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Yesterday was my set up day. I started with a long walk through the woods in Camas. Then showered, packed and drove the 101.4 miles to the front door of my little cottage in Gearhart. I was really nervous when I unlocked the door with the key that had a seashell dangling from it. I hoped the pictures on the web were accurate and up-to-date. ¬†What if there was bad juju in there? You can’t see that in a picture, you have to feel it.

Click. Turned the nob. Oh, wow. My own tiny little piece of writer’s heaven. A gas wood stove that is controlled by the thermostat – which admittedly took me a loooonggg time to figure out. A kitchen stocked with champagne glasses for celebration. Upstairs, my bed tucked away in a loft like room with fabulous sheets and a big down comforter. The bathroom has a pedestal sink and a shower that looks like you’re standing on stones from the beach and one of those giant shower heads that is meant to feel like rain. Oh, and when I got my key from the owner she told me that in the garage there are bikes, and kites and clam guns. Perfect. Perfect.

I set up shop. My flip chart, pens, favorite books, Santa Fe candle, flying pig for good luck. Rearranged the furniture so I could pull the table from the kitchen and plop in smack dab in the middle of the living room facing the front windows, wood stove warming my back.

I walked 2 blocks down to the beach to say goodnight to the ocean. There were only a few people strolling along the shore. It truly is a recession. Two little kids were slinging handfuls of sand into the surf. I watched them for a good long time wondering what was going through their minds. Were they trying to exert their power over the breaking waves? Why sand and not rocks? It was wet send so it kind of threw like a rock….I wasn’t much of a rock thrower as a kid. I was trying to have this deep writer’s moment, just being there and observing. And finally just thought, weird little kids. I shrugged, took a deep long breath of the salt air and walked back.

This morning I had to start my day with a big cup of joe. There’s a coffee pot in my kitchen but it’s the sad Mr. Coffee that has seen better days. I noticed a bakery when I drove through town last night. Sadly, the bakery is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – during Spring break. Again, hard times. But then I saw it. Pop’s. It’s a candy store with a glowing espresso sign in the window. Works for me.

I opened the door and the familiar bell rung – the kind that is tied to the door knob. Ahhhh….there’s nothing like a candy store where they actually make the candy. Think about it. You walk into a See’s or a Godiva and you smell the mall. You walk into Pop’s and you smell nirvana. I ordered my coffee and saw a fresh plate of scones. The Pop’s girl said, seeing me eye them, “They’re fresh and still warm.” That’s cross-selling people.

I just ate, and I’m not kidding, the best scone on the planet. You know how some scones leave kind of a weird film in your mouth? Not this one. And it was layered with lemon curd. I am ready.

Thanks for listening and for all the messages of encouragement you’ve sent already. Here we go!

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March 2010