Monday, December 1, 2014

The transients at home

Our visits home are always too short. Now that we have work during both the summer and winter seasons, we have start and end dates for each job that are pretty non-negotiable. With the way our seasons have been lining up the last couple of years, we only get two or three weeks between seasons. In that time, we need to move across country, so two or three weeks become one or two weeks of vacation time every six months. (This, of course, begs the question what would we do if we had “real” jobs with only two weeks’ vacation a year? Simple answer: we’d go nuts.) Since we live so far from home, vacation = visiting family and friends in Washington, which is wonderful, crazy, and all too short. Here’s a glimpse into our last not-quite-two-week trip home:

Days 1-4: Kate’s home with MomSig, where we went to a fruit festival at a local orchard (hippies! yay!), put in a new faucet for her kitchen sink, sat and drank coffee in her living room with cats on our laps, went to a yearly doctor’s appointment, visited our old college campus for entirely too short a time, and ate salmon (oh my god salmon) and lamb burgers. I am sadly very bad with using my camera at home, since it’s home, after all.

Days 5-8: Jeff’s home with MomPen and Wally, where we went pumpkin hunting,

had an early birthday party (read: excuse to get together) for Jeff that was well attended,

went walking in the dog park with our baby and her sister,

and ate mussels (oh my god mussels).

Day 9: MomSig came down to join us for our last day at MomPen’s (oh my god in-laws getting along), and ferried us down to Seattle for the last leg of the trip. She had discovered a Washington geology blog that she got me into, and it advertised a well-timed tour of building stones in Seattle (hey, man, that’s pretty awesome). We took a couple hours to wander downtown and see some pretty cool rocks, like a 3.5 billion year old gneiss – do any of you realize how old that is? MomSig posed with it to remind all of us how young she really is.

We proceeded on to Kate’s brother’s place, to make our semiannual pilgrimage to see Mi Chicharron and Moonface, our nephew and niece.

Jeff, of course, charmed the nephew, Mi Chicharron, who was even willing to walk barefoot in the rain to look at rainbows and pick flowers for him.

Good to know we still have the touch!

Days 10-12 were spent at our last landing place, friends Jeff and Katie (yes, Jeff and Katie, friends of Jeff and Kate – ah, generational names; can you imagine the groups of Aidens, Jadens, and Kaidens that will be gathering in 20 years?). To be honest, we don’t “do” much when we visit them, but we talk a lot.

And we get pinned down by really (really) heavy dogs.

We even got others to come to their place to visit, including a mutual friend and Jeff’s cousin. Ah, Washington.

Our final full day at home was dedicated to the other niece, nearly sister, who moved there after living with us in Stehekin for a summer. Small town to big city switch, no joke! She introduced me to a very rare thing – a store where I could imagine myself going for retail therapy.

And we all geeked out together at the Pacific Science Center.

Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks! Yay!

And then we flew out, back to our car and our long drive. All I can say about the long drive is that it was well described by this:

This trip was made possible by the generosity and chauffer services of MomSig, MomPen, and Jeff and Katie Lanning, and by visits from and with people like you. You all have no idea how much you mean to us – this crazy, wonderful life is only possible with the anchor of home!

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