This is a fountain in downtown Kirkland, Washington. It is just mesmerizing, watching the water. Very simple, no frills.
This is a fountain in downtown Kirkland, Washington. It is just mesmerizing, watching the water. Very simple, no frills.
The Grand Canyon dwarfs the people in this picture.
Those cliffs are very high, and you wouldn’t want to fall into the canyon. But if you see the Grand Canyon from an airplane, it looks pretty small. And those people would totally disappear.
That would be my 50th High School Class Reunion, held this weekend. A variety of activities were planned, including a golf outing on Friday, a tour of the school and drinks at a local watering hole Friday afternoon, and a big dinner Saturday night. I have to say that I was one of a class of 700 in a city high school, so there were hundreds of “classmates” who I never even met in all our three years. I was also pretty much of an outcast, with few friends and few activities. Most of the “cool kids” wouldn’t give me the time of day, way back then. I discovered to my delight that the years dim memories, and when I met people at reunions, starting with the tenth, they had mostly forgotten that I was unpopular then, and were nicer to me than I had expected.
At the fortieth reunion in 2007, I actually became re-acquainted with a friend from school who I knew as very conservative, and a fan of Richard Nixon. Well, it turned out that I had turned conservative over the years, and we now had lots in common. It was just wonderful to get back in touch with someone who I now could relate to much better. Over the last ten years, she and her husband have joined me and my husband in a variety of activities, including Hillsdale College functions.
Since the Friday golf outing was being held at a country club pretty close to where I live, I offered to tag along and be the “unofficial official photographer”. The event organizer said he’d be happy if I went, so I took Friday off work and met the group at the ungodly hour of 8:00AM at the golf course. Aside from myself, there were four women and six men in the group, which made three groups. I went with one of the male groups, and took a golf cart with a gentleman whom I had never met in high school at all! It was absolutely delightful talking with him, and I was sorry I didn’t know him in high school. The golf course is very pretty, and very hilly! I not only took pictures of the players, I trained my camera on the course itself.
See that sign to the left of the golf cart path? It says Caution 35 degree slope! And those speed bumps were actually welcome-that path is really steep!
The 18 holes took over four hours, and they just sped by. We all had a great time, and met back at the club for lunch in their beautiful dining room. It turned out that the host and his wife (who met in high school and have been married 47 years), live right by the golf course, which is only about 5 miles from where I live. No excuse for not getting together again soon. Here’s the golf group at lunch.
I went home after the golf outing feeling just wonderful. I’d gotten re-acquainted with people I hadn’t seen in ten years, and liked every one of them. I was pretty sure that everyone had appreciated my photography, and enjoyed my company as much as I’d enjoyed theirs. Everyone had done something different with their lives, and moved around the country, but now we were all back for a while, and the years just seemed to fall away into insignificance.
Saturday night was the big reunion dinner at another country club in town. There were over 200 people there, which is pretty remarkable after fifty years! If you just closed your eyes and listened, you could hear multiple “Nice to see you” and “Great to see you” from small groups and individuals all over the room. I must have re-met dozens of people I had known, and even some that I hadn’t! Some people never change-I recognized more of the women than the men (who had lost more hair!). Since I don’t, I did notice that the majority of the women color their hair, so there was less gray than there might have been if everyone had remained all-natural like me.
Fifty years is a very long time. Most of us are different people than we were in high school, but everyone mostly was successful in life. Classmates showed pictures of their kids and grandkids, and discussed careers and travels. From snatches of conversation I heard, many of us had traveled the world, both for work and leisure. Dozens of us had been or still are teachers, and many different professions were represented. I was pleased to see that I’m not the only one still employed and loving it.
As I look back over my life, I have been through some trying times, and always landed on my feet. Fifty years is a long time, but I can’t say I feel that old. And I think many of my classmates feel the same. A few people used canes, and there were a couple of walkers in evidence; but that didn’t keep them away. Everyone who came looked like they were having a pleasant evening, and I think everyone went away happy, with new memories to add to the old ones that are fading.
It was an excellent reunion weekend, and I’m so glad I went. And the Memory Book that we bought has addresses and pictures for most classmates, so we can stay in touch. As we get older, friends and family become more important, and classmates aren’t far behind. “What I am to Be, I am Now Becoming” was our class motto. Would I have laughed then, if I were told that what I would become was what I am today (planner/buyer, Business Survey Chairman)? Probably. In any case, I’m very proud of what I have become, and my high school education helped get me started.
Most people drive or cycle through cities these days. From the window of a car, or the seat of a bicycle, you can miss the details that only a pedestrian, walking along at a slow pace, can see. On our walk through Uptown Port Townsend, I caught these details that might have been overlooked from the car.
In front of a bank branch, there was a planter, with this pretty ornamental grass.
Walking further down a residential street, we notice some movement in the front yard of a home, which was shadowed by trees and flowers. The movement turned out to be one of these, who moved out of the shadows, and came over to give us a look.
As we walked further on, down the many steps back to the lower part of the city, we saw more of her companions (there were at least five does in the group), and on the bank next to the stairs, we found the leader.
Handsome guy, isn’t he? So get out, take a walk, and see sights at your level, and in your time.
Hubby and I spent the afternoon yesterday in the town of Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula, collecting on the last of the Jazz package we bought at an auction (dinner at the Hanazono Asian Noodle House). Before dinner, we walked up what seemed like 1,000 steps to check out the Uptown neighborhood. Walking down Washington Street, we came across a little Cafe. This sign was in its front window, for passersby to see.
So, is this the way an eatery should welcome prospective customers? This sign is asking people to check their biases, and move on if any of the above describes their point of view. This sign is winnowing down the universe of people who might like the food and beverages they serve. And which part of this sign jumps out at the casual passer-by? How about You’re NOT Welcome Here. Well, if I’m not welcome here, I’ll just walk on by. And I’ll spread the word to all my friends and acquaintances that they are not welcome here either. The people who post this kind of sign in their front window are the ones who have the bumper-stickers on their car which say “Coexist”, and “Teach Tolerance”. Not terribly tolerant, are they?
I’m not much into the vandalism thing, but this made me want to throw a brick through that window.
The week after Labor Day, Hubby and I drove to Montana for a Ricochet Meetup, attended by members from as far away as New York City. You can read my three-part trip report on the Ricochet Main Feed Here:
We returned to Everett the following Tuesday, and it was back to work on Wednesday. I expected that when I got back to work I would have a brimming mailbox, and probably stacks of invoice issues and towers of kits ready to go out for assembly. I had about 160 emails, but that was about all. What I definitely did not expect, was to find out that while I was gone, my boss had given his notice, and the Friday would be his last day at the company.
I was devastated. I had worked directly for him since November of 2014 (before that, I sort of worked for two groups and bosses, Production Control and Purchasing, and attended staff meetings for both groups; the Production Control supervisor had told me that he had too many direct reports, and was transferring me to the Purchasing department full time). Since I knew that the Production Control supervisor had never really liked or appreciated me, that transfer was exactly what I had wanted to happen, and I was dancing around inside with joy. When I went to the first Purchasing staff meeting after I was transferred, the manager told the entire group about it. I just glowed, when everyone in the room clapped and cheered, and said how happy they were to have me as a full member of their group.
From the very first, I had a great relationship with my boss. He was English, and I have always been a sucker for an English accent. I knew that he appreciated all the work I did, and understood that I was doing work that wasn’t strictly in my job description. One of the things that he required of all the buyers was a “weekly report”, describing all the projects we were working on, and any problems we might have been having. I felt really a part of the group by writing that report every week. And I knew that he read them all, since he would make a point of discussing issues with me soon after.
Every year, my husband and I have a holiday open house, where we make chili and invite our friends and coworkers over to share some cheer. I invited my boss that first year, and I was totally blown away when he, his wife, and his son showed up! They stayed for a while, and we had some excellent conversation. They came the next year, too.
In 2015, our company went through a huge factory remodel, and for over a week the whole place was a construction zone. We all had to come to work every day, and help out where we could, all decked out in our hard hats, safety vests, and steel-toed shoe covers. The first morning, there was an “all-hands” meeting in an open area, where everybody stood around, waited for their department people to show up, and admire all the safety gear. I walked in, and my boss happened to be standing right in the middle. When he saw me, he beckoned me over, and gave me a hug. Well, I just grinned like the Cheshire Cat, and he had made my day.
I’ve worked for a lot of people in my long working life, and I have to say that this boss was the best, most supportive person I’ve ever worked for. He backed me up any time there was some conflict, and he would always sign my purchase orders that were over my dollar signature authority. He really appreciated all the work I was taking off the senior buyers, which is more than I can say for my previous boss.
He’s been gone for three weeks now, and I really miss him a lot. For now, our department lacks a supervisor, and the person who is supposed to be taking over has lots of loose ends to tie up at his current employer (a sister company in another state). Going to work isn’t much fun any more, and employee morale in general is pretty bad. Everyone in our department misses our old boss. But we can all say that we loved working for him-I’m not the only one.
So that’s what happened. Life goes on, and we retain our pleasant memories.
I have gotten pretty good at taking photos from the passenger-side windows of our car. On our way to Montana and back, I shot these photos from the moving vehicle-I really wanted my friends to see what the air quality was, as a result of the wildfires in Montana and Eastern Washington.
This was just east of Spokane, on Interstate 90.
This was what we could see of Lake Coeur D’Alene. Lake? What lake?
On our way home, the air had cleared up a great deal. These photos are my favorite basalt cliffs of the Columbia Gorge, on the east bank of the river, just outside East Wenatchee, Washington.
See the green at the base of this photo? Those are vineyards. Many orchardists around Wenatchee, the apple capital of the world, are pulling up their orchards and planting wine grapes.