thoughts from sea level

This frame is from the last time we were in the mountains. The snow makes it seem like an eternity ago but we haven’t even returned the boys’ rented skis, they’re still heaped in a colorful trellis of thermoformed plastic, at the front door. A lot of our public wild lands reopened last week. The nearest foothills are twenty minutes from the front door and the mountain pass over the crest of the Cascades closest to Seattle is just under an hour away, I’m looking at it right now, out the window. There are lots of nice blue-green places in between but they’re within reach of three million other antsy people, many of whom are furloughed from work but have Facebook and Instagram accounts to decorate with scenic selfies, followers to influence. Blogs to write? The writing’s on the wall if you know what I mean. The comparatively isolated Olympic range on the other side of the water from Seattle isn’t immune, either. A lot of people are staying home this summer, heading for the hills in search of the same nooks and crannies.

December 2019 - Saturday Skiing 79

This was on my mind earlier today after I finished a delightful account of Captain James Cook’s first circumnavigation of the Earth by sea which left me pining even more for something further from the front porch. When that will be, I haven’t the faintest idea. Deep down in my heart all I really care about is wishing to see my mom, dad, all of my brothers and sisters for a picnic in the backyard and then maybe a fire for the kids. Barring that, right now it’s all about the ABCs and making sure the doggone house doesn’t fall down. I’ve been meaning to walk my bike down the hill to the bicycle shop (an essential service in our bike-mad town) for some new tires and a serious tuneup which may include replacement of several important-looking cables and thereafter maybe the boys and I will go for a few rides in the country.

Books. Those are the other places I’m going. I’m reading a good little one about birds at the moment in an effort to get up to avian speed (for Oliver Fern’s sake) and I’m tackling Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. This is a pretty big deal for me, I’m punching above my weight with this one.  Finishing (more importantly, enjoying) Moby Dick last winter has given me more confidence. Right now is timely because my mom started Crime and Punishment not too long ago and it’ll be wonderful to compare notes (or share misery). We’ve had a dog-eared copy of Brothers Karamazov on the shelf for years, back in the day when it was common for her to stay with us for three or four weeks at a time, she was always starting it but leaving off when it was time to head home, so I think Dostoevsky is sort of an albatross for her.

I’m attempting to peck all of this out with Oliver Fern at my side, he’s doing his best to read while Adam’s currently in the back of the house practicing his trumpet. Those brassy waves are refracting down the narrow hall of the upstairs, tickling every bristle in our inner ears (noses, too) so I shall conclude these remarks.

6 thoughts on “thoughts from sea level

  1. Lovely post Jason and an amazing image. Love the covered in snow tree in the foreground and a darker background where mountains are just visible with some fog hanging in between.

    I know what you mean about Dostoyevski. I tried his books more than a decade ago but didn’t get very far 😅 however “Crime and Punishment “ remains a must read.
    Hope you’re well. Yuri

    • Hi Yuri. Thanks. It’s going to be pretty interesting, reading Dostoyevski. It took me a couple of days just to get through the complicated, very thorough introduction of my edition 🙂 I hope you’re doing well, too. I’m anxious to see how things go over the course of the next few weeks for you, with your boys going back to school and you being at work. And to see what new images you may shoot.

    • Thanks Dan. The boys and I are joined at the hip but I’m still trying my hardest to dedicate a little time every day for writing (usually when they have video conferences with teachers and classmates….or at night if I’ve got any energy leftover and Adam hasn’t convinced me to watch a movie with him). I know it probably doesn’t seem like it at all because I hardly post but journaling on here’s an important lifeline for me. I love opening up my reader at night and seeing your newest essays or thoughts. I’m sorry I haven’t been commenting much. My comments always seem really goofy and obvious. We’re taking small steps as far as going out into the world. Safety’s paramount, so is preserving the routines I’ve established for the boys. We’re not exactly a well-oiled machine (haha) but we’re doing pretty good. I’ve got a place picked out for our first foray, when it’s time. I don’t know if it’s this week. I hope so.

  2. Yes, Glenn spends hours looking at our Gazetteers of Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon dreaming of road trips in the Roadtrek. I’m just trying to get the slugs and mice to stop eating the vegetable sprouts in the hoop house.

    Hope you have some decent outdoor time with those boys next week.

    Love the frosty feel of that shot. I can almost hear the wind and smell that frigid mountain air!

    Take care.

    • There are sleeping berths in the Roadtrek, right? A jug of hand sanitizer, one of those luggable loos and skip showers for a few days…….there are tons of great places within fairly easy reach. Colorado sounds nice. Guess that’s a little farther away. The past few nights I’ve been reading about deserted old ghost towns of the west. That’d be a cool thing to do on a road trip, check out different historic sites. I don’t want to be very far from home right now but just a little longer and with the right precautions, I’d stock my Roadtrek just in case. Hells Canyon before it gets too hot? Or is everything already turning yellow-to-brown on the rim? Maybe I’m just in fantasy escape mode. I probably am. Still, you could always just turn around and go home if it started to feel weird or not the right time, down in your bones.

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