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.