Mexico to Portland to Hansville

IMG_2134We spent a glorious Thanksgiving week in Mexico with Hester, Len, Tom and Jamie. We sometimes ate and explored and swam together, and sometimes ventured out on our own. We stayed at Casa Tortuga, the beautiful hacienda on the lagoon in Melaque built by our friend Stephen Bayne, whom we know as Tert. His nickname from our childhood together comes from the fact that he is Stephen Bayne III, but it also inspired a wonderful turtle (tortuga) motif.

One early morning, I’d been reading a message about a workshop I’d like to do this winter and spring. My attention was far away for a few minutes, and then I looked up to see this, so brilliant I could only look at it protected by the palm trunk.

When I first came out, the morning star was there, reflected in the pool, the lights along the Barra road a cross in the middle.

Now, I turn my chair to face inland, away from too much brilliance, and see the glow on wood and greenery that had been at my back.IMG_2135

Back in Portland

IMG_1407We are delighted not only that nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees, juncos and all like these sunflower seeds and suet,  but that the squirrels, try as they may, can’t get at them.

Our reading club, one of the oldest probably in the country (since 1946 or so), met at a friend’s last week, and I brought the centerpiece, candles and homemade soup.

At home, we lighted the candles on our tiny tree just briefly.IMG_2230

And outside, up on Penridge, PGE came and took down the fallen dead tree, probably realizing it would cause them greater expense if they left it to take down their wires. (See the picture in the slideshow below.)

Report from Hansville

IMG_2256This quilt is one I pieced during the weeks my father was living his last weeks here in this house. After he died, I quilted it with designs from the Book of Kells, and then gave it to my mother who used it on this bed in the years she stayed on here. It was only when her faithful golden retriever, Sola, died that she finally moved to Portland.

We had a dramatic series of legs on our drive home. They were not long, either one, but fraught with hard situations. Coming down from Hansville to the Blacks on Upper Farm Road we were in a fierce windstorm that took twigs and branches off the trees and flung them across the road and made us feel threatened.

First a transformer blew out near the top of Bainbridge Island, with that white electrical light and heavy white sparks showering on the road. The second one blew just as we were at it, right as we were coming to the foot of Sportsman’s Road. My reaction was “Jesus!” and ducking my head, finally accelerating through the sparks, not wanting to be separated from our destination if something fell across the road. Several cars had stopped, pulled to the side, heading north.

The second one was last night, in rain and wind, stop-and-go. 3:30 to 4:30, from the ferry’s arrival in Seattle on I-5 to our exit at S. 188th toward the airport. When we saw the electronic freeway bulletin “Tacoma 58 minutes,” that was it. They had room for us, at the Hilton Doubletree, what seemed like hardship rates,

Tom in the wheelchair we luckily had in the back of the car, in an accessible room, canceled our Tumwater motel reservation, and we felt safe at last.

Our GPS had heard the Agate Pass bridge was closed, and that prevented us from setting off on the planned route up-island and south through Gorst and Shelton. Thank goodness! We had brought martinis and a sandwich supper so we could eat in our room. Slept soundly from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Please click on this link to open our holiday note.

This slide show has lots of pictures collected from the past few weeks. Some were taken by Tom and Hester.

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