Arrived in Seattle late Thursday evening. Took a cab in from the airport and as usual, felt a wave of nostalgia. Or sadness? Or happiness? If those are the right words? I know the airport, know which escalator to take to find a taxi. I have the Arapahoe house key ready. I always notice how quiet it is in Magnolia. I can hear the silence of the place. No distant city traffic sounds, just immense quiet.
I've been pining for a visit to Seattle since early February. Longing for my daughters and their offspring. Over five years time, I got very accustomed to traveling often between Houston and Seattle because of all the changes in Mom's and Dad's lives. And then there've been the births of four grandchildren in the last seven years. I attended each birth. So, I became a frequent flier.
No crises or special events in Seattle of late and lots of work to do in Houston. But now, I'm here and the first 48 hours have been busy. Of course.
Jeanne invited me to come along to Lilliwap on Friday with her family and four women friends from the kid's pre-school. We made the trip specifically so they could gather over 1200 oysters from the beach in front on Dan's Dad's house. 1200+ fresh oysters to sell by the dozen for a pre-school fund raiser.
You can see how low the tide was as we headed out to gather the oysters. Several hours later the same scene looked like this.
In that low tide hour or two, here's what went on. At low tide, all you can see are the oysters.
Jeanne, Dan and the kids and I stayed on for a visit with his Dad and his mom and her husband. Seamus put some oysters on the grill and Dan steamed clams (he dug up enough for a pot full). Ann brought a potato salad and a home baked pineapple upside down cake for Dan's birthday. Our plates were loaded with empty shells at the end of the meal.
It was after 7:00 when we arrived back in Seattle. I was hungry so I stopped by Chinook's for a martini and a smoked salmon pot pie. Very pleasant end to a fine day. Then on to bed.
This morning I made the first of my week's visits to Dad. He was out for his morning walk around the premises with a caregiver when I arrived. He made such quick work of his walk that he was back in the house just as I'd dropped my purse and crochet bag in his room, which by the way, is ever more filled with family photos and mementos. I brought him a portrait I took of Mom in May 1968 when I took five-month old Caroline to Aruba for the first time. He looked at the photo and said, "You'll get me to crying."
Dad asked me to read a letter he'd gotten from Aruba friends. The handwriting was tough to decipher, but I got most of it for him. Mary arrived from Portland near 11:00 and we visited with Dad until noon. She showed him the book I made with photos taken from the 10th anniversary party Sally hosted for Queta and her in September 2009.
When Dad went to lunch, Mary and I left and headed for a Thai restaurant in Crown Hill and then we picked up Lulu Bell, so Caroline, Steve and their friend Vanessa could make real headway in cleaning out the garage.
We took Lulu to Cupcake Royale in Ballard where we met up with Jeanne, Dan and the kids for cups cakes which were not very tasty, but it was nice to see Dan's friend Bob who's in from Thailand.
After cup cakes, we took Lulu to the playground in Wallingford Park where we all took off our shoes so we could feel the grass on our feet, played hide and seek and had a very pleasant time until a brisk wind gave us chills. Or, gave Mary and me chills. Lulu remained impervious to any chills at all and never even wore her fleece jacket.
Lulu ran and jumped and rolled on the grass with great energy and said she was sweaty. She says that even when she is cold, she is still sweaty. Quite a feat.
Spent the early evening at Caroline's. She and I went down into the garage area and looked through a big tub of old photographs from high school, from Brown, San Francisco, early days in Seattle. No one bothered us for almost half an hour. A wonder.
Then Caroline fed the kids macaroni and cheese and ordered gluten free pizza. She and Mary think it's the best pizza they've ever tasted. At last, near dark, Mary and I headed for Magnolia. Two very big days. Tomorrow we'll take Dad to church and then? We'll see.