Children playing and gardening - Grattan School mural

Children playing and gardening – Grattan School mural

5:30 pm

At the community building, Janine playfully blows me a kiss, then propels her chair up the ramp and scoots to the head of the line, where the early arrivals greet her warmly.

Making way for the people who plan and prepare the meals we enjoy at Ordinary is one way we show our gratitude.

A light fog rolls in from the west as I wait my turn for the soup tureens. I sniff the air. Co-mingling aromas of garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, and fresh tomato call to me the moment I step inside the door. My taste buds tingle.

Tonight I’ll have a large bowl of Benjamin’s minestrone with buttered hunks of homemade, whole wheat sour dough bread.

“I said, you’re a thousand miles away, Rose!”

I turn to Noah, gently touching my arm.

“Noah! It’s true. I was savoring the food smells and the way the fog lets me see the air moving, how it obscures and softens the lines of the hills, changing everything!”

“Always the artist, Rose. How’s the journal coming along?”

“Well, I have to say I am grateful we only have to log one full day. I haven’t minded keeping a journal for the oral history project, but if I had to go around talking into this recorder all day every day, I’d have to think again!”

“It’s exhausting, isn’t it?” Noah smiles, his beautiful wide mouth only slightly open, his dark eyes soft. “Believe me, we all tried it ourselves before we asked other villagers to keep a log for a full day.”

Noah is the village librarian. Not only does he provide access to a whole world of literature, art, and music, but he is also responsible for maintaining the historical archives. That includes cajoling villagers into accepting journal assignments for the oral history project.

“How is the project coming, Noah?”

“We have twenty-five days so far, all from randomly selected villagers and dates. When we have a full year, we will have a wonderful mosaic of village life for generations to come.”

Catching Cheyenne’s eye, I wave to her, already seated, and apparently keeping the table in stitches. Laughter erupts from their corner again and again.

“Noah, Cheyenne has saved me a seat at cook’s table. Won’t you join us?”

Noah’s mouth opens to a full grin, his buttery-chocolate face rosy with pleasure.

“Sure, Rose. Betty is helping Jacob nurse Mollie’s calf and I’m on my own tonight.” He winks, taking my arm. “You know I’ll talk shop.”

“I’m counting on it.” I lean my head into his–conspirators. “Now what’s the latest in the world of cello. Cheyenne’s birthday is coming up.”


  1. I’m afraid I’m enticed by the smell of that soup. I’m already wanting to join the group eating it.


    1. Pull up a chair and grab a spoon, Barbara!


  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    I hope that this does not mean we won’t hear from Rose anymore. That would be a shame! Are there going to be other villagers daily viewpoints? That could be interesting.


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