Tuesday, August 18, 2009

gristmills and used books

I took the day off from work for a day trip into western Massachusetts. The reason was a grand Idaho reunion—three good friends from Sandpoint were all converging near Amherst for some old-fashioned catching up. I was thrilled to see friends from across the continent, but also a little grateful for a day away from the office and the farm. I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's. That, I'd like to make clear. However, it's indisputable that the choices I've made make leaving Vermont (even for a day trip) hard. My escape into another state took planning and preparation and I was only gone ten hours.

Keep in mind that little events you may take for granted are big treats for me. For example: today me and two girlfriends putzed around a bookstore and ate out. Things like sitting in the cafe (a state away from the farm!) with an iced coffee and some sandwiches made me feel like a cosmopolitan wunderkind. Some crazy jet-setter with a hellbent agenda on free livin'. When you live in a town with more graves than residents, you learn to appreciate a day spent where people post signs for concerts on walls.

Holy Crow that that bookstore was heaven! The joint's simply called The Book Mill, and is actually a refurbished grist mill by the side of a river. The store's slogan: Book you don't need in a place you can't find. Perfect. I loved it and the bumper sticker with said slogan is happily pasted to my fridge as I write you folks. I really enjoyed myself there. Just walking around the place and sitting by its open windows overlooking the tiny roar of the waterfalls below reminded me of Jim Thorpe. Which, if you're curious, is the greatest place in America. This is also indisputable as well.

Seeing Marjan, Braden and Joanna was wonderful. Two years ago we were all residents of Sandpoint (Marjan and her fiance Atom, still are) but now I, of course, live in Vermont and Braden and Jo live in Greenfield, Mass. But to sit around a random New England picnic table eating ice cream cones together when just a few falls ago we were all hanging in the upstairs of Eichardts pub...was a little incredulous.

Now I'm back, and the dogs had their walk, the animals their feed and fresh water, and a wonderful thunderstorm is cooling off the humid day. I care for thunderstorms very much. I never want to live away from thunderstorms, crows, or book stores in old gristmills ever again. New England and it's creepy comforts suit me. I do hope to stick around. I just need to find a truck, a farm, some good sheep, great dogs, and hope willing: a very patient man who isn't scared of large animals with horns but is scared of missing an episode of the Colbert Report.

It's good to want things.

P.S. I posted a sidebar note about accepting some pertinent advertising on this blog. (Check the right hand side of this site if you or your boss might be into that.) I am trying to make a little farm-saving side money from all this writing business and I can assure you the money you may spend to place and ad here doesn't go towards anything but fueling one girl's dream for a more sustainable life and career. Which is something in today's economy.


Blogger Rachel B. said...

Sounds like you had a truely wonderful day. The slogan is just priceless! I agree, Jim Thorpe is one of the greatest places in the world. Where else can you find an old jail with a eerie histroy like that. Okay, East State Penetentray is one, but that jail has character. I'm glad you enjoyed youself. It's been awhile since I've traveled.

August 18, 2009 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

Seems the more the prep time it takes in order to get away for a few hours, the sweeter the time away is and the better it feels to come back home. Glad you had a good day out with friends and books. I think I'll follow your example and plan just such a day really soon.

August 18, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I would like to have been you today.

Two notes though: Incredulous - I do not think that word means what you think it means.

and...the very discreet advertisement for advertisement could benefit much from an increase in type size...

...enjoying your life vicariously as always...

August 19, 2009 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

Winding down for the day, thought I'd read your last post again. What a pleasant surprise to find a new one! Glad you enjoyed your day...I am a lover of the East Coast as well after having lived in Virginia...

August 19, 2009 at 3:12 AM  
Blogger cabbage rose said...

I think advertising is a great idea! Smart girl! Fingers crossed for you. Oh, and for what it's worth, your usage of "incredulous" in that statement seems appropriate to me...unless I don't know what it means either! :)

August 19, 2009 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

! felt it was incredulous. It wasn't that long ago I was in Idaho, and saying nostalgic for people who were there seemed silly.

It did feel unbelievable though, to be with those people on the east coast—so I went with incredulous. I do know what it means.

August 19, 2009 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Ok, I admit I had to look up incredulous in the dictionary, and the use of the word seemed appropriate to me. And Rachel B., I also enjoy your blog!

August 19, 2009 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Bah! Write it like you want! :)

That day does sound wonderful. We've resigned ourselves to the fact that we can't ever leave town together anymore, at least not until we find a goat-sitter. And old-friend reunions are the sweetest.

August 19, 2009 at 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Thorpe is the greatest place in America, you are right about that.

Also, I am jealous of your life!

August 19, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Bad Hippie said...

"I just need to find a truck, a farm, some good sheep, great dogs, and hope willing: a very patient man who isn't scared of large animals with horns but is scared of missing an episode of the Colbert Report."

Isn't that what every girl wants, when you get down to it?

August 19, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredulous is what YOU were. Incredible is what IT was.

There is a difference.

August 19, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Anonymous laluna said...

@anonymous - oh for eff's sake, let it go already!

@jenna - you are an inspiration to many...your writing is a joy to read, and certainly for me, stuck at home recovering from an accident, reading your blog is a great way to pass the time! your "trip" sounds lovely, glad you had a good time. catching up with old friends is such a treat! :-)

August 19, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know I do enjoy your blog. As someone from Asheville, who went to college in Northampton, and now lives in Colorado, I can relate and am missing wonderful autumns and smokey mountains.

August 19, 2009 at 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I had to look the word "incredulous" up also. He he. Oh well....I learned a new word and how to use it today. Thanks Jenna.

The book store you described sounds just like one we visited in Keene NH a few weekends ago. Right along side a small river with little windows to sit by and read. It was run by the most adorable little old lady who ended up giving my 5 yr old free books and finding the coolest stack of farm mags from the 1940s and 50s for me. I really do love places like that!

August 19, 2009 at 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna I am SO glad there are women like you in the younger generation!

And you have a way of writing about your life that reminds me of Gladys Taber, who actually was a generation before me, have you heard of her? She wrote about the small enchantments of country life so beautifully.

Find her books if you haven't read her!


August 21, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
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January 27, 2010 at 9:23 PM  

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