New Homes – Sunday 7/22/2007

Some kids make a whole new art form out of this, bopping to mp3s and flipping the sign like they’re doing a high school flag corps routine. It was hot and humid Sunday as we headed home. This kid looked fairly grim and I don’t blame him.

I fear for Fillmore, CA. We’ve been going up there for about 7 years, I guess, and for most of this time it’s seemed like there wasn’t a big disparity in income amongst the residents. But the times they are a’changin’.

The have-mores have moved in on the east side of town. There’s a gigantic subdivision going in called The Bridges at Heritage Valley. Pretentious much?

While it’s nice to see the buildings in the small downtown with their turn of the 19th-century architecture begin to fill up with businesses again, it’s a little sad for the people already there. I grew up in a rural community where the few people who had money certainly didn’t flaunt it. It would be hard to take some of the changes in the air, to feel that you don’t really belong in a community your family has called home for generations.

Even the once-humble Von’s supermarket has been overhauled. It’s like shopping in a Whole Foods Market. Not that everyone shouldn’t have a nice shopping environment, but you almost feel like you should dress up before you drop in for a pint of milk.

One of the common themes you hear from people who were kids during The Depression of the 1930s is that everyone was in the same boat, so they never knew they were hard up. I think people in Fillmore are going to become increasingly aware of their economic standing.



Living the Americone Dream – Saturday 7/21/2007

At last we scored some Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream! We’ve been looking for this stuff ever since we saw it debut on The Colbert Report. At last, at the Von’s in Fillmore. (And yes, we have a freezer in our camper trailer.)

We bought the Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler, too.

Stephen and Willie in the same bowl! A taste-off!

The Americone Dream was actually better than I expected. I usually find that the ones that have a lot of chunky stuff in them are more about the stuff than the ice cream. This is really good… but given a choice, I’d probably go with the lighter tasting Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler.

Is anyone in Toronto jealous, I wonder? [rubs it in]

And just to throw a little gander in the direction of American excess…. We shared the campground with another group this weekend. There were about 10 of these behemoth RVs in the top section. They filled up the campsites completely with little space to be outside. These things are about 40 feet long and probably cost upwards of $125,000 each.

Yikes! It was a little intimidating walking down through them. “Walk of the Giants,” as one friend put it.

Morning Shadows – Friday 7/20/2007

Yeah, I know. Most people’s idea of going camping doesn’t include Starbucks. But at home, it’s a longer drive to get to one so Hydra usually goes to the one in Fillmore at least one morning. I went with him.

Most of the people we’re camping with won’t arrive until this evening, so there’s not much of a crowd around the coffee urn at the campground on Fridays.

Life doesn’t get much better. Except maybe later in the weekend when we’ll sit outside our camper for hours with the birds in their cages on the picnic table, reading, writing and talking to friends who stop by to chat.

An old church in Fillmore. I think it may be used as a home now.

Produce Country – Thursday 7/19/2007

This produce stand sits at the corner where we turn off of 126 to go camping.

Part of their garden against the backdrop of the mountains. The campground is approximately behind this garden and to the right, about 2 miles maybe.

Had to work very hard (at home, thank goodness) to be able to leave for a weekend of camping with Songmakers.

Let’s Hear it for the Boy – Monday 7/16/2007

Yeah. I think he’s happy to see me, too. [blushes]

Okay, so I took the photos on Monday, but I’m writing this on Tuesday. On Monday the back, where I usually sit–under the big chandelier in the distance–was blocked off for cleaning. So I sat up front with the big kids.

Ooh, it caused such a ruckus!

The Russian Muskateers each stopped to comment, along with JudyJudy, and the night manager on her way out.

This morning I sat up there again, even though there was no barrier to my usual spot. Only 1 Muskateer commented this time. Just to spice it up I ordered a BLT.

Rebel, rebel…

Anyway, Big Boy and I had it out. I told him it was me, not him, and I meant it. I had a great writing day on Sunday. Wrote from 6am-10am, really working an old short story and having a blast.

I think part of my recent creative struggle–which included a weird resistance to Bob’s Big Boy–has been that I was focusing so hard on the Basura Canyon (novel #2’s tentative title) rewrite that I was trying to shut down all the other voices in my head.

They got mad. Those creative voices, if you tick them off, they’ll rally the voices you do want to hear from and then they’ll all go on strike.

I’ve had three really wonderful writing days in a row. I’m not worrying about the fact that it’s been a short story and not the novel.

“If it be now, ’t is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.” – Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2, William Shakespeare.