May 2, 2008

I just had the most wondrous day at my favorite place in the world, my old friend Heather's house, which I know I've described before but clearly must describe again. It's the loveliest place, smack in the middle of the country, where time seems to stop. From my parent's town you take this highway about 20 minutes out, but then instead of turning off onto the interstate you keep going, and suddenly the road narrows and darkens and trees pop up on each side, their branches curving above you, and then you're passing barns and cows and signs advertising fresh brown eggs and warning you to watch out for horses and buggies, and you pass old mills and corn fields and this big campground, and the road twists -- and every time I see a FOR SALE sign I think THAT IS THE HOUSE I WANT TO BUY, THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO LIVE -- and then you round another bend and head up this long gravelly tree covered driveway, up this little hill, and there is the house where Heather and her crazy-wonderful woodworking husband live.


Here is the view from the porch, and the road extending past her house and into the next town:

And this is Heather, and our friend Barb behind her making coffee:

And here is the living room, with huge windows looking over green and hummingbirds:

I love this house so much and whenever I visit Pennsylvania spend whole days here, just hanging out at the kitchen table and lying on the sofas and talking for hours and looking through photo books and listening to music, all the cool new music Heather's dug up or just old stuff like Marianne Faithful or Lou Reed or Billie Holiday. Today Barb came over and Heather dyed and cut my hair and it was so lovely sitting with two old, very beloved friends in this house I love on a warm spring rain-smelling kind of day, with Heather's cat's stalking around and dye in my hair and all of us talking as easily as we did 20 years ago. And I keep feeling this sense like I always do, like I have to make the most of this day because I have to get back to New York and I won't be back for months and months, and then I keep remembering that I am here now, living here for the next year, with no job and just all these days in front of me with nothing to do but write and read and cook and take walks and spend days like this one.

Also: Heather has a bunch of cats but I love Sita, the glamorous huntress. Sita will sit -- and I have watched her -- over a chipmunk hole for hours in the sleet and snow and rain, shivering with cold but refusing to move. The other (male) cats just lie around while she hunts and stalks and, when inside, sits at the door watching everything around her. Sometimes she'll bring back 10 victims a day. Earlier today we mentioned this one guy we used to know and this comment he made to me that I still think of as one of the most annoying comments ever. We were sitting around after work one day, when we were teenagers and waiting tables at the diner downtown, and I was talking about how I wanted to learn Italian and write books and go to graduate school and travel and this guy just smiles at me in this condescending way and says, "Carolyn, why don't you just try to be happpppy?" I wanted to punch him! Today I was admiring Sita and saying that she is my hero, all hellbent and asskicking. Not to mention an icon of glamour, complete with feather toes. I mean look at her.

And here she is with Heather, attempting to eat the garlic, as all the coolest cats do.

The end.