Sunday, December 24, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a White Trailer

This morning I was going to go snowboarding with one of my friends who has left the area for a job, but was back home for Christmas. I knew that her mother lived in a trailer in a rural area not far from Everson. You know, one of those little country roads dotted with tidy farms, not-so-tidy farms, and small, patched up trailers surrounded by mud.

My friend usually meets me at a grocery store along the highway and we go from there, but since her truck was full of her belongings she asked if I would come and pick her up at home mom's. Her mom's home is literally over the river and through the woods, and although I sense that most of the woods have been cleared for those farms, there were remnants of what looked like at least second growth stands of very old trees along the road. Some sections of the drive gave stunning views of Mt. Baker and the surrounding hillsides, today with a light coating of powdered sugar.

At first I missed the turn off from the dirt road; the home is set back from the gravel road via a very long driveway. The driveway had some big pot holes but was otherwise navigable. There was a fenced area to the right, a chicken wire contraption with some sort of shelter partially wrapped in Tyvec; a few chickens in there barely noticeable amongst the piled debris and things that clearly need to be taken to the dump. The trailer was a long single-wide ramshackle affair surrounded by untended earth. On the porch to the trailer I was greeted by two humongous goats. They stood there blocking my way until my friend called them off. "Guardians of the castle?" I asked. "They used to live in the caged area. Now they're everywhere, and their shit is everywhere. It's disgusting. My mom just lets them go anywhere."

I had to use the restroom so I went inside, greeted by rank, uncirculating air, unmistakable as eau d' wet-dog (my friend has a dog, but her own places have never smelled like this). Piles of presents were stacked up against a wall in what looked like a living room. My eyes averted the rest of the place, its mess shrouded in dim lighting. I didn't want to have the image burned on my retina any more than it had to be.

My friend said it had gotten worse there recently and she is a little worried about her mom. I've met her mom, and she is a nice lady, very down to earth, low key, probably not educated, kind of hippy-ish. There's another home in the back (I didn't see it) under construction that her brothers have started to build but it sits there unfinished. My friend figures it's going to be just as bad in there once it is finished, because of the goats.

By that time the sore throat I'd awoken with was not going away and my head felt as light and icky as it did earlier. Sometimes these things clear up, but today this was not the case. I've been fighting something since Wednesday, so I left my friend there and went home. It was just as well for her; she was hung over. I had to call another friend I was going to pick up further down the road, and while standing with my back to my open car door chatting on the phone, I turned around to find both goats sniffing around my steering column! They seemed to know "NO" and "GET OUT" very well.

Heading back, still in the same area I missed a turn, and decided to turn around rather than risk a lengthy detour. I spotted a driveway and turned into it. There was another single-wide patch job surrounded by earth and five older vehicles. I wondered if it was as much of a disaster inside as out.

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