Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go to Mama's

My parents' wedding anniversary was August 24, and I decided I'd like to go spend the day with my mama so she could be with someone who knew Dad.

I asked Jeff, "Mom's anniversary is on Saturday. I was thinking of going up to see her. I could take the train. It's cheap. What do you think?" 

Jeff replied, "Sure. That's fine." This he said quickly, much more quickly than normal.

"I'd be going by myself," I clarified.

"I know," he said gently.

"Without the boys," I specified.

"I understand," he murmured.

What he understood was something I didn't. While I did want to see my mom and help make the 24th pass quickly, Jeff could see that IIIIIIIIIIIII waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas goiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy in Testosterone Land. I needed some girl time, I was depressed for some nebulous unspecified reason I couldn't identify, I hadn't been away by myself since February 2012, and the summer had stretched into a long infinity of sci fi, fantasy, super heroes, wrestling, legos, preteen puberty, wii background noise, and did-didn't-did-didn't-did-didn't-did-didn't. 

It's not that I don't love hanging out with my boys. I do. I even like the new Star Wars role playing game (as long as I get to knit when it's not my turn). But I did think fleetingly, while trying to figure out whether I should confront the Gamorrean guards head on or sneak up and attack them from behind, if I had a daughter, we would do our nails in the other room right now and leave the saving of the galaxy to the men.

Well, I don't have a daughter, but I do have a mama, and she willingly answered my desperate plea to escape to someplace far removed from anything remotely resembling a Minecraft tutorial video.


It was just what I needed. We had a lovely weekend, and Mom spoiled me and ministered to me and bought me ice cream and drove me all around and laughed with me and missed Dad with me and understood me and loved me. 

And now, for my sharing your viewing pleasure, a pictorial journey through our weekend.

This is Mom's house. Sort of. She wanted to buy it, but her equity was all tied up in the house Dad built in Idaho, so a friend bought it for her and is renting it to her until her equity is free. Or something like that. Anyway, it needed some TLC before she could move in, so right now it's a jobsite.

I hope Mom likes rhodies. There are seven in the front yard. Seven.

The back yard. Check out the old growth timber behind the house. I luuuuv it.

Fruit trees! I can't remember what kind. Cherry, plum, and something else, I think. Anyway, it's a huge back yard, which is very pleasing. Lots of opportunities for Mom to landscape, which is one of her favorite hobbies.

So... once upon a time, my dad made these sawhorses. When Mom was preparing to move to Bellingham, she had a big yard sale, and I went over to Idaho a couple times to help. She put these sawhorses in the yard sale section of the garage, but I didn't want them to get sold off, because, you know, Dad made them and stuff, so I rescued them and brought them back to Oregon.

I stored them in my bedroom, where I proceeded to injure myself on them regularly as I passed by. We brought them to Washington when we moved, but we didn't use them. They just took up space in our garage and kept picking on me.

A month or so ago, at James's birthday party, Mom mentioned that she could use some more sawhorses.

I piped up immediately, "You can have the ones Dad made. They're in our garage. I rescued them because I thought they were going in the yard sale, but we're not using them. You want 'em?"

She wanted 'em.

She was also appalled and disappointed that I would even think of selling them in a yard sale. DAD made them, for cryin' out loud.

I assured her I wasn't going to sell them in a yard sale. I'd RESCUED them from the yard sale.

"Well, I'm glad you decided to keep them," she replied.

"Well, we don't need them anymore, so you can have them," I repeated.

At that point in the conversation, I noticed slight shifts in the posture of those listening. Especially those in my family of origin. I suspect they all began a quest to fight old hardwiring and a) not intervene, and b) remember that everything was going to be okay even if they didn't intervene.

Mom and I continued our show-stopping circular conversation about sawhorses and yard sales and who had what intentions and how the sawhorses came to be in my garage. (Except they weren't in the garage anymore. Jeff had long since walked away with addled brains, retrieved the sawhorses, and stowed them in the back of Mom's SUV.)

Finally, in an effort to change the subject (slightly), Mom said, "So, when is your yard sale?"

I looked at her blankly. "What yard sale?"

"You said you were having a yard sale."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did. The one you were going to sell Dad's sawhorses in before you changed your mind and rescued them."

As my brother, Seth, threw his head back in total exasperation, I threw mine back with gales of laughter. When I could breathe again, I gasped, "No. I'm not having a yard sale. I thought YOU were going to sell Dad's sawhorses in YOUR yard sale. In IDAHO. That's the yard sale I rescued them from."

Mom giggled. After which she exclaimed that she would NEVER have intentionally sold those sawhorses in the yard sale.

We concluded, much to the relief of everyone else at the party, that she had put them in the yard sale section of the garage because they would make useful table legs under a sheet of plywood on which items that WERE for sale would be displayed. So when I "rescued" them, she ended up with one less table available for her yard sale.


But all's well that ends well, and the sawhorses now live safely in Mom's back yard, light years away from any kind of yard sale, functioning in their intended role as a jobsite prop.

Long live the sawhorses!!

Speaking of Mom's back yard, here are the super nifty flowers in it. This is really what color they are. No camera trickery.

Isn't this gorgeous?

This one's my favorite.

Tada! The inside of Mom's house. There was some grumbly discussion surrounded its jobsite-ish looking state, but... it's a jobsite, yo. No one can see the tools and stuff. They're looking at the vision.

So this is the view when you walk in the front door. Check out the dining room light fixtures. Shnazzy. And lots of happy natural light.

The living room. Check out the hardwood flooring. All brand new and totally gorgeous. And I super love the TV pocket above the fireplace.

The front door and front window. Nice, big room.

The very, very lovely kitchen full of up-to-the-minute cabinets, granite countertops, new appliances, and a suuuuuper nifty kitchen faucet.

Check out the ovenS. And see the entry into the utility room?

This glass door goes there. So pretty!
There are three bedrooms in the back. This one will be Mom's office. I think this is the best shot I got of the floor.
This is the green room.
This is the happy room. (I just made up those room names.)
This is the bathroom. It looks way different. It was stupid before it was remodeled. Everything was stuck in a weird spot and it didn't make any sense at all. Now it's amazing.

See? Told ya.
I've never seen metal tile bits that match the shower fixtures. I like them.

And there you have it. The grand tour of Mom's halfway house. (Halfway done, that is.)

So apparently, Ed & Aileen wanted to start an ice cream shoppe, but they thought Ed & Aileen's was too much of a mouthful, so they smooshed their names together like a scoop of ice cream smooshed into a cone, and called their establishment EDALEEN. Weird.

But super yummy ice cream. Mine was coffee and I think Mom's was coffee with oreo.

Someday I am going to be an amazing landscaper just like my mama and my sister. I asked Mom if we could stop by a nursery so I could take some pictures of plants that might work well in my front yard, and these are my favorites. This is heather. It bloomed all over Lake Stevens all summer, and I fell in luv.

This is a day lily. So pretty!

I don't remember what this is, but I like it. It looks like fire.

This is my new favorite birdbath of all time. I want it. Someone buy me it. It's only $80.

I think these are day lilies, too. This particular variety also bloomed all over Lake Stevens all summer, and I liked it a lot.

I love all these house decoration thingys. Especially this one.

See, the cat can sit on this bench and pounce on the birds in the birdbath... wait...


No idea what this is. Deformed purple grass? Anyway, I like the color.

Mom talks about Birch Bay a lot, so I asked if she'd take me there. Which she did. And bonus: those islands across the bay are in Canada. We were going to get out and walk on the beach and stuff, but it was... wet. I don't like wet things.

So I took safe, dry pictures from the safe, dry car, and then we went somewhere else.

The somewhere else turned out to be a place that Google Maps calls Zuanich Park and Mom calls Squalicum Park and the Whatcom Watch Online says used to be called Harbor Point Park and is now called Zuanich Point Park. It started out as a little kite-flying park, but it soon became a memorial to fishermen lost at sea.

This historic anchor, found in Port Gamble in 1975, made its way to Bellingham and became a memorial to all Whatcom County fishermen lost at sea between 1943 and 1975.

This statue was added in 1999 as another memorial to fishermen lost at sea. The guy on top doesn't look like anyone specific, according to the sculptor, Eugene Fairbanks, but his hat depicts a fishing ship called Lady of Good Voyage, the lost ship of the sculptor's son's good friend who died in 1993 in the Bering Sea.

I think we're looking at Portage Island and Lummi Island. Could be dead wrong.

This gull stood very still so I could take pictures of it. Nice gull. Then it realized we weren't going to feed it, so it huffed off. Cranky gull.
The next day, before I had to head to the train station, Mom took me to Mt. Baker. This parking lot is at Artist Point, elevation 5,140. Slightly lower than Hailey. But that's not Mt. Baker. That's Mt. Shuksan. At first, I thought it was Mt. Baker. It's not.

So pretty. And majestic. And still a fairly impressive 9, 131 feet tall.

This is Mt. Baker, elevation 10,781 feet.

I took a picture of this old snag in memory of my dad. He loved taking pictures of old snags. He liked the stories they told. I'm pretty sure this one's story is entitled "Death by Lightning."
Mountain daisy.

And look how cool God is. I was just taking pictures of mountain daisies, and this butterfly suddenly landed on one as I snapped a photo. So pleasing. A special treat from Abba to me. I love the delicate white tips on the wings.

We walked about half a mile out the Chain Lakes Trail, which you can see off to the right. I took a little amateur panorama of our view. This is Shot One.

This is Shot Two.

This is Shot Three.

Here's a closeup of the top of Mt. Baker. I think that might be Lasiocarpa Ridge in the foreground.

We asked a hiker to take a picture of us with Mt. Baker in the background. I was unsatisfied with the result. Where's Mt. Baker?

So we asked another hiker to take another picture of us, but my camera battery died and I left my spare in the car, so he took a picture with his camera and emailed it to us. This one has Mt. Baker in the background, which is what I wanted. It also has my nose in the foreground. Fail.

Here is an ominous bird sculpture. I'm pretty sure they're squawking, "Go back! Don't ski here! We'll peck your eyes out!"

We decided to calm our ominous bird sculpture fears by eating more ice cream. Mine was huckleberry something-or-other, and Mom's was coffee-something-or-other.

Our last stop before I had to go home was a visit to Grandma's, which I've already blogged about. She is very precious to me. Also I am named after her. Also we look alike.

Thanks, Mama, for treating me to such a lovely weekend. I love you!