A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
Last weekend I hiked a couple miles through the county grounds, stalking the rhubarb that still grows, despite all odds, behind the Eschweiler buildings. It's a lot more difficult than it was when I wrote about it here in my first blog entry in June 2006:
I pick bouquets of rhubarb from the abandoned garden plots . . . Pies, cakes, breads and muffins ensue. The world is good when there is rhubarb pie in it.
And that’s how I discovered the disappearance of the tennis courts and emergence of silt fence markers across from Hansen Golf Course.
Bottom line, in case you don’t know, is that a huge retention pond shaped like a reproducing amoeba will cover the old county nursery--one of the prettiest places in the county—behind the tennis court area. You may not have seen it because walking there has been perhaps a tad illegal. . .
How much has changed since then. The nursery is completely obliterated. I suppose traipsing is even more illegal now than it was then. Plastic fences in trash-bag black and orange mesh have been strung along the silt fence markers. And the roads have been dug out, their entries chained, to make it hard for the scavengers in SUVs to poach wild asparagus and domestic rhubarb. It all seems a little extreme.
The retention ponds are in, though still not finished. You can walk around them now and wonder if they will ever look like something other than craters left by strip mining or meteors. But walking into the landfill is even worse. The great views from almost any vantage point are gone. No matter where you stand, you can only see a short distance before your sight line is interrupted by another odd mound. It's like no terrain I've ever encountered: defensive berms everywhere, with nothing to defend.
Was this the plan? Or was the dirt just dumped anywhere? If so, it will have to be completely regraded for any use that might be made of it. And that will cost more money.
The rhubarb, though thin (it's late this year), was good and made a splendid pie. Something lives, still, on the edges of the desolation. I hope more will creep in: it will make the place less creepy.