Monday, December 6, 2010

On the way to whidbey

They drove in the cab of the truck. All four of them squeezed in together. Daniel driving and Anne by the window. Joseph and Sylvia are making conversation from the middle seats. Things are rather cordial and pleasant.

“I don’t suppose you’ve been north to Skagit county, have you?” Joseph asks Anne, making polite conversation.

“No, I can’t say that I have.”

“Oh you’re going to love it Anne! There’s lots of farms up there.” A brief silence lingers. “And plenty of good hard working folks…like yourself.”

Daniel adds, teasing. I suppose farms and the like may be too common a thing for Miss Hibbert to care for. Remember Joe, she have quite a sophisticated palate when in comes to things that grow. She only likes things that are hard to come by.

Sylvia, in defense of Anne. “Well I suppose that’s where the two of you are like night and day then Dan!”

Reading himself for the insult. “How’s that?”

Joseph, savy to Sylvia wit, chimes in, holding back laughter. “Because he’ll take whatever you can get his hands on!
Looking at Anne, Sylvia allows a joyful snort of laughter to escape. Joseph’s laughter explodes and he and Sylvia celebrate the well placed and frankly, true insult at Dan’s expense. Anne chuckles a bit then laughs harder with Joe. Daniel shakes his head, looking at the three of them laughing, a lightheartedness suddenly comes over him and he joins in the laughter at his own expense.

The Skagit valley is very fertile due to the frequency of the flooding, from the Skagit River. The locals enjoy fishing and wild berries in the late summer. This late in the season, farms are abundant in squash, corn, onions, potatoes, and apples. To Anne, it seems a haven from the chaos in the city. Of course there is poverty in the Skagit valley. People have lost their farms and businesses, but those who still have land share with those who don’t and farmers trade with one another. There is plenty of space to make and grow things if you are willing to work.
Driving through the county Anne stares at the vast amounts of land covered in uniformed aisles bearing corn and potatoes. There is a hypnotic rhythm she finds in staring at the perfect rows as they whiz by them.
Passing a wheat field, golden, dry and ready for harvest; each swollen, nodding head, crisp and ready for harvest.

Watching the fields change from crop to crop Anne remarks.
“It’s a wonder, with all this abundance that hunger could ever exist at all.”

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