Road Trip

So there I am, standing, arms slack, on Highway 97. US 97 makes up the spine running through the middle of Oregon. I am somewhere on the cervical part of that spine up near the Washington border. Night’s coming on. I am surrounded by wheat fields and trucks are rolling along the two lane, ghostly and angry. I am just standing there on the side of the road, looking at a fire burn at the feet of Mt. Jefferson, the glow intensifies as the night comes on. The smoke is sickly, sweet, and fortunately, mostly blowing another way. I get enough of it though, to feel the primal urge to run from it. I imagine the deer are long gone from the band of burning trees, smaller animals too, though some will get caught.
The wheat shifts around me, swishing in the wind. It sounds like the polyester slips that ladies in the Baptist church wore under their skirts. The wind and wheat sound like peace. The slips sounded like torture, even when I the kid in Sunday school wondering what was causing all the commotion under there.
The trucks make me and the van shake a little, blows me back a little, but I don’t move further back. They see me, I feel them. It’s a moment. What goes on in that green lit cab? Who cares? The quiet and the night immediately fill in the well left by the passing truck. It’s dark now except the fire outlining the burning trees 20 miles away. I turn away.
The fields to the east are holding the last bent rays of light. The rays do their last deed and then are swallowed by widening shadows in the hollows between the rises and steeps in the fields. It is very beautiful. I want to cry over it. I don’t. I close the door to the van, my water bottle full. I take a long pull. The air, even at night, is dry. I am resting, awake as I am. I can feel myself drawing in the energy from the closing day, from the night coming along, from the quiet of solitude most of all.

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  1. Thanasis says:

    AUTHENTIC SPINACH PIE 2 lbs. fresh spinach1 lb. Feta chesee1/2 lb. (8 oz.) cream chesee (frozen slightly)4 eggs, separate beat whites until foamy add yolks1/4 c. cream of wheat1 lb. Ricotta chesee1 bunch green onions (include green tops), chopped1 lb. phyllo dough1 lb. rendered butter (must be butter)Salt and pepper to tasteTo render, place over low heat until butter separates, use clear butter.Wash spinach well. Roll up in terry towel and squeeze until dry. Tear into small pieces in large salad bowl. Add slightly frozen cream chesee that has been sliced in thin slices. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.Grease 11 17 pan lightly with rendered butter. Place 1/2 pound of phyllo dough in pan one sheet at a time, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding another sheet. After you have layered 1/2 pound of dough then add remaining 1/2 pound of phyllo dough one layer at a time, brushing each layer with tendered butter. Cut pit into squares before baking, brushing top with remaining butter. Bake 350 degrees for one hour. Do not microwave.

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