I never understood that phrase,Beyond the pale. I thought it meant more than a bucket-full, but now I know better. I looked it up and found that pale is an old word for a stake or a fence made of pales or the safe area within a paling fence.
Now that I understand that, I can move on.
Beyond the Pale, Up the Mountain
I went to an art fair one sweltery summer day. Arleta street had been closed to vehicles and given over to pedestrians. Artists and vendors set their booths up on the sidewalk, musicians played and colorful mingling crowds filled the street. I took my time browsing the wares on the north side of the street, then moseyed back down the south side.
The Pine Tree had rolled up it’s big garage door, opening the bar up to the sidewalk. I spied an empty stool at the bar. I don’t usually go into bars, midday, by myself, but I was hot and thirsty and decided to treat myself to lunch. That’s where I met Val, sitting at the bar. Her son, a talented art student, had a booth at the fair and she had come from the east coast to see him.
We hit it off right away, gabbing like old friends as we ate our sandwiches and drank our drinky-poos. After lunch we hit the street fair together, laughing like crazy as we tried on silly hats and cattily critiqued the bohemian crowd. I met her son and her son’s dog. We exchanged facebook info. I had a new friend.
On her Facebook page I got to see all the touristy things Val had done while in town. Val at the Rose Garden, Val at Multnomah Falls, Val riding the ski-lift up the side of Mt. Hood.
I didn’t know you could ride the ski-lift in the summer. I’d never been a skier, never ridden the lift up the slope of my beloved mountain. I imagined I’d be scared stiff that far above ground, but now I had to do it. I’d lived near that mountain all my life and never seen the view from up there. So, not long after meeting Val, Husband and I rode the ski-lift up Mt. Hood. It was exhilarating! Beautiful! A little bit scary, but I loved it!
If I hadn’t gone beyond the pale, into a bar at midday, alone, I wouldn’t have met my new friend. If I hadn’t met Val, I might never have ridden beyond the pale, up my mountain, higher than I’d ever been before.