Sunday, March 19, 2006


Nels Adds to the Slow Rate of Travel

I drove out to my mother's house in the country today. With Nels, who came along. It's only but an hour's drive, but Nels couldn't make it, got impatient. Particularly in the knee region. He said he doesn't like a lot of pointless time and really laid into me about spending a full hour in the car. In atrophy. Without vitamins. I offered him some sour apple gum, but he declined. It gives him stomach acid.

So, we stopped for omelets in Altvistle. I wasn't sure why omelets had a point and jaunting through the country watching the clouds move overhead didn't.

Anyway, the clouds happened to make their way over our dining, and I found myself quite content to browse around the pastures and mills that outlied the Loaf 'N' Wheel. A number of cows had gathered on a hill level with the Loaf 'N' Wheel, just out the glass, providing me with a rather sublime view, should I choose to accept that cows were generally pretty in some way. They do have a dark and lumbering quality I guessed. So I resolved to discover their beauty and immediately found myself somewhat taken aback by the contours of their shape. Their haunches, for instance, have a very pleasant pair of bones jutting up on top. And the colored tags on their ears add a nice flourish.

By Wheel, they are referring to a wheel of cheese. There was not a true wheel of cheese in the establishment, though, nor a loaf of any kind. Most folks have lamb, at the waiter's recommendation. With the exception of Nels, who had an omelet with a side of olives. The waiter had offered lamb, but Nels had given a look of reproach. Well, this was not the waiter's business at all. On my part, I don't think Nels really understands what waiters do.

We drove up to my mother's around dusk, having spent four and half hours stopping at various spots for Nels to take pictures. Many of the fences and trees along the way looked much like my mother's fences and trees. In fact, hers were assuredly more stark and vivid, what with the mountain sweeping it all up and over the house, whose shutters puffed out like the real wind was inside the house. Like the mountain also concealed the great lungs of the little house.

We walked up to the house arguing about where Nels would sleep should we fall prey to a sudden flood (my mother being in close proximity to a river which joined the sea) and Nels being afraid of the upstairs room, its ancient bathtub and the fact that none of the light fixtures had nice glass encasings, but appreciating the elevation it would give from the rising waters. I was glad to see him argue so naturally, he rarely sports any kind of assertiveness, and I rebuffed him with points about proximity to the scuba gear and offered the tertiary solution of a cot, then oblidged to let him work the remaining conversation out himself, while I sat with mother in her knitting room and talked about the disappearance of Aliss and how I felt that it was time to really strike out after her on our own.

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