Saturday, June 27, 2009


Blue skies here.

After the slumber party disbursed, we tidied things up a bit, and then went to Lincoln Park with friends. Tessa Razor scootered, threw rocks in the sea, and built some kind of fort out of driftwood with three boys from her school, and the moms (Laurie & Jen & I) hung out and chatted and caught sunshine. We picnicked there - PB&J again for us because I really need to go grocery shopping !- and had a lovely time.

This afternoon, we did another hour or so of chores, and then went to Alki for the evening with Susan, Jackson, and Carter. Tessa did her usual stay-in-the-sea-til-she's-blue routine (lasting less time than usual, and shivering more...hmmm) and we planned a BBQ. I had brought charcoal briquettes and chicken and shrimp, and we planned to grill. Well, the joke was on me - I had the tablecloth and the enamelware plates and the reusable water bottles and all that....but the coals just would not ignite. We messed with it for a long time and gave up. Pepperdock serves great burgers, anyway. ;-) I suppose I can grill - at home on gas - tomorrow.

I'm tired from all the sun, but happy. I managed to fold three baskets of laundry and put them away, but of course the hamper is now filled with a day's worth of clothes, beach towels, tablecloth, and blanket....I should give up on trying to catch up! Oh well. My house is less than perfect, but I am living my life to the fullest, and that is all I can ask for.

PS Ryan did a 65 mile bike ride today and felt toasted as a result. He is going to be creaky tomorrow, I think. He's preparing for a longer ride in July.

Poetry and Slumber Parties

I forgot to write a note about one feature of the SAM day - poetry. While Tessa and I were waiting for the water taxi to depart, she looked down and saw a spider web on the dock, just inches from the water. Tessa dictated the following poem to me:

Spider Living By the Sea

I am a spider
who lives by the sea.
I do not catch bugs,
I catch fish,
Because there are no bugs
by the ocean.
But fish tastes good.
When spiders live by the sea
there are no bugs
for them to eat.
Why I eat the fish
is because it tastes good;
Besides, I hate bugs.
You might think I'm weird
because I am a spider.
I have no friends -
Actually, I have one friend,
and it is a fish.
It is a jellyfish.

This will not make it into Granta but have I mentioned how much I love having a daughter who thinks that sitting on a boat and composing poetry is fun? Tessa wrote down the titles for two more poems to complete, as well: "I am a jellyfish" and "I am a starfish, living on a piling".

This morning I have Jessie & Zoe over, and the girls are in heaven. I made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and they've been finishing up last night's movie (The Saddle Club).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Well worth my time

This artist/writer is so amazing. I feel like I float through her work like it is a river, taking me away. What a beautiful gift.

Hiking with girls

Today I decided that it was time to go hiking. I decided that since Tessa and I were one on one all day yesterday I wouldn't push my luck and do it twice, so I invited Tessa's friend Jessie along.

It was magical.

The girls were in high spirits, so happy to be outdoors. We went to my favorite trailhead...almost. When we turned up the steep road to the trailhead, there was a washout, so we had to turn around and find a new hike. We chose the Denny Creek area, and hiked in to Franklin Falls, which was just gorgeous.

I saw wildflowers (I love the sweet, simple trillium); the girls sang and giggled and ran half the way. Shep was delirious with the joy of being with us, as he's not so fond of art museum days when he's not invited. The air was so fresh, the roar of the river so perfect, and the cedar trees so very large.

We feasted on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on home made bread, along with some gorp. We leaned against rocks, we felt the spray of the falls, we climbed on the rocks. The girls were happy; they were content. There was no whining for stuff, no complaining about the length of the trail. There was just loving the outdoors, loving being together.

I am a lucky, lucky woman.

Tonight we went to Bobcat Bob's CD release party, and hung out with friends at the coffee shop (C&P, of course).

I am blessed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Girls Day Downtown

By "girls" I mean Tessa and myself. And it was nothing short of perfect.

Tessa and I walked to the Junction and caught the free Water Taxi Shuttle Bus. We had a few minutes until the water taxi arrived, so we talked to two women who were fishing off the dock for salmon, and I explained to Tessa how fishing works. (Of course, she wants to try fishing right now! We might just have to do it.) We caught the boat in to the city, and headed straight to the market for lunch: piroshkies. We sat on the curb and watched all the hubbub as we ate out of the paper sacks, and it was delicous. (Pike Place in summer is quite a scene!) Then we walked over to SAM, and Tessa and I enjoyed the Wyeth exhibit and wandered around a little, even choosing new china (ha!) for our tea parties from the huge china exhibit. When we were done with that, we wandered back to the market, and stood in the line for the miniature donuts that you get hot off the machine - "the best donuts ever" Tessa says, and I can't disagree. (Except the ones made just like that at Roche Harbor, because they were dipped in chocolate. YUM.) Back to the water taxi, and home again.


The whole day, including lunch, donuts, and water taxi, cost $10. We had Metro vouchers free from the Sustainable West Seattle Festival - hurrah! Sure we ate some sugary-fatty food, but we walked a lot....maybe that balances it out.

Tessa and I talked, and played, and just enjoyed each other. I felt so filled to the brim with the satisfaction of being this child's mother - of all the children, I got Tessa, and I couldn't imagine a better fit. Talking about art, wandering the market, riding the ferry, counting jellyfish from the dock....does it get much better?

It might. Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, we think we'll go hiking. Perhaps friends will join us, perhaps not, and it just doesn't matter. We've decided to pack a picnic and our swimsuits, so that we can swim in Talapus Lake. We'll bring Shep, too, and he'll swoon from the pleasure of it....he didn't like being left home today.

I'll do laundry on....Saturday?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pictures - After the fire

The cross that Don made my parents, that hung in the middle of their home, is charred. The wall beneath it (which is faintly visible in this picture) was protected and didn't burn.
A pile of debris in my parents' bedroom- remember, there was water, fire, and foam....what's left isn't pretty.
And the staircase in the middle of the house, looking up towards the bedroom hall.


I've heard people say, almost as a game...

If your house was burning down, what three things would you take?

My parents didn't get the opportunity to decide. The house burned while they were gone, and the choice was not theirs.

However, now we are trying to rescue things. It's funny, all of us work so hard to have beautiful, comfortable homes....and in the end, it's mostly just stuff. Stuff that we love, stuff that we miss, but just....stuff. Couches and bookcases are replaceable, and if we're lucky, we even get newer, nicer items to replace what was lost. Kitchens can be remodeled, a new spatula can be bought, and that mixer was really old anyway.

So at the end of the day, most things aren't important, or are easily replaced (when you have insurance money). So what we're rescuing is of value to almost nobody....except us. My parents have all of this in perspective, and they know it's just stuff....but it still aches. Of course it does.

My Grandma Marian (Brown) Goddard kept a cookbook that was really a daybook, but instead of writing in it like a journal, she hand wrote recipes in it, and occassionally taped in a recipe from the newspaper or a magazine. Hundreds of pages of my grandmother's recipes, in her handwriting, bound in a rubber band because the binding long since disintegrated. I nearly cried from joy when I found it - a victory!

My grandparents' Bibles - treasures because of the hands that loved them, the names carefully written in their covers. My mother's baby book. The Polaroid picture of me taken on the day I got my All Round Cord in Girl Guides (sort of like being an Eagle Scout). My brother's kindergarten yearbook.

Really, just scraps of paper....but they mean so much.

We asked Tessa what she would most want to save. "Special Blanket and Special Bear." Oh yes, those are good.

For me? My wedding ring (on my finger, so it's with me anyway). All of Tessa's baby pictures (and beyond). Grandpa Goddard's bookcase. Tessa's baby book.

I hope I never have to face what my parents are facing. They've been through worse, but this is no fun, no fun at all.

I have received several offers from friends to help my parents. I want to say thank you, because the offers mean so much. My parents are very comfortable in their motorhome - king sized bed, leather couches, small but functional kitchen with dishes, fridge, stove, microwave, etc. They even have a small washer/dryer in there. In short, they do not need things - actually, they have nowhere to put things! They are cozy and it is a lovely space. If you want to do something, right now a card with a personal sentiment is probably the right thing. They're on the phone a lot right now with insurance and restorers and the like, and it's all pretty overwhelming and tiring, so a note in the mail is about the right speed. Their mailbox was not attached to their house (it was up the street), so they can still get mail at the regular address.

My Dad thinks that they'll probably be "home" by Easter. There's along road between here and there.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summertime, and the livin' is easy

When Ella sings that song, I melt.

Today was one of those days. Tessa and I went with friends down to Alki, picnic and beach towels in hand. The moms hung out and chatted, and the children went in and out of the sea, capturing jellyfish, building castles, digging holes, and wading.

When the kids were starting to melt down, we left, no rush, no hurry, just time to be done. We came home and I plunked Tessa into a warm bathtub (hours in the ocean and I swear she was turning blue) to warm up and get the sand out, and now I'm doing chores and little busy work.

May every summer day look like this one!

PS Thank you so much to everyone who has asked about my parents. Given the circumstances, they are doing remarkably well. My mom found out that her childhood hymnal and Bible can be restored, and so can some of their paintings. It turns out that ammonia will take the smell of smoke out of clothes, too. Bit by bit, my parents are piecing their lives back together. I will spend the day with them tomorrow, with a pool break for Tessa (and I!).

PPS I'm spending the day with my parents tomorrow. I'll get pictures of the house if I can.