Tag Archives: Leavenworth WA

Goodbye Again

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Goodbye Again

It’s that time again. It’s time to say goodbye to Leavenworth again. It’s time to say goodbye to all my friends here. The last bridge game. The last book club meeting. The last life group. The last SAIL class. The last music night. The last lunch at the senior center. The last trips on Link Transit to Cashmere and Wenatchee.

I feel like the last six months have been more like six days or hours, not months. Friendships have increased and grown stronger. My involvement in children’s ministry is more meaningful. Leavenworth is really starting to feel like “home” to me after years of traveling, never quite settling down in any one place.

People envy me. They marvel at the places I’ve been and the adventures I’ve had. However this type of life does carry a price tag, and it’s a hefty one. It means that I meet lots of new people, but then there are lots of goodbyes that go along with that.

Of course we always have the option of planning our future. But as Robbie Burn’s once said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft a-gley.” I remember planning a future years ago, when my children were young. But it never included traveling from country to country on a regular basis. In fact it never included living anywhere but in Winnipeg.

The times are different now. My children don’t live in the same province anymore although they are both still in Canada. The idea of Friday night family dinners as well as birthday and holiday celebrations together is not in the plans anymore.

It has been interesting and enjoyable spending special times with different people in different places, but I would give anything to relive just one more minute of family time spent together. That precious time is gone forever.

Alas I must return to the mundane art of packing, another pastime I do not find in the least enjoyable. It’s also a challenge to keep within the 50 pound limit. Gone are the days when the number of bags allowed and the weight carried no restrictions.

Goodbye for now and my next post will be once I’m settled in Guadalajara, where I am looking forward to Day of the Dead festivities.

Fall Has Arrived

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Fall Has Arrived

The temperature is dropping and the leaves have begun changing color. Summer is now a memory. But it has been an eventful week.

I belong to the Bavarian Book Club at the Leavenworth Library. Once a month we get together to discuss a book we’ve read. The book we reviewed on Monday was by a Washington author and took place primarily in the San Juans on Orcas Island. It was interesting for me as I had spent some time in that area back in August so I could really relate to the places mentioned in the book.

Tuesday’s highlight was attending the memorial service at Spirit of America in Cashmere. One of the speakers recalled his 9/11 experience of boarding a flight at Pangborn in Wenatchee only to be directed off the plane moments later as the FAA had grounded all aircraft in response to the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. I was living in Canada back then and recall that tragic day vividly.

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In addition to my regular Wednesday afternoon bridge game, the weekly children’s ministry program at church had its first gathering. Snacks and a video were followed by bible study, games and crafts. It was wonderful to have such a great turnout the first week and I look forward to sharing more with the children until I head back to Mexico in a few weeks.

Thursday morning I taught a fitness class. I had missed Tuesday’s due to the 9/11 memorial service. In the afternoon I went down to the Lions Club Park for the Farmers Market. And in the evening Becky and I went to the first meeting of the season of a BFS (Bible Study Fellowship) group.

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Saturday morning found me at Central Washington Hospital at a meeting of the Wenatchee Valley Autoimmune Network. The guest speaker presented an interesting experiential workshop on the benefits of music and sound in reducing stress and inflammation. After this presentation I went upstairs and visited with a friend recuperating from surgery in the hospital. In the evening I was at the senior enter with several others enjoying some great music. Six musicians had turned out to jam together.

This morning after church Laurel and I went out to Sleeping Lady to look at the amazing glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. Although it was cloudy, this is still a beautiful piece. It is even more beautiful in the dark when lit up. The rain began and we then went out to the Wild Huckleberry at the golf course for lunch.

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The leaves are changing color. I will have to go and visit my tree in Cashmere this week.

Music and Movies

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Music and Movies

It’s the middle of August. Here in Washington it’s time to get ready to go back to school. In Mexico some of the students have already begun classes. But the temperature here still soars into the 90s and it’s hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close.

Leavenworth Summer Theater featured three amazing performances this season. At the Ampitheater up on Ski Hill Road, The Sound of Music delighted the audience from the time Maria sauntered through the woods in the opening scene until the final scene where the Von Trapp family stood in the hills above as the musical came to an end. What a setting!

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This was also the venue for Little Women, another outstanding performance. The third was My Fair Lady which was held at The Fish Hatchery. Don’t let the name of the location fool you as the outdoor stage was surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains. 

We also attended a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Short Shakespeareans. This was held at The Riverside Playhouse in Wenatchee and all performers were between the ages of 1 to 16. What a fabulous way to introduce children to the magical world of Shakespeare!

This past week The Jubilant Bellringers from Des Moines, Washington were in Leavenworth. The musicians ranged in age from tenth graders to college freshmen. They also play a variety of instruments besides handbells and we were treated to a trumpet solo as well as a saxophone solo.

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Due to the heavy smoke that has invaded our town recently, the annual Village Voices picnic was moved indoors from The Lions Park. This is a nonprofit community choir that was founded in 1982. These people have a passion for singing and have the opportunity to perform in a professionally-directed chorus. Of course the Bavarian theme that Leavenworth is known for is also reflected in the music.  The Christmas season is synonymous with Village Voices.

The music continued with the movie Momma Mia Here We Go Again. While I do prefer live performances when it comes to musicals, the music was fabulous and I felt that the storyline was better than the one in the last movie.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor brought many of us in the audience to tears. I recall watching the TV show with my children back in the 80s and some memories were brought back to life for me. In our crazy world, it would be most refreshing to have more children’s programming available that is similar to Mr. Rogers.

Another excellent movie was Christopher Robin. I believe that this movie is geared more towards adults than children. There were actually very few children in the audience when we saw it. The wisdom contained in the short phrases spoken by Pooh is both meaningful and memorable.

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It’s been quite the summer for music and movies in my life. Has it been for you?

Happy

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Happy

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve had a lot going on in my life lately with little time to sit down and reflect on paper what’s been going on. This post will be kind of a hodgepodge and will definitely be all over the place.

I’ll begin with a question I received from someone in my past. The question……….He asked “Are you staying happy?”  Interestingly enough, when this person was a part of my life, we were both struggling with similar issues although we were unaware of it at the time. It’s amazing how drugs can mask your true feelings. His question has haunted me and it has raised quite a stir with some of my friends here in Leavenworth, so much so that several of us are still pondering this very question. And I wonder how many of my followers will be thinking about this.

This past week has been one of the most fabulous weeks of my life. It’s hard to find words to describe it. Vacation Bible School (VBS) was held at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. 216 children were registered and I was blessed with the opportunity to be a rotation leader in the preschool imagination station. While the children were delighted with the activities in our craft and play area, their facial expressions and gleeful comments spoke so much more. Their excitement was contagious. For many, VBS is a regular summer adventure and church life is a constant. But then there are those who have never set foot in a church before and have never held a bible in their hands. This week was definitely an incredible experience for all the adult volunteers as well as all the children. VBS is definitely the highlight of the time I spend in Leavenworth during the summer.

The writing course I have been taking is drawing to a close….only two classes left. I have decided that the memoirs I am writing will be dedicated to my granddaughter Maddie. As the memories surface, they become more important than ever to be written down for posterity. There are so many things about my own parents that I wish I knew about. Unfortunately they are no longer here and neither are all the others who could provide me with some insight. I told my daughter that there will be stories included that she has never heard about before. Too often we wait too long in life to ask certain questions, By then it is too late to find the answers.

Last night I was at the senior center with some friends. Gary and Trish travel over an hour and a half to come to Leavenworth. Other local talent join them and it varies from time to time. Country music is the theme except for the first Saturday of the month when it’s Gospel. In another lifetime I used to go to Forbidden Flavors or Happy Mike’s back in Winnipeg for music on Saturday nights.

I’m still hyped from VBS. The songs are are still running through my head. I’ll end this post with some of the pics I took during the week.

 

What I’ve Been Up To

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What I’ve Been Up To

These blog posts seem to be getting farther and farther apart. There is just so much happening here in Washington that I find myself out and about constantly and haven’t spent much time at home. This means I’ve been taking lots of photos and having interesting adventures but there has been no time for writing. We went to church this morning in Cashmere and then out for brunch to 59er Diner. I told my friend that I was determined to stay at home this afternoon and organize photos and do some writing.

Organizing photos has become quite the challenge as my phone and my laptop do not appear to be on speaking terms lately. This means I need to email photos and then download them and finally put them into albums. This is a very tedious process and today’s task is going through an entire month’s worth of photos.

Now down to what has kept me busy. Where to begin…………

I enjoy walking and I live in a delightful neighborhood close to the downtown area. Here are some of the sights I see along the way to the Senior Center:

In addition to my usual activities at the senior center as well as teaching fitness classes, I enrolled in a memoir writing class and joined the Bavarian Book Club at the Leavenworth Library. VBS (Vacation Bible School) at the Nazarene Church is only a week away. My friend Linda and I are rotation leaders for the craft and play in the preschool division. We’ve been decorating our classroom and perfecting crafts for the kids.

Other festivals and events make this a busy time of year. The Farmers Markets have begun. Founders Day in Cashmere and the Accordion Festival in Leavenworth were followed by July 4th. Although fireworks have been banned here due to the dry conditions and the high risk of forest fires, there was lots happening in Leavenworth.

The day began with a pancake breakfast at Lions Club Park served up by the 4H kids. Kinderfest followed with a bike parade and numerous activities for children of all ages.

I’ve enjoyed a variety of music this past week. Yesterday at the gazebo a talented accordionist and yodeler entertained us. Earlier in the week I attended a dress rehearsal for Sound of Music up at the amphitheater. Last night was Gospel night at the Senior Center.

On Friday we were in Wenatchee picking up our instructor t-shirts at Wellness Place and decided to go to a movie. Won’t You Be My Neighbor was our choice and it was a great tribute to Mr. Rogers. A word of caution…….remember to bring your tissues. It is a little tearful.

I somehow found some time to return to the Nutcracker Museum. Last summer I spent about three hours there but I was pressed for time and only had an hour this time.

Tomorrow is Monday and the roller-coaster starts up again.. The morning will be spent preparing for VBS. Then lunch at the Senior Center. Then writing group. Then book club. A day in the life………….

This Weekend in Washington

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This Weekend in Washington

Is it really Friday again already? It was just Monday!

The Accordion Festival started yesterday here in Leavenworth. There will be music galore throughout the weekend at the gazebo and in the Festhall. Saturday will feature a parade throughout the town. I enjoyed all of this immensely last year.

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But I have different plans for this weekend. I’m going to Cashmere with friends to take in Founders Day celebrations. A barbecue and time at the Pioneer Museum are on the list. Upper Valley Connection are performing The Little Mermaid again this year. One of my friends will also be on a float in the parade.

The real kick-start to the weekend happens tonight at Icicle Junction. The Nazarene Church is holding a mini-golf and pizza event for the kids and I am one of the many volunteers. Here’s a shot of us all at last year’s event.

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Also on my to do list for the weekend are visiting a friend in hospital, buying tickets for summer theater performances and regular Sunday church services. My characters are talking up a storm today so I will dive into my current work in progress once I get this post up.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Today and Yesterday

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Today and Yesterday

Today is Father’s day. The last time I celebrated Father’s Day with my dad was in 1976, months before he passed away. He never met his grandchildren. He missed out on so many milestones in my life and in their lives. My dad was my world and I think of him often, not just on Father’s Day. This is one of the last photos ever taken of us together.

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As a child, I remember creating elaborate cards with interesting verses for my dad. We often enjoyed barbecues on that day with my Auntie Jan, Uncle Harry and my cousins. I have fond memories of those childhood Father’s Days.

My dad taught me how to ride a bike and how to drive a car. He taught me the importance of getting an education. Although he was around when I received my first university degree, he was already gone when I achieved subsequent degrees and diplomas. He never lived to see his grandchildren graduate from university, but I know he would have been proud of them as well.

Today is June 17th. Back in 2012 I was one day away from my first knee replacement surgery. And I was convinced that I was going to die. My mom died after having the same surgery and I was terrified that I would meet the same fate. Not only did I survive that first surgery, but a year later I found myself having my second knee done on June 17th.

Today is Father’s Day, June 17th and I am in Leavenworth, Washington. My children and my granddaughter are in Canada, so there are no family barbecues for me today. Instead, my day has not shown a hint of Father’s Day as I once knew it.

This morning I passed on the church I usually attend and went to Faith Lutheran with my friend Karen. To my surprise, I knew several of the congregants although it is an extremely small church. People from my fitness classes, bridge group and the senior center were there. The pastor was Hispanic so I got to practice my Spanish with him. The service was interesting and different from other services I have attended here in Leavenworth, in Canada and in Mexico.

We then headed over to the First Methodist to bid farewell to Pastor Denise. Although this is not my usual church, Denise had become a familiar presence here in town. She came to the senior center often and attended many local events here and in Cashmere. She will be missed by the community.

Now I know it is definitely not proper church etiquette to take photos during a service, but those of you who know me know all too well that my philosophy is that rules are there to be broken.

The first photo was taken at the Lutheran church. I was determined to get a photo of the pastor in his garb. The other photos are of the incredible artwork on the walls of the church.

This next photo is on of Pastor Denise at the Methodist church. Note the ladies wearing hats, a tribute they had decided upon for Denise’s last service.

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And now it’s time to call one of my best friends who lives in Toronto who is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday Deborah!