Greetings from Seattle

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Days

The days are lazy now. Temps in the mid 70's to low 80's are perfect.

When we get going in the mornings, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, we go for our exercise walk. We are doing about 3.25 miles these days, a little less than we used to. Recovery time is longer now. 

After I shower off the sweat, I try to keep moving for a while. I might go out into the garden to pick flowers and arrange them for the house. 
 Wednesday I picked our first bouquet of sweet peas. Oh, the fragrance!
 Old pitchers hold dahlias, butterfly bush,and cosmos for the family room. 

Flowers for the downstairs bathroom include a star gazer lily. More wonderful fragrance. 
Thursday morning our walk was later, but afterwards, I took my bucket and snippy scissors out into the garden to deadhead roses and dahlias and whatever catches my eye. 

What also catches my eye are the butterflies flitting and dancing over the flowers, not willing to land for my camera to capture, and the bees buzzing about in the poppies. 

I smell the sweet peas and are drawn to the color of the lilies and clematis. 

 Poppies pop and sunflowers nod.
 What's that! Not a butterfly! A dragonfly!
 I take time to stroll down the path to the deck, and find a chickadee drinking in the birdbath, and keeping an eye on that other guy sitting there. 

Friday's job will be to clean out and refresh the bird baths. 
 We have been watching the Republican Convention in the evenings, and during the late morning and afternoon, we do a lot of reading and analysis: New York Times Opinion Page articles, Facebook links, newspaper articles. I share a few that I really like, much to the displeasure of some of my FB friends, I'm sure, but I really do consider truth to be important, and not too much of that has been on display lately. 
 Josy emerges from her long morning nap and joins us on the cool concrete of the patio. She likes to hang out with us. 
Friday we'll go to breakfast with friends, and hopefully get a walk in afterwards, if it is cool enough. Saturday we'll go to a couple of open gardens and then I'll do some cooking for Sunday. 

Sunday we'll travel down I-5 to join in on a family reunion, a cabin meeting and a 70th birthday party for my sister Laurie. 

On Monday we'll slow down again. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Birthday Monday

On Monday of my birthday escape to the island, we were all just sort of doing our own thing. Breakfast was eat-what-you-want. I had my bowl of cereal and fruit on the deck overlooking the lagoon.
With the low tide continuing, the kids ended up on the beach again, and Tom and I went for a walk on the beach road. 
 Sunlight Beach Road runs down the middle of the sand spit that divides Useless Bay, part of Puget Sound, from Deer Lagoon and wetlands. On the bay side the properties are double the value as those on the lagoon side. There is a mix of older properties and newer, modest to mansions.

This one just says "At the beach". 
 Above ground septic drain fields are now being required for new builds and remodels. This one wins my award for best plantings. 

 This is one of the newest homes, build on the edge of the wetlands. It's huge and lovely and lonely. I have never seen anyone there to enjoy it. 

 As we were walking the previous evening Irene announced that we needed to make our shed look more like this one,
 with windows that open, window boxes, a sky light, a metal roof, and a weather vane. Well, we could manage the weather vane, I guess. She does think it would improve business for her flower shop, which she sometimes runs out of our shed. 
 Looking down the beach from a side road at the base of the hill. 
 And at the base of the hill, we turned around. We weren't up for a hill climb that morning. 
 A few older cabins still remain, all with improvements from the originals. The apple trees give you an idea that they have been here quite a while. 

 Newer means bigger and fancier. 

 For as long as we have been coming here there have been horses.

 However the stable has been vastly upgraded! There is an apartment on the top level. 
 This classic home has not changed in the almost 50 years I have known it. 

 The left side of this funny little cabin is the original. The tower is a new addition. 
 Here is the access to the dike trail along the lagoon. 

 There is always construction these days - newer and bigger and higher. 
 Our cabin is now 11 years old, having replaced a ramshackle old cabin that was a beach original. 
 Across the road the Stover cabin is still an original, one of the few left. It sits next to the public beach access
 Where we met these two beach bums. 
Tom and I did a little gardening and puttering, Jill went out on the beach with Isaac, and the girls spent time at the beach and on their phones. 

We all got together around lunch time, and then after lunch we drove to Langley, where we checked out the village and had ice cream in the park, sitting on the Reeder memorial benches, placed there in honor of Tom's parents, who retired to Langley and spent their final years there.  

 The old Langley fire station is now a glass blowing studio. 

 Surprisingly, we didn't get lattes at Useless Bay Coffee Company or candy at Sweet Mona's. Maybe next time. 

 The whale center wasn't open.

 And there were no whales to be found at the whale watching platform. 
Back at the cabin we read and the kids played games and spent time on their phones. When the tide was high there was boating on the lagoon. 

 We enjoyed another dinner together, a short walk on the road, a little more birthday cake, and then it was time for Tom and me to return home.

Since returning home, we have managed to fill the time without accomplishing much. It is high summer, and time to slow down.