Trail of Crumbs

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Folks, I am a bit of a thief.

No, I’m not referring to that one time in Barcelona (though I must say, the sheer amount of hate mail I got over that post was both unexpected and delightful).

My sticky-fingeredness occurs far more often than that. I steal from friends, from loved ones, from both those closest to me and those I’ve never met. Sometimes, it happens without me realizing it. Most of the time, though, it’s completely intentional.

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Have you ever fallen in love with a place that you’ve visited, but you can’t really figure out why? There’s just something inexplicable about it that makes you happy to be there?

And the more you try to describe your rationale for loving it, the crazier you sound? To the point where you might be clutching someone’s hand, trying to convince them of the magic of this place? And because you’re so damn passionate about it, you fail to realize that the person you’re talking to is somewhat scared for their life? And that you’re now frothing at the mouth and screaming about homemade fudge and free parking on weekends and you look positively mental? This doesn’t just happen to me, right? RIGHT?

Well, that’s kind of how I feel about Jacksonville, Oregon.

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Every time that Rand and I stay in an old hotel, we have a similar exchange:

Me: This place is nice. Too bad it’s haunted.

Rand: Baby, this place isn’t haunted.

Me: You’d like for me to think that, wouldn’t you?

Rand: Yes. Yes, I would. I would very much like for you to believe that this place isn’t haunted, because it isn’t.

Me: Whose side are you on, anyway?

Rand: Um … logic’s?

Me: SO NOT MY SIDE, THEN.

Or something like that. The point is, I’m rather steadily convinced that every time we stay at an old, remodeled hotel, we’re going to be haunted right out of there, and Rand’s convinced we aren’t.

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While walking around Madrid, Rand and I saw this sculptural relief on the facade of the building, done in the classical style (is it ancient Roman in its influences? Let’s say yes, because I know squat about sculpture):

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And then we saw the same relief, this time rendered with a Cubist slant:

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And I might have geeked out, because seriously, how cool is that?

The clock ticked, and for once, we were able to ignore it.

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“There is never enough time,” Rand is fond of telling me, and I nod in agreement. It might as well be our mantra.

I didn’t always feel this way. When I met my husband I was bored and lonely and every day seemed to stretch on forever. It was excruciating. And then he arrived and time began to zip by, and life suddenly seemed far too short.

(Today might be Leap Day – the 29th of February – but that doesn’t mean we get an extra twenty-four hours. It just means that we’ve renamed March 1st. Time breaks every tackle attempt we’ve made, and continues to march on.)

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Yesterday, it snowed in Seattle. This is a rarity in the Pacific Northwest. We’re no strangers to precipitation, but not of the frozen variety. A sprinkling of snow tends to shut the entire town down.

So you can just imagine what happened yesterday, when FIVE INCHES of snow fell. Buses stopped running. Streets were closed. People frantically dragged their poor husbands to the grocery stores at ridiculously early hours in order to get food so that they would not starve during the imminent ice age (okay, fine. That last one might have been me. I’m not sitting through snowpocalypse without a run to Trader Joe’s first).

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Is it possible to make something truly wonderful (and fattening) even more wonderful (and also more fattening)? Of course. This is America, damn it. Where we don’t take “no” or “that’s irresponsible from a dietary standpoint” for an answer. Where we take our dessert with an extra side of dessert.

Behold:

Somewhere, someone is starving to death. </seriousness>

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These are the cones that Rand and I spotted at an ice cream shop in Pennsylvania that was graciously named “Pigadilly’s“.  If the extra $1.50 price tag looks a little steep, remember: innovation and genius do not come cheap. You aren’t just paying for a cone – you are investing in what makes American great.

And also investing in what makes America fat. But let’s focus on the great part.

How have I let so much time pass without telling you about these?

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It is late Sunday night, and I’m staring at my computer screen, trying to figure where the time went.

“How is the weekend already over?” I wonder (even after years of having no real obligations on Monday morning, I am still sad when it approaches).

And just earlier today, I asked a friend how, exactly, it was December already. And how can 2012 possibly be weeks away? How – sweet lord in heaven – how am I thirty-one years old and still have to stop myself from answering “Sixteen!” when people ask me my age? (And why, while we’re on the topic, do people keep asking me how old I am? Is it that much of a mystery?)

I close my eyes tightly, trying to take a mental catalog of the last few hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Did they all pass by so quickly? Did I miss anything? Did I forget to tell you anything?

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