Sunday, July 30, 2017

Brunch and a Stroll

This morning we joined Jill, the kids and their guests for a special brunch at Shenanigan's on Commencement Bay in Tacoma. The Sunday brunch there is amazing, and we all ate and ate and ate!

And then we had to walk. Sherady took this wonderful photo of Isaac, Allie, and Irene.
We all strolled along the waterfront walkway for a while, and then Jill and the gang returned to their car with plans for shopping in mind.  John and Andrea, Sherady and Allie will all be returning home tomorrow, so we said our farewells. It was great being able to spend time with them.   

Tom and I continued on, because we wanted to visit a special place we had read about after visiting the MOHI in Seattle and learning the plight of Chinese immigrants in Seattle and Tacoma in 1885.

This is Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park. It is a small site, set aside on what was once Tacoma's busy working waterway, for the purpose of "acknowledging the eviction of the Chinese immigrants, noting Tacoma's regret, and the desire to move ahead in unity and respect."
Signage tells the story as you follow the path. 

Chinese immigrants came to Seattle and Tacoma to find work during the gold rush, to escape poverty, and to send money back home to impoverished family members. 
The Chinese took jobs others didn't want: building railroads, digging mines, planting and harvesting crops.  They fished, worked as cooks, laundrymen, barbers, servants, grocers, and merchants.

As the gold diminished and the economy declined, wages dropped and jobs became scarce. The Chinese became targets of discrimination and disrespect. The Depression of 1870 greatly intensified these feelings until in 1885 a decree went out that the Chinese would be evicted in a month's time. Many, fearing for their lives, left. In Tacoma about 200 remained. 
On the set day a mob of armed men forcibly evicted them from the city, marched them to a train station eight miles away, and forced them onto a train bound for Portland, OR. Their homes were burned down behind them. The same thing was taking place in Seattle. Though an attempt was made, justice was never served against the perpetrators. Chinese people were not seen again in these cities until the 1920s. 

This Chinese pavilion was a gift from the sister city of Fuzhou, China.
The carved stone lions are wonderful. 

Carved stones depict the eviction. 

History teaches us lessons if we listen. Uncertainty, especially financial insecurity, causes fear, and fear, when exploited, breeds evil. 

As we moved away from this park, back toward the car park, we settled our minds on the beauty around us. 

The sundial says 11:25, sun time, 12:25 DST. Time to make our way back home, filled with food and family time and an important lesson. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

More Family Time

After our day on Whidbey Island on Wednesday, we spent much of Thursday with my siblings, celebrating our summer birthdays.

We had to find a day that all of us were available. With summer vacation schedules and family involvements, that wasn't easy. Thursday, July 27th worked. It was in the middle of the birthday events.

My birthday is July 17th. My sister Laurie's is July 20. My sister Ilene's is August 3rd. Our brother Don's is July 21, but he lives in Massachusetts, so we thought about him from a distance. Instead, we included our brother Hank, who has a November birthday, but we like him well enough, and he doesn't like to be left out. :-) (Little inside humor there)

After wondering where to meet up, Laurie invited us to her family compound in Packwood, where they are building a new vacation cabin to add to the older structures on the property. 

Packwood is a small town on the Cowlitz River, tucked into a narrow valley in the shadow of the Cascade Mountain peaks. It is south and just outside of Mount Rainier National Park. 

We met up in the afternoon along I-5 to travel into the hills together in a family van. The conversation was good, and varied, but with lots of reminiscing about childhood. The peek-a-boo views of Mt Rainier and Mt Adams were stunning. 

We dined at the Blue Spruce Saloon.

I didn't take many photos, but I did get a pic of the pie Laurie brought along to have back at the compound after dinner. 
Of course you notice we all had our fill first before I thought of taking a picture. It was Marion Berry, picked fresh from Laurie's patch. Yum. 

It was a good time of shared memories and meaningful little gift exchanges. Thanks to our spouses for putting up with much of the conversation that they were left out of. We didn't know them when we were five, or ten, or fifteen.

It was very late when we got home Thursday, delayed frequently by night construction on I-5.  Monday we were up to go to breakfast, and then we spent most of the day preparing for guests for dinner. 

Jill and the kids and John and Andrea and Sherady left Whidbey in the early afternoon to come back into town, and we hosted them for dinner. 

We served ribs and lots of other good stuff and the kids played in the yard like they used to when they were little and Sherady, who had never been here before, got tours inside and out, and we talked and laughed and ate. 

The only photo I got was of the kids setting the table. I was too busy for taking pics. 
And now it is a very quiet, slow, sunny Saturday morning. I am going to make myself get up and go for a walk, but other than that, I am going to rest and be lazy. There is almost nothing planned for the week ahead, and that sounds wonderful. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Eagles Watching Over Us: A Day at the Beach

Those of you who follow along with me know that daughter Jill has been running summer camp for assorted cousins. Allie, who lives in Nebraska, has spent weeks here for several summers now.

Tuesday afternoon we went to the airport to pick up Allie's mom, Sherady, and the kids' other Grandparents, John and Andrea, who live in Colorado, and send them on their way to Whidbey Island in Jill's other car, where they would meet up with Jill and the kids, who were enjoying their annual vacation week at the family cabin on the island. 

On Wednesday Tom and I joined them for the day.

Sherady, who has never been here before, reported on Facebook earlier her first eagle sighting. She was thrilled.

Later in the morning, after we all gathered together and waited for the tide to go out, and out, and out, eagles were present as we took our beach walk. 

 Shells were collected and information shared and wonders explored. 

 From left to right: John, Irene, Jill, Sherady, Isaac, Allie, Tom, and Andrea. 

 In the afternoon, as we dispersed to read or putter or visit, eagles were present. 

 In the late afternoon, there was lazy floating in with the tide in Useless Bay. 
 My view from my camera perch. 
 Launching the grandpas. 

 After a delicious dinner cooked by Jill, head camp supervisor, the lagoon had filled on the high tide and flotation devices were launched at the golden hour. 

 Irene and Allie had the paddle boards. Sherady and John had kayaks.

 Tom assisted in launching Grandma Andrea in the dingy chauffeured by Isaac, and then Jill jumped into a kayak too. Tom and I watched.
 As everyone returned from their excursions, I went out to capture the sunset over the bay.

 There's that mountain in the Olympics and Jill and Jake climbed last week - The Brothers. 
 Toys stowed, ready for another fun day tomorrow. 
 And the sunset over the lagoon. 

And then we all ate cake!

Tom and I came home last night, and I now need to get moving. We are off on another adventure today.