Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Aurora, Illinois

Dinner at my second couch-surfing house in Aurora, Illinois. My hosts were a lovely couple whose children have since grown up and have lives of their own. The house was nicely decorated and Jeanne had a million stories for me. We talked for hours. She's hosted dozens of surfers and goes out of her way to help them. She has an infectious personality, ripe with ambition and exciting projects--she starts art walks and flea markets, and she might be starting a nonprofit bookstore soon.

The stuffed iguana on the wall in my room.

These are just a few potted plants hanging on the fence. There was an enormous garden in the yard. Jamie (spell?), Jeanne's husband, had different areas for the herbs (sage, lemon thyme, basil, etc), flowers and more. He named every plant for me, and although I couldn't get them all down, I did write a few in my notebook. He also had some rhubarb growing and let me try a bite. It was the texture of celery with a bitter taste.

Jeanne walked by this picture many times before someone got it for her. It's one of the worst paintings I've seen-- "look at the watch!" she told me. She calls this the picture with the "eggplant boobs."

This morning we heard the tornado siren. I think this is one of them. Jeanne said it's just the monthly test. The sound is like a glass tapped by a metal utensil with that long, high-pitched after-sound, but louder and it goes from high to low and back again. When she had dogs, they used to howl with the siren and she'd step out onto the deck and howl with them.

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