My wife and I crept from under The Great Gray Fog Bank yesterday morning, that chilling, misty cloud straight from a Stephen King story that’s hovered over our end of the Willamette Valley for a week now, and escaped for a few brilliant hours to Oakland where she did chores at Duchess Sanctuary while I drank coffee, proofread Saturday’s paper, and took a handful few megabytes of photos in the town, where THE SUN CAME OUT OF HIDING. At last.
When I left The Hollow Coffee Shop I noticed the horse shoe nailed to a wooden garage door, next to where I’d parked along the street. It was an easy shot to test out a new (old) lens for the Sony 5n, and my coordination with both, and also the first photo I’d done from a tripod. As I set it up the front door of the small house that belongs to the garage opened and their genial owner proclaimed Hello, and told me the house had once been the town’s telephone office. Built in the 1920s, bought by him in 1988, now for sale. Then he closed the door and went back to his paper, behind gauzy window curtains.
I drove around the corner and parked again, and when I got out of the car I was being watched by three German Shepherds who were sitting in the bed of a black pickup in front of the hardware store. When I walked over they kept their eyes on me, and inside the store the men who respectively owned the business and trio of dogs were watching me, too. I had a short chat with them about Shepherds, and learned these were April and Nova (sisters), and Harley, who reportedly runs from one door to another for no obvious reason. I was told he was available, as well.
I wasn’t going to bust up a wonderful dog act so I moved down the sidewalk to Alley Cat Treasures (SOSCAT Adoption Center). Unlike the dogs, no cat gave me notice when I entered. I browsed for twenty minutes and then went to get Kathy at Duchess.
The fog in that area had disappeared by noon and we thoroughly enjoyed the winter light that etched every tree and object in sharp relief. We stopped briefly in town so she could peruse Alley Cat’s goods, and then we were on the old bridge driving towards the interstate. All three of the Shepherds were lying in the sunshine as we passed their house.
The miles home rolled quickly by, and when we turned from old Highway 99 to climb over the hills into Eugene, and home, The Fog Bank was waiting. But it had changed, its presence thicker, almost palpable. Two more days of this, the forecasters say. If you haven’t heard from me in three, please alert the authorities.