26 October 2006

summer's end

Visited the family in Maryland in mid-September. Our flight was so drastically delayed (for bogus reasons...don't get me started) that we missed Emily and Miles' engagement party altogether, but we did meet his family the next morning when they joined ours for a lovely crepe brunch. We all got a pic in the backyard...


Finally got Eric in to see the Capitol Building. One of my project managers' sons is the Deputy Press Secretary for one of our senators, and he gave us a tour of the building, dropping us off at the the Senate gallery. Very interesting, and it was great to be there, but it also made me sad that a gallery that was once open to the public to come and listen to their elected officials debate the day's issues has become so restricted. We had to leave anything with a battery at the check-in station outside the senate chamber. I later learned that my aunt, who visited Washington DC with my mom and cousins shortly after we were there, had to leave her chapstick outside the White House while she toured there. A very sad state of affairs we have here, and I don't know what else there is to say about it. At least they let us take a picture outside the building...


We also went for a couple of lovely canoe outings. The morning air was crisp and the water was calm. I could get used to such a lifestyle...


Autumn is settling in over the Pacific Northwest. Regular temperatures are in the 50s now, and I haven't had to water an outdoor plant in about two weeks now. I have to get the bulbs planted before it gets much colder/wetter. Leaves are turning colors everywhere you look. Shades of not only red, orange and yellow, but shades of purple, peach, pink and one variety of Euonomus that is so bright, it nearly glows when sunlight hits it just right. Contrasted against those trees and shrubs that remain green all year, the colors are simply striking, and I am simply not good enough with words to describe them.

I feel as though I have been acutely more aware of this autumn than I have been before. Indeed, we have lived north of the California border for four autumns now, and I always thought fondly of the cooler months -- scarves, sweaters, and a mug of hot tea with a good book -- but I don't remember experiencing these events with as much delight as I have been feeling this year.

Mom and Dad just returned to Maryland from visiting us last weekend. It was their first trip out to see the house and to meet Finn. We all had a great time -- I know they think I keep moving farther away from them, and I hope they realize that it's not intentional. I truly miss being able to hop in the car and drive the two hours from Sacramento to Sunnyvale or Arnold and see them once every other week.


While they were here, we saw the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. A fantastic, thought-provoking exhibit -- I highly recommend it, if it comes to a museum near you. And I thought Mom and Dad might be tired of museums and exhibits, having been to each and every Smithsonian building by now, some multiple times. We also just hung out at the house. Dad showed us some of the technical stuff of the house (him: "where's your winterizing spigot?" us: "the what now?"). And then there was our spontaneous crab dinner (mmmm...craaaaab)...


We took Finn to Marymoor dog park, where he swam and ran and generally wore himself out.


We also had lunch with Cousin Dorothy, who hadn't seen Mom and Dad in about 25 years. At 99, her sharpness of memory just blows me away. The picture here was taken at University Village, an outdoor mall near UW -- Dorothy told us about when it used to be a swamp, and then a dairy...


We're beginning to make progress on the house -- we painted the second bedroom a nice, warm olive green, with beige ceiling and white trim. It looks great, but now I am even more stressed about how to paint the remaining rooms (what if they don't "go"?).
[photo coming soon!]

All is well here in cloud city. How are you?