5 1/2 Months–Week 15

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At 2:30pm, May 20, Miss Sienna Breckenridge, our granddaughter,
preformed before a crowd of friends and family two of her favorite
selections. Her piano performance was magnificent. Bravo, Sienna, Bravo!

Early that morning Sandy and I began preparations for the drive back to civilization. We were leaving Mazama by 9:30am to make certain we would be back to Mount Vernon in time for the piano concert. We drove highway 20 westward through the Cascade Mountains, witnessing, once again, the splendid beauty God created for mankind to enjoy. This winding drive took us out of the valley to snow covered heights at 7000 feet. The roads were cleared of snow but their was plenty of snow to see at driving elevations and mountain tops far above. Along the way I continued to think, we should stop to take some pictures. But, unfortunately, we didn’t stop at all of these higher elevations.

IMG_3862 We finally pulled over at the Diablo Lake overlook to take one quick picture before jumping back in the car to continue traveling on time.  It’s a beautiful place but I believe we passed far more beautiful picture opportunities at less staged places earlier in the trip.

Monday afternoon we picked up Rumi and Teo from school at 3:30pm to go shopping for Teo’s birthday present and to use the gift certificate that Rumi received from Aunt Judy. This is why Sandy wanted to come to the Northwest for a few months. This is what real grandma’s do. Buying present’s for Teo’s birthday and watching his enthusiasm is far better than ordering via Amazon and getting a Skype thank you call.

In fact, this whole week is filled with such opportunities. Sunday was Sienna’s piano concert. Monday was the Rumi and Teo shopping trip. Tuesday and Thursday were Ravens games with our favorite players, i.e.; Teo and Sebastian. Wednesday was a school play where Sienna had a major role. Friday night was Teo’s birthday party with Pizza, cake and ice cream. And, we have been with Amaya several days this week.

IMG_4302Sienna is the lead actor in a school play called the “The Golden Apple Thief.” She delivered her multiple lines loudly and distinctly. She showed poise and confidence and lots of animation in her performance. She was terrific! Awesome job Sienna, you deserved the standing “O.”

When we returned to Guemes Island tonight I had time to weed-wack around the house and yard at the cabin where we are staying. It looks much better if I do say so myself. Then we had dinner and still enough time for an outdoor hot-tub, The hot-tub sets on a deck facing west looking across the sound to Cypress Island. The view is spectacular. The sun is setting. Far to the south I can see a large car/passenger Ferry headed through the San Juan Islands presumably headed for Canada. Once again, this quiet time provides moments of reflection. We are counting are blessings and thinking about our friends who live in all parts of the country and our loved ones back home.  We miss you all. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I’m glad to report that while we miss you, we are still having FUN in La La Land.

Thursday was golf day at Avalon followed by another Ravens game. I joined three great guys–Tim, Jerry, and Michael for an enjoyable 18-hole round on a tough course. Despite hitting sand traps, two balls out of bounds with penalty strokes, lousy drives most of the day, shooting a nine on one hole and an eight on another, my over all score was 97. Which means I had some very good holes as well as the bad. The highlight of the day was my third shot on a par five from 160 yards out. It ended up 12 inches from the cup. I tapped in for a birdie. Best shot of my golf year! And, I won some money on that shot too.

The Ravens played one of our best games of the year. We had more hits and made more good plays in the field than our opponent. We scored three while they scored zero. But, who’s keeping score? This is a non-score training league.

Friday night is Teo’s birthday party and pizza party. Its also Fisher’s 14th birthday. He is celebrating with his mom in Portland, Oregon.

Our friends, Scott and Emily with their children, Colson and Teddy, are coming up from Seattle for the Memorial Day weekend. We are looking forward to spending time with them. So, I will save all of those pictures and stories from the birthday party’s and their visit for next week’s blog. Week #15 was full of great activities….that’s a rap for now.

 

 

 

 

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5 1/2 Months– Week 14

FDD5A377-BC6A-4A8F-9D6E-9BF563140839Happy Mothers Day to all of the greatest Mothers I know….

If Anacortes is a small town what exactly is Guemes Island? After all, we will be spending two months here. Most mornings we depart for new destinations but always return by Ferry to our cabin and bed. The picture above sums it all up. This little shack sits next to the Guemes side Ferry entrance. All who come and go by bike, hike, or auto will gain valuable information by reading the chalk message boards. Notice there is no information about the Cardinals. There is no news here about the Mariners or anything sports related unless you think fishing is a sport. And, of course, there is no National news at all. By the way, is Trump still the President?

I’m making fun, tongue and cheek, because Guemes Island is a special place. Its a mixture of remote farm land, dense forests with deer running wild, private luxury homes on and off the water and then there are smaller homes, some are beautiful and some dilapidated. The Island has one General Store where you can buy most necessities like beer and bread, wine and cheese, ice cream in waffle cones, it”s where you buy gas at the two pump gas station, it’s a full service restuarant for lunch and dinner, and it”s the local pub as well. Then, there is the Guemes Island Resort (www.guemesislandresort.com). It’s a one of kind place that you have to experience to fully appreciate it. Mark and Kelly have invested a lot of themselves into the place. This labor of love is quite the success. From this time of year until November its sold-out or near so. We are fortunate to spend some nights at the Resort and some nights at the west shore cabin.

 

4EE608BB-9D5D-4AAA-AF06-74F0D1EFED76 (1)This has been a slow moving week since Mother’s Day. We have had time for walks to the Mad Hatter ice cream store, with Brian and Amaya. We’ve walked the streets of Anacortes to admire landscaped homes and the Azalea’s. They are everywhere!

I had time for nine holes at the Overlook course. Played the nine hole course in one and half hours. This unusual golf course is built in the middle of farm fields. It doesn’t get a lot of play. It’s the only course I have ever come across that offers no T-Times. You just show up and play. Today, I was lucky. No one was in front of me to slow me down and no one behind. So, it felt like I had the course all to myself. It was wonderful!

Thursday afternoon Emily, Amaya, Sandy and I drove up the Mazama where Kelly and Mark have 10-acres and a fantastic cedar cabin home nestled in the woods, located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The USA Cross Country Ski teams have chosen this area for training because the trails are ideal for cross country skiing. We are here because Emily is running another 50K race.

The Sun Mountain race started in Winthrop, Washington at 8am Saturday morning. Emily started her 50K run with 300 other runners, about 1/2 were  women. Five hours and 47 minutes later she jogs across the finish line finishing in the top twenty among the tough competition of women. CONGRATULATIONS Emily!!!

 

51/2 Months– Week 13

Week 13 begins on Big Mama’s Farm, a name affectionately chosen when Kris and Kerry purchased a home with a 2 acre lot with loads of potential. This place is heaven for children where they have some responsibility caring for the rabbits, chickens, cat and other animals. Their playground and play yards include plenty of room for a 4-wheeler, a small indoor swimming pool, baseball, soccer, football, finding snakes or whatever.

 

For the adults, primarily Kerry and Kris, Big Mama’s is a lot of work and well deserved pride in the outcome. The grounds have come a long way from the time they bought the place eight years ago. Despite two years spent in San Francisco and another two years in Bermuda as part of the Oracle America Cup team they now have a landscaped front yard and back yard. The side yards have blueberry trees, a kids playground, covered party house, small art studio structure, Kris’s tool shed, two covered greenhouses, a new greenhouse in the works, bark walk-ways, and lawns always cut and trimmed. Then, of course, there are the tilled gardens where once they were tarp covered weed barriers. The kids planted their vegetable garden this week thanks to the hard work of Kerry, Sandy and some old guy they persuaded to help out.

The shot below is of the Anacortes Harbor which is a favorite spot to take short walks when killing time waiting for kids to get out of school or timing our next Ferry boat to Guemes Island.

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Wednesday we had another fun drive. This is something most people would call crazy. We left Burlington at 10am. By 11am we were crossing the Canadian border to check out the BC Ferry drop off point near Vancouver. We then drove into Vancouver for lunch before heading back to the USA. We were safely back to the Guemes Ferry by 4pm. Fun day for those of who don’t mind 4 hours in a car exploring roads never traveled by us previously.

Thursday begins with the Ferry ride. I take Rumi and Teo to school, then I’m off to Mary Anne’s Kitchen for breakfast. The next stop is Pelican Bay Books and coffee house. I purchase two books. It’s a rainy morning good for reading, writing and contemplating. Sandy and Kelly spent the morning shopping. Thursday evening was Little League, Ravens, game six. We were outplayed soundly. We only scored one run and looked bad doing it.

Friday night was a hoot. Sandy signed up for a dinner and Rosary on a boat. That’s about all she knew about the evening. Her new found friends from St. Mary’s had invited her out. She said yes. When Sandy arrived at the pier, to her total surprise, she found 150 people loading on to a whale watching vehicle. She was departing at 5pm and would’nt return until 9:30pm. One Mass, one dinner, and four Rosaries later she returned, disembarked the boat for a mad dash for the Guemes Island Ferry. I can safely say she will never do that again. My evening was sane. Dinner with Brian and Amaya (Emily had to work) and then desert at the Mad Hatter.

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5 1/2 Months—Week 12

The good life….enjoying the hot tub with Sienna and Sebastian on Guemes Island West Shore. And, dugout injury, game one of the Little League season.

 

Week #12, can you believe it? We left St. Louis February 8th and tomorrow is the first day of May. This week we have big plans– two Ravens games, golf planned for Wednesday, Sandy will be showing her new friend around Guemes Island that day, Monday we plan to drive up to Mount Baker and then this Saturday we will heading to Seattle for a Sounders vs Crew professional soccer game.

IMG_3738Mount Baker

Monday’s drive to Mount Baker was an hour and half of winding roads slowly climbing the foothills through the Evergeens. As we drove on we noted the temperature plummeting from 55 degrees to 40 degrees. When we reached the Mount Baker ski area, which officially closed on April 22nd, we passed eight foot snow drifts with snow covering most of the area, but melting fast.

Thursday night our Ravens Little League team had only eight of twelve players show up for the game. So, we were a little short handed in the outfield when chasing line drives hit by the other team. It’s a good thing the outfield grass wasn’t cut. We held every batter to a looong single. What a game the Ravens played! We had twelve hits in two innings. In the 2nd inning we had eight batters in row hit the ball in fair territory. This is a miracle! The game ended on Ava’s first hit of the season. What an exciting post-game celebration!

Friday we had an enjoyable day babysitting for 4 year-old, Amaya. We spent the entire day on Guemes Island moving from one childhood adventure to the next. Amaya has quite the imagination and she wants Grandma and Grandpa to play along. Then, Saturday morning at 8am we were on the Ferry headed to the dog kennel to leave Mesa Ruby.  After the successful dog drop off we headed to Seattle for the Sounders game. The flag waving, singing crowd and total game ambiance was worth the price of admission. And, it was a good thing too because the Sounders looked awful in a 0-0 tie.