Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sequim

Looking out on the Pacific Ocean 
The Dungeness Spit

Low Tide in Port Townsend

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Ocean view 

The tourists

Port Angeles

My good friends Bob and Gail Pinard

Port Townsend

  Last week Jan and I took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississipp- no just kidding, that's a line from a song from the sixties about the war of 1812 I believe. Anyway, we did take a small trip. However we're back now, so anyone who might have wanted to rob our house while we were gone, too bad, you missed your chance. We went down to check out the lovely town of Sequim Washington, where our long time friends, the Pinards have moved. The trip down was quite the unpleasant experience. We woke up at 3:00 AM to catch the 5:25 flight down to Seattle from Juneau. We boarded just fine, but that was the end of the good experience for the remainder of the day with the airline. We sat on the tarmac for several hours while the mechanics fixed what was described to us as the air conditioning by the pilot. We finally got underway for what was supposed to be a non-stop flight to Seattle, but about 45 minutes into the flight I noticed that we were slowing down and getting lower to the ground. We had an unscheduled stop in Ketchikan and for all I know, that jet is still sitting there on the tarmac. It sure as the world didn't leave while we were there. Meanwhile, our friends were waiting for us at the Sea-tac airport, expecting us to be pulling in at 8:45 in the morning. We finally did arrive some eight hours later. Their patience borders on saint hood. I, on the other hand, was ready to blow a gasket. The good part is, we arrived safe and sound, and unlike several other incidents involving airlines recently, no one was forcibly removed from the plane or hit with their baby stroller by a flight attendant. I would like to mention that I had my arm bumped on a number of occasions by a stewardess with an ample behind, but I can't really blame her. The airlines have put three seats in the place where two used to be, so they had to make concessions somewhere. Once we arrived at Sequim (pronounced Skwim) we had a delightful time. Our friends were the perfect hosts, feeding and housing us in a grand manner, and even directing us to various points of interest from the back of our rental car. Usually I would discourage back seat drivers, but I was so pleased that they agreed to ride along in this instance. I know that driving can be a nuisance to people who live where they have to drive all the time, but for us, it was such a pleasure to be able to hop in a car and travel more than three or four miles of pavement. We went down with the idea that we would look at the area and possibly check out some houses. It was quite a delightful place, with flowers and trees in full bloom. As you can see from the pictures there is access to forests and the sea, both of which I have become quite enamored with in our almost forty one years here. Washington does have a high sales tax, and there is also a property tax, neither of which we have to deal with here in Hoonah. The houses are quite nice for the most part, but I'm afraid they may be a little out of our price range, we'll have to see what our house will appraise at. We went to several delightful restaurants, and went shopping at both Wal-mart and Safeway, where the prices are much more to my liking than the prices here. I'm quite certain that there are plumbers, contractors, furnace repair men and auto mechanics in abundance there. It's not that we don't have any of those tradesmen here, but many of them are also fishermen or working at the cannery or for the city, so they aren't quite as easy to get hold of. In any event, the trip was quite pleasant overall. I don't know what the future holds for us, but I think I could easily find myself in Sequim if the price was right.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Moose Lips



















 Once again my oldest daughter Jen has provided me with material for a blog post. She came by the other night for a visit- or maybe she was eating dinner I can't recall. She didn't borrow anything this time, although she always makes a point of using our bathroom before she goes home. Maybe she's stocking up on toilet paper while she's in there. I should probably check her pockets before she leaves. Anyway, she was sitting on the couch and reached in to her jacket and pulled out what looked like a glue stick and started smearing her lips with it. She was really going at it, like she was in love with the blasted thing. I think she was making out with her lip balm. She must have the driest lips on the planet.Well, not anymore, after she smeared a half a tube of schmutz on her lips. She seldom is without a tube of Chap stick and she uses it liberally. If not that, she's got a can of some kind of  lip goo, with names like Wild Honey Delight or Salmonberry Yum Yum. I think the stuff in the cans could be used to waterproof your boots.There is usually some commentary on whatever flavor she's applying and how wonderful it is. I don't think I've ever heard her say that she didn't care for one. This particular lip balm is called Moose Lips- Alaskan size lip balm. It's so big that you can cover both lips in one swipe; probably half your nose and a third of your chin too. Moose Lips. That's a catchy name. I've never really thought about it, but do moose even have lips? What would they need them for anyway? I guess I should have done some research before I started this blog post. What about cows or bears? I don't think my dog has lips. Now I'm probably going to lose sleep wondering about the anatomy of various species in the animal kingdom. I wonder what materials go into one of those lip balms. When my lips were dry I used to just get a dab of Vaseline jelly and pucker up. That stuff worked so good my lips were still moist the next morning. In the unlikely event that anyone needed a good morning kissing, I'd be ready. My son Brian was visiting and last night when Jen brought out her monster size lip balm we were both under the impression that she had accidentally grabbed the glue stick from the class room and was going to seal her lips shut for the remainder of the night. He commented that it might not be a bad idea if the schools actually had such an item. A combination glue stick/lip balm for kids who are disruptive in class. It might come in handy in other situations as well, like when a beloved family member is visiting and decides to strike up a conversation right when breaking news comes on TV, or you're watching a movie, or you're right on the verge of dropping off into slumber land. I'm sure there are any number of uses for such a versatile item. It would give new meaning to the word lipstick. So there you have it. In the event that you're in a location that doesn't have any moose, perhaps you can find some Turkey Lips balm. If you're a seafood lover, perhaps Carp Lips would be in order. In any event I hope your lips are soft and pliable and ready for any unexpected kisses that may come your way.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly



















  A number of years ago, when Clint Eastwood was still a fairly young man, he starred in a few spaghetti westerns, one of which was titled, The good, the bad and the ugly. I'm sitting in my home today listening to the wind howl, and the rain beat against the roof, and realize that I'm experiencing the bad part of living here. As you can see from the pictures, we're still dealing with the after affects of the last major snow storm. This past week it actually warmed up fairly well and with the rain the snow is starting to melt  a little quicker, so I guess in that respect the rain is good. However, it's gloomy and cloudy out, and that seems kind of bad. I almost wrote cluddy instead of cloudy. I think cluddy would pretty well describe the scene outside my windows. Kind of muddy, cruddy, rainy and cloudy all rolled into one. In other words, depressing. When we first moved into Hoonah, it was kind of a step up from where we had been living on the farm. The houses all had electricity (most of the time) there was indoor plumbing and warm toilet seats, there were three stores in town, and several restaurants, and telephone service. All the modern conveniences that a person could want. At the time I wasn't too concerned about issues like planning and zoning and whether or not my neighbors threw their washing machine out in the front yard if it quit working.  I just needed a warm, safe, dry place for my family. Now thirty years have passed. There have been some considerable changes to the town since we've first moved in. Some years back the state paved the streets, a big plus.That was good. We've gotten a modern ferry terminal and a new health clinic, both of which we needed. That was also good.  I would have hoped that some of the modernization would have rubbed off on some of the citizens and they would take a little more pride in how they live, but many haven't, which seems bad. It looks like tourism is here to stay, which could be good, bad or ugly, depending on how you view the impact that it has. There are a number of tourists who leave the cannery area and go walking around the town. I think many are struck by the contrast between the beauty of the bay and the  state of some of the homes here. For many residents, having a nice yard or a fresh coat of paint on your house isn't a priority.  In their defense, I have to say that I can only think of one or two homes here that have garages, so all the junk that everyone  stores in their garages down south gets left in the yard here. I guess you could suggest that maybe we should purchase less stuff, but hey, this is America, shopping is what we do. Out (in the yard) with the old, in with the new. Last year the city manager and the police chief identified somewhere between five and ten homes that were considered abandoned and were condemned. The green house next door is one of them. Again, that could be both good and bad. I've been living beside an empty house whose roof has been steadily blowing off with each windstorm for the past ten years. That's ugly.  I've been keeping the lawn mowed so it wouldn't detract from my home. On the one hand it will be nice to see it go.That's good. On the other, I fear that an empty lot will be an invitation for the neighborhood dogs to use it as a fresh toilet. That's bad. If I could, I'd purchase the empty lot and put up a privacy fence and build a garage so I could park my truck and store my excess junk, however, I don't think that's going to happen, so I have to hope for the best. Well, I guess I'm having a kind of cluddy day. I hope wherever you are the sun is shining, the neighbors are respectful and your garage has room for the car.