Tag Archives: Leavenworth WA

Winter White

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Winter White

This was the view from my bedroom window earlier in the week. There was none of that white stuff in sight.

And then came Friday the 13th. The view changed drastically.

In all honesty, it’s a beautiful picture postcard out there today. First snowfalls are always pretty. And here in Washington the mountains are an amazing backdrop unlike the flat Canadian prairies where I come from. As the temperature rises, the snowfall has changed to rainfall, washing away the snow on the ground.

My last non-Mexico winter was in Winnipeg in 2009, although I did escape to Cuba for a bit of a reprieve. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision spending a winter in Washington. But I am now.

It’s Been Years

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It’s Been Years

There’s been snow up in the mountains for days now.

But yesterday was the first snowfall here in Leavenworth. And it’s already beginning to melt.

In another lifetime I would take the change of seasons in stride. Winters on the Canadian prairies were harsh. Plunging temperatures and high windchills were the norm. Warming up even a little meant icy roads and treacherous sidewalks frequently hidden by a fine dusting of snow.

Covid-19 has turned my world upside-down. Last year on this date I flew into Guadalajara en route to Aguascalientes. I eagerly looked forward to my usual six months of summer rather than winter.

Six months turned into eleven before I was able to leave Mexico and return to Washington State. The joys of being Canadian and finding travel health insurance to be in the USA during a pandemic!

But I did it and I’m here. I still don’t know how long I’ll be here. My plan to return to Canada is on the backburner for now. Quarantine has to disappear and Winnipeg has to reopen it’s airport to international flights. And don’t even get me started when it comes to the apps the government wants me to put on my phone.

I miss you Mexico and I pray for you. The precarious state of healthcare there more than intimidates me. What little resources still available should be reserved for the citizens of your own country.

New Normal Not Normal

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New Normal Not Normal

A few friends getting together to exercise. That was my experience this morning. Very different from teaching structured fitness classes, but wonderful just the same.

Last night my small group from church got together to converse and pray. It’s my fifth year with this group and I think of them all as family.

I get together with other friends and we go for walks or go to restaurants. In downtown Leavenworth Front Street is closed to vehicular traffic. Tables for outdoor dining line the street instead.

The library is reopening in a couple of weeks. I’ve missed book club and craft activities and wonder when these will resume.

The senior center is still closed. I miss lunches with friends and volunteering in the kitchen. I miss our bridge games and our music nights.

Church has now gone back to two services instead of one to accommodate more people. Masks and physical distancing are mandatory. Seats must be reserved online.

Tree lighting event has been cancelled although the trees will be lit up as usual during the holiday season. Village Voices will not be performing at any concerts.

With Octoberfest cancelled the last few weekends have been relatively quiet here in Leavenworth. There are also no big events planned for Halloween.

The new normal does not feel normal at all.

Ghosts And Goats

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Ghosts And Goats

We are more than halfway through October and I’ve been back almost a month. The days are cooler now, the trees are losing their leaves and Halloween ­čÄâ is only a couple of weeks away.

Scare-Crazy in Cashmere has always been a favorite. Scarecrows are on display for the entire month. I found this one the other day that is decked out in Halloween attire.

While Walmart in Wenatchee already has a Christmas display inside, Halloween is still the theme outside.

My tree in Cashmere is not nearly as resplendent as it has been in past years. Some wicked winds have done their damage and the rain didn’t help matters either.

And now to the goats. These guys were out for a ride the other day when I was walking along Highway 2 in Leavenworth.

I wonder what Halloween will be like this year in view of the Covid situation. There will be no Light The Night at the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene, an event the whole town looks forward to every year. I imagine that the number of trick or treaters on the streets will be significantly lower as well. Halloween will certainly be different this year.

Fall Is My Favorite Season

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Fall Is My Favorite Season

When I was younger, my favorite season was spring. In the garden, the perennials came began to grow. The bushes and trees came to life again. As the weather warmed up, I would plant the colorful annuals as well as some vegetables. It was heartwarming to see everything thriving over the summer.

But now fall has become my favorite season, especially here in Leavenworth. The leaves on the trees are all various shades of green, yellow, orange, red and purple. Their color changes daily. I love to take photos and have taken hundreds over the years.

As I write this, I can hear the rustle of the leaves in the wind outside my bedroom window. The forecast was for rain today, but it has not yet arrived. But you can almost smell it in the air.

Usually at this time of year I am starting to think about returning to Mexico. Instead I have just arrived in Leavenworth. Covid-19 has certainly turned my world upside down.

Thankfully I arrived in time to enjoy the colorful leaves before the temperature plummets. The harvesting of pears and apples from the trees is also almost complete.
In addition to the spectacular sight of all the gorgeous trees, I love to hear the crunch of the fallen leaves as I walk. Of course fallen leaves also means the chores of raking and burning, which I gladly leave to others.

I hope that autumn lingers for a while longer.

Open And Closed

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Open And Closed

I’ve been back in Leavenworth now for two weeks and it’s a very different town than when I left 11 months ago.

Shops have closed and others have closing sale signs or for sale signs in the window. Restaurants such as Gustav’s, Good Mood Food and Wok About are closed with no intention of reopening.

We went to Visconti’s the other night for dinner. Reservations are recommended due to the limited number of tables available due to physical distancing. Fewer choices appear on the menu but the food was amazing as usual.

In Cashmere the 59er Diner closed its doors this week. Thankfully the owner has kept the other location at Coles Corner open. We ventured out there for lunch one day and I thoroughly enjoyed my very favorite chocolate milkshake with my meal.

Several restaurants offer takeout and curbside only. They are unable to comply with the necessary restrictions that have come into place regarding physical distancing. But at least they are still open.

In Wenatchee we went to Walmart and it was a very different experience than in Mexico. In Aguascalientes, masks required, my temperature was taken, staff disinfected the shopping cart and there was the ever present antibacterial gel. In Wenatchee I wiped down my cart myself and masks required. I prefer the self-checkout and was happy that it was still available.

There is one thing that has not been affected by Covid-19 and is far removed from the threat of being forced to close. Mother Nature will always remain open. The leaves are truly a sight to behold in all their autumn splendor.

Yesterday

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Yesterday

Yesterday morning I went to Cashmere. I remember vividly the first time I visited this town and a flood of memories of other visits came to mind as well.

I’ll start with Spirit of America. And the 9/11 memorial services I’ve attended. And the many times I’ve come here to just think and reflect.

I wandered through the downtown. I went to the bakery for an apple fritter and had a lovely visit with staff who remembered me, the Canadian who has adopted Leavenworth as a summer home. I went to the bank. I passed by the library. I noticed a few minor changes as a result of Covid-19. My favorite Mexican restaurant, Agave Azul now offers takeout and curbside only. Scarecrows have begun to appear as October is just around the corner bringing with it Scarecrow Days.

My favorite pastime is walking the streets and admiring the trees as they change color. My favorite red maple is just beginning to show its fall color.

Here are some other photos of trees on Cottage Avenue.

October also means Halloween is on the way. Decorating has begun early this year.

It’s the end of September and some flowers are still blooming.

Later in the day a walk through downtown Leavenworth was on the agenda. Front Street is closed to traffic now in order to provide additional outdoor seating for restaurants due to physical distancing practices. It was sad to see that some shops and restaurants are now permanently closed as a result of Covid-19. The usual celebrations and festivals have all been cancelled this year as well. But even the virus can’t stop the glorious fall colors of the leaves.

The beautiful hanging baskets add to the charm of this Bavarian village.

The park and gazebo area are also favorites of mine.

I’m here. I’m back. Very different from where I was living ten days ago. It’s nice to be back home.

Going Going Gone

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Going Going Gone

My morning routine is only slightly different now. As I sip my first cup of coffee I still laze in bed. But I have the added luxury of listening to Pachelbel while watching a beautiful video on YouTube on TV.

I sort through email and other texts, briefly glance at Facebook and realize I’ve been back in Leavenworth for seven days.

Where has that first week gone?

It’s been a blur of doing nothing yet doing everything. I unpacked and settled in to this delightful cabin my friend Ann graciously offered me for a couple of weeks until I could move back into town. It’s steps away from her house so we’ve spent a lot of time together. Lots to catch up on since I left 11 months ago.

Here are some pics of the grounds surrounding the cabin.

On Thursday I had my first haircut since COVID-19 invaded our world back in January. Amazing how a simple cut and style can make a world of difference.

I got my annual phone chip at AT&T in Wenatchee on Wednesday. I also did some shopping at Old Navy.

First trip to Safeway was a tad overwhelming as usual. Oh how I’ve missed my Everything Bagels among many other items.

It was so exciting to go back to Cashmere and see my tree! The leaves are just starting to change color.

On my walks I’ve noticed that the pear trees are loaded with fruit ready to be picked.

Some friends have stopped by to visit and I’ve been catching up with others on the phone. It feels wonderful to be back home in Leavenworth. I’m not sure how long I’ll be here. It feels very strange to have just arrived when I am usually preparing to leave for my winter home in Mexico. But 2020 has proven to be a very different year.

When Are You Coming Home?

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When Are You Coming Home?

I’ve just begun to research travel health insurance in the hope that I might still get home to Leavenworth this fall. But for the time being I’m staying here in Aguascalientes, even though our state went from orange to red this past week. I don’t believe any of the statistics we are fed down here and have little faith in the ones up north. COVID-19 has invaded our world and we need to learn to live with our despicable new neighbor.

So other than the question of where to go when my FMM expires for a second time, I’ve been trying to figure out why the time is going by so quickly even though I seem to be doing so little.

I have an extremely laid back life here. My big dilemma yesterday was should I pick up chicken for dinner or try out the new Argentinian takeout place. Big decision.

The calendar on my wall seems to fill up with video calls and phone calls. I go out with friends here occasionally and I take courses and do church online.

There is no such thing as a typical day. My blog posts are up on Wednesdays and Sundays. That’s about the only routine in my life. Even my daily walks are not consistent in terms of time of day or distance.

What I really enjoy are the conversations I have with the locals when I’m out and about. Being the only gringa does have its advantages. ( Even though I’m Canadian I’m still labeled a gringa.) People are always curious as to why I’m here in Ags rather than basking on a beach in Puerto Vallarta. And when they hear I’m a retired teacher, they seem to forget the word ‘retired‘ and want to know where I teach English classes. So a five minute trip to the pharmacy for toothpaste often takes close to an hour. And my Spanish gets a workout!

I do video calls with my daughter in Kelowna. I get to watch my granddaughter Madeline do such things as eat olives and decorate cupcakes. She’s almost 2-1/2 now and no longer a baby. Vocabulary and dexterity are growing right along with her. And I hope she doesn’t think that I live in a phone!

I am now doing regular video calls with one of my grandsons in Culiac├ín. These calls are in English! I am really proud of the progress he’s made in learning a second language. Schools are still closed here in Mexico, so I’m delighted that I have the opportunity to help him with his English online.

Some of this month’s news from friends……..Audrey became a grandma for the first time! She has a beautiful new granddaughter. Rita’s son and family moved back to Winnipeg from Montreal. Joan is adjusting to life in a personal care home but is disappointed that she is unable to go out due to COVID-19 restrictions. Deborah in Toronto is enjoying going out cruising on a new boat her partner just bought. Becky in Indiana is starting a new job this month. David is still in Winnipeg separated from his wife in Cuba due to COVID-19. Lise has been back at the office in Winnipeg working for quite a while now. Cheryl is disappointed that cases are rising in Manitoba and is staying home mostly as she has COPD and is awaiting a transplant. Carolyn is delighted that visitors are now allowed to come to the personal care home where she lives in Winnipeg. Carole in Minneapolis is working from home and is quite concerned about the race riots that all started where she lives. And on a sad note my condolences to Rochelle in Arizona who lost her father recently.

I talk to my friends in Leavenworth regularly and hear all about life there pretty well on a daily basis. I only wish I could be there with them as they struggle with health issues and other concerns. Of course we always talk about COVID-19 and how life has changed, and the conversation often drifts to politics and the upcoming election. But the following question is a constant.

When are you coming home?