A Mystery Tour of Spokane

This blog of rumination and imagination is perilously close to becoming a personal blog. You know, one of those boring “what I did today” blogs so beloved of millions. Well, they’re not boring to them, of course. But wandering surfers like me and possibly you go – “oops, not this one”, and race on. I haven’t been posting much because I’ve never wanted the Pigsty to go that direction.

But,truth is, I’m not doing any pondering. I’m looking for a place to live, and by evening I am too tired to think about anything except Willa Cather’s travels through England in 1902 and how come Christiane Amanpour doesn’t look tired? People launch missiles at her all day.

My daughter Hannah says the reason everywhere we look is so expensive is because we only look in the most expensive places. She sent me this little map to prove her point.


Here’s the link if you want to see for yourself in more detail: Big link to big mortgage map

The most expensive homes is America are in the dark green states. So let’s see, that looks like…California! and…New Jersey! and…why, even little Rhode Island! Yes, folks, it’s true, the Pondering Pig and his kinfolk have been wandering and squandering their whole lives long though the fattest, most delicious pastures of plenty this country offers. I grew up in San Francisco. Raised my piglets in the Garden State (that be New Jersey, you denizens of other climes). Those are the states where the pigs of my own generation live, and where all my old pals still live.

But if we bought a house in any of those states, I would have to go back to work – at Wal-Mart probably, welcoming you to the store and hoping you have a good day. Or maybe I would learn how to do your income tax for a small fee. Or I might have to sell my first edition of Beatrix Potter’s greatest work, The Tale of Pigling Bland on eBay.

Or — we could move to another state where we don’t know a soul. Somewhere where houses cost well under a million dollars.

So we came to Spokane – yes, we have wandered and pondered all the way up to Washington State. So far we like it. Nice small city. Pretty good library. Free concerts in the park.

We’ve looked at lots of great 1910-20 era bungalows — our favorite kind of house. There’s flowers, and a river runs through the middle of town — but down in a big gulch so it’s not really part of the city’s life. There’s a lovely old urban park that makes me think of my dear beautiful Golden Gate Park back home in San Francisco. A really good bookstore called Auntie’s. Lots of Willa Cather and Jack Kerouac in the Classics section. That’s good. No Freddy the Pig in the children’s section – that’s bad. In the magazine section they were selling little literary journals. Probably doesn’t mean much to you but to me it’s a clue – somewhere in Spokane are people who are interested in writing and young writers, and those will be my kind of people.

Only drawbacks I can see so far: no foreign movies! Such a nuisance, I really want to see that new samurai movie The Hidden Blade. In San Francisco the papers were all reviewing it. Here I don’t think they know there are such things as Japanese movies.

Also, I don’t see so far any sign of hi-tech or software or and other industries that might attract creative young people to come to live here. And I place a high priority on creative young people. Keep us creative old people on our toes.

Weather’s been excessively hot, but at 102 tops, it’s still cooler than most of the country.

And I think we can find a place big enough that Patruska’s Mom can come live with us. At 87, she’s tired of facing life on her own, and I don’t blame her.

We might actually grow to like it.

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3 thoughts on “A Mystery Tour of Spokane

  1. Great, now when we’re in transit to Flat Head Lake, MT we will have a chance to see youz two. That’ll be nice. Not that we’ve made it to MT for awhile, but like Leo said, folks have big spreads there and our pals have a real pretty cabin looking at the front range of the Rockies and when we do visit we wonder why we don’t live there too (except when we remember that winters can last 7 months a year). You and Patruska can take a cultural outtings to Seattle occasionaly for the foreign films that you can’t rent through Netflix and to visit galleries. That’s what our MT pals do. Good luck with the inspections and getting a reasonable mortgage. Congrats on finding a place to hang your hats!Carrie

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  2. Say, this is wonderful you’ve found a place in the Spokane area that may be your new home. You were sounding rather weary of the house-hunting adventure. The picture of the house is a delight to see. Looks nice and friendly. I’m assuming the house with the white picket fence and the house you bid on are the same place. Right? Is there, by chance, a granny cottage in the rear already built, for Ursula?I think being a greeter at Wall Mart to help pay the mortgage sounds likes a poor choice of employment for you. Although having the Pondering Pig as a welcoming greeter would surely be good for their business. Your talents lie more in the field of writing and thinking and praying, and then writing some more.Looking forward to later updates.

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  3. Maybe you can see that Japanese film you want to see at the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, which is a branch campus in Spokane of the Mukogawa Women’s University in Japan. http://www.mukogawa-u.ac.jp/~kokusai/eng/kok09.htmIt sounds like a nice place to hang out at. This from their home page:”One of the features of the campus is the Japanese Cultural Center. This perpetual exhibition of Japanese cultural objects attracts an increasing number of American visitors and provides motivation for more study of Japan among them. Particularly attractive to local children are various kinds of Japanese folk arts and toys such as koma (top) or kendama (a cup and ball toy), Japanese language, tea ceremony, kumihimo (Japanese way of braid), flower arrangement, and cooking can be studied there. Japanese students serve as conversation partners in Japanese classes and demonstrate other cultural practices, giving them a good opportunity to promote mutual understanding and friendship.”

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