Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Haiku-ing Home

Night in Columbus
and sushi eaten alone
makes me quite happy.

I'm back in Columbus as I compose this, for one last night before I return home after two weeks on the road, touting the book. I'm ready to go home and I can't wait for my own sheets and my own shower, but I'm still consciously enjoying the experience of being out here, wandering.

Let me tell you where I've been since I left home.


Atlanta drivers,
You dent my rental car door
And piss me off, dude.

The rental car ding notwithstanding, my four days in Atlanta at Stitches South were terrific. One morning I went out early, looking for Wilderness. I found condos, instead. I must have been looking in the wrong place -- I know it's out there. But I did find the best barbecue and key lime pie I've ever had.


Sophie and Julie,
Excess vodka consumption --
Romantic Times rocks.

Five days, spent with writers and people in publishing, and ALL we do is talk writing. No one else but other writers could stand us. And even with the resulting debauchery that occurs when writers get together, it's still business, and feels like it. It's odd. And I like very little more. (In the picture are Lorelei James, me and Sophie Littlefield, on a pool table. I should put up a picture of Juliet Blackwell because she was a big part of the debauching, but my phone isn't cooperating right now. Picture her there, too.)


The scent of lilacs,
Occasional thunderstorm
Makes for good driving.

Oh, how great this was. Maryland Sheep and Wool, sevenish-hours from Columbus by rental car, was as hot and muggy as hell, but it was MDSW, so who cared? Sheep, alpacas, dogs trials... and the people! Oh, oh, oh. I loved the drive there (what's with the stars on the outside of houses, by the way? Does anyone know?), and I loved being there, and I even loved tearing down the booth with Morgaine and Lann (hard work, that -- I can feel it today).

And today I drove back, with all the time in the world (which I didn't have going there). I pulled over everywhere I felt like it. I saw a sign for the Forks of Cheat distillery in West Virginia and drove what felt like a million miles to find it, up and down winding roads set amid glorious green, fragrant swathes of countryside. I found it, and bought an apple pie flavored liqueur (gold medal winner!) from the rather dour fellow serving samples.

Later, I needed to know what the delicious scent was that was pouring in my car windows. So I got off the highway and got a little lost on a blue highway, pulling over to snap camera-phone pictures.

Anyone know what this flower is? I think this is where the smell was coming from, but honestly, it was hanging so heavy in the air that even putting the petals to my nose couldn't help me narrow it down. Is it some kind of lilac?

I listened to country music the whole way (not something I usually do, it seemed appropriate in this locale), and I enjoyed listening to the story of each song. Country singers do better with story than other kinds of music.

And then I found your new favorite radio station (listen online!) CD101, Columbus. (Not country.) Enjoy.

An airplane ride home
And a ride across the bridge
Gets me home at last.


Melly Testa said...

What fun! It was great to see you on Sunday. I am glad you are enjoying your success. Maybe that flower is jasmine?

kbrow said...

I think the flower might be spicebush. The leaves look awfully like things I've seen growing around the appalachian part of Virginia.

I'm reading your book right now. It's delicious.

Rachael Herron said...

Thanks, Melly and k-brow! I'm also wondering if it's honeysuckle.... Another person suggested that and that would explain why it was so familiar smelling.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Hey...I was nowhere near the place! I would never drink excessive amounts of vodka and loll upon pool tables!
Oh, an you forgot to mention the pillowfight and the bikram yoga hotel room ;-)
SO much fun. Missed you the second you left. Hope you get home and sleep for two or three days, get your strength back!

Rachael Herron said...

Julie - HA! I *did* forget to mention that.

bySarah said...

I think the flower was honeysuckle too.

Kathleen C. said...

Yes, that's definitely honeysuckle. And the smell is that intense and that wonderful. You can be walking through the woods around my house and smell it long before you see it...

Flan said...

I bet you were seeing Amish Barnstars:

Elise said...

You were practically in my home town! I grew up down the road from the Forks of the Cheat, silly me I thought it was just a winery. I was in that area last weekend and spring really has sprung down there. My dad was saying he thought this was one of the best springs he has seen there.

PS yes I'm the same person who commented on yoru blog. I just had to comment twice, so few people actually go to WV!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachael!

That was the shearer for my Sheep to Shawl team (notice the Harley shirt?)!!
That flower is NOT honeysuckle (honeysuckle grows on a vine and it is not blooming yet, I have it all over my property in Maryland) it looks like some variety of Rhododendron to me.
I have yet to figure out the reason for the stars in the area.
It was great meeting you Sunday. Did you get some of that gorgeous BFL/silk top?

Beth P.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Privet Honeysuckle (there are a lot of different types of honeysuckle, including some that are deciduous and some that are evergreens, not all honeysuckle are created equal. ;)).


Anonymous said...

Yup, it looks like a bush honeysuckle to me. (It was lovely to meet you on Sunday! I hope the rest of your trip home goes smoothly.)

Sophie Littlefield said...

you do the best travelogues ever, R - and i too missed you the minute you left especially because then it was all down to me to keep up with Juliet and that can be a two-person job as you well know! Said it before, but you do solo travel better than anyone in the world. you have reminded me to take side trips rather than barelling through...

L.G.C. Smith said...

Great post, Rachael! Sounds like a blast, except for the ding in Atlanta. Glad you're coming home.

Anonymous said...

Great Post Rachael.
I wish I could travel alone that well and enjoy it. I'm always afraid I'll get lost. The flower was definately Honeysuckle. I bike in the area and love the aroma along the bike trail.
Hope your home and safe now.

Karola said...

yes it was honeysuckle - because it looks (and probably smelled) exactly like the honeysuckle that is surrounding my old train station in Garden city, New York well actually the station is Stewart Manor! oh i'm missing that smell - but it will take 2 more weeks till they are fragrant in Long Island - Maryland is usually a little bit ahead:-(
hugs :-) Karola

Unknown said...

Oh, wonderful travels :) I am so bad at wandering off my planned route. I really must get better at just being.

And I believe everyone is right. My aunt and uncle had honeysuckle bushes like that in their big old yard. I *love* that sweet smell and I don't think it grows here. :(

Carol said...

We have a lot of those stars on houses up in New Hampshire too and I don't know what it's all about, they're cute until you've seen 20 of them in one day.

Jody said...

It was great to meet you in line for food! I hope you enjoyed your lamb gyro! hehe