But if I say "the old Hackleman place," his face lights up with recognition. He pictures the plunge and curve of the road off the rim, the way the two-story house sits st the head of the valley, its windows squinting into the sun.-- from the Prologue to Where the Crooked River Rises: A High Desert Home by Ellen Waterston. There is a lot more geology in this book than personal anecdote above would suggest. But that is what I like about what I call "random memoirs" -- they often head off in a direction I would not have anticipated.
Waterston founded and leads the popular Bend, Oregon literary festival, The Nature of Words. She is also offers workshops and retreats for emerging writers at her Writing Ranch.
My parents now live in Bend, in Oregon's High Desert, so it is interesting to learn more about that part of my state.
There ought to be some middle ground, I think, a way for a handful of people to hole up in a tiny undeveloped cranny and make it their own, to develop a little maybe, but not a lot. Maybe it's too much to ask anymore.-- Potluck: Community on the Edge of Wilderness by Ana Maria Spagna, essays about "the enduring human connection to place" from OSU Press.
Since I occasionally fantasize about living in cabin on a river outside some very small mountain town, I am fascinated to read about someone who actually lives this way. I prefer the chapters on Spagna's life in a sparsely populated valley in the North Cascades of Washington state to those about her childhood and travels.
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.