Friday, April 30, 2021

Once Again Homesick For Skagit Tulips With A Fidalgo Drive-In Blackberry Milkshake


It has been a day or two since I have seen something somewhere which has made me feel somewhat homesick for my long ago location of the Puget Sound region of Washington state. 

Specifically, the Skagit Valley.

What you see above was seen this final Friday morning of the 2021 version of April, on Facebook, via a posting on the "You know you're from Anacortes when..." page.

Anacortes is a town on Fidalgo Island, west of the Skagit Valley, and the location of my Favorite Nephew Jason and Spencer Jack's Fidalgo Drive-In, home of the best hamburgers and blackberry milkshakes in Washington.

But, if you are in the Seattle zone, around 60 miles south of the one and only Fidalgo Drive-In, a Dick's Deluxe from one of the Dick's Drive-Ins would suffice as another best hamburger in Washington.

But, you can not get a blackberry milkshake at Dick's. Only vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.

A while back I was in ALDI talking to one of the ALDI regulars. She being a lifelong Texan and longtime Wichita Falls resident. She had recently flown to Seattle for her first time visit to the west coast. She told me it was..."just mesmerizing, no matter which direction she looked there were mountains."

"Living here," she said, "you get to thinking the entire world is flat, never seeing anything on the horizon."

So true. When I go a few years before a return to the west coast, being acclimated to scenery sparse Texas, it is a bit overwhelming being back where most everywhere you look what you see is aesthetically pleasing.

Except for the jarring part of Seattle. As in the bizarre homeless situation, with tent encampments lining I-5 as you drive through downtown Seattle.

Sister Jackie, recently returned to Arizona from a Washington visit, told me it has gotten much worse in Seattle with the homeless situation.

The weather at my current location has improved. Perhaps enough so that a bike ride might be possible. Maybe I'll roll my wheels to the one and only local mountain, the mound of dirt known as Mount Wichita...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Biden Gives Masterful Speech To Congress & America While Weather Interrupts & Ted Cruz Falls Asleep


After more than four years of enduring the world's worst American embarrassment, it was so nice, last night, to have what, despite many things not being normal, felt normal, back having an empathetic sentient human being being the American President and Leader of the Free World.

And, if after last night's masterful speech, the idiot right wing nut jobs keep trying to sell the nonsense that Biden is senile, well, to us actual empathetic, sentient human beings, it is the idiot right wing nut jobs who seem senile.

One example of such, last night, was Texas embarrassment, Rafael Edwardo Cruz, who kept nodding off during the speech. 

The only thing jarring to me about last night's speech had nothing to do with Biden. It had to do with the fact I chose to watch via local CBS.

Over and over and over and over again a loud series of beeps would interrupt Biden, following by a screen crawl, which you see photo documented above.

Over and over and over and over again, during the entire hour plus, this was repeated, a National Weather Service warning that a Severe Thunderstorm has happening somewhere in the local CBS's coverage area.

Along with these repeating interruption, that same info was on the screen, all the time, via the graphic you see at the upper left.

Since I have been in Texas it has long annoyed me the way these weather emergency interruptions happen. It seems so unnecessary to interrupt with either a series of beeps, or to go live to the local weatherman in full weather drama queen mode pointing out Doppler Radar indicating a storm cell which might turn into a tornado.

If the weather at ones location has turned dramatic it is usually quite obvious, as you see lightning striking, hear thunder booming, feel big balls of hail hitting the roof and a strong wind rattling the windows.

At my location I pick up around 40 stations over the air. I know not all of them go into interrupt mode when dire weather is in the air. So, those watching TV on one of those stations must just be flat out of luck, not getting these repetitive weather warnings when a storm is in the neighborhood.

Or if you are watching something on HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other streaming channel.

Lat night, after the 5th or 6th time Biden was interrupted by screeching beeps, I considered switching to CBS or ABC streaming, via ROKU. But that would take a little time to switch. So, instead I turned on 'captions' so I could read what Biden was saying while the weather warning was beeping.

Now, I have had made mention previously regarding finding these weather interruptions to be annoying, particularly when I lived in the D/FW zone and this weatherman named Pete Delkus would act so excited about a possible rotating cell, repeating himself over and over and over again.

I have had it mentioned to me that these weather reports are needed to save lives, because this is tornado country. I have never had it explained to me what data shows such is the case. Like I already said, if one is home, watching TV, one is likely quite aware of the weather situation occurring in the neighborhood.

And, if it gets real dire, these things called tornado sirens go off, letting one know that danger has arrived.

Maybe it is the fact that the majority of my time on the planet, experiencing weather and watching TV, has been in the Pacific Northwest. Where tornadoes are extremely rare.

But thunderstorms, windstorms and heavy rain does happen.

I do not remember the local tv stations going into interrupt mode, of any sort, due to a possible severe thunderstorm developing at some location in the Puget Sound zone.

Now, if something like an earthquake happens, yes, local TV goes live. And one watching TV at the time is happy such happens, due to wanting to know where the earthquake is centered, and how bad the damage is.

Or when a volcano erupts. One hears loud booms, wonders what is making that explosive noise, and then turns to TV to see what happened.

Now, my one and only time being near an exploding volcano I was in a bathtub the morning Mount St. Helens erupted. I heard three concussive booms. About 15 minutes later the next door neighbor came over to make sure we knew the mountain had blown. We did not, til then. Turned on the TV to watch almost nonstop, for hours upon hours, as the disaster unfolded.

Well, enough of that weather interruption. 

In less than a year, I hope, we will see Biden once again addressing Congress, in a State of the Union speech, hopefully to a full chamber, with no one wearing masks...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Ruby Version 2021 On Harstine Island & Ruby Version 1917 On Another Island


That is my one and only Favorite Niece Ruby piggybacking on my Favorite Nephew Theo, you see above, on Harstine Island, located in the southern zone of Puget Sound.

Harstine Island is a real island connected to the mainland by a bridge built over actual water in less than four years. This is remarkable, because in my current location, Texas, there is a town, Fort Worth, which takes way longer than four years to build simple little bridges over dry land to connect to an imaginary island.

Below we see Favorite Nephew David has joined his little sister and brother, along with, I believe, Raven the Poodle.


On Facebook today I came upon a post which mentioned a Ruby from over a century ago. 

That is that Ruby you see below, leading a blind soldier. Scroll down past the photo to read about Ruby.


HEROES COME IN ALL SIZES!
The little girl in this photograph is Ruby Crane. From the age of 3 years old Ruby walked blinded soldiers around a rehabilitation centre called St Dunstans at Brighton in Sussex, England. Ruby's Father was the head gardener there....she knew they were blinded and just returned from the first World War. Wandering the grounds, she would take hold of their hand and ask them where they wanted to go.

She would guide them around the grounds. People were so affected by little Ruby walking the blind soldiers around they would send her dolls and toys as a thank you for all the support she was giving to the men and women affected by sight loss. Little Ruby was rewarded with a long life as she passed away in her late nineties, in 2011.

Ruby recalled..... " I always remember how my little hand seemed so small in their big hands....they were so pleased to have a child come and talk to them....it was something different away from the monotonous grind of not being able to see things." Ruby was so popular that she featured on the front page of the St Dunstans first Annual Report for 1915/1916 and later Flag Day emblems incorporated a similar design that featured Little Ruby.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Hot Biking Sikes Lake With Ryan Goslings & Pink Evening Primroses


With the outer world temperature heading to the semi-hot 80s I decided it was a good day to take my bike's wheels on a roll on this final Monday of the 2021 version of April.

Soon after arriving at the paved trail around Sikes Like I came upon what you see photo documented above, a fresh flock of Ryan Goslings, soon after hatching, judging by their tiny size.

I think I recently made mention of the fact that this year's crop of Evening Primrose wildflowers is the most prolific I have seen at this Sikes Lake location. See that patch of pink on the other side of the lake? Let's cross the bridge and get a better look.


A couple geese politely posing in the field of pink.

Soon after seeing the above scene I came upon another flock of freshly hatched goslings. I did not stop to photo document them.

The gosling's parental units seemed to be overly protective, with the paternal goose parental unit doing that goose hiss thing at me which often precedes getting goosed.



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Wichita Falls Escaped Friday Night's Thunderstorm Tornadoes


 
This morning when I woke up my phone I saw that Mildred's Mom had Facebook messaged me saying "Just checking to see if you are doing ok. Saw there were tornadoes around Wichita Falls last night."

No, that is not a photo above of a tornado in my neighborhood. I saw the above photo this morning, on Facebook, via Elsie Hotpepper, with explanatory text saying "Insane close-range tornado earlier southwest of Vernon, Texas."

I did not hear the tornado sirens last night. I did hear an extremely loud brightly flashing thunderstorm which dropped big balls of hail.

Last night's storm did not last too long.

During the slightly more than two decades I have been in tornado territory I have never seen one like you see in the above photo. 

On a March day way back near the start of this century I was driving towards downtown Fort Worth when I saw a weird green wall of clouds. Soon after seeing that I got a phone call telling me to abort coming to downtown because tornadoes had everyone in shelter lockdown.

I returned to my abode to experience the wildest storm I have ever been in. I thought the hail was going to destroy the house. The pummeling was so loud it felt as if the house was vibrating.

The next day I rode my bike into downtown Fort Worth, which had been closed off to vehicular traffic due to the tornado damage. It looked like riding into a war zone. And this was only an F2 tornado if I remember correctly.

My current abode is only a couple blocks south of the path of the infamous Terrible Tuesday Tornado, which was the most deadly and destructive in history til worse ones twisted in Oklahoma.

There is a small historical plaque in a small park adjacent to the southwest end of Sikes Lake dedicated to those who died in that Terrible Tuesday Tornado.

No tornadoes or thunderstorms are on the weather menu for this final Saturday of the 2021 version of April. I see a bike ride in my future for today....

Friday, April 23, 2021

Foggy Drizzly Walk With Colorful Texas Wildflowers


You can not quite tell so via the photo documentation above, so I will just have to tell you, today, on this next to last Friday of the 2021 version of April, the outer world at my location is overcast with a drizzly fog that one expects to find this time of year on an ocean beach, not hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean.

By late afternoon the clouds are predicted to thicken and produce thunder. This time of year when thunder comes to town tornadoes often follow. 

I have had little endorphin inducing aerobic activity the past couple days, so this morning I ventured out to do some fast walking on the Circle Trail.

Heading south on the Circle Trail I soon came to the colorful collection of Texas wildflowers you see above. These are located a short distance from where the Circle Trail passes under the Southwest Boulevard bridge over Holliday Creek.

Wikipedia has a Holliday Creek article, which should be illuminating for anyone thinking Holliday only has one 'l'.

Nurse Linda Lou has me finally getting an appointment to get the COVID vaccine. I can not remember when I was last shot for anything. I can not remember any shots this century.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

This Morning Miss Tessie Takes Us Tiptoeing The Skagit Valley Tulips

This morning it is former Skagit Valley girl, Miss Tessie, who is making me homesick via photos on Facebook.

Like Miss Tessie says in her Facebook post, "It really is this beautiful."

Miss Tessie is what is known in the Skagit Valley as a Sakuma. The Sakuma's are big producers of agricultural products grown in the Skagit Valley.

From the Sakuma website...

Sakuma Brothers Farms
From the heart of Skagit Valley in Burlington, Washington, we are 100% vertically integrated in the small fruit industry. We grow conventional and organic:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Tea

We provide:

  • Research
    Leading edge of propagation.
  • Fresh Market (temporarily closed)
    Seasonal small fruits grown locally in the Skagit Valley.
  • Sales
    Fresh market and processed berries.

_____________________________

I suspect the Sakuma Fresh Market is temporarily closed due to COVID. When I was in Washington the summer of 2008, on the way to Bay View State Park to meet Spencer Jack for the first time, we stopped at the Sakuma Fresh Market.

I was impressed at what a big touristy operation it was. Items like a train/tram device to take visitors out to the fields, where if I remember right, there was a You Pick option. Along with a lot of produce buying options, including freshly baked pies. We got a blackberry pie. Almost as good as mom used to bake.

Miss Tessie currently lives in California where she has developed a reputation regarding her dancing skills, particularly her prize winning Argentine Tango...

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Talking To Elsie Hotpepper About Going To Hawaii With Mary Kelleher

My morning adventure for today was driving an elderly person to his various drug dealers so as to secure items like insulin and pain killers. Whilst waiting at the various drug dealing pharmacies I occupied my time by texting various people.

Such as Elsie Hotpepper. 

With a couple texters, including the Hotpepper, I made mention of thinking it would be a good idea to go to Hawaii, or some similar tropical location, once this COVID nightmare ends, and maybe rent a condo for a month, or some such thing.

Miss Elsie made mention of the fact that she is so busy with her various busy things that thinking about a tropical escape is beyond her current capability. 

Among the many busy things Elsie Hotpepper is busy doing is working hard to get Mary Kelleher elected to the Tarrant Region Water District board again.

Those not familiar with North Texas and Fort Worth politics likely think what's the big deal with being on a water board.

Well.

It is sort of like Los Angeles during the era where water was being fought over due to that liquid being such a needed commodity. This resulted in a lot of corruption in Los Angeles and surrounding areas back in the 1920s and 1930s. The movie Chinatown did a good job depicting this corruption.

So.

This water board which operates out of Fort Worth is a multi-billion dollar operation, supposedly only responsible for things like providing water and flood control.

The TRWD board is famously inept at the flood control aspect. Which is why Mary Kelleher wants to be back on the water board. Due to the fact that her East Fort Worth location regularly floods due to the inept urban planning for which Fort Worth is infamous.

While deadly property destroying floods wreak havoc in parts of Fort Worth, the TRWD has been focusing way too much attention (and money) on imaginary flood control in an area of the Trinity River which has not flooded in well over half a century.

The TRWD came up with an un-needed flood control scheme, which masked an inept economic development scheme, which, after over two decades of Boondoggling along, has managed to build one pitiful simple little bridge over dry land, along with two more un-completed bridges, built to one day possibly connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

It is this type bizarrely weird corruption which Mary Kelleher hopes to do something about by once again being on the TRWD board.

Times have greatly changed since Mary Kelleher's last bout on the TRWD board. For instance her longtime nemesis, Jim Oliver, will no longer be there, with one result being that Mary might finally get a key to the building and access to the secret part of the TRWD building which was denied her whilst she previously served.

If Mary Kelleher gets elected again, and if obfuscating obstructions are again deployed, I suspect there will be protests of a size which will dwarf the HUGE protest which erupted when the TRWD board had a meeting to censure Mary over some fool thing which turned the entire absurdity into an embarrassing circus.

I forgot to mention, that in addition to texting with Elsie Hotpepper today, when I returned to my computer I saw that Elsie Hotpepper had Facebooked the ringing endorsement of Mary Kelleher you see screen capped at the top.

I don't know if I have enough time to move back to Fort Worth so I can vote for Mary in May. Texas does not make voting easy...

Today It Is MMG Making Me Homesick For Skagit Tulips While Grilling Russian Salmon


Today's make me homesick moment once again comes from Facebook. This time via an entity currently calling herself Margaret Mikota Grants who shared a collection of photos of the Skagit Valley tulips, currently in their annual bloom and color the valley mode.

Miss Margaret, also known as MMG, is currently planning a reunion of the class with whom I graduated from high school.

MMG is doing this reunion planning from her Minnesota location a couple thousand miles distant from the Skagit Valley location of the place at which we attended high school.

MMG is currently taking a break from reunion planning and is instead here in Texas not visiting me.

Instead of visiting me MMG is fishing at a venue called Fork Lake whilst staying in a town called Alba. Neither of which I had heard of and had to Google to find they are located a few miles east of Dallas.

When I lived in Washington I had a fairly regular supply of fresh salmon, among other types of fresh seafood, such as dungeness crab, oysters and clams.

For lunch today the smokeless grill in my kitchen is grilling pink salmon filets. From Russia, processed in China, bought by me in Walmart.

Such a thing should make me homesick, but for some likely irrational reason, it isn't...


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Fort Worth's Anonymous Sees No Cowtown Type Outhouses In Burlington


Yesterday I mentioned a mystery delivered to me by my Joey & Jason nephews. In mentioning this mystery I also mentioned the address at which I lived whilst growing up in the small Washington burg of Burlington.

Well.

Apparently someone with the unique name, Anonymous, read that blog post and then used something like Google Earth to virtually go to my old home. When Anonymous found my old home he, or she, must have seen it was across from an amenity known as Maiben Park. Anonymous then must have Googled "Maiben Park" where he or she learned about that small park's many attributes.

Above that is a screen cap of what one sees via Google Earth, showing Maiben Park, and the section of Washington Avenue on which I lived. Below is the comment from Anonymous, and then below that we take a Google Earth look at 1027 Washington Avenue...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Joey & Jason's 1027 Washington Avenue Mystery":

Across the street from Maiben Park which has:

Basketball Courts
BBQ Pit
Community/Senior Center
Grass Area
Internet
Maiben House Activity Center
Picnic Shelters
Play Structure
Restrooms
Spray Park
Tennis Court
Urban Forest | Cedar Grove

No outhouses like Cowtown!

I too lived across the street from a park. A light industrial park. And trailer parks were a block or two away. Cowtown, baby, Cowtown!
_____________________

So, clearly Anonymous is a Fort Worth native who has read me make mention a time or two of the fact that many of Fort Worth's city parks are of a third world quality, with no modern facilities, but plenty of outhouses. With picnic tables, but no running water with which to wash ones hands. 

Below is the aforementioned screen cap of 1027 Washington Avenue, in which we see another modern world attribute I was used to in Washington about which I found myself appalled by its rarity in Fort Worth.


A sidewalk. With a median strip separating the sidewalk from Washington Avenue.

What a concept.

On the left you also see another thing I don't see in Texas. That being a recycle bin awaiting pickup.  

In the distance, behind the left side of the house, you see part of Burlington Hill.

My current flat location has nothing like Burlington Hill in any direction for many many miles.

If something like Burlington Hill existed at my current location I suspect it would be known as a mountain.

A mountain with a park at its summit.

With an outhouse...

Monday, April 19, 2021

Joey & Jason's 1027 Washington Avenue Mystery

 


A couple days ago Hank Frank's papa, my Favorite Nephew Joey, sent the above to my phone, with no explanatory text explaining what I was looking at.

Or why.

And now, this morning, Hank Frank's uncle and Spencer Jack's papa, also known as my Favorite Nephew Jason, sent me the same thing, only via email, also with no explanatory text, other than a subject line of...

"1027 E. Washington Avenue"

The above is the address of the house I grew up in in the Washington town of Burlington.

I recollect nothing at that house which looked like that which we see above. 

It has been at least two decades since anyone in the Jones family owned that house, having easy access to taking photos of anything related to that house.

This feels like a clue in a antique video game, like the first puzzle in MYST. 

I recollect having a lot of trouble getting past the first puzzle in MYST...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Mighty Fine Saturday Time Biking With Evening Primroses & A Colt

 


The past couple gray drippy cold days have been like stereotypical winter days in the Puget Sound area of the Pacific Northwest.

With all that drippy cold I had not had myself any outdoor endorphin inducing aerobic activity for way too long.

And so on this third Saturday of the 2021 version of April my bike took me on a ride, with me layered up like it was still winter, because even though the sky is no longer gray, the outer world has not returned to being warm.

The rain the past couple of days must have triggered the evening primroses into blooming. I have never seen so many blooms of this particular Texas wildflower previous blooming seasons at Sikes Lake. They were even blooming around the lone colt who is still missing its mama who disappeared a long time ago. As in maybe a year ago.

I never have learned what happened to the mother horse. Soon after an explanatory plaque was installed, explaining mother and child horse, the mother disappeared. 

April is over half gone. At the start of this month, hoping the weather would be conducive to increased outdoor exercise, I thought this would be the month I would lose my COVID-25 and once again be able to fit into more than just two of the pants in my pants collection.

I am still thinking there is a chance I may escape Texas this summer to go to Washington.

I think I may have mentioned I have a high school class reunion happening this summer. For a variety of reasons I was not planning on attending that event. And now it appears that common sense will be prevailing, with that reunion postponed for a year.

Maybe an extra year will give sufficient time to plan a reunion that I might want to attend. Maybe...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Linda Lou Takes Us To Mount Vernon's Skagit Riverwalk

Even with the title above mentioning the Skagit Riverwalk, longtime lookers at this blog may be thinking the photo they see here is a photo of one of America's Biggest Boondoggle's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at Fort Worth's imaginary pavilion on the town's imaginary island in the town's polluted river.

However, there is a clue or two that that is not the Trinity River you see here, as there is nothing unnatural floating in it, and the color is a pleasant shade of green, not brackish brown.

Yesterday the Skagit Valley's favorite Linda Lou called and during the call I asked if Linda Lou had any good photos of Mount Vernon's Skagit Riverwalk.

And then, this morning, from Linda Lou's phone, photos of Mount Vernon's Skagit Riverwalk showed up.

Around the turn of the century Fort Worth began an imaginary flood control economic development scheme, at the time called Trinity Uptown. Eventually that name turned into Trinity River Vision. Eventually becoming the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. More commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, after two decades of limping along with little to show for the effort but one completed little bridge built over dry land, which took 7 years to build.

Fort Worth did not fund this pseudo public works project in the normal way of having the public vote to approve funding the not vitally needed flood control project. Not needed due to the fact the area in question has not flooded for well over half a century. To secure funding a local congresswoman's son was made Executive Director of the project, to motivate his mother to secure federal funding.

So far mother's efforts to get the more prosperous parts of America to pay for Fort Worth's ineptly implemented imaginary flood control project has not born federal fruit.

Meanwhile, about 10 years after Fort Worth's imaginary flood control scheme got underway, the little town from which I moved near the end of the last century, Mount Vernon, began to implement an actual vitally needed flood control project. A flood control project with the actual side benefit of being an economic development scheme, creating a waterfront riverwalk and making downtown Mount Vernon economically more viable due to greatly reduced flood insurance premiums. 

We shall continue with the rest of the story whilst looking at Linda Lou's photos of Mount Vernon's Skagit Riverwalk.


I am guessing Miss Mary was the photographer for the above photo, with that being Linda Lou walking away from us. We are looking north here, at the south end of the Riverwalk. That bridge you see is crossing the Skagit River, connecting downtown Mount Vernon to West Mount Vernon. That bridge was built many years ago, over actual moving water, and built in less than four years.

No local congresswoman's son was involved in determining what type piers the bridge was built on.


I forgot to mention, that photo at the top, which some might have mistaken for Rockin' the River, is instead an event taking place on the Skagit Riverwalk Plaza. I assume this is Tulip Festival related. As you can see tulips play a big role on the Skagit Riverwalk. In the above photo you can see the Tulip Tower in the distance. We will get a better look at the Tulip Tower below.


Above we see the Skagit Riverwalk as it passes under the Skagit River Bridge. We are looking south here. The Skagit is a much bigger river than the Trinity River. The river is a bit wide as it passes through Mount Vernon, only a few miles from reaching the mouth of the river in Skagit Bay.

I forgot to mention the reason the Skagit Riverwalk is an actual real flood control project is because the Skagit has been a regular menace to downtown Mount Vernon ever since the town began. Downtown Mount Vernon is sort of like New Orleans, as in the downtown goes below river level when the Skagit goes into flood mode.

12 funding sources were used to pay for the Skagit Riverwalk project, the final phase of which was completed in 2018. Prior to this upgraded flood protection, when the Skagit flooded it took between 1,500 and 2,000 volunteers to fill and stack 150,00 sandbags to hold back the river.

In the early 1990s, during the worst flood I remember seeing, I was among the volunteers. I went to downtown Mount Vernon after midnight, after seeing on the news how bad the expected crest was going to be, and seeing so many people helping, including Navy volunteers from the Whidbey Air Force Base. The sandbag stacking was complete by about the time the sun arrived. 

A few hours later, around 11 in the morning, a huge crowd had gathered, at a safe elevation, to see if the river would top the sandbag wall. Just as the river began to flood over the wall something happened. No one new what it was, but suddenly the river level dropped. Downtown Mount Vernon was spared, because further downriver a dike had failed, flooding Fir Island, taking pressure off the flooding river.

Two weeks later it happened again.

Hence the effort began to find a solution to a real flood control problem, a solution which was many years in the making and eventually resulted in a Dutch designed flood control system which takes a crew of about 20 around 12 hours to stack aluminum logs to make a flood control wall.

This resulted in FEMA granting Mount Vernon's request to be removed from the 100 year floodplain, resulting in this quote from Mount Vernon's mayor at the time, “The flood protection project brings a 40 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums, and removes 223 buildings from the regulatory floodplain, increasing community safety and improving economic vitality of the downtown business district,” Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau told the crowd.


Another group of tulips on the Skagit Riverwalk Plaza. Linda Lou gives us no clue at to the why of the guys standing in front of the tulips. But it sure let's us see how big they are.

But, not nearly as tall as the Tulip Tower.


Due to the completion of Mount Vernon's Skagit Riverwalk flood control project, the hoped for economic development has followed. Such as a 1906 era building being remodeled with the ground floors providing commercial space with the upstairs being living space. The owner is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into the project and says this would not be happening without the new floodwall protection.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Texas...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Linda Lou Tip Toes Us To Tulip Town With Chris & Sheila


Seems like just yesterday I made mention of the fact that Linda Lou Took Me To Skagit Flats Beaver Marsh Looking At Olympics as part of an ongoing multi-party effort to make me homesick for Washington.

In that particular blogging about that particular homesick issue I made mention of the fact that Miss Chris and Miss Sheila also contributed on that particular day to the making me homesick thing.

And then the following day it happened again. 

Above is a photo sent to my phone by Linda Lou. All the text with the photo said was "Tulip Town".

Way back in the final decades of the last century, when the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival sort of exploded, overwhelming the valley with over a million visitors during a short time period, with the crowds particularly crowded on weekends, something had to be done to deal with the massive traffic jams.

There are multiple exists from Interstate 5 to the Skagit Flats, including three in Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon exits had the heaviest traffic, causing backups onto the freeway, through town, across the river, and onto the flats.

And so measures were taken to direct Tulip viewers to exit any of the Skagit Valley I-5 exits, with signage directing the way to the Tulips. Bus tours were added where one could park at one of the valley's malls and hop a bus to take your Tulip Tour.

Attractions were added all over the valley so as to try and disperse the crowds. Hence Tulip Town was added, as a sort of backup to the extremely popular, crowded Roozengarde.

Helicopters were added so as to monitor the traffic so as to direct cops to bottlenecks to keep the traffic flow moving. I suspect by now the helicopters have been replaced with drones.

I think experiencing living in the midst of an actual tourist attraction is what caused me to react with puzzlement when I would read something in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Fort Worth's imaginary tourists. Things like a sporting goods store would give Fort Worth the top tourist attraction in Texas. Embarrassing idiocy like that.

Washington has, I think, three Cabela's now. None of which try to claim to be the state's top tourist attraction. Has the Star-Telegram ever apologized to its readers for being part of the Cabela's scam?

I almost forgot about yesterday's homesick contribution from Chris and Sheila. Below is what those two put on Facebook yesterday from their current visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
 

The above photos all appear to be from the aforementioned Roozengarde. I asked Chris and Sheila if they got in a visit with Hank Frank, who lives close by, but I have yet to get an answer to that probing question.

I wonder what will make me homesick today?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Linda Lou Takes Me To Skagit Flats Beaver Marsh Looking At Olympics


The above is the latest example of something sent by someone in the Pacific Northwest in an ongoing campaign by many, apparently, to try and make me homesick for Washington.

The campaign is working.

The above photo arrived on my phone late in yesterday's afternoon, from Linda Lou.

The text message with the photo said, "The Olympics in all their glory as seen from Beaver Marsh Road".

That made it twice yesterday Beaver Marsh Road was mentioned to me. Yesterday, when talking to sister Jackie, mention was made of Jackie having had herself a mighty fine visit with nephew Joey, Monique and Hank Frank at their farmhouse on Beaver Marsh Road.

Linda Lou called soon after sending me the above photo and when I told her Joey's house is on Beaver Marsh Road, she said she'd driven by it and recognized it from the photo of Joey's house I'd put on the blog.

However, talking to Jackie yesterday, I learned that the house I thought to be Joey's, was not Joey's, but was the house on the 8 acres next to Joey's, which big brother Jason bought. 

As for those Olympics Linda Lou mentions being in all their glory, that is a mountain range to the west of Puget Sound, located on the appropriately named Olympic Peninsula, where you will find the also appropriately named Olympic National Park. 

First time visitors to the Puget Sound zone are often surprised, on a clear day, to see mountains no matter which direction they look.

From the Skagit Flats, which is where Joey and Jason's homes on Beaver Marsh Road are located, one can look west and see the Olympics, to the east and see the Cascades and Mount Baker, to the south and see Mount Rainier, which is also part of the Cascade mountain range, and to the north and see the Cascade mountains as the range reaches the Pacific north of Vancouver.

That makes for two of Washington's active volcanoes that one can see from the Skagit Flats.

No matter what direction I look whilst standing on the Wichita Flats I can see no volcanoes. Or mountains...

Geez, I finished writing this blog post, switched to Facebook, and what's the first thing I see?

Another Skagit Flats photo via Linda Lou. The one above looks west at the Olympics, the one below looks east, at the aforementioned Cascades.


The view here is south of the vantage point of Linda Lou's first photo. Joey and Jason's Skagit Flat location on Beaver Marsh Road would be to the left. If we panned to the left we would also see Mount Baker. The buildings you see on the lower hills are in south Mount Vernon. The main part of the town would also be seen if we panned to the left.

Way back in the previous century, I could look out my windows and see a view somewhat like that above. Well, not the tulip/daffodil Skagit Flats view, but the mountain view to the east...

Geez, it happened again. Added the photo from Linda Lou, went back to Facebook, and saw a new post, with this one asking "Where in Washington are Chris & Sheila? Such a beautiful day, snowy mountain tops can be seen all around us".


Didn't I just mention the fact that from the Skagit Flats one sees mountains no matter what direction you look? And now we have Chris and Sheila saying the same thing. 

That tallest mountain you see here is the aforementioned Mount Baker. Which would make Joey and Jason's location on Beaver Marsh Road to the right in this view. 

I am guessing Chris and Sheila are at the RV park at the Swinomish Casino Resort on Padilla Bay, which would mean we are looking east across Padilla Bay in the above photo. Bay View State Park would be to the left, across the bay. And my old hometown of Burlington would be due east on the other side of that row of trees. I forget what that particular rise above the Skagit Flats is called. Bay View Hill? Is that it?

Okay, I am not looking at Facebook any more tonight...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Happy Birthday Sister Michele

 

On this day, many decades ago, my youngest sibling was born.

I have been extremely distracted for a few days, with those distractions causing me not to remember til now that on this day, many decades ago, my youngest sibling was born.

Happy Birthday Sister Michele

I talked to my sibling who was born seven years before Michele, this morning. That would be Sister Jackie.

Sister Jackie was back in Arizona after spending 10 days in Washington, where she got to spend time with Sister Michele, Mama Kristin, David, Theo and Ruby.

And got to meet Hank Frank and Hank Frank's Mama Monique, for the first time.

Jackie had herself a mighty fine time in Washington this visit, particularly enjoying meeting Hank Frank and his Mama.

It is looking increasingly unlikely I will be having myself a mighty fine time this coming summer in Washington meeting Hank Frank and his Mama, along with having fun with David, Theo, Ruby and Spencer Jack. Among others.

But who knows? Circumstances can quickly change...

Friday, April 9, 2021

Fort Worth Opens One Of Its Bridges To Nowhere Over Dry Land

 


Yesterday a text message from Elsie Hotpepper pointed me to a video clip of a news segment on NBCDFW.

The news was that one of Fort Worth's pitiful bridges to nowhere is finally connecting vehicular traffic from Fort Worth's mainland to Fort Worth's imaginary island.

As you can see, via the photo above, the bridge was built over dry land. With construction beginning way back in November of 2014, with an even then astonishing four year project timeline, longer than it took to build the Golden Gate, which we have mentioned multiple times, and is also mentioned in the NBC story.

The above screen cap is from the Fort Worth Business Press article about this epic accomplishment.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also had an article about the bridge opening. And in typical Star-Telegram fashion reading it caused my eyes to roll.

For instance the first paragraph...

With no fanfare, the White Settlement Road bridge near downtown opened to traffic Friday, more than six years after Fort Worth dignitaries gathered for an explosive ceremony to kick start construction of Panther Island.

So, the first paragraph mentions there being no fanfare to mark the bridge opening. And then several paragraphs later we read this...

When Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger and others gathered to celebrate the official start of the project in November 2015 with a ceremonial explosion, the bridges were expected to open between 2017 and 2018, according to Star-Telegram archives.

First off, I must be extremely clairvoyant because on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 I blogged the following a year before the Stat-Telegram thinks it happened...

A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late.

I have on multiple times verbalized one of the reasons for my disdain for Fort Worth's sad excuse for a newspaper is the fact that I was not long in Texas, not all that familiar with Texas, or Fort Worth, when I would read something in the Star-Telegram which I knew was not correct. It happened so many times I got tired of pointing out the errors.

And I have mentioned multiple times that in all my years reading the Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Skagit Valley Herald, Burlington Journal and Bellingham Herald, covering an area with which I was quite familiar, I do not ever recollect reading something I knew to be an error.

Someone needs to purge those referenced Star-Telegram archives. Apparently they are worthless. According to this Star-Telegram article the reporter learned from the archives that the ceremonial explosion was in November of 2015, with the bridges expected to be open between 2017 and 2018.

Nope, way back in 2014, when that start of construction explosion ceremony was already three months late, the project timeline was four years to complete the three simple little bridges being built over dry land.

The rest of that paragraph with the erroneous timeline information...

Design issues held up construction and their opening was pushed to 2019. Then project officials said the White Settlement bridge would be finished by late summer 2020, but the date was pushed back again to the end of last year. COVID-19 and construction delays pushed the date into 2021 with speculation during Trinity River Vision Authority board meetings that White Settlement would open in February or March. TxDOT put the opening date in “early 2021.”

Now that you can see a photo of one of these bridges completed, it must puzzle anyone living in modern parts of America, or the world, how in the world this could take so long to build.

Design issues? The Star-Telegram has no investigative journalists doing what is known as investigative journalism, so we have never learned what these design issues are, and why they caused such an epic slowdown of construction.

The Star-Telegram has also never investigated what it is that Kay Granger's son, J.D., actually does for the Trinity River Vision Central City Panther Island District Vision which warrants paying him over $200K a year, plus perks, plus also paying his wife a healthy salary.

Looking at that completed bridge, am I the only one who wonders how a ditch can now be dug under the bridge, lined with cement, and then Trinity River water diverted into the ditch, thus making the imaginary island?

You in the rest of America, the more prosperous parts of America, did you know Fort Worth has been begging for federal funds for years now, for this ill begotten, ill conceived, ineptly implemented project?

The Army Corps of Engineers has told Fort Worth they will not be a part of this project, or approve of any funding, until Fort Worth pays for a feasibility study.

Which Fort Worth refuses to do.

Refuses, most likely, because some saner heads know such a study will determine the project is not feasible, and is certainly not needed for flood control in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

David, Theo, Ruby & Aunt Jackie At Ocean Shores

The Skagit Valley's Linda Lou called today whilst I was checking out at Walmart, buying bread making supplies, and during the course of the conversation Linda Lou asked if Arizona's Aunt Jackie was still in Washington.

I answered that I did not know for sure, that the last I heard Aunt Jackie was going to spend several days this week at Ocean Shores.

And then a few hours later a text message arrived from David, Theo & Ruby's Mama Michele with three photos along with text saying something like "I'd ask where in the PNW they are, but I think you were already told!"

The water of the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Shores, or anywhere on the Washington coast, is cold, even in summer. Though in summer the water does warm up a bit and one can do a quick dip and wave dodge. And people do do that surfing thing like one does in Southern California. Or Hawaii. But whilst wearing a wetsuit so as to keep warm.

I do not know if those are wetsuits Ruby and Theo are wearing above, so as to keep warm during a quick dip in the cold Pacific.

When I was a kid, about the age of David, maybe a little older, one summer we were at Ocean Shores and there was a fad of people sand surfing on big round disks. Sliding along on the wet sand freshly coated by incoming waves.

Us kids thought that looked fun, so when we got back home dad made my little brother and me big round sand surfing disks. I recollect returning to Ocean Shores and trying to sand surf. I do not recollect how successful we were at it.


Above we see the aforementioned Aunt Jackie, still in Washington, with bare footed Ruby, David and Theo. It looks like Theo has found himself a kelp whip.

Way back when I was a kid one could find a lot of sand dollars on the Ocean Shores beach. And sometimes Japanese fishnet glass floats. I doubt Japanese fishermen still use those type floats, and so they no longer wash up on Washington beaches.


Yup, that definitely is a kelp whip Theo is holding. It looks like David may have one too.

As you can see, the beach at Ocean Shores is wide and flat. You can drive on the beach, within precise parameters. As in you can not drive out as far as the clam beds, unless you want to incur a large fine. In summer the traffic on this beach is quite busy. Miles and miles of vehicles driving back and forth. You can see some vehicle tracks behind the kids.

During a low tide, in clam digging season, behind David, Theo and Ruby you would be seeing throngs of people digging for razor clams. As in thousands of clam diggers. It is quite a spectacle.

Mom and dad, and I think Mama Michele, were razor clam digging the Sunday morning Mt. St. Helens blew up. This created quite a panic scene as it became known what had caused the big boom. Ocean Shores is closer to Mt. St. Helens than my Mount Vernon location, where I was in a bath tub when I heard three concussive booms that seemed like nothing I had heard before.

If I make it to Washington this summer it sure would be a mighty fine thing to visit Ocean Shores. My cousin Linda now lives there...

Tulip Bloom Boom In Washington's Skagit Valley

 


Apparently NBC Nightly News had a news story last night about the tulips blooming in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley. I learned this this morning, via Facebook, as you can see, screen capped, above.

The Skagit Tulips seems to be in the news a lot of late. Awhile back I saw a news story about the 20 things you need to add to your bucket list. The Skagit Tulips were #20 on the list.

I had been to several of the other things on this bucket list. Places like Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Las Vegas.

Maybe due to having had the Skagit Tulips part of my reality for just about as long as I can remember, I can't quite see them in the same league as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Las Vegas. 

Then again, I suppose someone who grew up in Flagstaff or Sedona might not think the Grand Canyon was all that grand, but if they saw the Skagit Tulips they might think, now this is something I would never see in Arizona.

This may be the type thing where the cliché "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" comes from.

Well, I'm out of here now, taking a senior citizen to a doctor appointment.

No, the senior citizen is not myself...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Finding My Long Lost High School Senior Annual With Linda Lou & Others

Years ago, whilst packing for a move, taking books off a bookshelf, I came upon my ancient high school annuals. Four of them. Freshman through Senior year.

I had not looked at these annuals in years. I saw them and thought to myself why in the world am I hauling these things all over the world?

And so, on impulse, at that point in time the four annuals were put in the discard pile, left behind as I moved to a new abode.

A few years later I came to regret that discarding decision, a couple times, when someone would mention someone and I would find myself not remembering the person. And me no longer having high school annuals as reference books.

And that brings us to today. In this morning's email was one from something called Classmates.com, with the message in the email telling me there was "1 new note posted by a fellow schoolmate from Burlington-Edison High School for Durango Jones!"
 
I clicked the link, figuring pointless scam. I never found the note. But I did find a link to a digital version of the final annual, that being the senior class one.

I was sort of surprised that anyone would go to the trouble of scanning an entire annual. And yet, there it was. All viewable, page after page after page. With an offer to send a hard copy for 99 bucks.

So, clicking through this, I found photos of myself I had not seen in a long time. So, I copied some of them for blogging purposes.

In that photo at the top you are looking at Linda Lou on the left, and me on the right.


And above we have me studying hard on something. If I remember right, that is Sandy Coons sitting next to me. It has been so long I can't quite remember my hair ever being so long. And so dark.


And above we have a color photo. I recollect this was a big deal at the time. That some pages in the annual could be in color. That is me holding Janice Jackson above a trash barrel. I have no idea why. If I remember right the last time I saw Janice Jackson was in April of 2006, at nephew Jason's wedding, where Janice played the organ.


Okay, now the above photo looks to be a bit precarious. That would be me at the top. I can tell this was at the south side of the gym. The aforementioned Janice Jackson is directly below me on this totem pole. Were we standing on a ladder? Is that Beth Scheuerman below Janice? And Miss Lori Mason below Beth?


That would be me and my mop of hair sitting across from the aforementioned Beth Scheuerman. Martin Urbs Barnes should be shown sitting next to Beth, but this digitalized version of the annual cut Urbs off. That would be Wendy Newman sitting next to me. We are at the Broaster Cafe in Mount Vernon. 

Do most people still have their high school annuals? Or are most people like me and the annuals have fallen into the dustbin of history?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hot Hiking Windy Wichita Bluff Nature Area

With the temperature nearing 80 and with an extremely strong wind blowing I felt the need for walking speed today.

And so I took myself to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to enjoy trying to stay vertical whilst the wind tried to knock me over.

As you can see, it was so windy I had trouble holding the phone steady to take a picture.

I thought in this selfie that I was aiming at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Wichita Falls. 

Clearly my aim was off.

But, in non-selfie mode I was able to take a photo of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Wichita Falls, from the vantage point of the highest of the bluffs.


That is the Wichita River you see in the center of the photo, looking brown. And that which you see sticking up on the horizon, that's that aforementioned stunning skyline.

No, that skyscraper near the center of the horizon is not Wichita Falls' famous World's Littlest Skyscraper.

The World's Littlest Skyscraper is too little to show up on the horizon...

Monday, April 5, 2021

My High School Class Reunion Membership Is Pending


I have a high school class reunion coming up this summer.

I doubt I will be attending.

A week or so ago I was talking to one of my former classmates and she mentioned thinking she had seen a Facebook page devoted to this upcoming reunion. I opined that I thought I remembered seeing such also.

We were discussing this serious subject because we thought that by now the details of this important event would be determined and known, with the information widely disseminated, what with the need to make travel plans well in advance of the actual traveling. 

After that phone call I looked on Facebook to see if I could find that Facebook reunion page we thought we had seen. It did not take long to find. Part of that webpage is what you see screen capped above.

Apparently, after this Facebook group was created I was sent a membership invite. Apparently I asked to be a member. And now, all this time later, I see my "membership is pending".

I told this to the person with whom I had been discussing this and she checked and saw the same pertained to her, with her membership also still pending. 

By the time my fellow classmate found her membership still pending she had also found out details of the current high school reunion plan. 

A two day event. With the first day taking place at a classmate's home.

YIKES! 

That begins at 2 in the afternoon and lasts til the last person leaves. This is a BYOB affair where you are also asked to bring yourself an appetizer.

YIKES! again.

On Day 2 of this reunion the gathering shifts from someone's home to the Skagit Country Club. We assume this will be a dinner and dancing type deal. But, those details have not yet been gleaned.

From this apparently defunct Facebook page about this upcoming reunion, I copied the following...
 
About This Group
Private
Only members can see who's in the group and what they post.
History
Group created on September 14, 2020 
Members  · 48
Margaret is an admin.

Okay, someone named Margaret apparently is the administrator of this group. It must be Margaret who must approve someone's membership in this group. I can only remember one Margaret who was in my high school class. I think she lives somewhere in the upper Midwest. Minnesota or Michigan or some such state.

I had previously heard that the reunion might take place at one of the Skagit Valley's casino resorts. That would be convenient, what with both having big event spaces and big hotels attached. That and when the reunion became boring one could go play the slot machines.

Well, in the end it matters not to me where or when this reunion takes place. If I make it to the Skagit Valley this summer I will be reunion-ing with multiple people with whom I went to high school. But I really do not have much interest in reunion-ing with people with whom I have had no contact for decades.

To a couple of my high school classmates I explained my thinking about this serious subject in an extremely hyperbolic way by saying if I graduated from Berlin-Edison High School in 1911, and in 1941 there was to be a high school reunion, I would have no desire to attend, knowing a third of my class were Hitlerite Nazis, another third were Democratic Socialists persecuted by the Nazis, and the final third were those clueless to what was happening, or Jews, who for reasons we all know all too well, would not be able to attend...

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Texas Easter Bunny Hopping Longhorn


Earlier this Easter Sunday, in a blogging about a Happy Easter Look At North Cascades National Park, I mentioned that someone from Washington, regarding Easter, had verbalized the hope that Texas still lets the Easter Bunny come hopping through, because with Texas you just never know what's what...

Well, the above photo showed up on Facebook this Easter afternoon, indicating that Texas is allowing a Texas version of the Easter Bunny to be seen in public on this special day.

Not hopping, of course, but instead riding a Texas Longhorn...

Linda Lou's Happy Easter Giant Shrimp Without Alligator Nuggets


Above is the result of a recipe the Skagit Valley's Linda Lou directed me to last week. The completed project is in its final stage of resting for an hour, to let the various ingredients merge as one, before being consumed as this year's Texas Easter Dinner. 

The only recipe ingredient I could not find at my backwoods backwards grocery store challenged location was Italian flat parsley. The recipe also called for fresh dill which I thought I would have trouble finding, but Linda Lou gave me directions which proved fruitful, well, dillful.

The recipe called for prawns. Those also were not to be found. So I substituted extra large shrimp. When Linda Lou asked if the seafood section at my Walmart had prawns, I told her I doubted it would, but that there are frog legs available in the Walmart seafood section.

And when I found the giant shrimp, next to the frog legs, I saw something I had not seen before in the Walmart seafood section, that being what you see photo documented below.


Alligator Nuggets and Filet of Alligator.

I was experiencing a buffet in Las Vegas once, I think it was at the Rio Casino, touted as the world's biggest buffet, and frog legs were among the items being buffeted. I did not try them.

I do not think I have ever eaten anything reptilian. I saw lots of people eating deep fried rattlesnake my one and only time experiencing the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.  

Well, it is now about time for that aforementioned Happy Easter dinner. At an hour past noon...

Happy Easter Look At North Cascades National Park

 


That which you see above fits in with our current ongoing theme of people in the Pacific Northwest sending me things via various means which tend to make me homesick for my former land of scenery, clean air, clean water and a well educated progressively thinking population.

I found the above in my mailbox this first Saturday of the 2021 version of April. An envelope with a postcard inside.

The photo on the postcard is a mountain peak in the North Cascades National Park. It looks like it may be a peak ones sees on the Cascade Pass hiking trail. The photographer is Andrew Porter of Sedro Woolley, Washington. Andrew Porter is not the sender of the postcard, his name was on the postcard's back indicating is was he who had taken the photograph.

Part of the message written on the back of the postcard...

Happy Easter, Durango---

I hope Texas still lets the Easter Bunny come hopping through. But you never know about Texas...

There were several paragraphs following the above two sentences, but they had nothing about Texas which was amusing. The paragraphs following the above two sentences were about March Madness and the finals being dominated by Pac-10 teams, particularly Washington's Gonzaga.

There was also mention made of the wild Washington weather day which ended March, that, and getting COVID shots.

I have yet to make any effort to get a COVID vaccination. I probably should quit procrastinating on that.

Hope one and all have themselves a might fine Easter today...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Aunt Jackie With David, Theo & Ruby Before Seeing Some Ocean Shores


Yesterday, whilst mentioning David, Theo & Ruby's First Good Friday Easter Bunny Visit, I also mentioned that David, Theo & Ruby's Aunt Jackie was currently in Washington and that I had not yet heard if Aunt Jackie had seen the Tacoma Trio and their parental units.

Later that same day a text message with a photo arrived, from Aunt Jackie, confirming she has seen the Tacoma Trio, with the photo above documenting that fact.

Apparently, for the coming few days, Aunt Jackie will be staying at Ocean Shores. I assume with the Tacoma Trio, their parental units, and others. 

If I remember right, the last time I was at Ocean Shores was in August of 2004. Previous to that 2004 Ocean Shores visit it would have been some time in August of 2001 I was last at one of my favorite locations in Washington. I had driven to Washington, from Texas, for mom and dad's 50th anniversary party. A couple days after that dad drove myself and mom to Ocean Shores, where Aunt Jackie, her first husband Jack, and several others were staying at a ocean front hotel.

I recollect that being a fun visit to Ocean Shores. Who could have known, at the time, that this would be the last time I would ever go to Ocean Shores with mom and dad. Growing up in Washington, going to Ocean Shores happened frequently.

Let me see if I can find a photo of that 2001 visit to Ocean Shores...

Now that took way too long to find.


That is the Pacific Ocean behind dad and mom. This is at the south end of Ocean Shores. To dad's right, out of the photo's view, is a big barrier of giant rocks at the entry to Grays Harbor. When I was at this location in 2004 we spent a few minutes watching whales blowing off steam.

At this same location, many years earlier, I was here with David, Theo & Ruby's Mama Michele.

Michele was 4 or 5 years old. It was a Sunday. There were a lot of people on the beach. Suddenly a rogue wave rolled in. I had never experienced such a thing before. People further out began to run away from the wave. Soon I realized I needed to run too. I picked up Michele and made it to a big driftwood, got up on it, but the wave still knocked us over, getting us soaking wet.

I had some explaining to do when we returned to mom and dad.

Here's another photo from that same day. With the aforementioned Aunt Jackie, and first husband, Jack, sitting on that also aforementioned big barrier of giant rocks...


I do not see scenes such as you see above at my current location. 

It is beginning to look ever more bleak the prospect that I will be seeing this type scenery in a few months. I hope I am wrong about this...

Friday, April 2, 2021

David, Theo & Ruby's First Good Friday Easter Bunny Visit


Photo documentation of David, Theo & Ruby's first visit with Santa Claus is well documented and has been seen by many.

What has not been seen by many is photo documentation of David, Theo & Ruby's first visit with Easter bunnies.

The photos you see above and below were taken on a Good Friday before Easter several years ago. Way back then Ruby & Theo were prone to get a bit panicky when experiencing something new and different.

Like giant Easter bunny rabbits.


While David remained the calm, bemused big brother, even when two giant Easter bunnies had him in their grasp.

David, Theo & Ruby's Aunt Jackie is currently in Washington. I have not yet heard if Aunt Jackie has seen the Tacoma Trio and their parental units...