These final, long summer days are so special.
You know they will quickly pass and you savor every one.
The fields are starting to turn golden making the skies seem a deeper blue.
The long grass ripples in the breeze,
Fruits and seeds and vegetables are ripe and ready for harvest.
Come with me as we take a drive to the feed store downtown.
At the very bottom of my steep mountain top, this small pasture reminds me of the two precious ponies we had when my children were young. Freckles and Dusty. The kind, elderly lady who lived in the house across the street from here, allowed us to keep the ponies in her pasture during the summer, 'to keep down the grass'. There was an ancient apple tree that provided the ponies with apple treats. The old apple tree is gone now, as is the kind, elderly lady, but this new one has grown right beside the old gate, a result of those long ago treats.
Loaded with apples, it now feeds the local wildlife and the occasional passer by.
My mountain road levels out at the very bottom to fields and farms at the edge of town. You can see the blackberries are almost ready.
This is Main Street. On Sunday, things are very quiet. The 'city' maintains these beautiful flower baskets that also decorate the cross street you see in the foreground. This cross street runs parallel to the main mountain highway that leads to Mount Rainier. It is very scenic with a park that runs the length of the town and beautiful historic and new 'retro style' buildings in keeping with the historical nature of the town.
This town is a 'logging town', built when logging, farming and coal mining were the major industries. Things have not changed much, except that the coal mining has been shut down.
Our home was built very near the site of a now defunct coal mining town. There was even a hotel and saloon. Nothing remains except some very ancient plum trees and escaped Comfrey herbs that have flourished in our foothills climate.
Recently our small town has been renovating it's streets, sidewalks and store fronts. Three million people visit Mt. Rainier every year and this small town survives on tourism and the beautiful ski resort, Chrystal Mountain, 45 minutes away.
The two lane mountain highway is very busy on a summer weekend.
I rarely travel on it.
Why do that when I know all the back roads?
I arrive at the feed store and park on the side of this beautiful old building. You can see my gray Ford Ranger behind this sweet, flower pavilion. During summer festivals, live bands play here.
The city wide park runs along the back of this building. You can see picnic tables and there is a beautiful walking trail that will someday connect with the 'Sound to Mountain' trail system. It will run all the way from Puget Sound to Mount Rainier.
I have been coming to this feed store for many years. At one time there was a hitching post and water trough out front for tying up your horse. My sister's and I would ride our horses downtown and stop in the small restaurant across the street for a nice cool drink and appetizer. I would ride Freckles, as he was just 2 inches shy of being classified a horse. He was a Welsh Mountain pony.
We were all hard working young Mothers then, and these evening summer rides were a much needed break.
My sister's kept their horses at my parent's homestead, just down the lane from me.
We would sometimes laugh so hard on the way home, that we would almost fall off our horses.
My sister's have the gift of looking at the funny side of life.
Of course we had to stop halfway home to let the ponies eat the lush grass growing along the sides of the road.
Fair is fair!
The feed store is a treasure trove of everything under the sun.
I always find a little something to take home besides what I came for; pet supplies and wild bird seed.
These bushel baskets sure would come in handy.
There's lots of galvanized goodness, too.
Ropes and clips and huge balls of twine.
Canning supplies and pest repellents, although it would be very unwise to combine the two.
And what respectable country gal could function without a fetching pair of pink wellies to protect her tender piggies?
There's even something for the little ones. Judging by the looks of things, these are well loved by the little people. At least as high as they can reach, anyway.
Check out that great wooden floor.
What I really had my site's on was this hay rack. Wouldn't it make a great planter under a window, lined with moss?
But what I ended up coming home with was a giant bag of dog treats, a box of dog cookies, two dog toys, some flea repellent, bird seed, and this......
Everyone needs a gigantic roll of twine, don't they?
And I had the perfect place for it.
Crochet baskets? Hmmmm.
Or a lifetime of twine.
Only time will tell!