We were driving away from town in our little, red rental car. It looked like a Tonka toy, but we didn’t care. All that mattered was that the car wasn’t white. I detest white cars.
We were heading north on Highway 101, talking about how we wanted to stay on the road forever. Our trip to Forks had been lovely. We had done all the things to do there, but now we were driving back toward reality. We wanted to go north instead. We wanted to drive to the ocean, catch a ferry into Canada, and keep going. We wanted to go and go and go until we came to the end of the world. From there, we’d keep going until we dropped off the edge of the universe.
We were about fifteen miles outside Forks. We hadn’t passed a single car the entire time. The road was flanked with spruce trees. A sign on our right warned us of the upcoming winding road. In the distance, green spruce trees climbed up the side of a hill until they gradually turned white under the snow.
My sister asked me to stop the car so she could take a photo. Outside, the forest was still. My sister set up her equipment and snapped away, the click of her camera jarring the silence.
We climbed back into the Tonka toy and continued home. A sign on the road said Port Angeles was forty miles away, which meant Seattle was only 120 miles away and Los Angeles only a two hour flight.
My sister took other photos during that trip, worthier photos, but the winding road has always been my favorite. Right after the photo was taken, it had begun to snow.
It was the last snowfall of the season.
For more photos from this trip, please see: Landscapes of Forks, La Push, and the Hoh National Rain Forest.
A blog I read regularly (although the author posts far too infrequently) recently posed a sad question: It’s your last day to live. What do you do? Her list is haunting.
I thought a final to do list would be funnier or more outrageous. You’d think that on your last day on this planet you’d want to do something ridiculous like drag-race a cop in the middle of downtown Los Angeles during rush hour or something reckless like go skydiving without first testing your parachute gear. Or maybe do something whimsical like go running with the bulls in Spain. Naked.
As it turns out though, the author of the article would, on her last day here on Earth, do the things she could do on any given day. Funny how that works out.
As for my list:
- Sleep in.
- Have the eggs benedict at Cafe 50’s with my husband.
- Watch a movie and eat lots of popcorn with jalapeños until my stomach hurts. Ask my husband why he let me eat so many jalapeños.
- Grab lunch with my sister and my best friend. Laugh until we all cry.
- Take a nap.
- Futz around the internet, catching up on my favorite celebrity gossip websites.
- Re-read my favorite books.
- Write a letter to my husband.
- Write letters to my parents.
- Write letters to my siblings.
- Write a letter to someone I knew in a past life.
- Throw a dinner party. Invite all my family and friends.
- Invite all my enemies.
- Dance the night away under the starry sky.
- Fall asleep in the arms of my husband while memorizing the sounds of my cats’ purrs.
- Pray that everyone I know and love — and even everyone I don’t — lives a good and happy life.