Sunday, August 5, 2012

This is Our (Summer) Life

Oh, how I love the summer in Western Washington!

At this time of year, most people I know drop everything when the sun comes out, and spend as much time as they can outdoors, whether working on projects or just sitting on a deck, a lawn, a boat or a beach. People in the Puget Sound area appreciate the sun, and they don't waste a single ray.

We spent most of the weekend outdoors. This is a special weekend in Seattle - it is Seafair. That means that there are special events, including hydroplane races on Lake Washington, the Navy's Blue Angels flying over, and the Washington State Open Tennis tournament, among others.

When I was growing up, we belonged to a tennis club. It was a lovely place, with a beach, a pool, indoor courts (necessary in this climate), a gym, snack bar and dining facilities. I let my membership go when it was clear that 1) I don't love tennis enough to pay to play 2) I was not planning to live near enough to the club to use it and 3) it did not make financial sense for me to be a member. Some of my family still belong to the club, and they are kind enough to invite us to join them there to use the facilities with them and share special occasions. The Washington State Open is one of those.
The club is on the shore of Lake Washington. During Seafair Weekend, the Blue Angels fly over the lake at certain times and put on a breathtaking display. If you have never seen (or heard!) them, I hope you will get to do it someday. They are some of the finest pilots in the sky. They fly very low over the club - so low you can read "NAVY" printed on the underside of the fuselages - and that is part of the excitement of being at the WA State Open tournament.
I honestly don't know how the players can concentrate with the jets flying so low overhead!
Today was the hydroplane race. We don't go to that - it's too crowded, and I grew up listening to the boats practicing on the lake; they sound like enormous bumblebees, and it's not my kind of "sporting event." However, David was selected to work on a private cruise today, on an Argosy boat that was tied up to the log boom in view of the race, so he should be having a wonderful day at work.

Gregg and I took two beach walks, as this was the hottest day of the year, so far - 90 degrees!
On the way to the beach, we passed this house sign.
Maribeth used to live here - every time I walk on this beach, I miss her!
Wading in Puget Sound with the Emerald City in the distance and a seagull in the foreground
It's not a fried egg; it's "a jellyfish, a jellyfish, a jellyfish, a jellyfish!" (a camp saying)
After a light lunch, we went for a walk on our beach...
Our neighbors have built a beautiful pagoda - the paint is intense red and yellow, with high-gloss green roof tiles.
We passed Kiana Lodge, where Katie's celebration of life was held, five years ago this month (where she wanted to have her wedding reception)
Kiana has a long dock and walkway, bordered with flowers, so that brides can arrive (or depart) by boat or seaplane, if they so choose
It is serene and private. Their specialty is their salmon dinners.
Kiana's deck and beach, where they set off fireworks (in accordance with Katie's request)
Yes, we are in that is bitter and sweet at the same time.
Five years ago, Katie was on hospice care here at home.
Five years ago next week, Katie passed away.
Five years ago last week, Mike and Andrea were married; three years ago last week, their precious baby girl Signe was born - and died on the same day.
Three years ago, Gunnar Strom died suddenly at the age of 19.
In a couple of weeks, we will celebrate my parents' 60th wedding anniversary and Maribeth and Alan will celebrate their wedding anniversary. It is a full time, with many joys and some very deep, very hard sorrows.

We will mourn and we will celebrate. This is our life.


AnnDeO said...

Such beauty all around you and you are incredibly observant and grateful for it all. I will be thinking of you during this summer month of August. God Bless.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Mourning and celebrating; that is a challenge. I agree this is such a bittersweet time for your family and friends. I'm sending extra hugs and love your way.
I adore all the photos....that sky is so darn blue and gorgeous. Even the jelly fish (jelly fish jelly fish) is lovely.
When you come to Florida to visit us, you will have so many hot and sunny days, you'll be wishing for a Western Washington Winter day. (say that 3 times fast)
Thinking of you all.

Elizabeth said...

Where you live has such astonishing beauty --it literally takes my breath away when you post photos.

I will be thinking of you so much during this time and feel ever blessed to have met you here.

Kay said...

I'm glad you're finding beauty in your summer even though in your heart it's a dark time of year. Hugs and love as always.

Beautiful pics! : )

kell said...

Thinking of you this month Karen. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. Am so pleased you have that beautiful beach to treasure and remember your sweet girl. xx