I knew that I was being coaxed by the Oregon Coast. I was not fooled by the fair-weathered winter I spent exploring impossibly lush homesteads under an impossibly embracing southern sun. I bought The Silver Rat’s Nest in February before it had been thusly christened and began clearing brush as the rains came in March. I was not surprised that the coast had its fourth wettest spring in history. I lived through it in a pup tent on my new land as a well-earned penance and had a summer second to none. I fought blackberries while falling in love with a redhead fresh from Michigan. I dug trenches through rock and clay while discovering personal patches of huckleberries and personal points of interest to share with my new partner and a loyal dog that followed me across the country. Oregon accepted me (after a stoic spring survival) and I was well on my way to old age (though perhaps still a ways off) on a hand-forged homestead with a silver-haired redhead. Turns out I hadn’t paid my dues. They were to come in September when Katrina snuck up on friends and family in Louisiana and Mississippi. Grandma died. In October my dog died. The redhead and I broke up and the yurt I bought on Ebay flew away. The truck died. My favorite cherry tree blew over. Shelves of my glass succumbed to the sideways rain. My whole world was wrapped in a delicate skin of tarpaulin that blew with the wind and away. I sought refuge inside the more habitable of my two trailers, packed with my modest treasures like an unloved Egyptian pharaoh in an aluminum tomb. Life’s last beacon of normalcy was in the shop, which could hardly be called a shop and certainly had never been called normal. I parked my two decaying travel-trailers side by side and laid over the intervening space a corrugated tin roof weighted down by whatever ballast could be found. Within that space I had a small glass shop and shelves precariously supporting the vitreous evidence of my equally precarious sanity. I was using silver leaf surfaces in my work on the days the wind was busy elsewhere. And though time was moving in unfamiliar ways I was surely not consuming the silver as quickly as it was disappearing. I learned a lot of things slowly that winter and in such fashion eventually realized that the books of silver lasted longer when locked away evenings. Well, like all bad times they fade into better times and life stubbornly improved as the salmon berries and Indian plum came into bloom. I began spring-cleaning in the same way my friends and family in New Orleans and Mississippi were cleaning. As the mess was cleared away and that which did not sink or fly was tossed or dried, I made my way toward the bowels of my storage… And deep in fetid drawers amongst forgotten and suffering treasures in the dark corner of a Tupperware container I discovered the fanciest irony ever; Whilst I slept alone in mud, filth, and squalor some happy little rat had built a nest made of silver.