Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Goes Around

We were in Seattle last week.

Aaron works there a lot and we tag along whenever possible.

Seattle has become a kind of home away from home for us really.

We've gotten to know the city well.

We have our favorite spots.

With every visit we see something new.

Because it's July, and we "Northwesterners" are experiencing a warmer than usual summer, the kids and I decided to ride the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton.

It was idyllic.

The Olympic Peninsula with it's jagged peaks jutting from the the middle of sea up to sky seemed close enough to touch as the ferry passed through the green and blue of Puget Sound leaving the famous city skyline with it's iconic Needle shrinking behind us.

Even the jellyfish were floating lazily towards their watery rooftop to blob around in the sunlit rays.

It was one of those days that stood still long enough for me to take it all in.

The kids were just, being kids.

They splashed in the Bremerton fountains, munched on Belgian fries, and had the "Turner Joy" battleship practically to themselves.

On our way back to the Emerald City we were all smiles, sun kissed, and perfectly exhausted.

The ferry snugged it's way into the harbor for the evening and being the last ship to leave for the day, it was full of passengers.

As we filed off the ship and onto "dry land" (like a herd of cattle), I noticed a ferry employee guiding a cart full of empty boxes into an elevator and watched as her tower of cardboard tumbled off the cart as she tried to hold the elevator door open with one leg. The line of people in front and behind us seemed to be pressing all around, so I held onto Zibby and made our way down the stairs.

When I turned around to check on the other two, I noticed AbbySue.

She was politely pushing her way back up the stairs, through the line, and rushed over to the woman at the elevator. She bent down and started helping get the load back on the cart, then made her way back to us without a word.

But I noticed.

It was one of those moments that makes a parent feel like just maybe, despite all of the mistakes and blunders we make, something "good" is staying with them.

AbbySue was "in the moment".

I'm thankful that her head was up, that she was a part of the world around her.. engaged..without a handheld device, connecting to another person in need, face to face.

And so later that night, when I was making my way from "Italian Family Pizza" (favorite New York style in Seattle), back to the hotel, navigating the city streets with an abnormally large box of hot food, and a homeless man, with his shirt wide open, dirt filled fingernails, and matted hair, asked me,

"Hey there! Can I have a piece?"

Kindness overtook the impulse to judge and my mind raced back to the mental picture of my daughter, on her knees helping a person in need.

I stopped in my tracks, set my "state of Washington" size pizza box on the sidewalk, opened it up, and pulled out some dinner for a hungry man.

He looked at me and smiled like a person who felt, at least for that moment, cared for.

It was the same smile the woman with the boxes shared with AbbySue.

They say, "What goes around comes around."

On that sunny day in Seattle,

the wheel was kindness and we decided to go along for the ride.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Where we are right now...

Well hello little blog of mine.

Has it really been so long since we've talked?

And yet, life won't hold still for a moment.

The school year came to an end and with it welcomed another Kookie into the ranks of Junior  High.


Ben was more than excited to join the Tuesday Night Grandma's Bus Ride into Salem for Youth Group.

And our little woman now sits proudly as "Queen of the Roost", preening her eight grade feathers.


Next Year we will have a High Schooler.

Which left the evening to the seven year old and mommy.

Oh, I forgot to post that didn't I?

The baby turned seven last month.

But we've really been having too much fun with all of this living to stop for a little moment and record these memories.

These days gone by.

And now we find ourselves just about mid summer.

In between the then and now there was another trail marathon for me at Timothy Lake at the base of Mt Hood.

Oregon Splendor. That was a run I would do again.  But a story for another time.

There was an anniversary for us. We celebrated our 15th year of marriage. And I will never forget the way my love reminded me of what we have...his voice filled with emotion as he read pages of memories and milestones that we alone have shared, the valley view stretching before us like patchwork quilt of future adventures waiting to be shared, hand in hand.

What we have is precious.

We know this.

It humbles us really.

Because we haven't earned it.

We've messed up way too much to brag about this beautiful life being something we've earned.

It's about Grace.

Grace is the mainstay around these parts...

by Grace we run, and ride, and laugh, and love, and cry, and fall, and forgive.

I pray that it be the anthem of our home and the song that these children take with them.

 Fifteen Years
 Seven Years
 Twelve Years
 Eleven Years
 Miles and Miles
 Healed Grandpa
 Our Kookies
My favorite.