Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Another day, another walk
IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL HERE. We think about that every day, of course. Gratitude is increasingly the most pressing order of the day's business, and we have much to be grateful for. Here you see, in the distance, the house Lindsey grew up in -- well: that she lived in from aetat. 14 to 22, not counting time out while attending college. It's on Eastside Road about three and a quarter miles north of our mailbox. (If you have Google Earth you can pinpoint it: 38°33'40.92" N 122°50'47.52" W; 95 ft. elevation.)
Fifty-odd years ago, when I first saw the place, it was in mixed production: 300 head of dairy cows or so; extensive prune orchards; hay fields and pasture. No grapevines. The vines in the middle right in this photo occupy the space of the family orchard: apples, plums, apricots, peaches. There were oranges near the house (that may be one there, now I think about it, below the gable).
Ten years before that there was the remains of a tennis court behind the house, beyond that huge satellite dish you can see: for at the turn of the century, the last century I mean, this was the Hotchkiss Ranch, the home of Helen Hotchkiss's parents. What? You haven't heard of her? She was perhaps the pioneering woman tennis player, the first, as I understand it from reading her memoir, to have thought of "playing like a man": that is, aggressively. She was a champ, and changed her world.
I walked past the old ranch, as we call it, today, on an eight-miler from our house in to Healdsburg. Eight miles = kilometers, two and a half hours walking, maybe fifteen minutes resting. Not bad for ninety-five-degree heat, but my feet hurt...