• Last modified 408 days ago (April 13, 2023)


FRESH PERSPECTIVE: Midweek getaway provides peace, solitude, silence

Staff writer

I’d hoped to catch the sun set Thursday at an Airbnb — an isolated property near Marion Reservoir — I’d booked.

But Record publisher and editor Eric Meyer and I gabbed for too long (undoubtedly my fault). We didn’t leave the newsroom till 7:45 p.m. I still had a few errands to do before heading to the reservoir. I arrived, unpacked, and went outside immediately.

I’d missed the big show, though I did get to see it on my drive there.

Later, as I sat on a back deck, an orange moon — painted that way by smoke from grass fires — glowed. Stars shone. And much to my delight, my evening was gloriously quiet.

The home is the third place I’ve bunked in Marion County.

It’s a notably comfortable and impeccably clean three-bedroom, two-bathroom home surrounded by trees and fields, a barn, and a silo.

Solitude and silence were what I was seeking.

I relaxed immediately.

I sat outside till about 1:30 a.m. and decided it was time for bed. If my husband is reading this: did I say 1:30 a.m.? I meant 10:30 p.m. A king-size bed awaited me. I must have fallen asleep without my normal fits and starts because, in the morning, the linens didn’t look like a tiny tornado had twirled them into knots. They looked more like someone actually slept on them.

A room off the primary bedroom featured two twin beds and shelves filled with toys, including a Raggedy Ann doll and a stuffed Curious George.

I didn’t find the third bedroom until morning.

I rose at 6 a.m. I’m decidedly not a morning person, but I knew I wanted to catch sunrise. I walked around the property to a soundtrack provided by wild turkeys, a woodpecker, and what I’ve confirmed was a mourning dove.

I found myself mesmerized by what I thought was an old chicken coop that featured brick floors, windows, and peeling paint.

An idea came to me. What if the property owners would let me fix it up and rent it from them? I lived at times in a yurt in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I could do this, I thought.

As I was checking out, I shared my idea with a “This might sound crazy …” They said they liked crazy ideas, but it turns out the building is where guests who hunt keep their dogs.

Later in the week, I’m happy to report, the owners offered a business rate for single occupancy. I’ll still have solitary use of the house, but I won’t be bed-hopping like Goldilocks did with chairs. Depending on availability, I plan to stay two nights a week.

Tasty bird, not a dove

Fires and fire-related stories last week took me to parts of the county I’d not yet spent much time in, including Ramona and Tampa.

Before arriving at the home of a couple who lost everything in a fire early Wednesday morning east of Tampa, I stopped for lunch at Santa Fe Trail Café.

I asked what the cafe was known for, and the owner, Ashley Thornhill, suggested a chicken, Swiss, and bacon sandwich or the special, barbecue meatballs. Barbecue is not my thing, so I ordered the sandwich with grilled instead of breaded chicken and a one-time trip to the salad bar as my side.

Oh, my word.

The chicken — two thin layers of bird — was perfectly grilled. I topped it with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Such a sandwich is not something I typically would order, but I’m glad I did.

It was the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had.

Farmers filled the café.

I approached them with a “Please don’t laugh at me, but I’m directionally challenged” plea for directions to Linda and Steve Nazeck’s home. They obliged, smiling but not laughing at me.

Despite their help, I turned the wrong way on 330th. How I ever drove across the country without GPS or a cell phone is beyond me.

Creepy or cool?

Before Peabody’s prom, I stopped in Flint Hills Gypsies in Peabody. I had my eye on a glass bowl filled with porcelain doll parts — legs, torsos, heads, arms, and hands. Sure, the jumbled mass of body parts is kind of creepy, but unusual is my style.

I found two horse brasses from a London flea market, Bakelite rings, and dozens of medals I’m going to use for necklaces I plan to sell.

That’s my plan, anyway. Stay tuned for next spring when they’re still in a box and I’ve done nothing with them.

Last modified April 13, 2023