If I could, I would pack a truck with essential things, like a map, cups, and plates, a cooler, and blankets, boots, and swimsuits, a box of paints, paper, brushes, the good binoculars, all of my travel pillows. Pre-dawn, I'd rouse everyone, "Let's ride!" Cats, too. And away we would go, to anywhere. Anywhere with oak trees, and farmstands, anywhere with mailboxes lining dirt roads, and cows. The places where you find a general store, bakery, the remains of a harvested cornfield, pumpkins stacked on stoops, and new sights around the next bend in the road. We would make lunch from the apple orchard, where they're selling goat cheese, and loaves of bread, jars of local honey. We would stop at the river, skip stones, and wade in up to our knees. That's where we would pitch our tent, at dusk float on our backs, count bats, then fall asleep to owl calls. If I could, I would walk the cats on leashes and let them roll in the redwood duff, then wake everyone with flour tortillas cooked over the fire. We would drink pinole with cinnamon and chocolate. Then we would spend a day doing nothing, or anything, like painting, birdwatching, reading, napping, digging holes, collecting ideas, sorting through memories.
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