The Trail Back

 

bike

Thrilling.  I gave away my bike six years after moving to the country.  Busy highway thoroughfares and dirt roads and small towns with steep hills don’t make for good leisure driving.  This time last year we were checking on pregnant does and watching our chickens taking dust baths on such a  beautiful day as this.  I find myself whirring down the old bike trail I use to traverse.  Ghosts of my children and their friends playing by the creek greet me and a familiarity welcomes me.

We lived in Parker a long time before moving to the country.  We rode our bikes with our young children down the Cherry Creek Trail more times than I can remember and it all comes rushing back as the wind blows through my hair.  I greet the mullein stalks, dormant, and the prairie dogs that chirp in the warm air.  The blackbirds have returned and even though winter still holds court, the river flows free and clear and the vast blue sky sings of spring.

It feels good to be pedaling this contraption.  I feel youth and vibrancy.  A break before our dinner party.  I roll past tall reeds and rushing water and breathe.  My new ride.  This is just too fun.

Picking Personas (and cookin’)

fall house

I knew it wouldn’t be long before I came up with another hair brained scheme.  It would take awhile to institute it and I have no idea how to make it happen but I do have a dream of a type of supper club.  Whether it be at a restaurant after hours or in our home once a month I can’t be sure.  It would include no more than three tables, very romantic, beautiful music, set five course meal for one price.  Wine pairings would be included and the meal would end with one of my daughter, Shyanne’s amazing baked confections.  All housemade specialties, local and seasonal produce and ingredients, nothing artificial, everything perfectly seasoned and paired.

I am not sure how so much complexity and personas can be in one person.  How can I be just as fascinated with being a mountain mama hermit as I am a high profile sommelier?  I am as comfortable in long dresses and old fashioned aprons as I am in stilettoes and a pencil skirt.  I love the entertainment of the city as well as the old farm truck and chickens in the country life.  I am a talented herbalist, have learned from shamans over the years, love food and wine and entertaining as well as gardening and chickens too.  I have taught, modeled, danced, and owned a quaint little shop.  I devour Country Living magazine and Food and Wine magazine each month with the same intensity.  Surely these things can all culminate into one lifestyle and profession?  Which persona to choose?  The vagabond hippie?  The chef that carries truffle oil around everywhere?  The music pastor?  The shaman/herbalist?  The food critic?  The housewife hermit?  Wouldn’t it be nice sometimes if we were a smidge simpler in design?

I was walking past a restaurant that is locally owned by a man that I have done farmer’s markets with for years.  We started the same time, sold similar products for a time, quit our jobs at the same time, moved to the country at the same time, now he still does lots of markets and runs a restaurant.  As with all the roving vendors at the market we had a bit of a love/hate relationship and hearty competitive nature as well as a reverent respect for each other’s craft.

Mark walked out of the restaurant and directly towards me and asked if I would like to cook at the restaurant.  I said no because I heard he yelled.

“Are you going to yell at me?” I asked.  He replied that he could not promise that he wouldn’t.  I told him that I cry if yelled at then throw sh#t. (Maybe I have been watching too much Hell’s Kitchen.)  He said fine.  I also told him I would be the worst employee because I never know my daughter’s schedule until the last minute and don’t know when I would be able to work.

“That’s fine,” he replied again.

I start Tuesday.