Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ann Arbor

"Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."
— Mary Oliver

Mmmmmm back from a weekend away. I have been in Ann Arbor, Michigan--the fruit belt!-- visiting two of my oldest friends. (Well, one and her husband but sometimes I forget that Ryan grew up in Texas and not on Evergreen Circle.)

Natalie and Ryan live an enviable life. They bike instead of drive. They plant tomatoes instead of grass. They eat local, organic, and well. They know a lot about many things-- namely road bikes, beer brewing, music playing, and pizza perfecting. They know the perfect ratio of yeast to flour to water and what temperature makes crust crunchy and fluffy at the same time. They spend a lot of time looking at the garden, checking to see if any new berries plumped up during the night.

They have big laughs and happy faces and they know all of my stories. (We grew up together, after all.) They let me sleep in a freezing cold basement covered to my ears in comforters in the middle of July-- can you imagine!? It was absolute heaven.

They made me waffles and we ate them soaked in real maple syrup on the deck yesterday morning and talked about alternatives to mowing. We talked about how Natalie wants chickens and why we will never own dogs. They own a book about homesteading and they took me into the forest before eating shawarma at Jerusalem Garden in town. We went to the U of Michigan Law Library and talked about how influential immediate surroundings can be on our inner lives.

We had tears rolling down our faces from Saturday afternoon onward-- happy, hysterical, tears from laughing so hard our cheeks hurt. I'm still laughing, actually. Laughing about how I played the guitar with Ryan well into the night, and having a very clear thought of "wow, this actually sounds really good." It didn't, let me tell you.

I'm only back here in clunky New York for two days before shooting off again to another far away destination where I will be drinking coffee until noon with a book on a deck. Delicious, this summer. Absolutely electric.


La said...

Love your description of your weekend...and of two of my favorite people ever! I'm so jealous. And so excited you'll be with me this weekend!

Mach1 said...

Why don't you ever want to own a dog? And the Michigan Law Library is a magical place. Damn Michigan for not accepting me! DAMN IT!