The cabin on Whidbey Island is on property Tom's family has owned for about 50 years. In 2005 we replaced the old rustic cabin with this modern one.
Through all those years, we have celebrated birthdays and weddings and achievements and annual family reunions here with the extended family that this special place belongs to.
Tom and I fell in love one summer day here in 1968. We spent our honeymoon here. We watched the moon landing here in 1969. We brought our babies here to vacation. We learned of Tom's grandmother's passing while we were here. We sprinkled the ashes of Tom's cousin and later her son here after their untimely passing. There are so many stories.
We added to those stories this past weekend.
Tom and I arrived at the cabin about mid afternoon on Friday so we could get the heat on and start warming the place up. It has been very cold this past week, with temperatures usually not reaching above freezing.
Jill and the kids arrived about 6:30 to find warmth and dinner on the table. We settled in and played games late into the evening.
Saturday morning there was a skin of ice on the lagoon, but the sky was incredibly clear.
We had breakfast together and then went first to Bayview to a Christmas market in the old grange hall and then on to Langley for the Christmas Parade.
The bagpipe band is my favorite part of this short, funky parade.
Then we shopped in the village, including a stop at the Chocolate Flower Farm
We listened to the bagpipes as they played in the little park,
enjoyed the view,
and posed on the Bud and Bernice Reeder memorial benches.
Back at the cabin, we had lunch, played outside for a little while, and I went for a cold walk.
The ice rimming the lagoon was thicker as this was the coldest day yet.
Inside Irene had set up shop in the loft, her favorite place. Isaac and Irene had brought their cats, as they always do. Mr. whiskers had had enough and was checking out when I arrived, summoned by Miss Irene.
She had set up a cat study center where she interviewed me about my cat and her cat. I was the "Patient".
Isaac's cat, Sandy, was content to lounge on a soft pillow and ignore Miss Irene's official duties.
I went back out to capture a bit of the sunset over the bay about 4:30.
We cooked and ate dinner and played games until the kids went to bed about 9:00. Isaac and Jill had noticed that Sandy was sleeping a lot in the last few days, not eating much lately, and getting thin, but we had no idea until about then how desperate the situation was.
It seemed almost suddenly that Jill and Tom and I were looking at a cat who was dying! It was shocking! Jill tried to get her to eat and drink, but she couldn't. She went limp and her breathing was labored. Jill and I got on our phones to see if we could find help at 9:30 on a Saturday night. Jill found a vet 20 miles away in Coupville, Tom and Jill wrapped up the cat and took off about 10:00. At 10:30 I got a call from Jill. Sandy died just as they pulled up to the Veterinary Clinic. It was horrible.
The vet talked to them and suggested it was possibly feline leukemia. We will never know for sure.
A year ago Sandy and Mr. Whiskers were the much treasured gifts under the Christmas tree. They celebrated their first birthday a month ago.
We let the kids sleep through the night and then told them in the morning. Isaac is heart broken, of course, and we are all very sad. We will have a little burial service here in the garden after school today. Those are Isaac's wishes, to bury her next to her kitten, Tiny. Hopefully we can get the ground thawed out enough.
We had a quiet Sunday. Tom and Jill and I did a little shopping in Freeland while the kids stayed put. We played outside a little bit and I went for another cold walk. The sun went down as we watched the Seahawks football game. They lost.
We were already packed up, and as the time ran out on the Hawks, we loaded up and were off to catch the 5:00 ferry, and then on to get resettled back in our homes.