Saturday, October 1, 2011

Guemes Island and Pomplamousse Girls

This summer, one of my favorite thing I did was went to my friends Cabin on Guemes island. To get to the cabin, I traveled through Anacortes and the surrounding farmlands. On the main street of Anacortes are fruit stands all over the place selling fresh fruits and vegies from the nearby farms. From Anacortes there is a small ferry that takes passengers to Guemes. The cabin was on a slight cliff but it had a short trail through a wooded area that led to the shore. During the day while at the shore we saw baby deer and an eagle. At night, we had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows for smores. When I was little and my family went camping, we would build fires and tell ghost stories around the fire. At the Guemes fire, no one told a ghost story but I did hear a story about aliens and a story about sea monsters. The next morning I woke up early and walked back down the shore. Everything was gray, the rocky shore, the water and the sky. All along the shore were the tiniest of grayish green crabs scuttling about. At first I did not notice them because they blended in with the landscape. But if I stood still and looked down, they were easy to spot. If i lifted up rocks, there were always two or three underneath. When I see children book illustrations depicting the seashore there is often one or two of these greenish gray crabs featured in the illustration alongside a child lapping in the waves or building a sand castle. Usually they are book illustrations from the Victorian era to the 1920's.

One of the people who went to the cabin was a fellow who is a high school French teacher. I took French in high school but have forgotten most of it. I do remember my favorite french word, which is 'pamplemousse.' It means grapefruit. It is a beautiful word and it is fun to say. I told the French teacher about my love for 'pamplemousse' and he said that it is funny because every year one person falls in love with the word 'pamplemouse' and it is almost always a girl. I wish I had asked him if all the pamplemousse girls had something in common. But I like the idea that out there in the world are French class graduates who share a love for the word 'pamplemousse.' It is like we are all in a club together.

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