Logan’s First Day of 4th Grade

Neighbor Logan and his dad were waiting for the school bus as we walked to the top of the steep hill. I asked Logan to pose for a first day photo, which he did willingly.

Logan’s hands are blurred because he was still moving.

On the other side of the car, John and Bob were discussing whether they had missed the bus. John knew it took us ten minutes to climb the steep hill, and the bus had not passed us. Logan did the floss dance for a few seconds, probably letting off steam and excitement. He declined being videoed doing the dance, but he agreed to recording his getting in the car.

Silly Kitchen and Oregon

Silly things go on in our kitchen, but I guess that is to be expected. We spend a lot of time there. Grandson David and I remembered John stored boxes of cereal over the refrigerator. I asked him to look, and before I could fetch the step stool, he was standing on the counter. The cereal boxes were there.

Grandson Nathaniel gave me some of his sourdough starter, and I found a recipe for biscuits that I wanted to try. I quit using sourdough when we moved to England in 1980, so I was excited to have it again. When the ingredients were ready to stir together, I was careless and did steps in the wrong order. Nathaniel would have dumped the mess and started over, but not miser me! Oh, no! The biscuits did not brown, and I should have made them thicker. David and I ate them, anyway. Next time they will be a lot better.

When I was putting the leftovers away, I found the angry biscuit scowling at me.

Oregon is much more beautiful than an angry biscuit. Rose took a photo of John $pencer with a Sitka spruce tree. The Sitka is the tallest of spruces and can thrive even when hit by the ocean’s salt spray. It can live for 700 years.

Rose took my favorite shot of the dog – Sadie observing her kingdom in Glacier Peak Wilderness .

North Carolina to Washington State

On an August Sunday, our son and grandsons were on opposite sides of the United States. Photos show a great contrast of urban living and wilderness splendor.

We went to church in Tryon because we were there once before and enjoyed the traditional Lutheran service chanted by the Pastor. We walked to the edge of the parking lot to see the lovely stream that runs behind the church. It’s a good thing I couldn’t see it from the sanctuary, or I would have been greatly distracted. We had lunch in Landrum, SC, and I took a photo of David and Nathaniel. David drove himself back home to work, and we took Nathaniel to Charlotte.

Would you like to see pictures of his dorm? He worked at the university all summer and has just moved to the suite he will share with three others when the next term starts. I’m sure you can label the photos yourself – shots from the kitchen, the living room, his bedroom, and the balcony.

Johnson & Wales has an urban campus, smack dab in the downtown area. Nathaniel’s suite is on the seventh floor. Neat Nate had everything put away in the kitchen. The living room will come to life when the others bring in a TV and decorative items. Everything is in place in his bedroom. I wish I’d taken a shot of his closet where clothing is sorted – cooking clothes on one side and civilian clothes on the other. The balcony photo speaks for itself. Nathaniel will share a bathroom with another fellow. Two bedrooms and a bathroom mirror theirs on the other side of the kitchen. The four students will share a washing machine and dryer in the common area. This bears almost no relation to my college experience of dorm living.

Now for the contrast. Look at John $pencer’s temporary quarters in Washington. He was studying a map. They spoke of being surrounded by goats one night and thankful Sadie didn’t bark.

Rose took a picture of $ and Sadie on the trail. With a little imagination I can see my son, but I can’t find Sadie.

$’s joy is visible as Rose had him pose with a glacier. They heard low noises while camping near the glacier and are wondering if glaciers make sounds. Does anyone know?

Waterfalls to Balloons

We had a busy week with our grandsons. On David’s day off, we went to Linville Falls. We walked .4 mile on a gravel path and stood on a large flat boulder to see the low falls.

David and John at Linville Falls

The wide pool seemed to be a quiet place for the water to gather energy to hurl itself down the gorge.

Back in the car, David reveled in the space for his legs. The middle seats had been removed so that he could sleep on an air mattress at the train club. As a selfie, this was unusual. I held the camera and had him direct me for the best angle. My gray hair was watching from the front seat.

Nathaniel came for the weekend and cooked breakfast and lunch on his one full day here. I took a photo of his luscious biscuits. [Biscuit lovers Karen and Al, wish you could have been here!] Not pictured were the strips of bacon he prepared for John and sausage links for the rest of us. He took orders for the eggs, so that everyone had what they wanted. John chose an omelet, and David opted for scrambled eggs. Nathaniel and I had our eggs sunny side up. I have never been able to cook a presentable one, and his were perfection.

Nathaniel’s biscuits

For lunch, Nathaniel grilled three kinds of brats and the lovely squash neighbor Logan brought from the garden. I took a picture of Nate’s technique of eating two brats in a foot-long bun.

One-handed double bratwurst

In the afternoon Logan came over, and inevitably a balloon made its entrance. The still shot shows Nathaniel, John, and Logan with the feet of Logan’s dad.

Logan blowing up a balloon

We were batting the balloon while talking with Bob. I sat there, letting the pocket camera observe the action. Logan seemed to be in two or three places at once. My foot appeared for a second at the bottom of the screen as I kicked the yellow balloon back into action. My apologies to Bob for such a fractured conversation.

Happy Happenstance

John, David, and I all got haircuts in town and shopped at the supermarket before David went to work. That was a rather full morning for us and an early one for David. After lunch I decided to go to Asheville with John, just to keep him company while he had the car serviced. As we tooled down the highway, my phone rang. It was my brother, in his car with Beth and their granddaughter Kate. They had been quite near our home, but they were in a dead zone and couldn’t reach us. They were stopping at the Farmer’s Market in Asheville, which turned out to be 1.6 miles from the car dealership. After our car was ready, we found them packing their shopping in the car. What timing! We drove up the hill to the Moose Cafe to have dessert and a drink. Very few people were eating in the restaurant, so we could stay and talk as long as we wanted to. It was marvelous to have such a pleasant experience when we least expected it.

John, Beth, Kate, and Bob at Moose Cafe

They had a two and a half hour drive back to Winston Salem, so we didn’t want to keep them too long. Good things never seem to last long enough do they?

Weight-lifting Logan

Neighbor Logan (9) was waiting patiently for grandson David to finish eating, because David promised to retrieve the glider from the tree. As he waited, he played with my free weights. I caught one episode where he pretended a five-pound weight was terribly heavy.

Of course, Logan can and did throw the eight-pound weight around. Later David gathered six weights in one hand and lifted 24 pounds. He declined to be videoed, but I was impressed.

Libby and a Pun

When John spent several days at the train club in Tennessee, I sometimes got the hankering to read a book. Going to the library on the spur of the moment was often not possible, so checking out an e-book was the best option. However, it wasn’t easy. I had a Kindle app, the Overdrive app that was supposed to connect to libraries, and another one or two that came with the operating system of the computer. Nothing ever worked seamlessly. I might have confirmation that I had checked out a book, but I couldn’t find it or get it to load. There was once when I could read only when the tablet was connected to the internet. This time I went to the library website and saw a new app being advertised – Libby. This app worked like a charm! A few key strokes connected to my local library, registered my card number, and found the book I was looking for. In addition, it was easy to get back to the book the next day. It was very difficult to return books with the other apps. I read this book and returned it on the third day. Easy as pie!! Have any of you used Libby?

I met neighbor Joyce while we were both out walking. She passed me twice, coming and going. As she headed home, I said I could see she was on a schedule, because she had her phone in her hand. She explained she walks for a time and jogs for a time. I said, “I just wander.”

Without missing a step, she said, “I think that is WANDERful.”

That was the first and best pun of the day.

Good going, Joyce!