what’s next door, beyond?
sentinel blocks me, but fails
peek-a-boo by Angie Quantrell
photo by Jamie Quantrell
Fort Simcoe Historical State Park, Washington
pasture grown fledgling
flightless, injured; parents guard;
frightened, precious. help!
fledgling by Angie Quantrell
This pretty red-tailed hawk is now rehabbing at Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon. Visit link to learn more about this wonderful organization. http://bluemountainwildlife.org/
I remember living in Cle Elum the same year I attended kindergarten, 1966-67.
Kindergarten. This monumental first year of school was so much different in the 60s than in the here and now. In fact, many students didn’t even attend kinder, but started school when they were old enough for first grade.
Kindergarten in Cle Elum? Mandatory dresses for girls, must be able to tie shoe laces, and had to be 5 before school started. I must have been fine for tying my laces, since I remember wearing saddle ox shoes. Which (I just googled) was the common name for saddle oxford shoes quite popular at the time. I always thought they were called saddle LOCKS. Haha. Celebrating my birthday in November placed me among the oldest in my class.
I loved kindergarten. We had art, easel painting, music, recess, lunch, NAP time, stories, play time, and so many other fun activities. I remember my mother telling me that my teacher put me at a table full of noisy boys, hoping that I would calm them down. What she probably meant was that I was bossy and would tell them to be quiet. I’m sure I did. Tell them to be quiet. My oldest kid personality came out shining.
If you are familiar with Cle Elum, you know that it is a small town near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. We had winter. The type of winter where snow fell, temps were frigid, and everyone knew winter had arrived. We used to live in a two story home. I distinctly remember the year when so much snow fell, we had snow mountains piled high around our house. It became a game to jump out a second story window, land in the snow, follow the tunnel back to the door, run up the steps, and jump out again. Never fear, adults were involved in this seasonal sport. Honestly. I am not making this stuff up.
Also. The “girls must wear dresses” rule. My mom finally got so tired of me standing at the bus stop shivering and freezing that she sent me to school wearing, hold on tight now, pants! She was really stepping out and being rebellious. But she also wasn’t about to let her little girl get frostbite while wearing a cute dress with tights.
I’m pretty sure the above picture was taken in our backyard in Cle Elum. That is me on the left and my brother on the right. We loved playing on that swing set. Our family did so many fun activities when we lived in the mountains. We camped, explored, visited family and friends, climbed mountains, and spent time beside rivers. The northwest became our big backyard.
I remember another funny story about our time in Cle Elum. Mom could hear my brother and I giggling and the toilet flushing repeatedly. She quickly ran into the bathroom and we were entertaining a guest raccoon. Apparently we had let it in, or it had invited itself in. I have no idea how we discovered its love of running water, but the flushing toilet was a perfect play area. My poor mother!
Learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels also happened during my Cle Elum and kindergarten years. I was so proud! Good thing there wasn’t a car parked in front of me when my dad was taking this picture!
What do you remember about kindergarten? Were you a paste taster? I still remember the smell and the urge to sample, though I don’t remember eating any. Share a favorite kinder memory. Let’s compare notes.
Last January I was elated to learn I had been granted a special writing residency and retreat at Holly House and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. What a great way to begin a new year!
Located outside of Shelton, Washington, not far from Olympia, Holly House would be overlooking Hammersly Inlet if it weren’t totally surrounded by a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees. The setting is absolutely gorgeous. Cool, green, shaded, quiet, peaceful. Did I say peaceful? And all mine for the week.
After shopping for enough food to last 3 months, as if grocery stores did not exist 5-7 miles away, I arrived before lunch on my appointed Sunday. Outside appearances did not prepare me for the spacious and beautiful inside environment. Incidentally, Holly House is very close to the small house size my honey and I want to build for ourselves.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I had everything I needed for a creative, imaginative, stress-free week. Loft bedroom, large bathroom, living room, dining area, kitchen, and even a deck with the most perfect table and chairs.
I was so blessed to visit and stay at Holly House. The neighbors (a couple and their huge dog) were fantastically helpful and reassuring. After all, I was in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere. And I heard there had been evidence of a bear. My imagination supplied the rest of the excitement.
The Hypatia-in-the-Woods board was wonderful. I enjoyed a potluck one evening, getting to meet most of the members. I was met by Carolyn at Holly House. She brought me some snacks and gave me a working tour of the cabin. Every single thing I could have wanted or desired was provided. Or all I had to do was ask. Thank you to all who gave me the opportunity and welcomed me to Holly House.
I’m so thankful for my writing residency. Thank you, Holly House, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, neighbors, and the Hypatia board. Thank you!
If you ever have an opportunity to go on a writing retreat or residency, do it! Worth every second.
shadow self, shooting pictures
me? it’s what I do
self-portrait by Angie Quantrell
Photo taken at Potlatch State Park, Hood Canal, Washington State.
Thanks to Hypatia-in-the-Woods for the opportunity to be me.
Today’s Monday Mouthful is brought to you by Thai Naan in Snohomish, Washington.
Last week I was house sitting for a college roomie. She was off gallivanting around Europe (and beyond) with her hubby while I was enjoying her kitty and having myself a writing retreat. Perfect location! Easy walk to reach downtown, gorgeous and historic neighborhood, lots of room and space to spread out my junk (I mean writing supplies). I recently read that creative people are messy. That explains it, honey. My creativity is definitely based on the area around me covered in chaotic bits and pieces.
Back to the story.
Immediately upon arrival, my stomach started thinking back to a previous trip where said roomie, plus one more roomie, headed out for Thai dinner in Snohomish. Food memory drove me to hoof it down the hill and check out lunch.
Lunch special favorite discovered and documented. I ordered green chicken curry, which came with sweet and sour soup, brown rice, and phad Thai. So much deliciousness and food for such a great price! This lunch special called me back one more time, plus a separate dinner trip with above mentioned roomie (not the Europe explorer).
If you are in Snohomish, give Thai Naan a try. Eat some food memories.
Talk about a super salad! The salmon Caesar salad at Bennett’s Fish Shack in Ocean Shores is over the top!
While on vacation in Ocean Shores, Washington, we followed the suggestion of our hotel desk help and walked to Bennett’s to eat dinner. What a tasty mouthful!
Blackened (Cajun) salmon (a generous serving), romaine lettuce, plenty of parmesan cheese, delicious dressing, croutons, AND tomatoes, pepperoncinis, avocado slices, and lemon! I loved the addition of a few extras to the salad. Just thinking about it is making me hungry.
This salad is one we will go back for on our next trip. Or maybe we will try some of the other tasty looking meals. Popular hang-out!
Mosquitoes. There will be MOSQUITOES. And dirt. Sometimes horse and deer flies. Plan accordingly. Wear bug repellent (we are still out on this – both of us want something more organic and less toxic). We were hit hard when we got out of the car. After a quick rethink, we jumped back in the car, put on boots, covered up, and got back out to spray. Still managed to get 3 bites.
Long hair. If you have this, wear it down – hot or not! Mosquitoes loved the back of my neck, despite my hat and shirt. So I let my hair down and spread it through the sweat which glued it in place. Immediate relief!
Hats. Wear them. I wore my tightly woven sun protection hat with a wide brim. Shade and bug protection.
Long pants. Wish we had them. Still have a few scrapes from branches growing over the path. I’m sure this isn’t the only trail with opportunities for clambering over rocks and tree roots.
Water. Our hike wasn’t too long but was strenuous and the sweat flowed freely. We had 2 bottles each, which was enough for the short hike. Had we stayed longer at the lake, we would’ve needed more.
Snacks. Of course. Good stuff to chomp on is part of the fun of hiking! Nuts, whole grain crackers, jerky, trail mix, protein bars…I always underestimate how much my honey needs to eat. Me? I could outlast several weeks of restricted calories, but his high metabolism requires regular and high calorie fuel.
Maps. We had general directions from a flyer found at the Ranger station and we still managed to park in the wrong spot. It seems it was the correct location though, when I researched AFTER our hike, due to previous road washouts. Hint: The flyer suggested elevation gains, time estimations, distances, and trail popularity. Some of this was NOT true. For instance, family friendly. We did not find this trail to be safe for younger hikers. This was agreed upon by another family (with elementary children and an elderly chap). Maybe they should define family friendly. Take information like this with a grain of salt.
Snow. While we did not encounter snow, the lake was very full and there were no places to get close to the water unless one was IN the water or on floating logs. Take into account the previous winter. We had record snowfall. That means lakes will be full to overflowing. Snow may still be on the trails. Mud will be present.
Do not give up! We passed few other hikers, so the Glacier Lake hike was perfect for solitude (I missed wearing a bear bell, though, and we constantly scanned for evidence and escape routes – many shredded snags convinced us that big claws had enjoyed plentiful grubs and bugs). Once we arrived at Glacier Lake, huge (bigger-than-my-car sized) boulders blocked the path. We made two different attempts to get over them to the water, but my legs were too short. In defeat, we headed back. Only a short while later we met a young family (baby in backpack, so backpacking with child in tow counts as family friendly). They discovered a trail to the lake edge and two rough camping spots. They filled us in and we headed back to the lake. Don’t be afraid to ask and share info with other hikers.
Glacier Lake Hint: When you get to the boulders, you will instinctively want to go straight through them to the water. Don’t. There are many false trails over the rocks. Instead, look LEFT and you will see the trail continuing around the edge of the boulders. LOL. It’s obvious once you know.
Hiking is our respite from crowds, technology, and stress. We learn something new on every hike. We can’t wait to get back out on the trails!
Would you like your adventure now or should we have our tea first?
~ J.M. Barrie