Greetings from Seattle

Thursday, October 12, 2017

An Overnight on the Island

We arrived late Wednesday morning at our family cabin on Whidbey Island with a purpose: to plant tulip bulbs, to try to pry open a stuck septic tank cover, and to take delivery of a new kitchen range.

We were met with blue sky over Deer Lagoon. Make hay while the sun shines, this old farm girl says, so we got right to work.
 Tom got right to work, but the tool he brought to do the job on the septic cover wasn't doing the job. Fortunately, just across the road, a young man was finishing up a job and came to help. He was with the Celtic Risers, which just happens to be a septic servicing company!  He had the proper tools and knew what to do. He got the cover off, and provided information on what Tom should do next. He also provided a fabric liner to keep the lid from sealing again.  
 They got the lid back on and Tom trimmed the liner and that job was done!  Thank you so much, Celtic Riser service man. I think we'll call that company next time we need service! And yes, he did have a lovely Irish accent. 
 We got going on planting the tulip bulbs. These are the bulbs we removed from our Seattle garden after they bloomed last spring. We treat tulips like annuals there, but the bulbs do well in the dry sand of the Whidbey garden, so we order and plant new bulbs for home and recycle the old bulbs here. 
 Then it was time for a late lunch and a rest. 

With the weather still mild and dry, we went for a walk on the dike along Deer Lagoon. 
 The dike trail is lined with wild roses and blackberry bramble. I love the colors here in the fall, with the rose hips, the crimson blackberry leaves, the white snow berries, and the tawny colors of the wetland grasses in the background.  

 Fruit on an old apple seedling. 

 My favorite madrone tree. 

 There were red blackberries and dried up blackberries and black blackberries. We tasted a few of the black ones. 

 Rose hips and bulrushes. 
 Madrone berries. 

 We continued on out onto the wetland trail. With no real rain yet, the trail was dry, not the usual muddy. 

 Reversing we worked our way back on the lagoon trail, where sunlight was back lighting the blackberry leaves. 

 From the back yard of the cabin, we found a heron hunkered down. 
 We took care of a few more jobs, getting things stowed for the winter, then went out for dinner. 

This morning, Thursday, we took it easy while waiting for the delivery of the new kitchen range. It arrived about 10:00, just about the same time the rain came. 
 We had lunch and then packed up and came home. 
The traffic was bad north of Seattle, and it took forever to get home. We got the car unloaded and then Tom was off to get Isaac to soccer practice. I got stuff unpacked and put away. I decided not to go to Irene's track meet, but I have been getting updates from Jill  via text messages while I type. She won the 7th grade 100 meter dash, and was second last week. She was also second in the long jump last week, and competed again today. We don't know her placement yet. Go, Irene!

We have a busy weekend coming up, including the family cider bee. There will be photos.


  1. I didn't get my morning walk in today so I went along on yours. It was lovely!
    How decent of that serviceman to lend a helping hand.
    Congrats to Irene winning the 100 meter dash.

  2. My wife raves about black berries. Me? Not smo much. Sometimes you need good advice to get things done properly.

  3. I do love the fall season. The colors are so beautiful. I was thinking about your nice septic tank worker. I think we should tell young people to look for jobs that can’t be sent overseas. That job falls in that category. May not be a job to discuss around the dinner table, but good stable work that probably pays a decent wage. Also a job needed in rural America.

  4. Oh wow! You have such athletic grandchildren! Your new stove is awesome. You are both so very lucky to have such a gorgeous place to relax at. The tulips are going to be gorgeous in spring.

  5. are the berries edible? i would love to visit and explore the place.

  6. Such a lovely place, Linda. I found a couple of blackberries that were still good to eat on Vashon, but mostly they are all gone. Love the pictures of the rose hips and backlit blackberry leaves. And glad that the septic tank guy was so helpful! :-)

  7. beautiful fall weather up there...then rain what more could you ask for!

  8. It's relaxing just to take a virtual tour of your island. Somehow this post made me realize that I really wish Vermont was a whole lot closer to Florida. I guess that would mess up the appeal of one or the other though. Your new range is just like the one I have in my condo. I miss my gas range, but not enough to change out a new and perfectly functioning glass top.

  9. Wow,I'd definitely put that Irishman in my phone directory. What a nice man. Getting a job done does depend on the tools. One can see Fall really settling in there. Love that berries are still available for snacking.
    That is an awesome looking range. Know you will give it a work out.

  10. The changing seasons in your area are fascinating. Your gardening chores are so different from mine here in Hawaii, but we both enjoy in our own way. Mine is in a very small way (small yard), and yours is so expansive.

    When I saw the picture of Tom digging to plant the tulip bulbs, I wondered what tool he used. I was just introduced to a new tool by my son who lives near San Francisco. It is called a "hori hori", which means dig dig. I use my favorite little pick for grass, but found the hori hori to be really great in potted plants and beds.

  11. Gorgeous photos! Enjoy your weekend.

  12. I always enjoy your Whidbey walks! Hope you're enjoying the cider bee!

  13. Nice stove! Those blacberries looks so good! :)


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