Ruth sent another batch of cartoons to keep me entertained. Sadly, it took me a few moments to “get” the first one. Ruth and I are both blondes, and we enjoy dumb blonde jokes–probably because neither of us is a dumb blonde. Thus, the last cartoon.
Month: August 2021
Ted and I still haven’t seen Ollie, our first great-grandchild, in person because of our aborted visit to Jeff and La’s house, but they sent pictures of the little guy. We love the pictures, but I couldn’t help looking at them and thinking, “It should have been me reading that book to him.” Next time, . . . .
Here’s Ollie, learning to play pool for his next visit to his Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
We left a book and a toy for Ollie, and were disappointed not to give our gifts to him in person, but his Grandma read the book to him for us. It’s called Never Touch a Dragon and he seems to be taking that advice seriously.
We’ve only met Kaitlyn on her wedding day and were looking forward to getting to know her better on this visit. That was disappointing, but it will happen another time, I’m sure.
Even though Ted and I were thrilled to spend lots of time with Hadley and Sefton on our visit to their house, there are always milestones that we miss because we live so far away from them. Shortly after our visit, Hadley reached the milestone of two months old and Sefton attended his first day of pre-school with his two favorite toys.
We can’t see our grandkids as often as we’d like to, but we love them all like crazy and are happy to share their lives in other ways–like these pictures.
Ted and I enjoyed our time with Thom and Katie’s family and we are grateful to have spent even a small amount of time with Jeff, La, and Kyra. After two years of not being together in person, our visits with both families were much too short, but we learned something for our next trip. The unplanned extra time we had with T & K’s family gave us the opportunity to feel that we were (temporarily) immersed in their lives. It was a treat to spend more time with Sefton and Hadley and to truly get to know them better–Sefton’s interests and personality and Hadley’s baby-ness and cuddling. Living so far from them, we never feel like we have enough in-person interaction to be a true part of their lives, and it was a good feeling to be with them a little longer than usual. When we plan our next trip, we’d like to spend more time with both families so that, when we leave, we feel like we’ve had a full meal, not only a snack.
Before driving to the airport, Ted and I each took another COVID test and were–again–definitely negative. The four days since our last test gave us some time to incubate the virus after our exposure to it, and we wanted to be sure that we tested negative before leaving T & K’s family–especially the two young unvaccinated children. Just before leaving for the airport, Thom (reflected in the window) wanted to take one more picture of Sefton and Hadley with Grandma and Grandpa.
After unloading our luggage at the airport curb, we had one more hug and one more kiss for everyone and then had to get in line to board our plane at Wenatchee’s single gate. The line wasn’t long. Ted and I felt sad about leaving, and we vowed to return ASAP. Let’s all work together to beat this COVID thing so we can travel freely again!
Once again, our 20-minute return flight from Wenatchee to Seattle on a propeller plane provided some nice lower altitude views. This photo of wildfire smoke in the Cascades looks like ocean swells.
We couldn’t see flames, but this is obviously the origin point of a wildfire.
A thunderstorm developed to the south of us. Hopefully, it rained on some of the wildfires.
Katie mentioned to me that the June heat wave in the Pacific Northwest melted the snowpack off Mt. Rainier. I later looked this up online and learned that Paradise, at 5,400 feet above sea level on Mt. Rainier, lost a record 110 inches of snow in 21 days in June. The snowpack insulated the glaciers so, without it, the glaciers are receding as well. When we’ve seen Mt. Rainier in the past, it’s always been snow-covered. The photo below shows large bare areas due to the absence of snow cover this summer. This is a view of the north side of Rainier; the south side has even less snow/glacier cover.
Ted and I had a three-hour layover in Seattle. We left the gate area to have dinner nearby about 90 minutes before our departure time, then returned to the gate and learned there had been a gate change while we were eating. We had to hustle to catch a train to a different terminal, then hurry to the new gate. We had an uneventful flight home, missing our boys’ families already and wondering how soon we can visit them again. The best of times are those you wish didn’t have to end. This was one of the those times for us.
Thom and Katie weren’t expecting us to spend this much time with them, so Ted and I said that we appreciated their hospitality, but didn’t expect them to disregard their regular activities to entertain us. They insisted, however, that they’d enjoy showing us a trail they like in the Leavenworth area. Before driving to the trailhead, we spent our usual relaxing morning together. This time, however, we had a bit of excitement. Katie put Hadley down on the floor and Hadley raised herself up on her arms. When we arrived a week ago, her head was still a little wobbly, but it was pretty steady today. It was exciting to me to have spent enough time with her to see a change in her development while I was still visiting. I think she was showing off for Grandma.
After lunch, we headed for the trail. After walking only a short distance from the car, we had a beautiful view of the Wenatchee River and the Cascades.
When we walked down to the river, Sefton wanted to play in the water, so Katie stayed with him.
Thom, Hadley (with Thom, in her Baby Bjorn), Ted, and I walked all the way to the orchard at the end of the trail. Hadley didn’t really walk–she came along for the ride and a nap.
It was a hot day that brought a lot of floaters to the river to cool off as they drifted downstream.
I saw an oddly formed tree. It looks like it experienced some stress in its early life.
This group found a sandbar and set up their lawn chairs.
When the four of us re-joined Katie and Sefton, Ted took a picture of us cooling our feet in the water.
For dinner, T & K suggested that we go to Fire, an Italian restaurant they like at Pybus Market. The food was delicious and so were the desserts. Ted ordered a banana split, and definitely got his money’s worth.
We enjoyed this extra day with T & K’s family. Sadly, we are scheduled to return to Missouri tomorrow.
First thing that went right: The closest drugstore to our hotel in Spokane was less than a half-mile away and had lots of COVID tests. Ted and I bought testing kits and returned to the hotel to do the procedure. Second thing that went right: The test results showed that we were both definitely negative. Hurray! We can go back to Thom and Katie’s house. Our morning activities–purchasing the tests, returning to the hotel, performing the tests, and then leaving the hotel (again)–put us close to lunch time, so we decided to eat in the Spokane area and then get back on I-90. It was Sunday morning, so the restaurants were filled with after-church crowds but it didn’t take too long to get a table. After lunch, we had a smooth ride back to Wenatchee.
When we arrived in Wenatchee, we drove up T & K’s driveway, entered the front door security code, and hauled our suitcases inside. Third thing that went right: None of the neighbors called the police when two strangers with luggage entered T & K’s house.
It was a little weird to be in someone else’s home when they weren’t there but, at the same time, we felt at home since we’d already spent several days at the house with T & K and family. For dinner, we chose to go to McGlinn’s, where T & K had their wedding dinner. Just like the wedding meal, the food was good. Afterward, we settled in at “home” and relaxed with a Netflix movie.
In the morning, Ted brewed some coffee (regular, not T & K’s fancy machine coffee) and I fixed a cup of hot chocolate from a Swiss Miss packet I picked up at the hotel. (It wasn’t as good as Thom’s fancy machine chocolate.) Then we sat on the front porch–one of my favorite places in the house–and relaxed, enjoying the beautiful weather.
After lunch, we took a little drive to refill Thom’s gas tank and Ted washed the car. We snacked on the dessert we ordered as take-out at McGlinn’s last night, and waited for the beach crowd to return. When they did, they brought Papa Murphy’s pizza with them and we had a nice dinner with little effort. It was good to see the family again, and to have a quiet, relaxing day.
After a good night’s sleep in our luxury guest house suite, Ted and I headed for the main house to say good morning to Jeff, La, and Kyra. Jeff wasn’t there when we arrived, but he soon returned from his errand. Third thing to go wrong: He had driven to Kalispell to purchase a COVID test. He took the test immediately and tested (in his words) “definitely positive.” What were we to do?? It’s not a good idea to continue our visit in the presence of an active COVID case, nor would it be fun for Jeff to quarantine and miss our time together. Do we have to leave only a few hours after our arrival when we’ve been (a) waiting two years to see Jeff’s family, including (b) spending time with Alex and Kyra, (c) getting to know Kaitlyn whom we’ve only met once–at the wedding–two years ago, and (d) meeting Ollie, our first great-grandchild? Where will we go? Shall we change our airline tickets and go home? Shall we spend our allotted time with Jeff’s family on a mini-vacation in the area before returning Thom and Katie’s car? Shall we go back to Thom and Katie’s house?
I called Thom to tell him about the situation. Did he want us to return his car and spend a night at his house with his two unvaccinated young children before we flew home from Wenatchee? Shall we park his car in the driveway and take a cab to a Wenatchee hotel? He immediately said it would be fine for Ted and me to go back to his house even though he and his family would not return from the beach for two more days. His only request was that we each take a COVID test to make sure we are negative before entering their house. No problem; we’ll certainly do that. It would be an eight-hour drive back to Wenatchee, so Ted and I decided to go only as far as Spokane today. Ted googled “hotels in Spokane near I-90” and called one. No vacancy. He called the next one and reserved a room. That’s done. Then we all ate lunch and Jeff went to his bedroom to lie down. He did not look his best, and he said he was very tired. Ted and I went back to the guest house to re-pack our luggage.
Because we were only going as far as Spokane today, La and Kyra invited us to stay a little longer and at least go to the shore of Flathead Lake while we were there. Ted and I really hated to leave, so we agreed to the idea and the four of us climbed into Jeff’s new Tesla, leaving Jeff to rest at the house. We drove to the beach where they launch their jet skis on the lake. Ted and I were hoping to take our first ride on jet skis during our visit here, but we settled for getting our feet into the water. It looks like we should take another step or two forward, but the waves were hitting us up to our knees in this spot.
Kyra went out on the dock. It’s a floating dock, so she bobbed up and down as the waves washed against and beneath the dock.
I test-drove the Tesla on the way back to the house and it was fun, fun, fun. The Tesla has two obvious differences from any other car I’ve driven. (1) If you take your foot off the accelerator, the brakes engage. La said you get to know when to lift your foot so that you never have to use the brake. She added that Tesla recommends you use the brakes at least once per month, just to keep them in working order. (2) If you press the accelerator a bit harder than gently, the car takes off with some kind of low-level G-force. That was so exciting, I tried it three times where the road was straight and no other cars were visible. After that, I reined in my thrill-seeking impulses. La said the rapid acceleration is a nice feature when you want to pass another car within a short distance.
After the trip to the lake, the only thing left to do was put our luggage back into the car and say good-bye less than twenty-four hours after we’d arrived. At least we saw part of the family briefly. We took a farewell picture and then, sadly, got into the car. It felt awful to drive away. The photo should be showing Flathead Lake on the right between the house and the tree, but the lake is obscured by the wildfire smoke.
Kalispell was out of our way back to Wenatchee, so Ted and I decided to stop in Coeur d’Alene to buy COVID tests. Wildfire smoke was again visible on our drive.
Fourth thing to go wrong: We tried four drugstores in Coeur d’Alene, but every one was sold out of COVID tests. It was getting late, so we went to Google Maps to get directions to our hotel.
Fifth thing to go wrong: The directions didn’t make sense, and didn’t give an I-90 exit number, so Ted called the hotel for clarification. The desk clerk told him the hotel was near the Oregon border. That’s not the kind of clarification we were expecting. Is that what you get when you search “Spokane near I-90”? I-90 isn’t even close to Oregon! The desk clerk cheerfully cancelled our reservation for tonight and gave Ted the name of a Best Western hotel in Spokane near I-90 that had a vacancy.
Sixth thing to go wrong: Ted called to make a reservation and asked about restaurants nearby. Our ETA at the hotel was about 8:30 p.m. and the desk clerk said there were a few restaurants nearby, but most would be closed by 9:00 p.m. We decided to eat in Coeur d’Alene. The fourth drug store we tried was at the last Coeur d’Alene exit on the western side of the town. We didn’t want to turn back to find a restaurant in the city, and the only restaurant at this exit was McDonalds. We turned off the highway, headed for Mickey D’s, and discovered they were serving drive-thru only. We ate this meal in the car. During our travels over the years, Ted and I have always said that we’ve never gone hungry. That was true again.
We drove the rest of the way to Spokane without incident. After checking in, I searched online for nearby drugstores and wrote down their addresses and phone numbers so we could start our search for a COVID test as soon as we got up in the morning. Then we showered and went to bed. This is not going to be remembered as the best day of our trip.
Today, it was time to leave Thom’s family and take an eight-hour drive to visit with Jeff and La. Ted’s and my original plan was to fly to Wenatchee, rent a car to drive from Wenatchee to Bigfork, spend several days with Jeff and La and their family, then fly home from Kalispell. Unfortunately, the effects of the COVID pandemic are not yet a thing of the past and we couldn’t get a rental car. Only four car rental agencies have offices in both Wenatchee and Kalispell. Three of them had no cars available; the fourth had cars, but would not provide a one-way rental. Thom generously offered us the use of one of their cars to drive back and forth from Jeff’s house, as well as an extra night with his family before flying home out of Wenatchee. Thank you, Thom and Katie. We accepted their offer. After hugs and kisses to all and one last photo of me with my second granddaughter (look at that grin!), Ted and I headed for I-90 east.
This has been a great trip and visit so far, but we had some glitches today. First thing to go wrong: Thom and Katie have visited Jeff and La several times over the past two years, and suggested that we stop at a Fred Meyer along I-90 in Spokane where we could fill the gas tank and eat at the deli. We found the Fred Meyer, but the COVID economy reared its head at the deli where there was nothing smaller than full loaves of bread and full-size cakes for sale. We asked about deli service and were told they no longer have enough workers to staff a deli, so the deli is closed indefinitely. Naturally, we turned to Google for a solution. Because the closest restaurant was a McDonald’s, we had a burger lunch and got back on the highway. Due to the many wildfires in this area, the air was pretty hazy with smoke, but it was still a beautiful drive through western Washington, the Idaho panhandle, and northwestern Montana.
Second thing(s) to go wrong: We had several delays for unexpected reasons (including finding an alternate place to have lunch) and, as a result, arrived at Jeff and La’s house later than we’d planned. We were texting back and forth and told them to go ahead and have dinner, but they insisted on waiting for us. They moved to this area almost two years ago, and Ted and I have been looking forward to seeing their new house. A zigzag driveway took us one-half mile up a mountainside to reach the house, and Jeff was waiting outside when we arrived at the end of the driveway. He escorted us to our quarters in the guest house to drop off our luggage, and then we joined La and Kyra in the main house. Kyra arranged a vacation from work to be home during our visit. It was so good to see all of them again. Two years is far too long between family visits. After chatting a bit, the pizza was ready to go into the oven. Yummy! Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s one of the things Ted and I have seen–spelled in English–in every one of the 25 foreign countries we’ve visited.
After dinner, there was a detailed tour of the main house and the guest house, and that took a long time because both houses are huge. The guest house has access to the main house via a courtyard and/or a covered passage. Our suite had a huge bedroom and bathroom with all the amenities: two large, lighted closets, a fireplace, and a huge bathroom with a gigantic bathtub set beside a large arched window with a view of the national forest just a few feet away. In addition, the guest house has a large party room with a pool table, a foosball table, and an alcove for watching movies on an 80-inch projection screen. But wait! I’m not finished. There is also another double bathroom (two of everything) and a full kitchen. It was like unpacking to stay at a high-end resort. Ted and I settled in very comfortably. The architecture throughout the two houses in stunning, including lots of bathrooms, forty-foot ceilings in some places, huge rooms, and lots of open space. Here’s a photo I took near the front entrance of the main house. The front door is on the left.
The guest house has a circular tower complete with a cone-shaped roof and (naturally) a circular stairway. Sefton wasn’t here to tell us to hold the pole when we go up and down, nor was there a pole, so we used the handrail.
After the house tour, we settled in for a visit and then we all headed for our bedrooms in various parts of the houses. Alex and Kaitlyn are expected to arrive tomorrow with Ollie, our first great-grandchild. We can’t wait!
Today, Thom and Katie took us to Ohme Gardens, an alpine-style state park in Wenatchee. Here’s how the website description of the park begins.
In 1929, Herman Ohme purchased 40 acres of land for an orchard. Among that acreage was a craggy, dry, desolate, rock-strewn bluff with a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River valley.
Herman and his new bride, Ruth, loved to stand on that bluff and dream of flourishing alpine meadows, shimmering pools and shady evergreen pathways where the hot, relentless summer sun allowed only sage and scrub desert growth. They set their minds on achieving that dream.www.ohmegardens.org
The alpine garden was intended to be a family retreat, but the interest of friends and community members prompted the Ohmes to open the park to the public. It was later sold to Washington State Parks to be preserved for future generations. We had a pleasant afternoon, walking through the gardens and enjoying Ruth and Herman’s dream.
We walked up and down pretty hillsides and beside peaceful pools.
On one hillside, there was a watchtower that Sefton liked. It was open on all four sides. This side of the watchtower provides a view of Wenatchee, the mountains, and the Columbia River valley. We could see the rock outcropping that lies just above Thom and Katie’s house, but it’s too far to the right to be visible in this photo.
All of us except Hadley spent a few minutes looking at this pool. Hadley didn’t see much of the park because she was sleeping. Being adorable all the time tires a girl out.
Throughout the gardens, there were hidden gnomes and fairies. A map of the gardens indicated the areas in which gnomes and fairies could be found and if a visitor (Sefton, for example) could find all of them, that visitor could check them off on his map, turn the map in to the attendant at the gift shop, and get a sticker. Sefton found all the gnomes and fairies and earned his sticker.
After we returned to the house, it was Hadley’s and my turn to watch a GBC (Great Ball Contraption) Lego video with Sefton. Hadley was tired again from being adorable, so she didn’t see much of the show. You can tell she’s asleep because she has her nose buried against my chest. As long as I could hear her breathing, I knew everything was good.
After watching the YouTube GBC Lego videos, Sefton had to show me the GBC he built. His GBC didn’t have moving parts (he gets a break here–he’s only four), so he held one of his GBC balls in his hand and took it over the contraption’s course as he explained to me what was happening at each point along the route. Notice all the Lego he has in the drawer under his bed.
Meanwhile, pursuing a different kind of intellectual activity, Ted and Thom went out to the back yard and finished installing an RHC (Ring and Hook Contraption) that provides a way to pass the time as well as a challenge. The ring is attached to a cord connected to the post. You pull the ring back, let it go, and hope it catches on the hook. I tried it a few times and knew immediately that we’d be waiting a lo-o-ong time for me to get the ring on the hook, so I went back to holding Hadley.
For dinner, Thom cooked wood-fired pizza in their portable wood-fired pizza oven. Because it’s portable, the family can take it along when they travel in their Sprinter van. The oven reaches approximately 750 degrees and a pizza can be cooked in about two minutes. Unfortunately, Thom was reaching for something and bumped the back of his elbow on the oven chimney. The result was a pretty bad burn. You can see the bandage on his arm. Aside from that, you can’t go wrong with pizza for dinner–especially wood-fired pizza.
We’re having such a good time with our family, we’re already looking forward to our next visit.
We had another relaxing morning with Thom’s family. Hadley wanted to be with me while I read my book.
Sefton likes spending time with his baby sister, and it looks like the feeling is mutual.
For lunch, we prepared some picnic food and packed the food, a blanket, and the family into the car for the drive to Lincoln Rock State Park, just north of East Wenatchee. Julian opted to bike the 12 miles to the park. He beat us, and we found him and his bike waiting for us when we arrived at the park. Lincoln Park is named for a rock formation in the park and includes a lake created by the Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River. (Look for Lincoln in the rock.)
Thom, Katie, and the kids all went into the water, but Hadley was too little and too tired. Somebody had to skip the water fun to babysit her. so Ted and I volunteered for the (not) hardship duty. She’s really good at napping.
Our picnic site overlooked the lake, so Ted and I could watch Hadley on the blanket and the rest of the family in the water. Here are Thom and Julian having a ring race, paddling as fast as they can.
After swimming, it was time to let the swimsuits dry a little bit while playing bocce ball. I’m not very good at sports (except swimming), so Hadley offered to stay with me and watch the action.
Julian recently hurt his knee when he landed the wrong way on a trampoline. Ted and I were excited that he could be at Thom and Katie’s house during our visit, but he needs to go home tomorrow morning for a physical therapy appointment. After dinner, while Julian was still with us, we took some family pictures. Here are Thom and Katie’s family, and Ted and me with our grandchildren.
This is such a great visit!
What a relief! Thom and Katie are not morning people. There was time for me to do some reading in the sunlight, to drink the hot chocolate Thom always prepares for me in his professional-style beverage machine, and to join him, Katie, and Ted with their coffee on the patio. Of course, Sefton had many things to tell us, and Hadley wanted to be held by Grandma and Grandpa. (Well, ok, if we must.) Sefton found Julian’s skateboard and wanted a ride on it. His big brother made it happen.
There was some sibling time too, when the big brothers kept their little sister happy in her swing.
Sefton is very good about sharing–except for one thing. Katie told me that if they give Hadley the bird toy we bought as a baby gift for Sefton, he always takes it back. He was very generous sharing his “m&m&ms” with everyone, but not the bird.
In the afternoon, we all went to Pybus Market and checked out the shops. Julian was hungry, so he ordered food. Ted and I stopped at a cheese store to look at their cheese knives. We found one we liked and we’re hoping it will cut Ted’s daily serving of cheese to perfection. Sefton knew where the gelato store was and it seemed appropriate for all of us to have some gelato. What a great idea, Sefton!
After walking the length of the Market, we continued on to the adjoining Riverside Park, set along the Columbia River. The park has some unusual sculptures. The sphere is called “Pre-Mathematics” and the foot is called (duh!) “Ped.”
The park has a miniature train than runs all the way around it. There’s even a Wenatchee station house and an actual caboose parked at one end of the track. The train only runs on weekends and this was a weekday, so Sefton had fun running twice around the train track. He especially enjoyed running across the bridges. It’s no fun to run alone, so he needed Grandma to follow him all the way. (Surprise!–I didn’t run.)
It’s part of a big brother’s job to lift his little brother onto a high railing. Julian is still the one who can always make Sefton giggle.
After we returned to the house, Julian left to take a bike ride and Sefton invited Grandpa to watch GBC with him. Ted and I quickly learned about GBC–the Great Ball Contraption–and Ted settled in to watch a fascinating hour of GBC videos with Sefton.
Each “contraption” has an entry point for GBC balls followed by an intricate system of self-operated moving parts to move the balls through the contraption. In competition and conventions, individual contraptions are connected and the balls travel through all of them in a continuous circuit. Go to YouTube and search “GBC Lego” to find the videos. I bet you’ll be fascinated by them.
Meanwhile, I was busy bonding with Hadley. Ted and I have been waiting 23 years and seven grandsons for a second granddaughter, and I made the most of my time with her.
To end the day, Thom made a delicious dinner featuring biscuits and fried chicken. It was another good day with our family.
For the first time in 549 days (but who’s counting?), Ted and I took an overnight trip. We haven’t seen our sons’ families since our 50th wedding anniversary celebration 754 days ago. During that time, both boys moved to new houses in new locations, Sefton aged from two to four years old (a huge developmental change), and we gained a baby granddaughter and a great-grandson. Of course, we kept in touch with emails and texts, as well as phone and video calls, but it’s not the same as being together. With a lull in the COVID pandemic, we decided it’s time to venture a little farther into the world to visit our distant family members.
Our flight was early–8:00 a.m.–so we ordered a cab for 6:00 a.m. There’s nothing like an early start to the day. (Not!) We had a scheduled two-hour layover for our connecting flight to Wenatchee, but it turned out to be a 30-minute layover, so lunch became the crackers, cheese, and apples we had packed for a snack. While we were waiting to board our–wait for it!–propeller plane, we sat beside a man whose luggage tags indicated he was going to FAT. I asked him which airport that was and he said “Fresno.” Since Ted and I were tagged to arrive in EAT (Wenatchee), the man and I decided the two airports were a good pair: EAT FAT.
Except for tour flights over the Grand Canyon and Denali, I don’t think I’ve ever flown on a propeller plane. It was another new travel adventure for me. Here’s our plane as we saw it while waiting for our baggage. The plane was so small that carry-on suitcases didn’t fit in the overhead bins. We dropped them off on a cart beside the stairs to the cabin and picked them up at the airport door after our 20-minute–yes, 20-minute–flight. You can see the bags coming down the ramp at the rear of the plane.
Little planes fly lower than big ones, and that made the mountains much prettier to look at. We had good views of the North Cascades and of the wildfire smoke.
In the photo below, you can see a strip of blue sky between the smoke (below) and the clouds (above).
As we neared Wenatchee, we could see harvested fields and irrigated apple orchards. Wenatchee promotes itself as “The Apple Capital of the World” and there are a lot of orchards in the area.
I noticed a weird phenomenon while I was taking pictures through the airplane window. This is how the fast-moving propeller looks in a photo. Julian told me later that this effect is due to the direction in which a cell phone camera scans the scene in the 1/24,000 of a second it takes the photo. It’s kind of cool, isn’t it?
Although there’s a sign at the Wenatchee airport indicating the direction to “All Gates,” there is only one gate, so it was easy to find our way out to the curb where Thom picked us up and informed us that, thanks to the burning wildfires, “You’ve arrived at the worst air quality in the country.” The best part of the day came when we arrived at Thom and Katie’s house: seeing Sefton and Julian again and meeting Hadley for the first time. When we brought Jeff to meet our parents, Ted’s sister reached for him, but his mother charged ahead of her and said, “Oh, no–Grandmas first!” and took Jeff from me. I think that’s a good rule, so Grandma got to hold the baby first. Grandpa greeted Sefton and we both greeted Julian, who is spending a few days with the family while we’re here. It’s so nice to see the entire family in person again!
If Hadley falls asleep in your arms (is there anything sweeter than holding a sleeping baby?), she likes to turn her face into your chest. I could hear her breathing, so I knew she wasn’t suffocating, but still, . . .
Meanwhile, Sefton, who is very interested in clocks, showed Grandpa the clock he made.
And then it was time to play “hide Grandpa.” Sefton had lots of things to tell us–two years’ worth–and every sentence seemed to begin with “Grandpa and Grandpa, look at this.” I tried to teach him that I’m Grandma and the other person is Grandpa, but most of the time, we were Grandpa and Grandpa. He’s four. It’s fine.
After greeting everyone and holding Hadley, the next item on the agenda was a tour of the new house. There’s a circular staircase to the basement, and Sefton made sure to tell us that “You have to hold the pole when you go up and down,” so we did.
After a dinner of Katie’s Special Recipe mac and cheese, we took a family walk along a canal near the house. It felt good to stretch our legs after sitting on planes and in airports most of the day. Spending time with the family in person after more than two years apart made this a great first day of our trip.