Another milestone...

Jolie has overtaken her mother...at the age of 14. I expect she won't be the last of Shannon's posse to be taller than mom.


Coming and going...

Our first camping trip of the season...our first camping trip of the past 10 years, actually. It was also the first sunny weekend since last summer...well maybe I exaggerate...but it was wonderful to see the sunlight filter down through the maple leaves. I had forgotten how good breakfast tastes when cooked on a camp stove and how soundly we sleep in our tent. I did think (for just a moment) that I heard a bear's stomach growling in the shrubs, but didn't want to get up to look. I had forgotten what a challenge it is to wake up at midnight and grope around for my flashlight and shoes and what a comforting sight the lights of the restrooms are through the trees beyond the dumpsters. We even had guests. Jim & Jean came down from White Rock, Canada, just over the border—we shared tea and shortbread, and Bob & Juanita joined us for dinner (Juanita brought an incredibly delicious soup, a gourmet touch to our hamburgers and Costco salads).
We had two days of quiet before the weekend...when all the campers, trailers, tents, kids, bicycles, radios, generators, and dogs arrived...and all worries of bears (or even squirrels, raccoons or wildlife of any kind) departed.
On Sunday, it took an hour or so to pack the car and be ready to leave. Bob reminded me that the plains Indians could break camp in 20 minutes...maybe next time.


My heart knows what the wild goose knows...

“It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”  —Anne Sexton
He loved duck hunting and wore a Fedora with a curly Mallard tail feather tucked into the band. In Autumn, when the Canada geese flew south in their long V’s, we could hear them honking even when they were invisible through the cloud cover. Dad would disappear after dinner and If we looked hard enough, we would see his cigarette glowing in the shadows up at the edge of the woods. He used to tell us that some morning when the geese were flying, we'd wake up to find him gone...a feather on his pillow.


Flags waving...

I found this blue iris down the block. The iris is one of my favorite flowers...right up there with the tulip. Day before yesterday I was with Dennis and Liz driving through Woodburn, Oregon when we passed field after field of iris—blue, purple, yellow, gold and white—a lot like the tulip and daffodil fields of La Conner, Washington. Dennis told me that the iris are grown for their bulbs and not picked for their flowers. There are more than 260 varieties...their name is from the Greek for rainbow. It's easy to see why some are called "flags". Next summer I want to visit the iris farms. I don't necessarily want to learn all about habitats, rhizomes, inflorescences or perianths—I just want to see the variety and soak up the amazing colors.


I come in peace...

We spent a day at the Museum of Flight. It's  touching to see the children reading the signs on a model of the Wright brother's unimaginable machine that looks like it can do anything but get off the ground and gazing with open mouths at planes, rockets and lunar-landers. There were gray haired men reverently touching wings and engines, some even reminiscing about space flight...real or imagined. I couldn't take my eyes off the graceful shapes formed by the planes silhouetted against the glass walls and roof. We considered hiding so we could see it at night when everyone has gone home and the engines begin to rev.