When Sadie woke up from her nap today she asked to go bye-bye. My one-year-old gets cooped up too. Since the boys were out in the country, I didn't have a vehicle, so my bye-bye options were somewhat limited to where our chevrolegs wanted to take us. We went for a walk on middle beach. Sadie was perfectly happy to run around there and pick up rocks, and roll in the sand, even though that meant I had to pick a cigarette butt out of her hair (gag) but on the walk home through Front Street I felt bad for the first time that this shabby looking town is all I have to show my kid. Sadie points her pudgy little fingers at a pile of decomposing refrigerators that are lined up in a litter-strewn alley between two falling down houses. I'm trying to give her some kind of an adjective, because she wants to know what everything is these days. "Junk." That's the best I could do. Front St. in Nome is decaying. The ever-prevalent wind is scouring the exterior off the buildings, the sidewalk is streaked with hawked loogies, spilled beer and expired cigarettes. Even though it's 5pm on Sunday there are plenty of people staggering around more than a few sheets gone. They are laughing really loudly, and ridiculously, which Sadie then immitates in her childish way, which is sad because she is trying to comprehend funny, and that laughing really isn't funny.
I know this is part of my love-hate relationship with Nome... as in I LOVE the surrounding country, and the awesome friends we have here (truly some amazing people) but I HATE the town of Nome itself. Seriously. I cried the first time I saw it.
Dear Sadie, If I could redo our bye-bye this afternoon I would have us wake up in Edinburgh, or somewhere else like that. Somewhere old, but clean. We would stay at an inauspicious pension, or maybe a tiny bed and breakfast owned by a sweet snowy haired lady with a thick accent that's just a little to hard to understand. We could go for a walk on old cobblestone streets that are so worn from foot traffic that you wouldn't trip over them too much. When our legs got tired we would pop into a cafe and I would be so delighted to find a really strong cup of espresso, and a raisin scone for you. We'd take our snack to a park, where there would be a fountain and some grass for you to run around on. You would feed the crumbs from your scone to the pigeons. If we were lucky, we might even see a police officer on a horse. You would probably really like to see a horse. I don't know what else we would do...admire the magnificent, towering castles, maybe just walk around and people watch--look into shop windows at all kinds of different curiosities, go eat dinner in a place that has comfy vintage chairs and warm yellow light filtering through prismatic lead crystal. When our eyes had finally seen enough new things for one day, we could retire to our accommodations and fall fast asleep under a fluffy, white feather-down comforter that still smells just a little bit like the sunshine soaked up on an afternoon clothesline.
Now that would be a bye-bye I could feel proud of. So it's midnight and I am travelocity-ing tickets from Anchorage to Edinburgh, and guess what? $345! That is less than a plane ticket from Nome to Anchorage. Maybe when Loren gets home from this most recent hunting excursion I'll convince him that Sadie and I really need to go bye-bye to Scotland.