Answer The Föhn

Hey diddle diddle. What’s with this fiddle? Monkey in the middle? I see. Take tea and black eyed peas, for weather witches whirl where cottonwood whorls swirl in a hot July Föhn.

Hot hot heat this week. They say summer don’t start til the day after the 4th here in the Northwest. They nailed this one. After firecracker smoke brought the rain down in Port Orchard, we’ve had nothing but pump in the temp market – bidding 80s, bidding 90s, bidding up to 100 as I type.

An amazing thing: We can see Tahoma from Portland on clear evenings. That’s 100 miles! When was the last time you saw something 100 miles away? I mean besides the moon, the sun, the planets, the stars…

Of all the things I’ve always wanted to be, someone who enjoys things is what I wanted to be most.

Mosquitoes have sons in the days
and roam the hay-hard fields
where seven Fiorentini lap lemon gelati
racing tracks around their raging fingers
where the wind works the flowers
into rivers and bass whack words…

In Europe They Call It ‘America Day’

Heading up to The Farm this afternoon. Got berries, veggies, bread, cheese, pate, a pound of chicken hearts and four pounds of steak. A bottle of Italian white and a bottle of Dave Phinney’s The Prisoner.

How Dave got into the wine biz is a great story. What’s more American than a determined dude cracking into a tough industry by starting at the bottom of the chain and working his tail off? Dave goes to work as a wine clerk. He goes to work as a vineyard worker. Along the way he talks to everyone he meets. He listens. He learns the rules of blending, bottling and distributing. Then he gets some juice to play with. Then he takes the rules he’s learned, throws out the ones that don’t make sense, and makes & sells his own wine. Damn good wine.

When I think about what we call ‘patriotism’, when I read Walt Whitman’s verse –

FIRST, O songs, for a prelude,
Lightly strike on the stretch’d tympanum, pride and joy in my city,
How she led the rest to arms–how she gave the cue,
How at once with lithe limbs, unwaiting a moment, she sprang;
(O superb! O Manhattan, my own, my peerless!
O strongest you in the hour of danger, in crisis! O truer than
steel!)
How you sprang! how you threw off the costumes of peace with
indifferent hand;
How your soft opera-music changed, and the drum and fife were heard
in their stead;
How you led to the war, (that shall serve for our prelude, songs of
soldiers,)
How Manhattan drum-taps led.

Walt Whitman, Drum-Taps

– I can’t help thinking that, along the way, one of the finest things we’ve done in this New World was the trading of the old European sense of collective patriotism for a more personal spirit. That emboldened, can-do, individualistic spirit that’s a measured move beyond simple pride in a banner.

So happy birthday, USA! America, je t’aime!

But even more, it’s us & what we do that I love.

First Of The Third Quarter

Summer got here a month late. Everything’s three weeks behind, is the word at the Farmer’s Market. But it’s here. 17 hours of sunlight, every day! Afternoons it’s cut out early, let’s go for hikes down Tryon Creek or up into Washington Park or else stroll down 23rd in the Alphabet. The Pacific Northwest. When it’s gray and cold, it’s nothing special. But when that sun does come out? There’s no place more beautiful.

chamomile flowers in a field, thousands of daisies
– reindeer hoofed it all winter over snows
now peacocks raise feather ticklers while
boa constrictors erect terns and tease
with July’s greens, and salmonberry clusters
are tiny tangerines or caviar.