Monday, February 25, 2008

What a Small World

Sunrise in Napier

The drive from Napier to Wellington is about 5 hours through magnificent farming and grazing country. The farms with all their sheep and cows seem to be very prosperous. With my luck as a deer slayer, I noticed a lost sheep wandering on the verge of the highway. I did miss it. They don’t seem to attack like deer! The country seems very much like central northern California until you cross a very rugged windy pass over the mountains into Wellington. Traffic was held up for a while for a motorcycle accident. Obviously taking the curves too fast!

About three hours into the drive, it was time for our usual cappuccino mid morning stop. We were in Masterton, the home of the World Championship Sheep Shearing Festival. We didn’t see any obvious coffee place and got worried we would be out of town without the required rest stop. At the south end of town there was a little shopping village called Kuripuni Village and we noticed the “The Village Grinder.” No stinking Starbuck’s for us – we go with the natives.

The very welcoming cashier (I think the two ladies were responsible for the baristering-hmm a new word) asked us the opening gambit of where we were from. We are usually pretty vague to avoid being classified with the “other Washington”, so we just say near Seattle. Richard introduced his wife Annie and advised us they had previously lived on Whidbey Island operating an organic market garden. Richard was from the Masterton (Wairarapa region) area so he was returning home after 25 years, but Annie was from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Well, that let us get into more specifics about where we were from and they had enjoyed Lake Chelan in their Washington days. Richard asked if I knew a lawyer in Wenatchee by the name of Charles Steinberg. Of course I know Charles. He was an old acquaintance of Richard and Annie. As I have the Chelan County Bar Association member’s information on my thumb drive, I have sent off an email to Charles and hopefully they will be able to renew their friendship. We bought some of their coffee and it is excellent as we had some this morning. When we left Richard and Annie Bibby encouraged us to return next weekend for the Sheep Shearing Championships. We may very likely do that. Sooo-if you are ever in Masterton, stop into The Village Grinder for a great home town chat and find out what a small world it really is.

Quirky Driving Note: As we came to an infrequent stop light on the way into Wellington, there was a large sign that said – Stop on the red, end of bloody story.

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