Gregg took Friday off from work to be with me (my real birthday gift), and we had a great day. We slept in, took a walk here, did a little yard work, had a great lunch, took another beautiful walk (this one on the Island), stopped in to a local restaurant for a strawberry daiquiri (me) and a beer (him) with the world's best salsa and chips, and came home for a quiet dinner. I love to spend time with him; he's great company.
On Saturday, we visited our friend, Dave, whose wife, Cary, just passed away. We had a good visit with him. Then we left his home to go and pick up our David at the airport, on his way home from Big Bear Sports Ranch. It was great to hear all about his adventures there. That evening, I had another "going-away party" to attend for MB, so the boys played tennis together while I was out.
On Sunday, we had a "clam feed" here, with my parents. We all love to eat little tiny steamer clams with melted butter, and Gregg prepares a garlic and white wine broth for cooking them that makes a wonderful clear soup afterwards. He steamed the clams and some corn on the cob (separately), my mom made a salad, I made the daiquiris and hors d'oeuvres, and we sat out on the deck and stayed as cool as possible. It was the true beginning of summer, as far as I am concerned. Both David and Katie have loved clam and fresh Dungeness crab dinners like this one since they were small children. We have wonderful memories of these times, just as I did with my family when I was a little girl, spending the summers at our cabin. I love carrying on those traditions, and though I am grieving the fact that Katie isn't here to enjoy this with us now, I am grateful that she did get to enjoy times like these, practically every summer of her life.
While David had his flying lesson yesterday, Maribeth and I were up at our favorite beach for one last beachcombing "fling" before she moves to Kansas. I packed our lunch, and we started our drive to the beach. I had checked the tide chart days ahead of time, and this day had a really low tide. However, as we were on our way across the Hood Canal floating bridge, a Trident submarine was on its way out to sea. The bridge had to open to allow it to pass through, so all traffic came to a standstill, for about half an hour. If you have never seen one of these subs, it is an awesome sight.
By the time we reached our destination, the tide wasn't as low as we expected, but we decided to go for it. We beachcombed, hiked out 3 or 4 miles, and had our lunch. We kept trying to see what the tide was doing, looking at our familiar landmarks and trying to figure out why it wasn't as low as it should have been (according to the chart). We did more beachcombing, and decided to head back. The tide had come in a long way...and in a few places, we had to climb over fallen trees in order to avoid wading.
Then we came to the landslides at the base of the cliffs, and had to decide to climb, or wade; we climbed. [This is an old photo, which shows part of the cliff and beach; the slides are not visible, as they are farther out, where the cliff is even taller.]
It was a hoot! This is what David and Katie LOVED to do: climb the landslides (which are really big piles of sand that have sloughed off of the cliffs), and "ski" down
them on their bare feet. Gregg and I used to beachcomb while the kids did this.
I thought, "The kids would love to see us doing this." Maribeth and I were laughing and making our way, calling it an adventure. It was not an emergency, and we were not in any danger; we just needed to keep a steady pace. We got back to the car just as the tide made its way up to the bulkheads that protect the toe of the land.
Note: When we got home, we consulted the chart again, and concluded that it must have been calculated for a different location. I have never been caught or stranded on a beach, and I hope I never will; I'm not a novice at this! We have great respect for the power of nature; the saying, "Time and tide wait for no man" is true.
Today, David and I went to Bainbridge to meet our friends from the Hutch School. When the regular school year is over, the Hutch offers a summer camp for the children and siblings of patients being treated at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (the U of W, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Children's Hospital). We were happy to find out that they were taking the ferry over from Seattle to have a picnic on the Island, so we took our lunches and visited & played with them. What a wonderful staff. This is a photo of David and Katie with them, on the last day of school in June, 2007:
If you are looking for a charity to support, look up the Hutch School, and find out what they do; they are fantastic. David loved attending school at the Hutch while Katie was in treatment for cancer, and when Katie was feeling well enough, she loved attending, too.
Thank you for all that you do for families and patients, Micheline, Maggie, Ann Marie and all of the Hutch staff!