Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meeting Marie Laveaux

What a great day it was here in the Columbia Basin. The day warmed into the low 80’s and was mostly sunny. I am happy because I have accomplished a good amount of work the last two days. I always hope that I have good days after being away for a day. I spin a terrible guilt level in my mind whenever I take a day away like I did Wednesday. I know I really should not do that but I always do. I think much of it stems from the fact that I watched my Dad feel guilty if he did not work from sun up until sundown. It seemed the only exception for him was if it was family time. I know that a man has to take time for family, for their industry and even for themselves sometimes but it still can be difficult.

Wednesday was a fun day with a lot of information. I will give you a timeline of how the day went and a few of the highlights. As you know I was here at 3 minutes short of midnight on Tuesday. I needed to meet fellow Washington Cattlemen’s members at 5:15 a.m. and the rendezvous point was a bit over an hour from home. I crawled into bed at 1 a.m. and pretty much just waited for the alarm to go off at 3:30a.m. I know this sounds odd but I think I actually sleep better and wake more refreshed when I do that semi-conscious sleep where you are sleeping but kinda not sleeping. The alarm buzzed on time and even though I heard it I just laid there waiting for Chris to say, “Sweetie, its 3:30.” It is actually 3:31 or 3:29 because I have this paranoia about an alarm being set on: 00,:15,:30 or :45. It is always a bad day if you actually wake at any of those minute settings, just so you know. Somehow knowing the alarm woke her makes it easier for me to get up and out of bed.

I got on the road and was actually kinda excited because I had $103 dollars in my pocket. The 3 was from some money I saved in junior high and the $100 bill was from the scrap metal boys. I took the back roads into Othello since I was carrying so much cash. When I pulled into the Shell station I had a thought that unnerved me. I needed a can of Copenhagen, a 20 ounce extra caffeine coffee with two Splendas and a pack of Orbit gum. (Chewing Orbit gum makes me feel as much like an astronaut as drinking Tang did in grade school.) I wondered if the store could break a massive $100 bill as I waited in line. The line was long as many “undocumented workers” waited in line to buy $4.27 worth of gas to make it to whatever respective orchard they worked in. The clerk was a no nonsense 50ish woman that had a terrible sense of humor which added to my amusement and helped to wake me up.

“What pump?” she would ask the slightly bilingual man at the front of the line. He replied, “O’er there, da red car.” Then she bellowed like a Brahma cow being preg checked and screamed, “I did not ask what color your car was, I said what pump!” The man held up 3 fingers which I hoped diffused the situation. (Actually it was 2.84 fingers as the man had been in some type of industrial incident but let’s not split hairs.) Anyway the Ogre behind the counter was not done yet. “What grade gas do you want?” she roared. The poor man held out his arms like he was trying to catch the planet Jupiter and said, “Reeeeegooolar?” Which just inflamed Marie Laveaux (if you do not know Ms. Laveaux just search for her song on YouTube.) Anyway, Marie turned on the pump for “plus” and then glared at the next customer which was another Hispanic man that had an afro like Lionel Ritchie. Mr. Richieolverez had a few items which totaled $10.12 and pulled out a $100 bill to pay for it. Ms. Laveaux was further enraged by this. “What makes you think we would have change for a $100 bill at 4a.m.!” she screamed.

Yeah, what kind of idiot would hope to break a $100 bill at 4a.m. I thought to myself and quickly added up in my head the price of a large coffee and a Tillamook pepperoni stick knowing that a new can of Copenhagen was out of the question with $3 to spend. Marie seemed to perk up when I got to the front of the line in my straw hat, belt buckle, Wranglers and long sleeved 20X shirt. She kinda smiled a smile that reminded me of our nation’s southern border (lots of gaps) and said in a pleasant voice, “anything else?” I answered, “No” and she took my 3 one dollar bills and said with a picket fence smile, “Have a nice day!” I just could not help myself and answered with my slight own smile, “Gracias perra.”

I then headed for Moses Lake and onto the meeting place at exit 151 on Interstate 90. Jack and Neil were patiently waiting for me and I was only about 1 gas purchase late. I will continue about the rest of the day tomorrow.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Virginia rails aka Rallus limicola.

Today’s picture is of a mushroom I found yesterday in the horse pasture. I placed my monthly allowance next to it to give you some perspective.