Greetings from the evergreen state. It’s been a beautiful fall here in Seattle and despite the days that are gloomy, I’ve been blessed with numerous sunny days – more than I expected! There is snow in the pass and on the mountains giving the region a pre-Christmas holiday vibe. The trees that lose their leaves are bare – even the Japanese maples outside my window have mostly lost their leaves. Of course the evergreens stay the same and their beauty is splendid. My favorite thing to do on sunny days is to search for a place that is just high enough and without obstruction so I can see Mt. Rainier. It’s amazing how the curvature of the earth can make the mountain disappear behind a 2 story building, but can be seen in all it’s grandeur when there is an open field. I see million dollar views from junkyards, but condo building views get obscured by other condo buildings. Here are a couple of my favorite captures. When I turn the corner to go to my Walgreens, I see that street shot. I never get tired of it. The other is from a ridge nearby where the homes actually do have million dollar views! You can see the progression of snow from August to October. These days, even when it is sunny here in the valley, the mountain is shrouded in clouds.
I spent the fall visiting nearby Washington State parks. Head over to my TravelAwaits.com article for the entire story. They are varied and beautiful. My favorite is Deception Pass. I saw it on my whaling boat trip a couple of years ago. The park on land did not disappoint. It has seashore, lakes, forests and meadows. It is the complete package. It’s about 90 minutes North of Seattle, but so worth the drive. I hope to go camping there this summer. Here’s a little preview on what was a foggy day.
I hope that everyone who reads this is faring well during this pandemic. I get depressed sometimes when I look at social media and see people traveling in their Airstreams and posting pics of the parks they stay in. Then I look at the map of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths and I remember why I stay at home. I’m sure you know as I do, friends and family that have caught this savage virus. Fortunately, everyone I know has survived it, though some have the dreaded long-term survivor problems. I hope wherever you are and however you ride out this storm, that you are safe, healthy, and remembering to take care of you as well as those around you.
I’ve made lemonade out of the sometimes boring stay-at-home routine. I participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) exercise. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month, which it the equivalent of a first draft of a novel. I decided to write book 2 in my series and finished on Nov. 28!! It took something to stick with it nearly every day in November, but it was great fun. Now I’m going through and filling in details and deepening the characters – like an artist that adds layers to a painting. I expect to launch book 1 in January and book 2 in March and book 3 a few months later. I’ve had great fun creating this fictional account of my great aunt and grandmother along with other family members. I get to create them as I wish they were and sometimes as I think they might have been since I didn’t meet them all in real life. That’s the beauty of fiction. Start with a kernel of truth and create something marvelous. I’m glad I found something to do that I really, really enjoy!
I have hope that 2021 will be a much, much better year and that happy trails will again be part of my daily vocabulary. I look forward to seeing you down the road. Have a beautiful holiday season and hug tightly whoever is in your bubble. See you next year.