Thursday, April 30, 2015


find me on Instagram: @melinadream
They say that sitting is the new smoking but sometimes you just have to sit. (Some may argue that sometimes you just have to smoke, I suppose.) You have to sit because you have no choice, you've played this school game out to the bitter end and now here you are, bitter indeed, ten pounds heavier than before the semester, (I call it my 'straight A body') swimming in lose papers, no longer your dog's best friend, drinking an outrageously expensive bottle of turmeric juice ("for your health") feeling both overworked and lazy, coaxing your brain into just a few more days of memorizing molecular structures and then you'll be free, free to start thinking about your wedding in 7 weeks, free to start worrying about the white satin dress hanging in your closet that you can barely squeeze into.   

It's the last two weeks of school here at AB Tech, "The Harvard on the Hill" as we like to call it, and I've fallen into a fog. A rut. But don't worry, I started putting butter in my coffee so I'll be out of it soon enough. The paleo fanatics on the internet assure me that in a week or so I'll wake up feeling "bulletproof" and it will last for the rest of my life. When that happens the world better watch out, that's for sure. 

Now, where did we leave off? 

David and I had just floated off to Orcas island. 

We stayed in a tiny little cabin at Doe Bay. I had to write in the mornings, not in a 'my soul felt free on the ocean and I had to give it wings' kind of way, but in a 'I'll be fired if I don't submit this by Thursday' kind of way. Actually, I've never experienced the first kind of writing, the flying soul. And I don't trust people who say they have.
David and I went kayaking across a quiet bay and out to Jones Island, a little teardrop of a state park that is only accessible by paddle boat. We were all alone. 

We live on a crowded planet. There is only so much time in your life that you will spend alone on your own island. The afternoon we spent lying on the moss on our little float of land almost made up for all the yarking I did during my welcome home dinner.

I said almost
The Northwest is wildly, absurdly photogenic and it's not fair for the rest of us. I was born and raised on the east coast, and the east coast is where I live today. It's an exceptionally beautiful place to call home but big fat Washington state with its jagged mountains and moody puget sound, it's Pacific ocean and rain forests, wheat fields and desserts and glacial lakes, it's just easier to photograph.  I've always thought so and we're all just going to have to live with that. 
We climbed to the top of Mount Constitution on a trail of pine needles that bounced under our feet. Along the way we met a very perplexing gentleman. "Is she allowed to do that? Is she trustworthy?" this stranger asked Dave as I walked to the edge of a cliff to pose for a picture. There was a long silence and then Dave responded, "....she can...well, she can do whatever she wants."

"Women," said the man, shaking his head as if the two of them were in on a big joke that had gone a little too far. "That's how they are these days, isn't it. HEY!" He cupped his hands and shouted to me. "IF YOU WERE MY DAUGHTER, I'D SHOOT YOU! JUST TO GET IT OVER WITH!" Then he chuckled, winked at Dave and headed back towards the trail. 

On the way back down, Dave and I were jogging on the road, hoping to get back to the car before dark. It was suddenly very cold and a few raindrops were hurtling down from the clouds. A few miles later, an SUV pulled up with the same man and his wife, who had obviously driven to the top to meet him. "You crazy kids need a ride?" he asked, leaning out of the passenger window. 

He was a creep, but if we had kept running we would have missed pizza night at Doe Bay. And if you've ever visited Orcas island in the off season, then you know that there is almost nowhere to eat. We couldn't risk missing pizza night. We took the ride. The pizzas were very small. I had to eat three.
That was about it. David sang take your mamma out all night, yeah, show her what it's all about on the piano at the open mic night, and none of the Pacific North Westerners knew how to deal with his southern charm, his friendliness, his ability to make small talk and eye contact and smile. It was lots of fun to observe.

Doe Bay is a beautiful place. We could have spent a lot more time there, soaking in the hot pools that look out over the resplendent bay, filling up on very small pizzas, drinking thick diner cups of coffee each morning, talking to nobody. My kind of place. It's too bad we only had one week. But that's how it goes. And we're all just going to have to live with that. 
Here are my two favorite articles from the last month:

The Movie Buff's Guide to Asheville's Outdoors  (How to explore the natural places where The Hunger Games, Dirty Dancing, Cold Mountain and The Last of the Mohicans were filmed. I had titled this "The cinephile's guide" but they changed it, claiming that nobody knew what a cinephile 

Five Ways to Welcome Spring in Western North Carolina. Pretty straightforward. Written at Doe Bay. 

find me on Instagram @melinadream


SmithShack71 said...

"... she can do whatever she wants."
Man, I love that.

Gorgeous pics. And as always... your man's hair - My Gawd. Good stuff. I think you're both beautiful.


Krista C. said...

The Pacific Northwest is ridiculously photogenic. I'm from the Midwest, the northern Illinois/Iowa border, and now live in Seattle. The Midwest has some beauty but honestly not that much where I'm from. Most of my family and friends have never visited me. They see my pictures on Facebook and Instagram and always comment on how beautiful it is and often say how it must be my skill as a photographer that makes the picture. I always thank them and often explain that it really is that beautiful here and if they were standing right next to me their picture would look exactly the same. I try not to get spoiled by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Aimee said...

Awesome pics. Seriously its to beautiful there to be fair (and I live in NZ so see my fair share of landscapes)
Got to say though - butter in tea -stay away. I nearly bumped my dearly beloved off with over enthusiastic coconut oil use and was thoroughly reprimanded by the Dr!
Being bullet proof is overrated :-) Having some who'll say "... she can do whatever she wants .." however, thats priceless.

Rhett said...

I love walking on bouncy pine needles. Beautiful photos and great post. Hope the end of your semester goes well!

Susan S said...

Melina, I couldn't find your email address, but I just HAD to send this to you in case you didn't know about it. My sister works at the University Bookstore (Mill Creek), and she saw this blog by a woman who hit all 17 participating bookstores in Seattle with her mom in one day. I know the pictures will look familiar to you, and it looks like they had a great time. I don't know the woman whose blog this is, but I couldn't let that stop me from sending you something I think you will enjoy so much! :-) If you want to holler at me about this, my email is Enjoy! Susan