Monday Monday. 

Worked from mom’s house again, and then headed out to meet Colleen and Jake for dinner.  Our table had a beautiful view overlooking Elliott Bay.  Simply gorgeous. 

 The Great Wheel after sunset:  

 And….. The golden hour:

  

Time capsule.  

We spent a long weekend together – my sisters, brother and me.  Time to empty the house.  We stayed at mom’s house together and shared feelings, memories, and laughs while going through a lifetime of keepsakes and all manner of things. 

A poem I wrote at age 12:

The Tide. 

Pouncing endlessly on the weary, defenseless shore of sand and rocks.  Constantly charging and retreating, high tide or low.  The tide never sleeps, but sometimes weakens to a slow, silent creep. Always bringing in waves that turn into a frothing, white foam.  The shore can never rest from this endless beating; never. 

Yeah.  It’s not Shakespeare. :)  I found a number of my poems – long forgotten.  Ironically many are about some aspect of Nature.  But maybe that’s not ironic after all. 

So much stuff.  Preserved in time for 50+ years.   Birth announcements, funeral prayer cards, decades of pictures, letters, cards, gifts, momentos… points in time defining the lives of my mom and dad and all they held dear. 

1st or 2nd grade, maybe?

  
But I digress.  We made a dent in it and have a garage full of neatly packed bags and boxes for donation, shredding, recycling and trash. 

I spent the day today with Fran and kids – geocaching in what turned out to be a downpour.  We got soaked but found every cache in the park.  At one point we came across 3 big woodpeckers.  They didn’t sit still, so I didn’t get much of a shot.  But, here ’tis.   

I wish you all a peaceful week. 

Playing in paradise.

Monte and I joined 2 of my sisters, brother-in-laws, and 3 nieces/nephews for a weekend of fun on Lake Cushman.  It sits just east of the Olympic mountains in Washington State.  The lake temps were in the 70s and clear, sunny and in the 90’s above.  Just beautiful.  We kayaked, tubed, ran up the lake by motorboat, tried the rope swing, tent camped, played games, and just had a really great time together.

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It’s Friday!

We tried a nice Indian place for dinner.    I loved it.  We took the long way home and waited a half hour watching the sun set behind the Olympics.  Simply gorgeous.  If we waited another 20 minutes it would have been even more amazing.   Stay tuned.  :)

  

One fine day.

Today we set out for a day of crabbing.  What a beautiful day!  Sky was blue.  Sun was out.  We got our fill of crab – both dungeoness and rock crab.  We boiled them up at home and were treated to an exceptional dinner.

At one point during the day, a bald eagle circled right above us for a while, riding the thermals.   This was the best I could capture.  Pretty bird.

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Sláinte. 

Today we celebrated my mom,  and said goodbye.  What an emotional day.   It was a beautiful ceremony.  Lots of family and friends shared the day with us. 

We sent her off with a graveside parting glass.   

I’m a little exhausted.  A little sad.  And very happy to have an angel of mom’s calibre in my corner.  

I’ll leave you with a picture from my sister’s garden, and the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem version of The Parting Glass

 

Sad on the inside, with beauty all around.

I flew back home, again, yesterday.  But this time, my Mom is not here.  God took her back.  It is the sad, but inevitable, end to a wonderful lifetime.  I am proud and oh so happy to be her daughter.   Today we say goodbye and celebrate her life.  ‘Til we meet again, Mom… I love you.

As we approached Seattle, I was treated to beautiful views of the Cascades.  Fires are again raging in Washington, both east and west of the mountains, so the view was a bit hazy.  In this one looking south, Mount Rainier is in the front, center.   Mount Saint Helens is slightly above and to the right of Rainier; the gray, hazy, low peak with no snowcap.  The leftmost peak is Mount Adams.  And between Adams and Rainier, in the distance, you can faintly see Mount Hood.

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A fanfare ending to a family reunion extravaganza.

For the last week and a half, Monte and I hosted his family’s bi-annual reunion.   We started out with a big 3-day weekend, enjoying reconnecting and having fun at the house and in the backyard with 21 of our relatives that came from pretty much every corner of the country.  Then, for the next week, ten of the family that could stay longer came to stay with us at the house.   We packed it with as much food and fun as we could.   It was really a special, wonderful time.   Sailing, floating, grilling, cornhole, homemade pasta, bimini ring game, barbeque, card games, homemade pizza, geocaching, karaoke, low-country boil, gardening, sno-cones, sightseeing, even taking part in our neighborhood’s 4th of July parade.  Over the last few days, our party dwindled until it was just four of us yesterday.   We set out for the lake and sailed to Starnes Island to anchor up and watch the fireworks show.  It didn’t disappoint.  We squeezed every bit of fun out of the time spent with everyone.

Today we said goodbye to the last two revellers.   It’s just our flock now.  The house is quiet.

I leave you with two shots from the fireworks last night — here’s to family!

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Afternoon excursion.

We dashed out to Mayfield Park today to see the peacocks and the pretty grounds, found a geocache, and then climbed atop Mount Bonnell to enjoy the view.

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A nice day, indeed.

Whoa, Nellie. 

I took a walk around the hood tonight to hit my step target. And I came across this little lady who was very wary of me.   I said hi, took a picture and kept moving on down the road.  I’d like to think that she has a similar snap of me.