Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Last Visit to Ellen's Farm in Cashmere, Washington
Ellen's house is the old caretakers building with sloping plywood floors painted coral. Heat comes from a wood stove that she tends expertly to keep the cabin cozy in the winter. The ceilings are low. Each comfortable chair is covered in a perfectly aged piece of interesting fabric. The old table from her dining room has been painted periwinkle since my last visit. In the living room, there is my old red 40’s armchair that my mom got for 5 dollars at a garage sale and shipped across the country. I had it in my living room until the leg broke off. Ellen has it against the wall with a block under the back corner.
Blue jugs spilling with wild roses, sage, lupine and balsam grace each surface. Ellen has a way of tearing off flowers, gathering them in her fist and stuffing them in a pitcher that results in the most naturally artful arrangements. It’s easy she says, but I have tried and it is not easy. It's like her house. The everyday, sometimes sorrowful objects are grouped to fall into beautiful vignettes. She is an artist.
I have come up here four or five times just with Ellen and some other friends. In the winter we ski, in the summer we run. We always go to Apple Annie’s for just the piece of vintage junk to liven up the table. Tease each other about gifts for people who aren't with us. Gather food for Ellen to make dinner. We sit at the kitchen table while Ellen whips up amazing Mexican food or other delicious dinners. First night this time was lobster tail. We drink wine. We laugh uproariously. We have so much time over these weekends that we tell our entire life stories, those of our friends and families too. Then we soak in the hot tub and the most hilarious stories come out. We laugh our heads off. Then we go to bed. Read into the night. Get up. Drink coffee. Run up the mountain. Laugh our heads off some more. It is a wonderful life.