It’s fall. The leaves are starting to change color. The temperature is dropping. And I’m down to my last two weeks here before returning to Mexico for the winter. This is always a bittersweet time of year. I love fall, but it’s getting harder and harder to leave. Friendships have grown over the years and so has my extended family.
I met friends in Leavenworth for one last Lions Club breakfast yesterday morning. The sun was shining and the smoke level was more tolerable than it’s been lately. We enjoyed a lovely meal of pancakes, sausages and eggs. Then we walked downtown to Front Street where Alpenfolk were performing at the gazebo. I have fond memories of the first time I ever saw them back in 2016 when I first discovered Leavenworth.
Next we walked up to the Senior Center where I saw friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Now that I live in East Wenatchee, I usually come back to Leavenworth twice a week to teach fitness classes. I no longer go to the Senior Center for lunches or to play bridge. Craft afternoons and music nights are history as well. Covid affected a lot of activities and I hope that maybe by next spring many of them will have resumed.
This weekend is also Autumn Leaf Festival. We enjoyed watching the Grand Parade from the shade of the veranda at the Senior Center. Some of the seniors who come to my fitness classes were on a float from Mountain Meadows and we waved at them enthusiastically as they passed by. I’m always amazed at all the high school bands who come from all over the state to play in the parade. There were also two small floats from Canada. One was from Penticton and the other from New Westminster. Beautiful flower arrangements adorned some of the horses in the parade.
I got a ride back to East Wenatchee from a friend who lives across the river in Wenatchee. Bob has lived in the valley for decades and I enjoy hearing his stories of what life was like before Highway 2 was built. Where stores and warehouses now line the road, vast empty fields once filled the land. The road to Wenatchee to Leavenworth meandered across both sides of what is now the new highway. We drove along the North Road to Peshastin before winding up on Highway 2, always a beautiful drive. And the high road up to East Wenatchee offers a picturesque view of Wenatchee.
I will miss Saturdays in Leavenworth. But I look forward to them again when I return in the spring.
I was sitting outside the other day enjoying the warm Washington sunshine and wondering why it is that I’m meant to be here. Have you ever done that? Wondered why you found yourself in a certain place or in a particular situation? I mean, you know how you physically got there, but it’s the why you came to be there that is so totally fascinating.
I vividly remember sitting in a bar one night in Guadalajara with my then boyfriend more than one decade younger, listening to a Mexican band playing music from the British invasion. As a teenager back in the 60s listening to the same music while living in Canada, never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself ever having this experience. It’s now several years later and I still wonder why I was meant to be there at that time, other than the obvious reason that I was teaching ESL in Guadalajara.
Just last month I was in Culiacan with my Mexican family. Although I am not Catholic, I always go to mass with them when I visit. My nine-year-old grandson did a reading and I was so very proud of him. The service was outdoors in the evening and I found myself distracted from the priest’s sermon by the stars twinkling above. It was as though they were smiling down at me and telling me that I was meant to be there and there was no need to even ponder the why.
I’m having great difficulty putting the finishing touches on this post as I have an Australian sheepdog and a cuddly cat vying for my attention. Thank goodness the fish are in their own tank. I wonder why I’m pet sitting in a home along the river in Peshastin, Washington aside from the obvious reasons that my friend needed a pet sitter and I needed somewhere to stay. Six years ago I’d never even heard of Peshastin, Washington.
I guess I’m always going to wonder why I’m meant to be where I am.
And that’s okay.
Because I have complete faith in The One who does know.
I have no long range plans. My short range plans never seem to work out. So why bother with long range plans? I can’t even blame it on Covid either. If anything, I can thank Covid because these days I don’t think any of us can really make long range plans. So my friends have stopped bugging me about what comes next in my life.
I actually do have a few things in mind of what I’d like to have happen. Whether these will come to fruition or not is up in the air. Just for fun, I’ll share them with you. If nothing else, this post will be amusing when I look back at it some time in the future.
It’s a given that I’m not ready to settle down yet. Since I arrived back in Washington state in September I’ve lived in Peshastin, two different homes in Leavenworth, Wenatchee and I’m now in Dryden. I have done some traveling but before I leave the state in about a month, I hope to go on a couple of short train trips.
Then my travels get longer. I have friends in other states that I’d like to visit. In all likelihood, I’ll be returning to Mexico sooner than later unless things change drastically in Canada. I want to see my kids and my granddaughter. But right now that seems like an impossibility.
My friends marvel at how I thrive so well in a continual state of limbo. In the beginning, it was more an issue of survival. But as time goes on it has just become one great adventure after another, and has given me more of an appreciation for wherever I may find myself living or whatever I may find myself doing. And isn’t that what life is all about?
Perhaps I should change the term “long range plans’” to “long range dreams.” But I don’t even think that’s an appropriate expression. Somehow the word “ideas” may be a better word. It offers far more flexibility.
Every day on Facebook I check out the Memories section. And I reflect on my life and all the different places I’ve been. I also can’t believe how fast the time has gone by and how much I’ve changed throughout the years.
Two years ago I was volunteering at Camp Heartbeat in Peshastin. It was the beginning of my annual children’s ministry experience at LCN.
Three years ago I was in Toronto visiting my friend Deborah. I recall long walks along the lake and the beautiful view of the water from her backyard.
Four years ago I was in Puerto Vallarta enjoying walks along the malecon and gazing out at the ocean from my lounger on the beach.
I found another memory where I was actually in Winnipeg at this time six years ago. That was a year before I discovered Leavenworth.
And then I found a memory from ten years ago. On my way back from a visit to my friend Rochelle in Los Angeles, I had stopped for some beach time in Mazatlan before returning to Culiacan.
Today I’m moving from Leavenworth to Dryden, a town about 10 minutes away. Not quite as exotic as other places I’ve been, but it will be a memory nonetheless to look back on one day.
It’s Friday and the beginning of the Labor Day weekend here in Washington. It’s also been raining most of the day and it’s quite dreary out there. Instead of going for a long walk to the library I stayed in and baked chocolate chip cookies. Last week at this time it was hot and sunny. I used to think that Winnipeg was the only place where it rained on the weekends.
But the rain is much needed around here as it helps to contain the wildfires that are a big threat at this time of year. The one burning near Peshastin affected over 250 acres of land and destroyed one home. Hundreds of people were evacuated. And that’s just a few miles down the highway from Leavenworth.
The other day I was in Wenatchee and wandered through the historical district. I passed churches, the courthouse, other government buildings and a couple of parks. I came across these statues:
It was quite a dull day as well. The sun needs to return and the clouds need to disappear. Chelan County Fair is coming up next weekend in Cashmere. I’ve never been to a county fair and am looking forward to this one, but not in the rain. Along with the rain the temperature has plummeted. But I’d still rather be here right now than in Mazatlan with the soaring temperatures and the torrential rainstorms.
In my stroll along Wenatchee Avenue in the downtown area I found other interesting statues:
I checked out some of the shops along the way. An old movie theater has been converted into a spacious thrift store.
As election time draws near this was a prominent storefront:
Here is the performing arts center:
There were a variety of other shops with everything from clothing to antiques. Restaurants ranged from a Mongolian barbecue to burgers and everything in between This quaint little soda fountain caught my eye.
I look forward to my next visit downtown to explore more of this historic area.