[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Story (one word added)

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 09:21:29 -0700

On Jul 24, 2011, at 9:18 AM, David Ritchie wrote:

> The mountain people who make Etivaz cheese proved wonderfully generous.  They 
> offered us all things sweet and rich and fat.  High above Chateau d'Oex--try 
> pronouncing that--where M.C. Escher spent time, the day begins with sugar'd 
> cereal and cream so thick it has to be spooned.  It's like eating meringues 
> for breakfast.  
> They make coffee, but the traditional drink is very sweet tea, flavored with 
> herbs and cooked over an open fire.  I've no idea what their dental bills are 
> like, but they're not fat people; when you work from dawn to dusk, your body 
> makes little attempt to store calories. 
> I gave her a painting, my usual clumsy work.  The wife told me of an artist 
> who would knock on the door of the chalet to buy cheese, cream, eggs.  One 
> day she asked to see what he'd done.  Because what she saw didn't look like a 
> photograph, she naively asked whether the painting was naive. The artist took 
> umbrage.  Probably wasn't Escher.  I said she could call my work anything she 
> wished.
> Making cheese over a wood fire at an elevation where you sometimes get a 
> dusting of snow in July, the people have views...also views.  "Woods," the 
> father said, "must be managed like women; if you aren't careful, they go 
> wild."  
> All five daughters married before they reached twenty five.  It is the son 
> who will inherit.
> Before breakfast every day there was a reading.  On Bastille Day the theme 
> was, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."  While these are fine notions, God is 
> many times more important.
> A visiting Canadian described how GPS has changed the way they do everything 
> on his farm, and how cows are kept inside all day because otherwise the milk 
> "tastes grassy."  Swiss cows still exit the byre with bells around their 
> necks, chickens roam the meadow, but the poor pigs are kept in a dark hut 
> their whole lives through.  
> They make great sausage. 
> Scientists somehow measured flavors in versions of the cheese made at the 
> lower elevations, at the middle elevations and those elevations reached only 
> in high summer.  As cows move up the hill and their diet comes to include 
> flowers and new kinds of plant, flavors multiply exponentially.  If you were 
> you buy straight from the caves therefore, you might specify a cheese made in 
> July or August.
> To see this all in person, just call.  They've all got cells.
> David Ritchie,
> Portland, 
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