Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Typical of the scene we see from our kitchen window and through my office sliding glass door.
Photo credit: harrison-haines-3536248.jpeg

Mornings and evenings I marvel at the hummingbirds, amused by the fierce territorial fury of these tiny creatures. There are multiple “flowers” full of the “nectar” yet they are unwilling to share. They chitter angrily at me if I’m too near. and I chuckle, wondering if they know my very presence is often necessary to keep their flower “full.” There are hummingbird friendly-flowers in the yard, there will be more next year.

Daylilies, purchased from the O’Dell garden club’s fund-raising plant sale.

I fill the birdbath, another excellent kitty torture device, water my plants, pluck a few weeds, take a look around to see what’s blooming, note whether it’s time to harvest more tomatoes. I remind myself to finish dead-heading the lavender, whose spent blossoms sweeten our home when I bring them in. Doves coo their who-who call while I wander.

While I miss this hiatus from the novelty of exploring new places around the world, I love the structure and stability of watching the patterns of change that it takes staying in one place long enough to observe. Whether in the boat or in a vehicle, to me their role was to transport me to the wonder of the world around me, and while I may luxuriate in a well-insulated, air-conditioned home when temperatures soar over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the outdoors still calls to me, and it is there where I feel most at home. 

Here, the great Columbia River wends its way through the Gorge. Mount Hood soars to the southwest of us, Mount Adams to the Northwest. Their towering peaks collect snow in the winter and as the weather warms, their melt waters the brilliant profusion of wildflowers—sunflower-like yellow arrowroot balsa and the indigo and white spires of lupine—the most iconic.

Shiva, my work buddy.

By day, Monday-Friday “9-5” (theoretically, but generally more) I do my best to help landlords and tenants facing eviction find a path forward. I told the Executive Director, who hired me, that I was “uniquely qualified” for the position, thanks to ample meditation training and experience,  and also because I’ve been both a landlord and my life path altered due to an eviction. I understand the importance of a stable place to live, and the dreams that property income can enable as well as the headaches that come with the responsibilities.

The sun dips over the ridge to the southwest of our backyard.

The work I do reinforces to me how lucky I am to live this life.

I also remember it is summer, and summer is fleeting, so it’s time to stop writing (and for you to stop reading) and get out and enjoy the day. When the darkness of night and the grayness of late fall set in, that is the time to reflect and write more. 

Sunset view from Sorosis Park, looking east up the Columbia River and Gorge.

Get out there and make hay while the sun shines!

Location Location

The Dalles, Oregon, retains the determiner in English for its derogatory descriptive French noun, “The Ditch.” Yes, it sounds better in French, and it’s a far more interesting place to live than its same implies.