Monday, July 6, 2009

The new and the old

I've traded the familiar for the new. Here I am at Birch Bay State Park on the north west coast of Washington, close to the Canadian border. Instead of Kentucky's oak and maples and cardinals, now I'm sitting under the tall Douglas fir and western Red Cedar trees, listening to the Swainson's thrush's rising song above me, zipping up my hoodie on July 5th, and wondering how the next chapter of this adventure will turn out.

We have had fantastic blue skies and warm (80 degree) temperatures since we got to Bellingham. We were able to spend a peaceful day with Sheryl and Lucina, driving further up the coast so that when we looked north, the Canadian mountains defined the horizon and when we looked east, we saw snow covered, silent and grandiose Mt. Baker. We had a visitation from a pair of Bald Eagles, perched at the top of a snag along the shore of Semiahmoo peninsula. We were all transfixed, and spent more than an hour watching and photographing them as the eagles ignored us completely but kept keen eyes focused on their hunting territory. Where are the eagle pictures? Lucina will email me the best ones, and I'll find an adapter to download mine.

We said two more goodbyes this week, as poignant as any, when Alan and Grace headed out for Canada (on Thursday) and Sheryl and Lucina headed back to Seattle (on Friday) and then home.
Yesterday we once again inflated our orange double kayak and put it out to sea with our old Lexington friends, now Bellingham residents, Kay and Leslie. We paddled and floated around Birch Bay, whose shore is just a minutes walk from this campsite. They bought their kayaks in Lexington many years ago and learned on the Elkhorn, so our time together is multi-leveled: a Lexington beginning brought together again in north western Washington. They couldn't be more helpful and welcoming, offering us that precious commodity: friendship, spending July 4th with us, and doing things like letting Winnie stay at their house when we drove into Seattle and letting us recharge our laptop, cellphones and camera batteries. Kay and Leslie have a NW style craftsman house in a quiet neighborhood; its a welcome respite.

Poor Winnie has been traumatized by the fireworks that have been going off for three days. I take her for a long walk in the morning along the shore while the revelers are still in bed. Once the bang of fireworks starts (like around noon), she won't come out of the camper. At night we close all the windows and door and turn the radio on and give her 1/2 a tablet of Dramamine to help her cope with the frightening noise. I'm very glad that this 4th of July is over.
Today (Sunday), Lynne and I were on our own and started out the day going to the BUF, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship. We both liked everything about it--good music, good thoughts, good feeling, except the Power Point sermon which seemed more like a college lecture on the psychology of religion. He had some funny slides...The regular minister is gone for the summer, so we will go back and take this week's experience with a grain of salt. We also drove around Bellingham looking at neighborhoods and houses for sale, with disappointing results, and topped it off with a longer than expected walk alongside our favorite city park, Lake Padden. We took the "dog off-leash" trail, not realizing how high dog owners were expected to climb through the forest and how far we were expected to hike. When we returned 90 minutes later, all three of us were panting.

Tomorrow we meet Ken, our realtor, for the first time. We actually have been corresponding with him from Lexington since January, when Whitney, our realtor, contacted him for us. (She chose him because he raises golden retrievers and he's gay.) He has plans to drive us around Bellingham and give an overview of neighborhoods.

Its been hard to find a connection to the Internet. I am thinking of you all and keep expecting to see you at the end of the summer, and then realize...oh right, we are Bellingham residents now. We are choosing a house with our guests in mind, so make sure to make your plans to come visit now!

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