25 April 2009

Somebody's Going to Hate Me For This, I Just Know It

Disclaimer: I realize that this post puts me at risk of some stereotype-based mockery. To which I say: Feh. I care not. I am totally enjoying myself and it's time for a light-hearted post. Especially after the grinder that was last week at the office. Major project progress and I am going to beat my deadline but I am totally wrung out.

So I have rewarded myself by heading for the hills. I'm sitting in Christopher's Fine Foods (click on the link and look for green chairs, that's where I'm at) in beautiful sunny blue-skyed, cool-breezy Napa California. Free Wi-Fi to feed my data addiction, and grilled prosciutto & brie with fig confit on panini with a bottle of San Pellegrino to feed the rest of me. Beautiful California Craftsman decor, amazing gelatos and pastries over there in that glass case screaming for my attention, soft jazz and the scent of hazelnut coffee wafting through the air along with the cool breeze. This is civilization. I feel like I've been exhaling for half an hour, breathing out the stress. Okay, anybody inclined to mock my proud Californianism can do so now, I just gave you major set-ups. Especially with the sandwich. Our state is a basket case fiscally, but in many ways it's still one of the most wonderful places on earth and I still feel really lucky to live here.

If Wilford Woodruff's hearing had been a little better, the Mormons actually could have had all this to themselves and the Napa & Sonoma valleys would have been filled now with Deseret Book stores, Mormon Handicraft shops and Hogi Yogi's instead of these Satanic vineyards and wineries that supply the world with some of the best vintage around. Remember when the wagon carrying Brigham Young first rolled into sight of the Salt Lake Valley, Brother Brigham was really sick. He raised himself up, looked out at that Godforsaken salt patch, and mumbled something. Wilford thought Brigham said "This is the place, drive on" or "this is the right place, drive on" or something like that. Nope. What he actually said was "This is a disgrace! Drive on!" Meaning "forget this, let's go to California."

And by the time Brother Brigham was well enough to travel any further, hundreds of people had stopped in the valley, unpacked, and started planting crops. He didn't have the heart to uproot them again, so there they stayed, battling crickets, seagull poop, Indians, sunburn, Johnson's Army and a dearth of truly complete civilization until Williams-Sonoma arrived about 150 years later. So if Brother Brigham always seemed kinda cranky after that, it's because he knew what he was missing a few more hundred miles out there to the west. What he was missing is what I'm sitting in the middle of right now. OMG it's beautiful. Peaceful. Idyllic. Live and let live. Nobody cares who holds hands with whom here.

Moral of the story: Next time you haul a sick prophet around in a buckboard looking for a new home in the middle of nowhere, make sure you ask him to repeat himself before you start buying real estate and laying out sidewalks on his say-so. If you jump to conclusions you could seriously skew what God really wanted for His kids.


Ned said...

Who knows, if one of our early hymns had been "low on a sunny shore, a beach towel was unfurled..." maybe dark skin wouldn't have been such an issue for so long.

But from those unfortunate decades we eventually progressed to the precedent that the "Lord [will make] known his will for blessing all of his children throughout the earth" and from that I find great cause for hope.

El Genio said...

It was just two weeks ago that their city council passed a resolution in support of gay marriage.

Also, lest anyone think this post is indicative of southern California, let me remind you of the traffic hell that is LA.

GeckoMan said...

Hee Hee!
But, I'll take your puffed up Napa Valley and raise it by 2. . . the Willamette Valley! Sure, we have a few of those Satanic vineyards too, but we've got wild blackberries coming out our kazoo, and groves of 'Filberts' too! (some folks call them Hazelnuts)

Sarah said...

What he actually said was "This is a disgrace! Drive on!" Meaning "forget this, let's go to California."LOL. Love it. I'm going to start calling the area across from the zoo at the mouth of emigration canyon "Disgrace monument"!

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

LOL! As an Idahoan, I envy you--I'll be packing and, with any luck, heading to California for college!

Bravone said...

Alan, I love this post. I am ready to head south. I worked all day in the yard yesterday, mowing, raking, planting flowers and vegetables, leveling the gravel driveway, only to wake up to 2 inches of snow!