Saturday in the Park

Our weekends have pretty much been: play on Saturday, work on Sunday.  Recently we've kind of deviated from that plan but I think we'll get back to it.  So yesterday we found something to do, or rather, someplace to go to take pictures.  Then today we'll work.  Rick rented a power washer and we're gonna have fun washing the moss off the roof.  But this blog is about yesterday...

 I was looking for something on King 5's website that would give hints as to when the fall color would be the most plentiful in eastern Wa and instead found lists of peoples' favorites - places to watch a sunset, favorite gardens, haunted spots. B&Bs, etc.  I found a sunset spot in Steilacoom, where's that?  Oh, not too far, just south of Tacoma.  Then I started wandering around the map, looking at pictures on the Google map.  I found quite a few parks south of Tacoma on the water, places that would be good to watch the sunset.  Rick finally said we were headed out.  I asked "Where?".  He said "What you mean 'Where?', you've been looking at stuff all morning!  Were going THERE!"  OK, so we headed toward Steilacoom.

The weather was supposed to clear up.  It was cool and cloudy but not raining.  I think we finally actually got out about 1 PM.  Sometime on the way it did clear up and by the time we got out there it was sunny and warmer.

So we just kind of drove along "by feel" like Rick and I both have a habit of doing.  Then I pulled out his Garmin and looked to see where there were parks on the water.  We started at a small park called Titlow, very small.  Just a boardwalk and small beach.  There were some old pilings out in the water.  A bald eagle was inhabiting the most prominent one and seagulls and pelagic cormorants were parked on most of the others, one per customer.  Occasionally a cormorant would do it's batman imitation.  

We returned to our meandering and found ourselves at another big park I'd seen on the web called Chambers Creek.  It's a large park that includes a golf course.  There is also a large grass area good for kite flying, paths for bike, skateboard and scooter riding, a bridge that went safely over the very busy railroad tracks and took you to the little beach littered with driftwood.  Parking was plentiful and close and there was an off-leash dog park as well.  Oh yeah, there used to be a quarry there and the big concrete walls still stood, giant, crumbling monoliths.  All in all a very interesting, nicely maintained park, of course, it was in kind of a hoity-toity neighborhood.

One of the strangest sights we saw there was a fellow walking back to his car in a wetsuit and carrying a small surfboard.  He had all his scuba gear too, maybe he did something more like snuba.  All I know is it was odd to see him hauling all his gear across the park.  But the entire Puget Sound area is apparently very interesting for scuba divers, it includes the largest octopus in the world!

So we wandered around that park for a time then decided to eat so I suggested we go back to Titlow Park to eat at a little bar and grill I saw there that looked interesting.  It was late enough that we could possibly catch the sunset on the water during or after dinner.  The food was great, it wasn't too loud, prices were fair and we did indeed catch the sunset.  

We really enjoyed our day, we'll have to do that more often - like we used to!

Another Milestone...

OK, so Keith just turned 21, that's a milestone. Here's another one, another family member is about to be "grafted" into our family tree - Dane's engaged!

It doesn't seem that long ago that Dane just went through a gob of important life events (there are 2 links right there).  But as life goes on, those events just continue to accumulate.

Her name is Chelsea Tapia, she's about 3 years younger than Dane and an active JW.  We all got to meet her at our first "Family Day" in a few years, a day that we dress up, take pictures (if I feel like it) have a nice meal and share gifts. 

They've been spending every spare moment together for the last few months and have gotten to know each other pretty well.  When Dane told me of his intent to propose he said "my life is work, sleep, Chelsea".  He's spent a lot of time with her family as well, you know what they say about a girl becoming her mother - I hope he likes her mother!

So his plan was to propose by a waterfall, in dress clothes and with a song playing in the background - "Marry Me" by Train.  Friday he drove out there and checked out what to expect and where he wanted to do it.  

Saturday after Chelsea got off work he picked her up and their 2 chaperones (who were in on the plan as well), blindfolded her and drove her to Snoqualmie Falls.

I asked if it would be OK for me to come around and take some engagement shots since they'd already be in a nice place and nice clothes and he was very approving, so Rick and I drove out there and hid in the bushes, lurking, waiting for the right moment.  We were going to get the shots, sneak away and then return to take the photos so they wouldn't know that we were there for the actual event.  But when we got to the falls, being a beautiful, sunny day (yay!) we found it abuzz with people - hoards, crowds, everyone and their mother was there!  OK, so they're not gonna have the privacy that he was probably planning to have.

Rick hid out near the entrance to the park and I stayed near the spot that I thought they might head for.  When he finally spotted them Rick gave me a call to let me know they were on their way.  In the meantime he was still running through the bushes taking pictures!  It was quite an entourage - Chelsea was blindfolded, being led by Dane and followed by one friend with a video camera and another with a still camera.  When the crowds saw them coming they gave them room.

Dane went through everything he prepared, turning on the music, getting down on one knee, Chelsea stood there slightly pigeon-toed, holding her stomach, both of them shaking.  I couldn't hear but I'm sure he chose some very well-rehearsed words and she, of course, accepted his proposal.  Then the crowd applauded!  It was so special!  I think the crowds actually added to the memory!

So afterward we moved around and got a few nice shots, I took my reflector cause I planned on having backlit shots that would need to be lit from the front (NO FLASH!!) and that made us look like totally professional photographers, so we had all kinds of people trying to stay out of our way and just standing around and watching.  It was all worth the bits of embarrassment, the pictures came out very nice!

I invited them to come to our weekly burger night last night.  They attended both their meetings, back to back, to be able to share the news with all their friends at both halls.  It must have been an exhausting day for them.

So now I have to get as used to saying DaneandChelsea just as I've gotten used to KevinandShirley, DennyandHeather and RachandTony.  Congratulations guys and WELCOME Chelsea!

Keith's 21!

Wow - my last kid is now officially an "adult".  Well, by the calendar he is anyway.  

So Rach and Shirley had planned to go out last night and do something, Rach has been having some issues at home and Shirley just has a new baby - they both needed a stress-free escape.  The plans seemed to be leaning toward bowling.  I heard about it and kind of invited myself.  Then as the time got closer I started feeling like maybe I didn't want to go, I just got over a cold and wasn't feeling like putting on any makeup or messing with myself too much.

At the same time one of Rick's high school classmates had a gig at a local place and it was obvious that he wanted to go.  I had some objections to the place she was playing in so, since I might have wanted to go out I started urging him to go.  It wasn't too hard to convince him.  He went and had a nice time and got some nice pictures.

So Rick left and I was still undecided as to whether or not I was going.  Then these 2 thugs came to my door and forced me to go, that would be my daughter and daughter-in-law!

I guess they already had in mind the plan to kidnap Keith and take him too.  I'd started joking about doing that on facebook during the day and I guess they liked the idea, maybe they'd already plotted it earlier.

So we drove down to his dad's house.  I stayed in the car while they went to the door.  Try as I might I couldn't hear what was going on.  After a few minutes though, they returned to the car - with Keith!

Shirley called the bowling alley and found out that we had about an hour before open bowling so we hit Applebees to buy Keith his honorary "first drink".  The waitress also brought him 3 jello shots "on the house".  

We finally made it to the bowling alley and I became concerned as to whether or not I'd be able to bowl, given that my elbow has been in healing mode since over-working it at my parent's house last month.  I decided to give it a try.

So I found a light ball with finger holes that were barely big enough to allow my fingers free movement.  The very first time I tried to throw the ball I had an awful time, my elbow did NOT like it and I barely stepped over the foul line.  That wouldn't have been such a big deal except at this alley they lubricate the allies right up to that foul line with some scary-slippery silicone/oil stuff that doesn't allow any friction - and WHAM!  I fell!  Fortunately the only thing I hurt was my pride.

I must have been quite the sight.  I tried 2 more times to bowl with that damaged right arm before Shirley suggested I try using my left arm, pointing out that I couldn't possibly do any worse - well, she was right!  From that point on I used my left arm and it was a learning process.  I slipped on the alley a second time but by the time the game was over I was finally getting somewhat used to bowling with my left hand, I even made a spare!  In my first 7 frames I hit 23 pins total and in the last 3 I got 27 points!

We only got to bowl the one game, Shirley had to get home to rescue Kevin from an unhappy newborn.  But I think we accomplished everything we set out to do - have a fun, stress-free evening.  I think Keith would even have to admit that he had fun.

Will I ever bowl again?  Hmm, I'll have to think about that one...

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.