Book club today. The coven is meeting. Almost Halloweén. But it is a new house this time. A new cauldron is brewing the tea. Double, double, toil and trouble.
The house is new in the sense of hosting book club and pretty new in the sense of existence as well. Most of the women attending have no idea where exactly the house is but they know which beach to land at. They’ll be guided from there. The host family came a couple of years ago and have been building ever since. They moved in and got comfortable early this summer. They, too, are part of a group. A mystery group…….
Well, not that much of a mystery group, I suppose. But they are interesting, to be sure. I don’t know the whole story, actually, but I do know that all of these folks can build and they can build fast and well. They were a group of people who lived up North and built everything from scratch. The whole community! Everything. Stores, barns, houses, schools and churches.
Real hippies, I guess. Nice folks. But they are also our age and you’d think they would be slowing down. NOT SO! One of the guys is building his place up behind where book club is meeting and he just started this summer and it is already to lock-up. He is 73! And going like a train.
I am tellin’ ya, there’s something to this kinda lifetsyle. Lots of people are poor. Lots of people have little. But damn near all of ém seem to keep on ticking and are still stepping pretty lively.
I remember well the year before we came up here for good, I attended a town hall meeting. I wanted to see the community into which I was moving. I was about 52-ish, in jeans, Gore-Tex and new boots. A fashion hunk. I watched the people enter and were struck by their ruddy complexions, lack of body fat and their incredibly disreputable garb. I looked like an alien. They were wearing Goodwill third time around. I was at a meeting of hillbillies!
I fit in pretty well today.
And, of course, what is a clan of hillbillies without a Daisy Mae or two and I couldn’t help but notice the odd one. One beautifully proportioned woman walked in front me wearing one of those long, thin, hippie dresses from the 70’s. She positively sashayed. It was mesmerizing. I was transported immediately back to 1968, the summer of love. Haight Ashbury. Emily Faith Hart (long story). Hitchhiking. The Diggers.
Her hair swished from side to side and she had her back to me (which was just fine) and then she turned to say hello to the people around me. She was still very beautiful but she was 70 if she was a day! Older now that I think about it. This woman moved and swayed like a teenager. She was strong, healthy, full of energy and – did I mention that she had a good figure?
I was stunned.
But I shouldn’t have been. Looking around the room I could see that a lot of the people up here were pretty fit. I doubt that they watch what they eat – they take what they can get or what they have on hand. No restaurants out here. And there ain’t no gym! The folks are fit because they move, work and are outdoors trekking on irregular ground all day long. Or in boats. Or carrying stuff. Or building.
Usually all of the above.
For a guy like me who feels that any unnecessary movements are a sign of inefficiency and should be avoided at all costs, who thinks that one of man’s greatest inventions was the remote control and for a guy who now prefers an automatic over a manual transmission, I need the discipline that this environment forces on me. ‘Course, I will never look good in a thin cotton dress nor will I ever be able to sashay in any way but lumpily, but still I am a lot healthier for being here. I know that.
Now the first thing you have to know about Emily Faith Hart was that she was studying and residing in a convent in Oakland when we met in Haight Ashbury. She was dressed as a witch………………