A Beautiful Night

It’s weird in today’s world. Sometimes you don’t know your neighbors too well. We’ve lived in our current house for about four years, and have had some waves and hellos to neighbors but have never gotten to know any of them. However, lately, my husband–and not just lately, but for several months–has been walking to and from the skytrain with a guy who lives across the street. They both work near Gastown and take the West Coast Express down to Vancouver. And then we were recently invited over to their house for a party for their son’s graduation. Off we went earlier tonight, all the way across the street–beer, wine, tortilla chips, maple-shaped cheetos (because, you know, Canada), and my freshly made guacamole, which everyone who has ever had it has agreed is the best in the world. I cannot take credit too much because I learned it from watching chefs at El Torito in Lake Forest, California, making it years ago. They used to bring out ingredients and make the guacamole tableside, and I have it etched in my memory now.

Anyway, it was great getting to know these neighbors’ friends and family, including the grandma, who was very nice. Morgan and I came back home fairly early since they were putting some visiting kids down to bed, and we lit the firepit out back and talked until kinda late, when darkness enveloped us. An almost full pale orange moon hung through the branches of the trees, and soon enough we had a visitor to our yard. It was a huge racoon, which didn’t seem to be afraid of us at all. We have an area out back, where once upon a time, before we got them all yanked out, was full of blackberry brambles. Now you can see several juniper trees and a new invasive morning glory entourage. Beyond that area is a short retainer wall, where the raccoon was running along. It stopped to stare us down, and since it was so big, we felt that, though we respected it, we had to let it know we weren’t leaving. We said some words to it, but it really didn’t run off until I went in to get a flashlight and we talked to it some more. It scampered off, and I gently said, “good boy,” and felt as though we had reached a mutual agreement of some kind. It did run along the wall a couple more times, staring us down, but didn’t stay long.

I love nights like these. Though earlier in the evening it got kind of sunny and humid, tonight is cool with some stars out and an almost full moon. It feels like fall, and it’s hard to stay inside on nights like tonight. Seems summer just started, but it’s been kind of dreary and cool/rainy here lately. The beans and turnips are struggling, though everything else is doing okay. I have one more week before returning to work after some medication side effects made me feel like a zombie. I’m hoping for some sunshine this coming week, my last week of freedom. I want to go down to Mundy Park and hike some more this coming week, but I guess there’s some problems with a mama bear being a little aggressive in the park. There’s usually enough people around so that it won’t be a problem and I really do love going there. This time of year the bullfrogs are calling and I always love seeing dragonflies, my muse, flitting around.

I have some more upcoming news, which I hinted about on Twitter recently, and it involves a presentation on eco-literature this fall at a major conference in Vancouver. I’m still waiting to hear on some things, including the schedule. We’re going camping in Nevada on the last day of the event, with my daughter and her boyfriend, so I have to make sure that there’s no conflicts. But I’m really excited about it and am working on the paper and the plans right now.

Before I go, enjoy what’s on my playlist at the moment. I miss this show.

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