Open At Last!
In addition to our evening out, Megan and I took the time to go and visit Erica and Jessica. Being the country mice that we are, we also decided to enjoy the sights of the other towns along the way, stopping at the farm stand for fresh walnuts and looking around the shops. It was a beautiful day and the town was full of tourists, now immediately recognizable to me (unlike when I was one). The area has been getting some good press lately, so that and the lovely weather were probably why it was so busy.
We passed the museum on our way, and were astonished to see that it was open. In all the years I have visited here, and the few I have lived here, it has never, ever been open. So we had to stop in and look around. We were warmly welcomed:
The main building, whose bell tower I cut off in the first picture*, was the schoolhouse, and still has some of the small, old fashioned desks with inkwells. There is an exhibit of artifacts from the Pomo tribe, and a map showing that they used to live in this entire county, before the fort was built and the natives displaced with almost no sign of their lost, ancient civilization. The baskets and arrowheads that had survived were beautiful, though, and I’m glad that they have been preserved.
Megan and I didn’t realize that the museum also had a couple of buildings behind the former schoolhouse, one housing ancient farm equipment like this:
It was made at 427 Market Street in San Francisco, which looks like this now:
I’m pretty sure it looked very different then.
The last building housed artifacts from the original country store, saddles and cider presses and antique clothes, including an actual leopardskin coat. There was a picture of the coat’s owner, a beloved local lady, and her husband on their wedding day in the 1920s as well as a picture of them on their 50th wedding anniversary, wearing the very same wedding clothes. So sweet!
We would have liked to have spent more time, but we were late for our date with Erica and Jessica. Erica had made incredible Indian food** for a late lunch, and while she put on the finishing touches, Jessica and I sat at the table in the kitchen, which had placemats showing different areas of the world. I had Asia, and Jessica had Africa. She suggested that we play a game where we quizzed each other on the country capitals on each other’s placemats. When you got one wrong, it was the other person’s turn to ask.
Me: So…it’s like, “Work, work, work…feel stupid?”
Jessica (shaking her head): You think really differently than we do.
You would, too, if you were as bad at guessing/knowing African capitals as I am. I think I only got Cairo. Jessica, on the other hand, even knew what the capitals of the endless -Stans were.
In addition to making her aged Auntie look bad, Jessica is writing a play in which twins find out that one sister is Death and the other is Life. It’s pretty good so far. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that she’s only 10, though she is beginning to look as if she is closer to womanhood than girlhood as her 11th birthday fast approaches in April.
It was a great visit and I promise myself to see them again before Jessica is 11. Can she do it? Easier than learning African capitals. Right?
*I lent my brother my camera to document the new well he’s digging at the family property. I’m getting better at using my iPhone for pictures…except for this one!
**When I told a friend about the amazing Indian food, she asked me, “Was it dot or feather?” Lunch was dot and the museum was feather. 🙂