Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good sports and purple sea stars

Days go by in cycles, and today feels like the calm after the storm.

For the first time in more than a month, we had some cloudy days culminating in a very rainy Monday night for our weekend visitors from Eugene, Oregon. Our friends Barbara and Hyla and their 9 year old son Alfonzo were total “good sport” guests. They were sleeping on an air mattress in our dome tent while we were tucked into the comfort of our trailer. My vision of all the swimming and kayaking adventures we would have when they got here, had faded. The closer they got to Bellingham, the colder and cloudier the weather became. True north westerners, they were undaunted by the cold and grey. Together, we had a fun Friday riding our bicycles along the Interurban Trail (which takes you around Bellingham Bay and out to this park) and poking around Fairhaven, a trendy end of Bellingham near the Alaska Ferry. Over the weekend, Barbara and Hyla and Alfonzo explored both beaches here at Larrabee; Barbara found purple and orange sea stars at low tide; we feasted on Dungeness crab for Saturday dinner and we all enjoyed marshmallows over the great camp fires that Alfonzo stoked for us. Of course, we also weathered the weather with more good meals and great conversation. We get the “Keeping Everybody Warm And Cheerful, If Not Dry” prize for Monday, when it rained off and on all day. After visiting with our Bellingham friends, Kay and Leslie, we ate out at a cool local restaurant called Avenue Bread for lunch, walked through Big Rock Garden (a beautiful sculpture garden) and even went bowling in the afternoon. Just to paint a picture, my score was 100 and I won; Barbara dropped the bowling ball behind her; and Hyla launched it airborne, onto the bumper guard and into the gutter. We ended the day at a restaurant overlooking the marina, watching the pleasure boats come and go and commenting on the men’s restroom after Alfonzo informed us that they had a TV over the urinals. Lynne and I were thrilled to have them visit, as we have been friends with Barbara starting in Lexington 33 years ago, before she moved to Eugene. We totally enjoyed spending time with her family, Hyla and Alfonzo.

We have mostly liked talking to campers and selling firewood in our role as camp hosts. We had a scary night (darkness, man shouting, woman pleading, car doors slamming, angry footsteps on the gravel path next to our camper) caused by a domestic dispute that ended with two sheriffs quietly carting off the offender. Quiet hours are supposed to start at 10 p.m., and the ranger makes rounds shortly after that to intervene at campsites that are still noisy. Our trailer muffles sound so that we don’t hear all of what’s going on in the dark (that’s a good thing.) People come from all over to camp here and have fun, so everyday there's a new influx. I helped with the Junior Ranger program on Saturday, and we had a good time and the kids learned a little about trees and safety.

Our house is coming along, although its still has lots of “unrealized potential.” The tile guy (David) is doing the kitchen and front entry way today, and the floors are sanded and stained. We do have to concentrate on some basics—like getting someone to fix rotted fascia board and replace the gutters. Lynne has a vision for the fence so that Winnie will have a protected yard. She’s talking to NW Fencing today. We hope to retrieve our furniture from storage next Tuesday, and work in painting and installing radiant heat after that.

Lynne is optimistic about the home health job, and I keep pledging to apply for other jobs but keep not getting around to it. I’m sure there is a message buried in there somewhere.

The dramatic weather in Kentucky made the news here, and we hope that everyone stayed dry through the storms.

I just finished reading The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb and I really liked this line from it:
“Hope… By this, we dreamers cross to the other shore.”

Love to all,


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