Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back to the Hills, Part 3

As in January, it was my very good fortune to stop by Anita’s lovely home and gardens. Actually, this time it was over a week before we went anywhere. I was determined to keep Sarah resting and eating. (She’s one of those skinny-minnies who has to eat a lot to keep her weight up. Don’t ya just hate ‘em?) But then we got the go-ahead from the physical therapist: she could drive short distances with someone with her.
And thus it came about that we called on Anita, just a few miles away. If that went well, we’d make the 45-minute drive down to Gualala, the nearest town, to pick up needed supplies.

Loads of sweet, juicy oranges!
We were greeted enthusiastically by two dogs, two cats, and the slim, fit, and gracious Anita. (Is everybody skinny around here?) We were soon perched on her spacious patio overlooking sweeping mountain vistas. My dearest hope was that Anita was a coffee drinker. Sarah, a dedicated health freak, only stocks green and herbal teas. I was getting desperate.

Big, delicious rhubarb
But, after watching the cats dive into the pool (empty except for a thick carpet of grass and wildflowers) and staring at ravens strafing the garage roof where Anita throws dead mice for them, she inquired if we would like some tea. Oh, no. Surely her husband, at least, indulged in my favorite passion. “Does anyone around here drink coffee?” I blurted rudely.
Anita laughed and led the way to her kitchen. There, on her beautifully tiled counter, sat a nice, big coffee maker. I wanted to hug it. I was actually shaking as the robust aroma wafted forth.

A new breed of broccoli for me, but
just as tender and tasty as the usual.
As it happened, Anita and her husband both had coffee with me, but I by far drank the most. It was a lively visit, but as things wound down, Anita, as before, presented us with the fruits (and vegetables!) of her ample garden. There was a good-sized box of oranges, large bags of Swiss chard and broccoli, a solid head of purple cabbage, and the biggest stalks of rhubarb I’ve ever seen. I know I’m forgetting something…
Sarah declared herself fit for further travels, so we wound our way down the mountain in her produce-laden car. And I barely made it to the first bathroom in Gualala.

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