little, but I quickly remind myself that only Ed has consistently made the rounds with me at the market.)
Yes, he’s up north canoeing this week.
You don’t like canoeing?
I don’t like canoeing for several weeks in a row. Without access to the outside world.
(I buy the flowers and leave, but then come back to take a photo. The vendor, not seeing me, explains to the other seller – it’s sort of remarkable. He’s this crotchety guy and they… I back away. It’s good not to hear things by accident. Even as I know that Ed is not crotchety. But, Ed is Ed.)

(Taking out my iPhone with great joy, I show off to Ed its many many delightful applications.)
Can you use it in Europe?
I don’t know, I think so.
But you have to unlock it (this from a daughter, who knows such stuff) and if you do that, you lose Apple’s protection.
When are we going to Europe? I ask. But I know the answer for me. Not this year.

The sky outside is yellow gray. Stormy. As if a slow motion flash was ripping through the dark day. Breakfast is late, as daughters on vacation tend not to rush the beginning of the day (we rarely stray from the habit of having the first and last meals of the day together). Lunch follows quickly after, dinner will have to be exceptionally early. I’ll grill trout outside and then rush down the hill. My evening is given over to the shop where we are to do inventory until every midnight.

On the horizon, there is a break. Not from work, not immediately, but from the storm.