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May 30, 2012

Good Gloomy Morning

This is the time of year that one just has to get used to little by little. First of all, it gets light at some ungodly hour in the morning as I mentioned in an earlier blog. Then, on a day like today, it is downright gloomy. I hate to wake up to gloomy. There is something about sun streaming in your window that might be annoying because of the early hour, but it does give a hint to a possibly lovely day. Waking up early AND gloomy is just unacceptable. Knowing the northwest as I do, gloomy does not mean all day gloomy necessarily. In fact, in an hour the sun could be shining brightly and all is right with the world again. But, you just never know, do you? I hate to admit that I could wake up to sun and then it would get gloomy in an hour. As they say in the northwest, it isn't that the weather is so rainy, it is that the weather is completely unpredictable.

We experienced that last weekend for our annual Ski to Sea race. It was not supposed to be so beautifully sunny, but it was just that. Perhaps a bit less on Sunday, but Friday and Saturday were glorious. I scrubbed my deck and put out the table and umbrella. Keith and Eulalah joined me for dinner outside. It couldn't have been a lovelier day and evening on the patio. The race was Sunday. It was Don's favorite venue in Bellingham. God forbid that someone had to get married or died on Ski to Sea weekend. From the Saturday parade through the Sunday race, he was simply unavailable for anything else. When we arrived in Bellingham, he could not understand why it wasn't covered by The Wide World of Sports. It is unique.

It has its roots back in about 1911 as The Mt. Baker Marathon and involved mostly loggers from surrounding communities who ran up Mt. Baker and back. The Pickford Theater is showing a film with old clips from that race at the moment. The name came up years later in the idea that if you live in Bellingham, you can go from skiing on the slopes to sailing in the bay in just 60 minutes. Ski to Sea is a relay race that has grown from 50 to 500 teams. It begins with cross country and downhill skiing/snowboarding and goes on to running, bicycling, canoeing. mountain biking and finally kayaking across Bellingham Bay. When we first got to Bellingham, they used Hobie Cats - but too often the boats were sitting out in the bay without wind, so they changed to Kayaks. There are many divisions, but only about 1/4 of them are actually competitive and that usually produces the winners. We are also attracting Olympic athletes to the race. Anyone who wants to put together a team can enter. It is great fun!

And, it all ends just down the hill from my house in Fairhaven. I walked around the town on Sunday in memory of my husband. It was hopping with thousands of people walking down to the race finish, wandering through the various exhibits and food and craft tents, sitting in the beer garden or watching their offspring in the children's exhibits. I escaped to the tearoom for a quiet lunch while the waitress was handing out miniature scones to lure people in. Anne used to stay closed on Ski to Sea so people wouldn't try to use the facilities. But, this year she gave up and joined in the festivities. Most people were buying food from vendors and eating outside. I soon tired of the huge crowds of people and trekked home to take myself to see the movie, Bernie, with Jack Black and Shirley Maclaine.

From unpredictable weather to fascinating races, from grabbing the perfect evening for al fresco dining to enjoying it with good friends, from thousands of visitors to the quiet of the tea room, this is a really perfect place to live.

Posted by Marilyn at 8:09 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2012

Not Much to Say, but I'm Still Here!


Sometimes life just gets too busy for comfort. I seem to have several monthly events that usually are spread out pretty well, but at times they seem to come together and collide. The last two weeks have been like that. By the end of last week, I was forgetting things and thinking Friday was Saturday. I would have really worried about myself if I weren't in the middle of teaching a college class and seem to be able to still function rather well in that academic atmosphere (if I do say so myself). But, my City University students were finishing up their internship and needed my presence at the same time as writing and grading a quiz for my Skagit class. The task force I'm on at church got very busy and almost every monthly event seemed scheduled. It was simply too much. Add to that the fact that the sun comes up at about 5:30 these days and I wake up early and go to bed late! And, then, I stopped walking because I was busy and started eating because I hadn't been to Weight Watchers for two weeks.

OK! So, what I'm saying is that my life was OUT OF CONTROL! And, what do I do when I'm on the edge of the abyss? I worry about myself, yearn for a vacation, swear a lot, and watch too much television too late at night when I want to claim some time to myself. That, of course, reminds me of when I had babies and refused to rest while they were napping because I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I had a few moments finally to myself. Not a good plan!

However, what goes around does come around. This week finally settled down. I'm back on my diet (although it's too rainy to walk). I'm through with City University students for the school year. I'm in my final few weeks of my Skagit class and have finally conquered the online Moodle platform! My monthly responsibilities have dispersed and I'm getting more sleep. Hooray! I feel more like myself and I'm once again remembering which day it happens to be (I think!).

Life is so much a series of these kinds of ups and downs. Of course, I do this to myself. I like to be busy. I like to work. I like to have friends. But, I forget that I also like to have down time. I like to just piddle around the house doing little jobs when the spirit moves. I like to do the same in the garden, but of course it was sunny when I was really busy and now rainy when I have time. I like to feel like I have all the time in the world to make lists and get things done. I like to think I might get to a certain project tomorrow or the next day because I have plenty of time to do it. I like to put time aside to write. And, of course, those of you that know me know that I like to have time to pop down to the tea room for lunch with a book in hand.

A full and busy life is good. But, a relaxed life is definitely better.

Posted by Marilyn at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)

May 8, 2012

Where Does Time Go?

I can't believe how fast time flies! It has been almost a month since I wrote the last entry. I have been busy, busy working for both City University and Skagit College. And, I finally conquered the new website -- Moodle! I like it better than Blackboard and City University is still on Blackboard. I go in occasionally to see what my interns need to do academically, but I don't teach online for CU. Two schools, two different websites, two different passwords, two different groups of emails to read -- it can get a bit confusing!

I just returned from the first of two trips to Ashland this season. I've never attended the spring plays before which means that I have often missed some interesting plays that are usually gone by June or so. The outdoor amphitheater doesn't open until the threat of rain lessens, so all the plays were either in the new theater or the beautiful Angus Bowmer. We saw the best Romeo and Juliet I've ever seen. I've always known that Juliet is 14 years old, but this is the first time I actually believed it. She was fantastic -- impetuous, silly, mercurial, full of herself -- just like a 14 year old! And, Romeo was gangly and somewhat awkward -- it was really quite wonderful. The White Snake (based on an ancient Chinese folktale) was visually amazing and beautiful. Chekov's Seagull was full of unrequited love and angst, almost a downer, but it invoked lots of discussion among the viewers. We also saw Animal Crackers full of zany comedy ala Marx Brothers and an advent garde show Medea, Macbeth, Cinderella that was either crazy brilliant or just crazy. It was a potpourri of the three shows - perhaps dreamlike -- yet well done if rather confusing. All the acting was wonderful as usual. Five of us went from Bellingham and had a lovely time watching plays, eating, shopping, and sleeping since we were exhausted by the end of the day. It is difficult to see so many plays with so little time to discuss and digest them -- especially the day we saw both Romeo and Juliet and MMC.

The flights down were short in themselves, one a bit over an hour and the other a bit over 1/2 hour -- depending upon the direction we were flying. But, we had enough of a layover in Seattle to make it a long and tedious day - especially coming back. It is nice to be home again. My next trip back to see the rest of the plays is the first of August. Here's the five of us in front of our lovely flat in Ashland, Oregon - the Main Street Inn.


Posted by Marilyn at 4:50 PM | Comments (1)