In Bloodroot by Amy Greene, Byrdie Lamb says, “The soles of my feet used to itch at night and Myrtle claimed it meant my feet would walk one day on foreign ground.” When I was young, my feet would itch like crazy. I didn’t know why then, but I’ve come to understand my allergies had a lot to do with it. Though as a metaphor, the thought works. I guess I’ve always had the itch to go places I’ve never been.
I’ve been on foreign soil three times in my life. My husband and I went to Ixtapa, Mexico on our honeymoon. That was many, many years ago. A hurricane blew through there a few years after we married and cracked the resort we stayed in right down the middle. I haven’t had the itch to go back there again.
Then, a few years later, we took a cruise. The only port of call was Nassau in the Bahamas. This should have been a nice, little duty-free adventure, but our timing was priceless as usual, and the good shops were closed for Good Friday. Funny, I’ve never had the urge to go back there either.
When I was just a little thing, I had a Viewmaster. It looked a lot like a pair of binoculars. There were slides that you pushed into a slot and a lever that turned the slide, so you could view different pictures through the eyeholes. My favorite slide was one of Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State. Perhaps my second favorite was one of Victoria, British Columbia, in Canada. A few years ago, my family flew to the Pacific Northwest and then we took a ferry to Victoria. It was a dream come true, because I always wanted to see those scenes that were on my Viewmaster. I cried. Yeah, I want to go back to Mt. Rainier.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live somewhere else with another life, different circumstances. My daydreams have been awesome. I guess that’s why I write, to get all that daydreaming about other places and other situations out of my system. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life, right where I’m at with the people I’m with. But writing gives me an outlet for my overactive imagination.
I think it’s no coincidence my first published story is set in Washington State. Snow White and the Seven Dogs is set in the heart of apple country near Yakima. Yeah, I went back there in my mind. Maybe it’s not itchy feet, but an itchy mind I have.