We went with our friends Sue and George to check out the Lavender Festival in Sequim this weekend; you know, the banana belt of the northwest; that place where the sun always shines.
It was about 65 degrees, and looked and felt like a December day in Seattle. Most people were bundled up like Nanook of the North.
The drive over to Sequim is always a pleasant one, assuming you know where you're going, and we almost did. George drove. Having been to Sequim before, a few years back, we knew the way, or most of it. The ladies chatted away in the back seat while George and I did the same up front.
We rolled into Sequim, unsure where the main tents were set up for the festival, when one of the women said, "Why don't you just pull into this gas station and ask?"
When George and I were able to breathe again, I looked around and said, "Why don't you just ask us to demasculinize ourselves? Ask directions? Is there an exhaust leak back there?"
As it turned out, just a tad farther down the road, there was a junk - I mean, collectibles dealer on the side of the road, and that attracts George like flies to... never mind.
So we stopped to look, the ladies asked directions, and as it turned out, we began our journey into lavender land right there with a lavender mocha from a nearby store. It was tasty, made with good Mexican chocolate and infused with lavender. We cussed a little just to reinforce our manhood.
I had no idea that you could do so many things with lavender. There were bouquets of dried lavender, potpourri of lavender, lavender soap, hand cream, body cream, oil for various activities and parts of the body, shampoo and bath products - all things that seem to send women into a frenzy of sniffing, testing and buying. It apparently affects them the way chromed metal objects affect men.
There was one booth with lavender jelly, offering bagels with not only the lavender jelly on them, but if you liked, spread with a goat cheese that was infused with lavender. We now have an 8-ounce jar of lavender jelly.
There were booths with the kind of jewelry, handcrafts and artwork you expect at street fairs, stitchery, paintings of lavender and food booths, with some using lavender in their food preparations.
To say that a man standing in a sea of lavender is like a duck on a bicycle, feeling more than a little out of his element, probably qualifies as one of the monumental understatements of all time.
You wander from booth to booth, making eye contact with the proprietor who kindly says hello, knowing that you have little or no idea what you're looking at and that there's a snowball's chance in hell you'll buy anything unless your wife comes along.
After a couple of hours your eyes glaze over, and you shuffle along with your hand on your wallet like a quick-draw gunfighter, waiting for your wife to say, "Honey! Come look at this!"
So, reeking of lavender and with a trunk load of gifts for children, grandchildren and a couple of goodies for the wives, we caught the ferry back to Seattle. This may not be an annual trek for us, but it was fun, and may need to be repeated in 20 or so years.[[In-content Ad]]