Forget fireworks, sparklers, BBQs or even S'mores. This Fourth of July was all about pie! More accurately, it was about escaping the city to spare Team Terrier the terror of all those celebratory explosions. After attending a small, impromptu barbeque on July 3, and seeing my dogs cower with fear as the neighbor kids set off bottle rockets, I returned home and promptly called my friend Marty Rudolph who owns a 20-acre retreat on the northeast flanks of Mount Hood. No matter that it was 10PM, I had an urgent request: "Marty, can I come up tomorrow and spend the night?" Luckily her answer was prompt and enthusiastic:"YES!"Marty and I share the same birthday, June 14, and since our plans to celebrate together last month were dashed by my bronchitis we celebrated our belated birthdays instead of Independence Day on the 4th. Though considering we are both strong-willed single women, I guess you could say we were celebrating our Independence Day as well. How much more independent can you get than having built your own house by hand on 20 acres?! Marty is 64, with not only the spirit of but the hot body of a 30-year-old. She is elegant and sophisticated, yet rugged. She as comfortable in a little black dress as she is driving her tractor or chopping wood. I can only hope to have her energy and self-reliance when I'm 64.
I had promised her a birthday pie and I delivered. Apple, to be precise. We ate pie for dessert (after a gorgeous meal of grilled salmon and roasted potatoes) and we ate pie for breakfast. And though the pie was baked just the way I like it (not too heavy on the cinnamon, apples slightly crisp) it tasted even better eaten in the fresh air, straight out of the pie plate, sitting in the morning sun after soaking in the hot tub, while gazing out at blue skies and the impressive view of Oregon's iconic snow-covered volcano.
Oh, and the dogs were in heaven too. While Marty and I ate pie in the sun, they ran around her wildflower-filled meadow digging up mole holes. They were clearly grateful for being spared the pyrotechics and instead the only "noise" they endured was the wind blowing through the pine trees and the occasional "Yum, mmmm," comments uttered between bites. Who needs fireworks when you have 20 acres of nature, a Gemini soul sister, and pie.