…That time to hit the road! Pedal to the metal! NPR to the brain! Kale chips to the face!
My sweet time in Wine Country, USA has drawn to close with the completion of my dietetic internship (more about this later) and my state of being totally skint, as the English say.
Today will be the first leg of the journey from Sonoma, CA all the way up to Ashland, OR where lies my soul mama Lisa and my crispy crunchy Ashland buddies. But not too crunchy, of course. We eat plenty of GMOs. Don’t worry.
My last walk around the neighborhood was a bittersweet and beautiful one. I drew a few last breaths of the morning valley air and then scurried back home to pack.
After my walk I was spoiled by my prison preceptor, Teresa, who was my ambassador to San Quentin life and the ins-and-outs of kitchen administration and being a general boss lady. We grabbed brunch in the square as two women should on Sunday morning in wine-land and were gifted some free truffles by an English lass at the chocolate shop who was thrilled about my Peace Corps prospects. A cocoa angel. When I thought I could bear no more love, my cousin Michelle and her BF Sean came up to shower me with enchiladas and fancy volcanic mineral water. A fattened calf am I.
Hardest of all is having to wrest myself from the lively menagerie managed by this shiny cousin/petite queen, Ellen Knickmeyer. Ellen is my cousin (“second”? “twice removed”? Joan will know) who used to road trip and jam out with my dear dad all across the U.S. of when they were youths. She’s an all around badass journalist international stray dog/cat mother and backyard chicken enthusiast. Ellen graciously invited me to live in her spare room here in Boyes Hot Springs for the past few months while I interned for San Quentin Prison and then for the Center for Well-Being in Santa Rosa. She kept me solvent by paying me to cook up some large batch workweek lunches and kept me sane with ample Scrabble and ice cream. A saint, I daresay. Thank you, Ellen, queen hero.
If you read on in the coming weeks, as I hope you do, you’ll soon learn that I owe everything to my incredible family – the whole ridiculous, dry-humored lot of them.
Sonoma, you’ve spoiled me. Now… Time to go. Off to Ashland for clean air and fine friends!