Tag Archives: Leavenworth WA

Avalanche Warnings

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Avalanche Warnings

Here we go again. The temperatures are rising, the snow is falling and there are avalanche warnings out for the mountain passes. The passes were closed last Tuesday and there actually were a couple of avalanches in two of the areas close to the passes.

Before I came to Washington state this winter, avalanches were just something that happened in the movies. That had been my experience.

Of course hurricanes and flash flooding were all new to me as well when I moved to Mexico. In Manitoba it was always extreme cold, windchills and tornados.

Here in Leavenworth we’ve been blessed with an abundance of snow, although the locals all tell me that this winter has been unusually mild with less snow than usual. But after eleven years of winter in Mexico any snow is a lot of snow to me.

Roofs are slanted here to accommodate the melting as well as the weight of the snow. These photos of the overhang was taken yesterday.

The house where I’m staying overlooks the seventeenth hole on the golf course. It looks very different in the winter.

But I’ve been told that avalanches never happen here in town, only higher up in the mountain passes. And that’s reassuring.

One Down One To Go

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One Down One To Go

I was vaccinated yesterday. The first shot went well and I will have the second shot in three weeks. I thank God that I am in a country where the vaccine is available now and that I don’t have to wait several months. God Bless The USA!

Wind back the clock to September 2020. It was now possible to leave Mexico and head up north. The pandemic was raging throughout the world and travel was greatly discouraged.

I’m Canadian. Returning to Winnipeg from where I was in Mexico involved three flights on three different airlines and a minimum of two days of travel through four airports.

My other option was to come to Leavenworth. Only three airports. A flight to Dallas with a connecting flight to Seattle. I left Mexico in the morning and arrived in Seattle in the afternoon. Only about a two and a half hour drive to Leavenworth. Definitely a better option.

Leavenworth is home to me. I may only be here a few months a year but this is where my friends and my support system are. This is where my life is. I usually spend the summer and fall doing volunteer work so my time this year has been spent very differently. It’s winter and Covid is still around.

In Washington state the vaccine distribution program is working well. Appointments are made on the internet. I made mine on Sunday. Yesterday, Tuesday, my friend Linda drove me to Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, a designated mass vaccination site. I didn’t even have to get out of the car. A symptom check and the actual vaccination took under five minutes. I did have to wait thirty minutes after instead of fifteen as I have a shellfish allergy.

I was given a card with my appointment for the second shot. I had received an email reminder yesterday about today’s appointment. By the time I got back to Leavenworth I had received another email congratulating me on being vaccinated and it also included my patient record.

I also registered for the follow-up program. I receive a text daily inquiring about my health and any symptoms I might be experiencing. Very reassuring.

Thank you Washington state for your efficient handling of the vaccination process.

Sunday

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Sunday

It’s Sunday again. If I were in Aguascalientes I’d be going to the small church around the corner. But that was a year ago, before Covid. This year I do church online. And that’s okay too. Yesterday’s rain has now turned to snow.

I think back to Sundays of other years. I spent a fair amount of time in bowling alleys with my kids. When the kids were grown my ex and I often went out for brunch with friends. When my marriage ended I taught aquatic classes on Sunday mornings.

And then I moved to Culiacan. Sundays were non- teaching days so parks and museums were on the agenda. When I lived in Irapuato I went to church with friends. When I lived in Guadalajara Isaias and I traveled to numerous small towns in Jalisco on the weekends. When I lived in Mazatlan I went to church and out for brunch with friends. Then I often walked along the malecon. In San Ciro there was only a Catholic church so I did more touristy things.

For the past few months I’ve added a blog post on Sundays. I write about my life, my thoughts and feelings. I often include photos. And I never really have an agenda of what I should write about next.

I’ve taken a break from working on my book. My imaginary friends aren’t speaking to me very much. When they do, it’s just nothing I want to run with. Instead I have found other things to occupy my time. There has to be more to life than Netflix.

A 500 piece puzzle dominates the dining room table, a Christmas gift from my friend Joyce. It’s been years since I’ve done a puzzle. This one is a scene from England complete with double decker buses.

I learned how to bait rodent traps this week. My friend Steve has a pest control business and I helped him out one afternoon. Apparently rats, mice and voles are quite active in Washington state.

I had my hair cut the other day. No more long hair. It’s now in a short bob. Thank you to Lisa at Shears here in Leavenworth. No need to travel to Wenatchee for a style anymore.

I actually did go into Wenatchee yesterday with Ann. Walmart and Macy’s. I also had a lovely long walk. 50 degrees and sunshine in February. Very different from the brutal winters on the Canadian prairies.

Yes. I still play Candy Crush. But I play Candy Crush Friends now, not Candy Crush saga. I also play word games.

I still color. I’m enjoying the Thomas Kinkade coloring book. I’m learning how to blend colors with pencils and water now, although I still adore my gel pens.

Google Duo has become a good friend. Video calls with my grandkids are treasures, although I hope that someday virtual hugs and kisses will be replaced by in-person ones.

I read a lot too. It’s nice to have a library close by with books written in  English. Although the library is closed, curbside pickup is available for books reserved on-line.

Another good friend is Duolingo. I don’t want to forget my Spanish as I do intend to return to Mexico when it is safe to travel again. Oh how I miss traveling!

Time to tune in to Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.

Happy Sunday!

It Sure Likes To Snow Here

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It Sure Likes To Snow Here

Colder temperatures and less snow? Or milder temperatures and more snow? Winnipeg is the former and Leavenworth is the latter.

Today is Thursday and we’ve had over two feet of snow since Tuesday night when I moved back to Leavenworth from Wenatchee. The Washingtonians take it in their stride. But after eleven winters in Mexico I find it rather fascinating.

Here is the view from my front door with the 17th hole of the golf course in the background.

And here is Steve’s truck after the foot of snow we got last night.

It’s now Friday. Linda and I went out to Sleeping Lady and went for a walk. It was warm and the paths were primarily clear with slushy spots. I was warm in my ski jacket and toque. I even wore my Thinsulate gloves for the first time although a lighter pair would have been just fine.

This beautiful glass sculpture by Chihuly looks completely different with the snow in the background.

We also came across this quaint little bridge.

Here is one of the charming cabins at the resort.

Today is Saturday. Once again the sun is hiding. We had snow showers this morning instead of the heavy snowfall we had earlier in the week. This afternoon it changed to rain and then to snow. I’m hibernating and catching up on laundry.

I am quite enjoying my first winter in snow in eleven years. I know I will never tire of the spectacular view of the mountains, even when snow covered.

Today is Sunday with more snow in the forecast. And it’s time to post this.

Again? Nomad Moved Again?

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Again? Nomad Moved Again?

YES.

Fourth move in four months.

I’m back in Leavenworth.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to unpack a suitcase. But I always do.

And I keep on moving. And this time I wound up back in Leavenworth.

It snowed all day yesterday and it’s still snowing this morning. It’s the first time I’ve ever moved on a snowy day. Usually it’s bright and sunny.

I also haven’t seen snow like this since 2009. It actually does look kind of pretty.

I was in Cashmere yesterday morning where it wasn’t snowing. I visited my tree, of course, and went to Spirit of America.

It’s a very different winter for me and I’m getting used to it. So far it’s been pretty mild. But it isn’t Mexico.

Things Look So Different Now

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Things Look So Different Now

I’m usually here in the summer, not in the winter. I haven’t spent a winter in snow since 2009, and even that year I escaped to Cuba for a while.

On Friday I went to my friend Ann’s home in Leavenworth. When I first got back in September I stayed in a cabin on her property. It sure looks different in the winter.

The view from the deck has changed as well. Too cold for rafting on the river although it has not frozen over.

Less than a half hour away I’m still walking around in track shoes, not boots. There is no snow on the ground yet.

I took a walk through downtown the other day and decided to take photos of sculptures rather than buildings.

I also got a shot of an old bridge I’ve walked across that connects the downtown area with the Walla Walla Point Park loop trail and the miniature railroad.

Winter has always been my least favorite season of the year. My memories of winter on the Canadian prairies are of getting up in the dark in the morning and returning home from school or work in the dark. And then there were the freezing temperatures and bitter windchills.

Although I much prefer my winters in Mexico, I really can’t complain too loudly about the weather in Wenatchee. I just pray that the mild temperatures continue and that there isn’t too much snow in the near future.

My New Reality

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My New Reality

Yesterday I had planned to meet a friend in Cashmere. However when I got up in the morning, the previous night’s rain had frozen over. The sidewalks and streets were glass. It was too treacherous to venture out. We would have to reschedule.

I checked my Facebook groups from Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Blewett was closed due to spinouts. Stevens was closed for avalanche control. These are the two main passes through the mountains to get to Seattle.

Leavenworth got over a foot of snow. Here in Wenatchee we got less than one inch. There were power outages all over Chelan County but not here in Wenatchee. The highway between Wenatchee and Cashmere was icy with lots of spinouts. While freezing rain and snow continued to fall in Cashmere and Leavenworth, here in Wenatchee the sun actually came out and melted the little snow we did get, although more rain is in the forecast.

This is so completely different from the Winnipeg winters I experienced before moving away just over ten years ago. Plummeting temperatures and bitter windchills are just memories now. I think I chose a good place to spend the winter this year although I’d much rather be in Mexico. I miss the sunshine and warmer climate. And even though I don’t need boots yet here in Wenatchee, it isn’t exactly sandals weather either.

A year ago in January I was in Aguascalientes visiting museums and coloring in parks. I met friends for coffee or lunch. I took long walks and browsed through my neighborhood tienguis. I listened to rosters crow and watched children playing in the streets. I call this time the new “BC.” These two letters now stand for “Before Covid.”

Winter in Wenatchee is my new reality.

Even The Geese Are Confused

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Even The Geese Are Confused

While my friends in Leavenworth are wearing boots, here in Wenatchee we have rain and need umbrellas. The geese are back. They haven’t headed south yet although they have left Canada behind. And it’s almost mid January.

In my quest to simplify my life, I eliminated two email addresses and removed What’s App. Only one email address to check now makes it easier. What’s App is useful when I’m in Mexico but not when I’m in the USA.

I was at Dollar Tree yesterday and in one aisle there was Christmas, Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I guess Easter is on the horizon. The garden tools and skipping ropes are already on the shelves.

I’m enjoying my new phone and getting used to the changes. I’m still discovering new features. Cell phones have come a long way since the cumbersome one in a suitcase that I had back in the early 90s.

Renewed my travel health insurance for another month. My body is still complaining that we should be in Mexico in the winter.

Time for Duolingo.

Que tengas un buen dia!

And So It Begins

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And So It Begins

Just because it is now 2021 does not mean that 2020 is over. The events of 2020 will not be forgotten. Covid-19, race riots and bombings readily come to mind. But while we need to deal with these traumas in some manner, it is important to move beyond these issues in search of the positive in order to remain mentally healthy.

We have all experienced trauma in our lives prior to 2020. We have addressed it and learned how to cope with the anxiety and depression associated with these traumas. I, for one, am not content with remaining stuck in the past.

As I look back on 2020, I look at my extended stay in Mexico as a time of reflection, a time when it was okay to slow down the pace of my life and really live in the moment. I would take long walks and appreciate the beauty of nature. I watched an incredible amount of movies and that gave me the opportunity to practice my Spanish comprehension skills. I began doing video calls instead of just phone calls. I colored, I read, I did word searches and I spent a substantial amount of time playing games on my phone. Unfortunately my laptop chose that time to rebel and disappear into electronic heaven. So now my blog posts were all made from my phone.

And I also was in Mexico for Independence Day, although the celebrations were very low key.

Instead of spending the usual spring and summer in Washington, I am now enjoying the fall and winter seasons. It was interesting shopping for boots and other winter clothing for the first time in over a decade. It’s been a challenge adjusting to the layers of clothing.

But the trees were absolutely glorious in the fall. The leaves turned such spectacular colors. And when they fell from the trees I enjoyed the crunching sound as I walked down the street.

I admired all the scarecrows in Cashmere back in October. This town really goes all out for Scarecrazy.

Cashmere also goes all out for Halloween.

Even the snowfalls are beautiful. The light dusting on the trees has a beauty of its own. Here is my favorite tree in Cashmere after the first snowfall. No brilliant red leaves at this time of year.

The lights in Leavenworth are amazing. This Bavarian village attracts thousands of tourists. The lights are on from Thanksgiving in November until the end of February.

The mountains are snow covered. The only downside is that the passes can be somewhat treacherous.

Here in Wenatchee the snow has fallen and melted away a couple of times. The slush reminds me of Winnipeg in the springtime. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the temperature drops and the snow will remain. But it’s January 3rd, the sun is shining and boots are not needed today.

Happy New Year !!!

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Happy New Year !!!

I’m completely rewriting this post at approximately 10 pm Tuesday night.

At the moment downtown Leavenworth and Highway 2 are shut down. Everyone has been evacuated. The hospital is under lockdown. There is a bomb threat.

Leavenworth is a small town, not a big city like Nashville. Well, just another crazy thing to add to the list of crazy things that have happened in 2020.

I actually was in Leavenworth today. I met my friends for lunch and we went to the library. We dined on the patio at Heidelburger under the overhead heaters.

I was safely on Link and on my way back to Wenatchee a couple of hours before the bomb threat.

This twilight zone we are living in just gets more surreal every day. While everyone says they’re relieved that 2020 is almost over, I wonder just what’s next in 2021.

But let’s try to end this final post of 2020 on a more positive note.

December 21 has come and gone and the days are getting longer. The Covid vaccines are out there. The neverending American election is finally coming to a close.

Thank you to all my readers for taking the time to check out my posts on Wednesdays and Sundays. I wish all of you a Healthy and a Happy New Year filled with only good things.

See you next year.