Monday, October 18, 2010

The joys of the Methow

Wanted to say the last part of my sweep through Washington state involved a 3-day visit to the Methow valley, a fertile green finger of land sandwiched between the dry hills of Washington's arid center. We got there over the North Cascades Highway and the middle photo is of Veeka shivering at the Diablo Lake overlook. Mountain lakes are emerald green in that part of the world just south of the Mt. Baker wilderness.
We swept through Washington Pass and ended up in Winthrop, a small town in the eastern foothills of the North Cascades where my friends Dick and Pam Ewing have lived for 25 years. They moved there in the mid-1980s and built a gorgeous log home there which Veeka and I adored running about in, especially the new and gorgeous spiral staircase connected the 2nd and 3rd floors. We spent the first day driving up through a pine forest to Sun Mountain Lodge, the local posh resort, which is surrounded by all manner of paths that turn into cross-country trails in the winter. We wandered down one ringed by aspens (see photo of Veeka and Dick) to a beaver pond although we unfortunately did not spot a beaver. Veeka hiked nearly 3 miles that day, a record for her.
The next day, we repaired to Rainy Lake, a hike up in the Cascades to another gorgeous mountain lake and through typical moist Northwesty forests complete with tons of firs, pines, mushrooms, ferns and other opulent flora. Back at the house, Veeka loved running around the property and petting the kitties and exploring the two large gardens that Pam kept up.
It was a lovely reprieve for all too soon we were back in the Washington area, facing an October of no job possibilities and a complete dry-up of even freelance work. Turns out I'd slated some work to be done on my bathroom (it's a wreck) so I've been more than busy running back and forth to Home Depot for supplies. And then this past weekend, a church kindly helped Veeka and I attend - for free - a gathering at the lovely diocesan retreat center of Shrinemont in the foothills west of the Shenendoah Valley. The fall weather could not have been more perfect - and we visited wineries (a national sport in Virginia) on the way home, only to run into a 9-mile backup on I-81 going home and a Beltway with the nastiest traffic. And then someone thoughtlessly rearended me as I was exiting said Beltway.
So this morning was spent with a chiropractor. Back to earth, we are.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My little flower girl

There are times when Veeka can surpass all expectations and yesterday was one of them. Dressed in a deep purple flouncy dress with black shoes, she was absolutely perfect as she marched up the aisle with her purple flowers and stood by her older cousin Lindsay as Carley and Jed said their vows. ALL the other flower girls - and ringbearer - wandered off during the ceremony but Veeka was the only one who stood there in place during the sermon, vows, songs, you-name-it. She loved being up front, wearing lavender eyeshadow and lipstick and being a little star. She thought that seeing Uncle Rob in a tux - attire one must have when giving one's daughter away - was pretty cool.
Unfortunately the sun hardly broke through the clouds the entire day, making it a cloudy Saturday but that didn't dampen peoples' spirits as we all gathered in North Bend for the church ceremony, then drove nearly an hour away for a reception in a farmhouse that gave new meaning to the word "isolated." We were deep in the woods east of Duvall in territory even my parents had never driven about.
Am including some photos here of Miss Veeka in her finery, Carley and Jed saying their vows and the happy couple holding my little darling.
It's been a fun few days in Seattle where I've either been at a wedding shower, rehearsal or the event itself. Today (Sunday), I spoke at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on my newest book and tomorrow Veeka and I head to the Methow Valley for a few days. Veeka is enjoying her time with Oma and Opa and all the other relatives.