Going Home to NYC

Last week I had the opportunity to go home.  It’s true, what they say, you can’t go home again.  Things are never the same as what you recall.  Time doesn’t stand still.  It isn’t possible for things to remain the same.  However, home is still home; and there is comfort and memory and deep emotional attachment, both good and bad. Continue reading

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It’s HOT! How Are You Doing, Seattle?

Yesterday’s new record 93 degree temperatures were a challenge.  It’s one thing when you spend the day in an air-conditioned office and go home to discomfort.  It’s another thing when the heat hits on a Saturday and you have chores to do.

bushes Continue reading

Wednesday Night Markets are Back at Pike Place!

marketsquareLast night marked the return of the Wednesday Night Market at Pike Place Market, running every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. through mid-October. PPM tents

According to market officials, in addition to some  of the regular vendors that will stay open late for evening visitors, Pike Place will host local producers in tents in front of the regular market stalls just below the entrance on Pike Street (on the cobblestones).

It wasn’t a huge crowd that turned out for last night’s event (partly, I think because a good number of visitors waited at the Market entrance and the evening events took place further north down the cobbled street through the market. Continue reading

Memorial Day

homeI grew up the child of a submariner. I won’t say a “Navy brat.” My dad was enlisted and none of us were allowed to be brats. But we were fortunate to have a wonderful life as a result of his service. My dad is blessedly still alive (and happily with my mom after 52 years of marriage), so every Memorial Day I say “thank you” — to my dad (and my mom) and those who have served, are serving, and help keep the families together during all that service. Military families are a special bunch. They move a lot. Spouses are alone a lot. Children don’t know who to believe is the “authoritarian” parent.My mom scared the bejeezus out of us. But then my dad came home and he expected every order to be obeyed. It’s tough when you’re 7. But we figured it out. I had two younger brothers while my father served. My third brother was born when he retired from the U.S. Navy. My dad wasn’t even 40 (if you’re doing the math, my dad may have fudged on his age a bit at enlistment, but what do I know). Continue reading

Springtime in Seattle

birdhouse

So, life is complicated right now.  I’m starting a new chapter in my life (and haven’t decided yet what to title it).  My oldest son has moved out of our home (again – don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for him — and us — it’s just that every time brings back those same maternal feelings of the first time.  I’ll be sad for a few days when I pass his empty room, and I’ll be fine). Plus, I’m 51 and starting to experience those physical changes that happen during that time.

Still, I do my best to find joy and happiness every day in my life.  I believe that happiness is a choice.  I choose it EVERY day.  Sometimes it’s small things, and sometimes it’s bigger things, but always, always, it’s a reaffirmation of life, love and renewal.

Today, I am reminded again of the fact that nature finds a way.  And that there is a greater force than us, with a greater plan than we know.

Several weeks ago we were delighted to discover that the small, brightly painted birdhouse that William painted and we hung in the Japanese Maple tree in our small courtyard garden last spring had residents.  A small songbird had made a nest and laid some eggs and hatched three baby birds.  We have been delighted to hear them peeping in their nest, while their mother stayed in the dogwood next door, alerting and trying to ensure her babies remained safe.

All was going well until the housepainting started last week.  I asked the painters quite pointedly to beware the nest in an effort to avoid disturbing the little family.  I have even kept the cat indoors as she’d find those babies in a heartbeat.  The painters did just fine until the last day when they took down their ladders.  After they had gone, I walked outside to walk to the grocery store and noticed the bottom of the birdhouse was hanging — barely attached to the walls.  I shook my head after a moment of indecision.  I could hear my father’s voice saying “never touch it, or the mother won’t return.”  I don’t know if the removal of the ladders might have clipped it, or if gravity simply had its way, but saddened and ambivalent, I walked away.

Later I had a phone call from my oldest son (the window of his bedroom is right behind the tree with the house and the nest). He was upset and agitated.  Apparently the floor had fallen from the house and the nest and babies were now on the garden floor under the tree peeping like mad.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t worry too much, but the last few days have been cold, wet and windy, and the babies are very young (although nearly fledged).  Still, they wbirdsingardenere fairly protected under the eaves of the house, and I’m happy to report that two days later they are still happily in what’s left of the nest.  All three growing every day.  Mother still
tending them on the floor of the garden, and they’ve “dug in” a bit — I’m sure looking to keep as much warmth as possible.

I know they’re only birds.  But there’s something wonderful about the wildlife that takes up residence in our home.  It feels like an affirmation of our hospitality. We are a loving, welcoming environment.  I don’t know.  I just know I want those birds to live.

Looks like they’re still in pretty good shape, and the weather is due to improve tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

What things give you joy? How do you continue every day to choose happiness?  I’d love to hear your successes (and even the failures – we all have them).  Please feel free to share.