Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Carefully Purging Things... "Stuff"

I know it's like a cliche... That the first half century of our lives we spend collecting stuff and as soon as we hit the second half century mark we start to get rid of stuff.  When I moved out of the house where I raised my kids I had no choice but to start clearing out closets and the garage because the next house had few closets and no garage.  But here it is over a half dozen years later and I have stuff that is taking up too much room.  This weekend I decided that VHS tapes had to go.  If I wanted to save ones of the family I can have them converted to DVD.  So I have boxed or given away most all the commercial tapes.  But, tonight I hurt my daughters feelings because she thought she'd keep the little Mermaid tape and a few others as memorabilia from her past.  All those tears and the accusation that I was ... Well it seems..heartless.  Ugh.. I would never intentionally hurt her.  It didn't cross my mind.  I was feeling better and much lighter and good about bringing joy to a little family that has much less than me.  I was feeling so good about my decision.

I am constantly trying to clear out things.  I have a few friends that are about the same age as empty nesters and their homes are filled to the brim with "things."  I don't want to be living in a storage unit but it is hard to let go of stuff.... sometimes it seems that it defines us.  There are other times that I think my memories are all tied up with stuff.

I am buried under photos and scrapbooks and family history. Of all the stuff I have stashed away in my house, that is what weighs the most. I hope over time as I digitize it, that I won't feel so weighted down.. so protective of all the photos. The day will come when it will mostly be scanned. But that could take years!

I remember when my Mom moved into the condo from the family house. I was bummed that she sold the NOEL sign for the garage and didn't save it for me. I never asked for it.. I suppose as a kid I assumed it would always be there.  To this day, over 25 years later and decades after she has passed, I still wish I had those letters.  I am no different than my kids, I suppose!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Celebrating Maureen and Mabel






Her East Coast accent, big smile, red hair, and her new buddy, Mabel, are trademarks of one of my dear friends, Maureen.  She lives in Seattle 8 months of the year in a floating home on Lake Union.  From the first day I met her we connected!  But, she also brings our friends together which brings me joy!  Her birthday is usually just before she heads back to Indiana.  Kathleen, Diana, Pam and I will miss her this fall!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Building Castles in the Sand















Months ago Pam asked me about going to the Sand Castle... Sand Sculpture... events in Long Beach this summer.  She had me mark my calendar and as the days got closer we made plans. I probably would have just let it pass by but I am so glad she pushed me to go! 

I remember as a young kid making sand castles on the warm white sandy beaches in the northern suburbs of Chicago or in Florida when visiting my grandmother who was a "snowbird."  Usually I'd design a castle with a moat, of course, with my sister and brother.  We'd have buckets that we'd fill with wet sand and turn them over to make our turrets.  Trees and details were often made by running wet sand thru our fingers that would stack up like little trees.  I never knew that years later that building with sand on the beach would become an art form! 

Long Beach, Washington has an annual event that brings in people from sometimes thousands of miles away to build sand sculptures.  It's called Sandsations.

I had so much fun at the beach this day!  When we arrived in town there was a parade because in addition to Sand Sculpture there was a rodeo.  I love seeing how these artists create sculpture using only sand... and then let it all disappear in a matter of hours!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blooms at the Bellevue Botanical Garden










Flowers just make me happy!  I love to walk through gardens and try to capture them in my camera lens.  Today I spent only a short time at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens.

She Called ME "Grammy!"

My Daughter in Law, Terrah, stopped by with Riley for only a few minutes on the way to an appointment.  Riley ran up to me and called me, "Grammy!"  It was so exciting!  I'll remember this day forever!  It was a short visit.  I took them out into my backyard which was full of flowers.  It seemed like minutes later they had to leave. I didn't get any photos, just enjoyed the impromptu visit!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ducks Dodging Boats in Lake Union






The weekly Tuesday sailboat races all summer in Lake Union are quite a treat to watch.  As many boats as possible fill the lake.  Kenmore Air doesn't even land planes that afternoon as it would be impossible to find a landing strip at all in the lake.  I love to watch from the dock as the boats come from Gas Works Park with wind filling the spinnakers and then try to negotiate the buoy at the south end of of the lake.  There is a theme each week from pajamas to prom to pirates.  But, we can't always see any of the costumes from the dock.  It is often a peaceful way to spend the end of a day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Capital Lakefair with Kyler and Glenn

 











We had a nice day in Olympia at the town fair and shopping with Kyler and my brother, Glenn.  We wandered around the Capital Lake Fair. The Fish Tale Tavern was a fun place. We shopped in the cute stores in town.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Hour with Seafair Clowns






Kyler and I were having a bite to eat at Laredo's on lower Queen Anne. What should appear but all these Seafair clowns... colorful, happy, having fun!  It was such a surprise and a fun way to get happy at happy hour!