For Pete's sake!
I knew I was on the road to Camp Brinkley!
I had only NOT found it when I needed to
a half dozen times
when I had a van full of yelling, poking cub scouts.
So, of course, I went right to it when lost
trying to find Denise's house.
I took my friend Ruthie,
who is the former owner of my ex-dog Susie,
that I met through my former co-worker Vera,
at my ex-job at Bothell Post office
who was Ruthie's former neighbor,
to see her former neighbor Sheila's new house.
She is the mom of Troy's future college classmate Dallas
and Teddy's current football team mate Dom.
She lives near Camp Brinkley in podunk North Monroe.
My scouts loved running up to cubmaster Joe
every year at camp and shouting,
"We're late because Mrs. Nixon got lost! Again!"
(In front of 500 men and boys)
So, I guess it was natural to find the camp
but not Sheila's, despite her directions
and mapquest maps.
Whoever plotted the roads of North Monroe
and Snohomish musta gone to the Ed Roning
school of road sign placement.
Ed was my trainer at the City of Seattle Engineering
department in 1977 who taught me how to drive
the salt and sanding dump truck with
the priority instruction,
"ALWAYS start at the Lockspot tavern
to pick up your six pack of beer."
After asking a kid where we were
(beyond lost in a forest)
I found out we were exactly ten miles East
of where we were supposed to be.
Ruthie just laughed and laughed.
At ninety-two years old she entertained me
during our back-tracking with stories of
early Ballard and Golden Gardens.
She is swell.
We admired all the cows and horses and sheep
on the beautiful sunny day and our route
was covered with yellow dandelions,
meandering along creeks and ponds and fields of rural beauty.
I knew I was getting really warm when
I saw the cows that looked familiar.
I turned up a long gravel driveway
and our jaws dropped open at the palatial haceinda
with swimming pool overlooking the valley.
I circled the driveway and admired the half dozen
antique cars being washed and polished in front
of a garage big enough to house Kenmore.
Of course it wasn't Denise's house,
and if I was alone I would have shouted down the owner
to hear the stories of the cars.
I LOVE old cars and can't wait to visit
the biggest car museum in the world in Dubai.
So, we looped down and around to the NEXT gravel
road and I could tell we were getting hotter.
Finally! We came over the ridge
and saw the house, perched on a hill.
Sheila came out to greet us
and I can't repeat exactly what she said
due to our late arrival,
in a G rated story.
She took us on the grand tour of
dream home and basically Ruthie and I
followed her with our jaws dropped open (again)
at the beauty of her home and the majesty
of her birds-eye view of Mount Pilchuck.
We scratched our heads simultaneously
at the height of her bed.
Seemed like you'd have give a running start
and jump likw Nadia Comenichi to mount that puppy.
Ruthie and I were in full awe until a
terrarium came into view and I walked over
expecting some harmless hamster to look
at me, only to be face level with an
enormous white and yellow snake with a
head the size of a football! Ugh.
Nothing like a shot of adrenaline to build up an appetite!
We a nice lunch in her Rachel Ray-style kitchen
with her horse shoer, Glenn and then
we went down to the pasture and visited with her horse.
We took a stroll in her forest to see her skunk cabbage patch.
It was dark and spooky and Ruthie and I kept our eyes
peeled after Sheila told her about the bears and bobcats
she had seen around there.
It was just about the most exciting visit
I'd ever been on
and almost a let-down not getting lost
on the way home.