No ‘There’ There

Sep 9, 2011 | 2 comments

Disappearing Road

     These mornings, wake-up-time comes well before dawn, and daylight comes long ahead of the sunshine.  We have been beginning our walks in the mist these past few mornings.  It’s a fine enough mist that we don’t really get wet but each day it seems to get heavier as far as obscuring the path ahead.
     Yesterday, the road and the bay had disappeared altogether.  We could only see as far as our east garden fence.  I like these mornings.  The world seems so peaceful, but there is the very real promise of bright, warm sun later in the day.  And, besides, I am reminded of two of my favorite children’s authors – Patricia Beatty and Mother Goose.
     Beatty’s first chapter of O The Red Rose Tree describes the “eerie walks in the early morning” when the four girls of the story would go “prowling around the old abandoned homesteads up around Oysterville.”  What made the walks “eerie,” of course, was the early morning mist.
     The first time I read that book I just knew that Patricia Beatty (1922-1991) had actually spent time here on the Peninsula.  And, in fact, she had.  Although she lived most of her adult life in California, she was born in the Northwest and had a great-aunt who lived near here.  Of her 50+ books, four are set in this area.
     Mother Goose is another story entirely and probably should not be even spoken of as an “author.”  Hers is the name given by the English to the archetypical country woman and she is the imaginary author of many collections of fairy tales and nursery rhymes.  Our foggy mornings here in Oysterville never fail to remind me of this one:

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment,
And I began to grin,
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

     Thus far, we Oysterville Walkers have not met up with that cheerful man in his leathers, but we are on the lookout.


  1. Jo

    What a perfect picture to illustrate your tale. The words alone conjure up a picture in my mind; your photo just enhances it. Many thanks.

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    Jo is write. It is a perfect picture in words and image of what I love about the Peninsula. It puts me in mind of a time when I was working at Hilltop School. The fog came in that day, inching its way up the hill from the harbor until I felt like our classroom was floating alone in the clouds. Could not even see the Doug Firs or old gym arcross the street. It was a lovely feeling. I will look for Ms Beatty’s book!


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