the original kStyle blog.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Trees Are Greener Here

Greetings from our new hometown. After our closing, I wondered how living in this new place--a new habitat--would change my life. It's still a little early to know for sure, of course, but when G. woke up this morning, he asked, "Are the trees greener here?"

Driving home from class this afternoon, now a scenic drive that takes far less time to boot, I stopped at Arena Farms. Arena Farms! Right on a convenient state route, a big farm! With a pond and a big red barn! And tables upon tables outdoors, covered with young plants labeled by type; to name but a few categories: two tables of just roses, five or six of vegetables, three tables of herbs. I spied my friend Chamomile there. I didn't have my wallet, but I knew I had to come back for her. I continued driving west into town, past the independent bookstore, past the organic cafe we'd already visited twice, and turned north to see what lay up Main Street. Ah, the joys on Main Street! I've already told you about the arboretum and postcard-worthy town center that lies south on Main Street. To the north I found a park with its swimming beach built in the old quarry, and shiny wood changing rooms and shiny painted jungle gyms. I found the Community Gardens, where (it appears) town residents can claim their own little patch of land to plant. Somewhere farther north than I ventured was an organic farm, so said the signs, and farther northwest, a dance center. I came home and drank a deep nap, cat curled on my feet.

When G. returned from the old apartment, where he had at last turned in our keys, restoring our freedom, we enjoyed some omelet and green beans I had prepared. Then we checked out the coffeehouse across the street. A gracious, well-dressed gentleman greeted us and prepared our drinks. He appeared Middle Eastern, or of Middle Eastern descent, reminding me of the genteel hoteliers in Egypt with their ever-ready offerings of hibiscus tea. The espresso was good and the atmosphere warm and gracious. Next we drove east to claim my beloved Chamomile. At my new favorite place we purchased asparagus and tomatoes grown right on the spot, a yam and grapes on sale, and lovely lovely plants: two fragrant chamomiles, white alyssum, brightly painted marigolds, cilantro, and catnip. We returned to town and drove a bit, exploring its western ends. A sign for another farm. We ventured there, curious, and found fresh gourmet cheeses spilling over displays, mountains of every imaginable produce, stacks of teas, fresh meat, and every nut you could imagine. There was a small nursery, but food, food, food was the center of this farm. Our eyes were wide. I suppose you don't need a farmer's market--or, really, a grocery store--when surrounded by farms.

Noah, of course, fell ecstatically in love with his catnip plant. We plan to keep it out of his reach and offer him a leaf or two at a time, lest the plant die in kitty's savage maw before its time.

The thing is, I think, that our former town was convenient, but, as far as I could tell, rather souless, and so I often felt like I was living to work, because I didn't return to a place I liked much. Of course, I loved--and love--the person and cat I call roommates, but you can't spend every moment staring at them, and the TV gets old, as well. Living in a great place, well, you can work to live, because there's living to be done.

The trees are greener here.


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