Thursday, April 29, 2004

Chance Meetings on the SuperHighway

In one of those weird little quirky coincidences of the information age, my cell phone happens to have nearly the exact same phone number as a little Bed & Breakfast in Eastern Oregon. I get lots of interesting calls for them – people looking for reservations; once a hysterical woman left a voicemail trying to track down her wayward husband

“Faith*??” This is Mary Smith – is Frank there? *Sob* He was supposed to be home last night but isn’t here; and he didn’t call *incoherent weeping* …I know he stays there sometimes. If you see him could you tell him how worried I am and to call me????”

Faith is apparently the name of the innkeeper. Usually I just ignore the messages or quickly tell people the correct number if they happen to reach me. But in this particular case I couldn’t do that. She deserved to know her plea for help had not reached it's intended audience. So I broke from tradition and called her back, leaving a message with the right number. Unfortunately she never called me back so I’ll never know if Frank made it home OK; or if he’d just gotten caught screwing around.

I’ve always been rather fond of B&B's, ever since my parents & I stayed in one in Cape May, NJ when we attended my brother’s graduation from Coast Guard boot camp. So maybe because we watched Bagdad Cafe last night (a quirky, funny little film about a little hole in the wall reststop in the middle fo nowhere); and maybe because I had another request for reservations on my phone this morning my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to find out more about this place on the internet. No webpage, but they are mentioned in several travel guides. This one paints a particularly bucolic vision of the town, Ione and the B&B.

Snip: "What do you DO in Ione (population 300)? Well, go for a walk. Sit in the park. Talk with the neighbors. Breathe warm evening air that stirs with the sense of gardens growing, the sound of sprinklers turning. Gaze at rose-colored sunsets and slow rising moons. In short, to be, as Dylan Thomas puts it, "young and easy under the apple boughs and happy as the grass was green."

Armed with more info, I called them to introduce myself today on the pretext of asking them to check to see if they have any brochures or listings with the incorrect area code. Faith was wary, kind of reserved... but nice. I think she thought I was a nutcase. No, they don't have a webpage and they don't really advertise anywhere... she didn't know how people might be getting my number. So I'm kind of chalking it up to divine intervention - a message from the universe that one of these days, when we get sick of the rat race in the city we might just have to go visit in person. In fact, I think there's a premise for a novel in here somewhere. If only a could find a quiet, peaceful place to write it..... maybe Ione??

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