Friday, September 07, 2007


Our cabin's in the woods up on a hill. It's very simple and cozy and even comes with good music. (Brazilian guitar and Mozart.)

(Above) We only had two visitors yesterday.

We didn't have time to get by Green Apple Books before we left. We were thrilled to discover that Sea Ranch has its own library, in an old white shed. I immediately found two books by Henning Mankell. Sally C. goes on and on about him; and Barbara & Larry send Inspector Wallander books to Tom, who reads them and sends them on to Billy Oil.

When we had selected our books and were ready to leave, we didn't see a checkout desk. We heard laughter coming from behind a closed door; we knocked and asked how to check our books out. A group of women were quilting, pinning bright material up on the wall and ironing. One said: "It works on the honor system. Take whatever you want." Another woman added, "Try to remember to bring them back!"

This is one of the best vacations I can remember. Even though I'm working, it's good work. I can't be happier than when I'm doing work I love. Unless it's when I'm eating fish tacos.

Also, I've rediscovered reading. Henning Mankell writes in a plain and straightforward style, almost deadpan. Here's a sample paragraph from The White Lioness, where Inspector Kurt Wallander is searching the home of a woman who's disappeared, looking for clues.

There's one sentence in here that cracks me up. The offhand way it's inserted kind of reminds me of Raymond Carver (one of my favorite writers back when I used to read books). It also reminds me of something that happened to me recently.

He continued with the living room, without finding anything of note. Then he went upstairs. He ignored the girls' room. He searched the bathroom first, reading the labels on bottles from the pharmacist and making a note of some of Louise Akerblom's medicines in his note pad. He stood on the bathroom scales, and was dismayed to see how much he weighed. Then he moved on to the bedroom. He always felt uncomfortable going through a woman's clothes; it was as if somebody was watching him without his knowing it. He went through all the pouches and cardboard boxes in the wardrobes. Then he came to the chest of drawers where she kept her underwear. He found nothing that surprised him, nothing that told him anything he didn't already know ...

And just in case you got hooked by that paragraph and are wondering,

... It was only when he opened the bottom drawer in the last of the chests that he was surprised.

See you later.