Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 29, 2016 small town America, and a parade!

Main St. Cashmere
We’re spending a few days in eastern Washington, taking in some of the delights of a small town. This includes of course, a parade! No marching bands, but there were fire engines and some floats. 

We were invited to a BBQ at a friend of our friend to enjoy some food and friendship before the parade and then root beer floats afterwards. It was a good time. They had a beautiful home and garden, complete with a miniature train in one corner of the front garden.

looking east towards Cashmere

Before the parade, I hiked up through the Peshastin Pinnacles. I have driven by that state park probably a hundred times and always told myself that someday I would do that hike. I’m glad to get that out of my system. It was a rocky climb up one side and then not much more than a game trail on the down hill side.The views were worth the climb. It is a beautiful, rich valley. I can see the attraction to living here, it’s just not to my taste. I am grateful for those who live here and grow the bounty of fruit for the market. Apples, pears, cherries, melons, nectarines and peaches are just a few of the crops grown here. It’s a way of life, just like farmers in the midwest who grow the wheat and corn, sorghum and soy. Everything revolves around the agriculture. 

looking west towards Dryden. My grandparents home in the distance at the base of the mountains on the left.

Pinnacle Peak
Given free rein, it is possible to eat too many cherries.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 28, 2016 Highway 20 eastbound

Liberty Bell
Jay and I stayed at Diablo one more night after taking Austin back home. That was definitely enough driving for Jay for one day. I stayed at camp, resting and taking a short hike up to the dam. That's always nice. 

We headed east Thursday morning over Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway, part of the Cascade Loop scenic drive. This is a drive where you want to take your time to enjoy the scenery and stop at the overlooks. We especially wanted to make the stops because we aren't sure when we'll be back this way again.

Washington Pass overlook

The Washington Pass overlook parking area was open so we pulled in. Plenty of room in the parking lot on a weekday,  I'm sure the weekends it gets pretty busy. The weather was fine, mostly clear with a few puffy clouds to offset the mountain peaks. There isn't very much snow on the mountain tops even though there was more this past winter than in previous years. Is there global warming? Pretty sure that receding glaciers are an indication of something going on in our atmosphere.

Winding our way downhill to Winthrop, no stopping there in that little tourist town, we took a break in Carlton which is just a wide spot with a general store. We eventually made our way to Cashmere, on the sunny side of the mountains, where we'll spend some time visiting and relaxing.

Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016 A walk in the woods

 We took off from Whatcom County on Monday, June 20th. We spent the weekend relaxing with our hosts, Rhys and Natalie. The weather was cool and damp so there was no golf, which was fine. We all needed some rest, especially Rhys since he is working out of town and has a long drive every weekend.

We convinced our grandson, Austin, to come with us for at least a few days. We wanted him to come with us for 10 days, for another summer adventure. But 2 days was enough for him this time. 

Monday when we were just about ready to hit the road, someone(not mentioning any names here but it wasn’t me or Austin) left the screen door open and Toby took that opportunity to bolt into the woods. I had to have the guys sit away from the trailer if there was to be any hope of us leaving by noon. Toby gets pretty skittery around men and people he doesn’t know very well and he was also in no hurry to get back in the trailer with the potential of movement. After about an hour he started making moves towards the door, so I got out a can of food and coaxed him close to me so I could get a hold of him and put him inside. And away we go!
The drive was nice, Highway 20 is a beautiful scenic road. We stopped in Newhalem for a picnic lunch, then Austin and I walked the Trail of the Cedars. Grandpa really didn’t want to cross over the suspension bridge. I like to share these experiences with Austin, to show that walking in the woods can be a pleasant thing to do. I think he’s starting to get it. He doesn’t show it much that he enjoys it, but I get a sense that there’s something about it that he likes. 
For me it is hard to put words to what walking in the woods or in nature feels like. It’s something that a person needs to experience for themselves and take away from that what it feels like for them. I am always in awe of what I discover, the lichen growing on rocks, the many different forms of fungi, from mushrooms to growths that sprout up like miniature forests. Tiny woodland or desert flowers, trees struggling for sunlight to become towering giants that protect the forest. The sound of the water running in a stream and the sight of the waterfall carving its way through the rock, creating a moment to pause and reflect. 

And then there is the resting after the hike.

We had a fun two days with Austin. Another hike up to Pyramid Lake. I thought that was kind of a tough hike for people who don’t do a lot of hiking, but it was Jay had a different idea. It's a pretty steep, rocky trail, but worth the effort.

Beautiful waterfalls, 
an occasional sasquatch sighting......

lots of fungus....

and the lake at the end of the trail....

Ross Lake and Diablo Dam
The guys did well, they didn’t make it all the way to the lake with me but came close. They were tired and needed to still climb down, so after a rest with a snack they headed down while I went the rest of the way to the lake before heading down. I took some time to sit quietly by the edge of this small alpine lake. To have some of that time in nature that just feels good.

At the end of the day though, Austin was ready to go home. We told him the invitation would always be open if he wanted to join us another time. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19, 2016 New ink

New ink

Last year when our granddaughter Mariah came to visit us in Arizona she and I had a conversation about getting tattoos. She told me she wanted one but she wasn't yet sure what or where she wanted it to be. I said it's not anything you want to rush in to because it will be with you the rest of your life.

We were floating around in the pool when this all came about, a nice sunny afternoon. I had the idea that it would be fun to get a tattoo with her, but I wasn't sure how she would feel about her grandmother getting the same tattoo as her. So I thought I would just ask her. Her eyes got wide and she said "really? that would be so cool!" Well, we're going to have to wait. Here's why:

last year was she was only 17 and would need both of her parents written permission and we knew that her father would not be agreeable to that. I did call a tattoo studio in Tucson and spoke with a very professional artist who said he would not tattoo anyone under 18 without that explicit permission but I could probably find someone who would. I didn't think that would be a good idea and explained all of this to Mariah and that she was going to have to wait. Of course she was disappointed, but I reminded her that this would give her plenty of time to think about it.

Mariah's new tattoo on her outer right ankle
This spring, after her 18th birthday, I told her she could go to some tattoo studios in Bellingham to talk to the artists about her design and set up an appointment for us. She didn't quite get the courage up to do that and she has a pretty busy schedule for a graduating teenager. So I took on that task. I made contact with a couple of people who were recommended even though I wanted to seek out the guy who had done mine at Chameleon Ink. The other two were booked up, so I went to Chameleon Ink. My guy was booked up too, I was beginning to think this wasn't going to happen while we are in Bellingham. But then, my guy asked his colleague if he was available and he said yes, he happened to have had a cancellation the next day when we wanted to do it. I snapped up that appointment and let Mariah know we were on.
my new ink on my left leg, mid calf

She was late. I was thinking she might chicken out, but she was with her friends having lunch before coming, which was good. I wanted to make sure she had eaten before having the tattoo. Her friends were very sweet and one of them held her hand the whole time. I sat on the table behind her, she liked to have the reassuring pressure of me next to her. I asked her again what significance the sun had for her, because usually when a person gets a tattoo it has some meaning for them. She told me it reminds her of me. I thought that was very sweet. They aren't the same design. She wanted something plain and simple, and I of course wanted something with more flare. But we did it together and they are both suns. For me the significance is inner strength and renewal. Even though our designs are different it is an experience we shared and will always remember.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 18, 2016 What is home?

a:  a familiar or usual setting :  congenial environment; also :  the focus of one's domestic attention (home is where the heart is)
b :  habitat

When we left Green Valley, some people asked if we were going home for the summer, which I thought interesting because I now consider Green Valley my home. But then, when we are traveling, the trailer is my home, wherever it may be, #homeiswhereyouparkit.

There’s the old saying, you can never go home again, from the novel by Thomas Wolfe, “You can’t go home again”

"You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time —back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

I feel like when I go back to the place where I lived for many years, I am not the same person I was when living there. But maybe I am the same and just see things in a new way, kind of like a tourist might see a new town they come to. Or maybe being away has given me a chance to be different. To grow into my authentic self, actually making the changes I said I wanted to make. Move to a new community, meet new people, teach yoga.

Seeing my friends and family, they seem to be doing the same things as before, working, taking care of children, suffering loss. Being here confirms to me that this is not where I want to call home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends here and I called this place home for many years. I worked, played, volunteered in the community, suffered my losses, met my husband, got married, all here in this place that was home. I have friends who supported me through my sad times and celebrated with me good times. But for me, it was time for a change.

I realized that I wanted to change my home. I knew I would be moving away from all that was familiar to me, comfortable and easy, and that the changes would challenge me to look outside that comfort zone. So, I made a plan. I looked around the country for other places to make a home base, I got certified as a yoga instructor, quit my job, sold a house and bought a house and moved 1600 miles to create my new home. There were many changes in those two years, none of which I regret.

I am happy with the choices I made. It wasn’t always easy to make those decisions and a big part of all of the transitions was being patient. Having the patience to wait for the result, waiting for the house purchase to close, waiting for the last day of work, waiting, waiting, waiting. 

I’m the type of person who can make those changes. Accept the unknowns, even the stuff as simple as where to buy groceries and that there aren’t going to be all the things I am used to. Or, where are we going to park the trailer tonight? Will anyone show up to my yoga class? Where do I take my car for an oil change? How do I find a doctor? The way I choose to live my life is not the same as how any one else chooses to live their life and that’s just fine. We can all share our own experiences and be happy for our friends who live their own authentic life. If I happen to inspire someone to have the courage to make a big change, whatever that might be for them to take that leap of faith, to see that it can happen, that would make me very happy for them. 

And just a reminder. I’m not on vacation. This is how I live my life now. Wandering the U.S. with my husband and two cats. This is another one of those mental wanderings. And #homeiswhereyouparkit  May your path cross my threshold wherever that might be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June 14, or is it November?

It’s hard to tell the difference between June and November when it’s this cold. Woke up this morning to 46 degrees and overcast skies. The wind blew all night just like it does in the fall. 

On Saturday, June 11, we took the grandson, Austin, bundled up in layers and went off to the Deming Log Show for the day. I had not been to see the show for about 20 years and I think it was just as cold that time as it was this year. It was the first time for Austin and it is fun to watch all the different competitions, see the big log loads on the trucks, see a lot of old trucks, and eat a bunch of good food.

Some of the competitions are; kids log rolling, and boy was that water cold,

chainsaws attached to small car engines

4 men carried it over there then these two burly guys picked it up
best load of logs, chopping, chainsaw bucking, choker setting, ma and pa bucking, speed climbing, trailer backing, just to name a few. They keep the action going all afternoon so you always have something to watch. We liked the championship speed climbers, they scrambled up and down the 90 foot pole in about 35 seconds. Yes, up and down that fast. Here's a link to the video that Jay took. 

Then there was a clown who climbed up that same pole and did his show on top of the pole. He danced a jig, stood on his head, drop all his gear and ended the show with getting shot off the pole and slid down on a wire like a zip line, all the way to the ground.

Our friend Ole was there. He used to compete in some of the events and now he is one of the honored past participants.

Austin and Marlene
Grandma Marlene was with us too.

There were exhibits of old saws, old trucks, and little trucks.
toy trucks

I think I managed to fill up Austin’s hollow leg. I have always heard that teenage boys can eat a lot, but I don’t spend much time around them so I didn’t really know. He downed a hotdog, most of a bag of kettle corn, a hamburger with some chips, and roast beef and half a bbq chicken. All that after a big pancake breakfast. He did grow 6 inches in the last year so he needs all of that energy to keep growing.

After that long day, we went back to the trailer to get warmed up and rest. We all took a nap then watched ‘Shanghai Knights’ to end the day.

July 28, 2018 It's been a busy month

It’s been a busy month. Brownie at Black Elk Peak aka Harney Peak After we shipped our grandson back home, we rested a little t...