In last week’s post, I mentioned my college journal and how I failed at recording true events. One blogger commented — Claudette from To Search and To Find — that I should fill in the blanks now and not bother with the facts.
I like the way she thinks.
About the same time, Husband sent me a link for a nude restaurant in London.
No, we’re not planning a trip to London. I think he just likes to keep our options open.
This is a long way of explaining why I suddenly remembered an event from my college days – a factual event – worthy of a journal entry if ever there was one. What follows is that event.
There were about a dozen of us, all students from northern Arizona, headed to San Diego for a long weekend.
No, it wasn’t that kind of weekend.
We were part of the campus ministry, meaning we were a bunch of Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists, and we were staying at the campus ministry center at San Diego State.
As far as we knew we’d be the only ones there, as it was Labor Day weekend. We arrived late, unpacked our items, and decided to sleep in the backyard as indoors was stifling hot.
I woke up early, before anyone else, because I heard the sound of running water. I sat up, trying to figure out where it was coming from.
The yard was big. There was a full-size pool on one side, a volleyball net strung across the middle where we slept, and on the other side of the yard, about 50 feet from us, was a dilapidated green house and two outdoor showers.
A man was using one and if there was a curtain, he didn’t bother closing it. His back was to me. Then he turned.
I watched him for awhile, in silence. Then laid back down to sleep.
In the morning I asked the only bearded man in our group (his name was Ben) if he happened to take a shower outside earlier.
“There’s a shower outside?” he asked. I let the matter drop.
We spent the day at the beach, had a great time, came back to change. One of the girls wanted to lay out her swimsuit to dry. She walked out the patio door. We heard a small shriek and she came back in almost immediately.
“They’re naked,” she told us.
“Who is?” we asked. I was one of five girls in the kitchen. Two ran to the patio door and peeked through the curtain.
“I don’t know who they are, but they’re in the pool and they’re all naked!”
The two girls shrieked with laughter. The rest of the group joined us and heard the story. Several began taking turns at the curtain.
“Does one of them have a beard?” I asked the first girl.
“I’m wondering if the guy I saw earlier is out there.”
Someone suggested I look. I declined.
I mean, watching a guy in an outdoor shower is one thing, but peering at him from behind a curtain? That’s just rude.
“I didn’t look at their faces!” the girl pointed out.
“Oh… well, his penis was kind of–”
“You saw a naked guy and didn’t tell us?” another girl asked, sounding hurt. “When did you see him?”
“This morning. He was taking a shower outside.”
Bearded Ben laughed. “You thought it was me?”
“You saw Ben naked?” someone asked.
Seriously, these people have a hard time focusing.
Someone confirmed the presence of Bearded Man.
By this time a more emotionally mature member of our group demanded an end to all voyeuristic behavior.
This more emotionally mature member would come to be known as Husband.
Someone suggested that anyone who swims naked in a backyard pool must realize that others will watch them.
Future Husband said if that was so, then they should go outside and watch them openly. Maybe sit on the patio with their drinks.
No one took him up on that.
Just then, one of the naked men (no beard) came in with a towel wrapped around his waist. As he talked, one by one, the other members of our group left the kitchen, stifling giggles.
Soon it was only me, Future Husband, and Semi-Naked Guy left.
I found Future Husband fascinating. He’s so emotionally mature!
We learned from Semi-Naked Guy that they were a social justice, environmental group, made up of four men, two women, and one child. They stayed at the center when it wasn’t being used, taking care of it in return for rent.
Future Husband and I exchanged a look. In Flagstaff, we’d call these people Granolas. Extra crunchy.
Semi-Naked Guy apologized for startling us, but they had no idea we were coming. “We never bother with clothes when we’re here,” he said, “but if it’s a problem, we can put some on.”
Future Husband told him that while he and I didn’t have a problem with it, he couldn’t vouch for everyone. “Some of them are young,” he said, “and very immature.”
Semi-Naked Guy nodded, saying he’d talk it over with his group. He started for the door, then turned back.
“One more thing,” he said. “I hope you’re not planning on cooking any meat while you’re here?”
Future Husband’s eyes narrowed. “Why? Is there a problem with the stove?”
“No, it’s just that we’re vegetarians,” Semi-Naked Guy explained, “and we find the smell of burning flesh very offensive. It actually makes us physically ill.”
Here’s something I came to learn about Future Husband: He’s a pretty tolerant guy. He doesn’t care about your politics, whether you’re liberal or conservative. It’s fine by him and makes for lively discussion. Want to walk around naked? Fine by him. No problem.
Only don’t take away his burger.
Semi-Naked Vegetarian Guy backed out the door. “I’ll just go and tell the others to get dressed,” he said.
Future Husband nodded. I think a vein in his neck was throbbing. He turned to me, shook his head, and left the room.
That evening, we had a cookout on the beach.
We started dating the next week.
The fun thing about making your own granola is that you have free rein to add anything you want. Just keep the dry and wet proportions the same, and you should be fine.
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds, or nuts of choice
- 1/4 cup chopped pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 Tablespoons protein powder (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a small saucepan, mix together applesauce, almond butter and syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is fully incorporated and smooth. Remove from heat, stir in extracts.
Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix together, stirring well until everything is coated. Taste – if you want to add more salt, now’s the time to do it. Spread onto baking sheet.
Bake at 325° for 10 minutes, stir, then bake for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat but don’t open oven door. Leave granola in oven for another 5 minutes (this helps the crunchy factor). Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in air-tight container.