When Susan tells her husband that she and I are going off for a day in the mountains, he tells her to pack her pistol.
I don’t think she will need one, do you?
We’re both artists and this is going to be an Art Day.
We ‘re chugging up into the mountains. We’ve left early because we’re going on the local Mountain Art Guild’s Studio Tour. Our plan is to stop in a little town and pick up a map and tickets. Then we will commence on our own on a winding drive, stopping at various art studios.
I’m telling Susan I have a feeling we should let this day swing as it will; that I think our patience and plan may be tested.
We stop at a bead shop where we’ve been told we’ll find the map and tickets. There are no maps and no tickets here. There are 3 enormous dogs and a board outside depicting the cast of The Wizard Of Oz.
We’re told if we will wait awhile, maybe they can find the map we need.
We walk into a red barn that’s adjacent and filled with crafts and tables of apples and jelly. The place has a coffee bar. We each get coffee and sit outside on a sunny porch in little rocking chairs. We gaze at the pines and blue jays. We are charmed.
We meet 4 more dogs.
We wait and we wait.
We pee in a shiny, breezy bathroom.
We think maybe we should forget the self tour and just stay here and visit the wine bar.
But, reason holds. Maps are produced. Never mind that the map is not to scale and particularly worthless.
We’re having an Adventure.
We both pee before we leave.
As we’re finally leaving the barn, a woman with yet another dog trots up to us.
“Oh! You must visit my shop!” she burbles. “This is my pug dog, Pierre. He’s 8 months old and I have just opened my store, I have never had a shop before and I am 68 years old!”
She looks it.
Susan and I glance at each other. We’re already late getting started by 2 hours.
“Come, come in,” the lady is insisting. “I’m 68 years old.”
Susan and I sigh and follow the woman.
She has a darling shop full of mainly knitted doilies, cheap glass, pug dog paraphernalia and a person size stuffed lady doll with long, red shellacked finger nails.
“Gee, Susan,” I say, “You could put this gal beside you in your truck and drive in the car pool lane.”
I spot a lovely vase decorated with painted flowers and bees. It’s $5.
“I’ll take this,” I say.
The woman is busy hauling lots of her property outside the shop to attract city tourists.
Susan finds 2 nice plates for $2 each.
“I’ll take these,” she says.
The woman is still busily dragging plants and chairs and dolls outside her shop.
“I do this everyday,” Ms. 68 says. “I take all these things outside and then I bring them back inside. Isn’t my pug cute? Aren’t you cute Mr. Pug? Would you like a tiny cookie?”
Finally, Ms 68 begins tallying up our 3 items. It takes a good ten minutes to write up Susan’s bill.
A man and woman come through the door.
“I just opened my shop,” our new friend says to them. “I have a pug dog and his name is Pierre. I am 68 years old!”
Susan and I are tapping our toes and elbowing each other.
Susan goes off to pee.
She comes back.
Ms. 68 is ready to take my money. I give it to Susan and go off to pee.
When I get back our lady friend is wrapping our items in lovely tissue, tenderly tucking them into each fancy bag and tying it with a ribbon.
I figure the wrapping must cost at least as much as our five and four dollar purchases.
We try and leave. Ms. 68 follows us out.
“Be sure and tell everyone about me and my shop. I have a pug named Pierre and I am 68 years old!”
Susan and I hop in my car and take off.
We roll through the hills and mountains, following yellow studio art signs, and occasionally end up at an artist’s studio.
One lady has a dusty home filled with large colored photographs of naked men and women that she has photographed herself.
She points out one especially handsome, very naked man on a horse.
“Does he live here?” I ask. No, he does not. Darn. I was hoping.
Wandering through the house I find a large feathered torso on the living room table.
Susan and I take studio directional signs for the artist and plant them on the roadway a mile down the mountain from her home.
On our further travels we see deer up close. We see wild turkeys. We see strange items in artist’s yards.
We see magnificent views and acorns stuffed tightly into the bark of pine trees.
We get hungry and there is no place to have a late lunch or an early dinner so we head back down the mountains.
We have each peed 4 times.
When we get to our town, we stop for a meal and share a bottle of red wine.
We laugh and drink for a couple of hours .
We both pee 2 more times.
We have peed a total of 6 times each, today. Or, is it 7?
The next day Susan sends me an email.
“You know that 68 year old woman? She’s isn’t as bright as she might be.
“I looked up my $2 plates. They are Portmeirion salad plates…and they retail for $33 a piece! So, who had a Lucky Art Day In The Mountains!?”
Well. It wasn’t the 68 year old woman, that’s for sure.
*Do you know the kind of work I do when I’m not busy having Adventures? Look here for details. It’s a great time to have a phone reading with me! Visit me at www.GodIsAlwaysHappy.com for rates and availability.