Omak – Revisited

I took my daughter, Autumn, to my hometown, Omak, Washington, this weekend. It was the annual stampede and suicide race (which we did not attend!) We did however visit family, swim in Omak Lake and go to the carnival.

I am quite ambivalent about Omak. In my mind growing up was painful and I mostly wanted to “off” myself. School sucked the life out of me. I mean, I love to learn and Ms. V. saved me from certain peril with “Anna Karenina” but the amount of harassment you must put up with in school is ridiculous. It’s a good thing I didn’t have access to weaponry.

But this trip, for one of the first times ever, I thought Omak was beautiful and I was reminiscent and wanted my daughter to share some of my experiences as a child. The four hour drive from Seattle to Omak was magnificent. It was so green for Eastern Washington (due to smoke cover from wild fires), the sun was on it’s way down as we came into town and Autumn didn’t give us much of a fight on the way (thanks to Aunt Britt. in the back seat.)

Our punk rock soundtrack as we made tracks on the land:

(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone by the Sex Pistols

A New England by Billy Bragg

Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers

Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones

Babylon’s Burning by The Ruts

Behind the Wall of Sleep by The Smithereens

Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones

Bob Pills by The Cramps

Borstal Breakout by Sham 69

Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure

and as Autumn says, “hey ho, let’s go, hey ho, lets go!” She loves The Ramones.

The next morning we went to Omak Lake (healing waters.) This was my spot as a kid. This is where I collected all my freckles from burns so severe I had blisters and shivers. This is where I learned to swim by visualizing that I could swim all the way up to the lake and then, lo and behold, I could swim. This is where I skipped school and smoked pot. This is where I jumped off a fifty foot cliff into shallow water and survived and felt like the all powerful woman I am.

I had to take my baby girl for a visit:

And then we trekked to le ol’ carnival. It’s creepy and scary and filthy-dirty and if you go backwards on the carousel you might just end up in another era (thanks Ray Bradbury.)

As Autumn twirled on the flying airplanes and rode the mini dragon roller coaster all on her own without reaching for me even once, I realized, hmm, we are actually two different people and she can do things on her own and actually enjoys doing things on her own. Do other mother’s have this epiphany? Autumn has never really been away from me in her three years on the planet and I think I have myself convinced that she only exists when she’s hanging onto some part of my body – but I’m WRONG. I watched this beautiful, independent person, chat with other kids, ride with her hands in the air and not even think about her mama. What do I know?

So, we’re back on the road this morning, “heading for another joint,” I mean heading for home. I feel more at peace with my childhood by living it more peacefully through my child. (I hope that’s not a bad thing.)

“Hey ho, let’s go, hey ho, let’s go!”

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