I’m into the home stretch. Saying goodbye to people and places.
My Tree. This spectacular red maple captured my heart back in 2016. Right now it’s still very green and I will miss the vibrant red leaves this year. I’m counting on my friends to send me pics. I know they will. After all, they visit my tree when I’m away for the winter.
Something else I will miss is the 9/11 service at Spirit of America. This is always a highlight of my time in Washington and sadly I will be far away in another country on September 11th.
The Chelan County Fair in Cashmere and the Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth are two more favorite events I will miss this year.
Yes I will be thousands of miles away but I will be in time for Independence Day celebrations.
The weather here has been incredibly mild and sunny. Tuesday was a great time for a day trip to Cashmere.
I bid a fond farewell to my ski jacket and boots. No need for a toque or gloves either.
First stop was the outdoor ATM at Cashmere Valley Bank. And then it was off to the Sure To Rise Bakery. I discovered this amazing bakery the first summer I came to Washington. This place is home to the best apple fritters on the planet. To my delight this year they also began making cinnamon buns, Texas size.
Just down the street is a new bakery that specializes in cookies and cupcakes. We each bought a cookie and our verdict was that this bakery won’t be around too long. No way can they compete with Sure To Rise.
Next we walked down to Spirit of America. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know that this is a very special memorial that I visit often.
We then walked down to Aplets and Cotlets. In addition to all the wonderful candy they make it is also home to a quaint gift shop.
No snow was in view anywhere and it was a perfect day for a walk through town.
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.
We all have memories of 9/11. I was watching the news on TV before heading to work that day. What I initially thought was a replay of the first plane crashing into the towers was actually a live version of the second aircraft hitting the building.
Disbelief. Shock. Confusion. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Overwhelming sadness. These were a few of the emotions I struggled with that day.
Back then I managed a group home for mentally challenged adults. I was riveted to the TV set until they returned from their day programs. I delegated staff to take them out for dinner so that I could continue watching the coverage.
When I got home that night my kids wanted to talk. They were young and their experience of the day’s events was quite different from mine. That made it even more complicated as I didn’t want my fears transferred on to them, especially seeing as I was scheduled to fly to the USA on a business trip less than two weeks later.
For the past four years I have been in Washington state on September 11th. A highlight of my time there is attending a memorial service at Spirit of America in Cashmere. This year the memorial service has been cancelled because of Covid-19. But I know in my heart that when I am finally able to return to Washington state, Spirit of America is one of the first places I will visit.
I lead a busy life here in Leavenworth. There are the regular activities at the senior center, the church and teaching fitness classes. Friendships have increased and grown deeper. And somehow I have found time to do some different things this month.
I attended a program at the Leavenworth Library where I painted a coffee cup and coaster.
We headed out to Snowy Owl Theater to Elder Speak, a program held annually by The Ripple Foundation.
By far the most memorable day in September was the 11th. The memorial service held at Spirit of America in Cashmere was even more special as the replicas of the twin towers and two new plaques were unveiled.
I attended a program at the Cashmere Library where I painted with water colors. Here is the pumpkin that was my model.
And here is my masterpiece which is being transferred to a T-shirt. On the First Friday Art Walk in Wenatchee we will all don our shirts and travel to various venues to display our creations.
We saw an excellent movie at Gateway entitled Overcomer. We all agreed that this is one of the best movies ever. I encourage you to see it and bring along lots of tissues.
I also attended a most informative meeting of the Wenatchee Valley Autoimmune Network. It’s nice having this support group close by.
Up and coming in the next week includes the Judy Garland movie, Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth, and a cruise on Lady of the Lake from Chelan to Stehekin.
As September draws to a close, it’s time to start checking out flights back to Mexico next month. But I also intend to enjoy the beautiful fall colors here in Washington.
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.
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.
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.
The leaves are changing color. I will have to go and visit my tree in Cashmere this week.
September means fall which means that it’s time to start thinking about returning to Mexico for the winter. But the last week has just been filled with so many interesting adventures and there is still so much on the horizon here in Leavenworth.
I went to my first ever county fair on Thursday in Chelan. Unfortunately I had no battery left in my phone for photos so you’ll have to use your imagination.
In the first building the 4H kids were displaying all their animals. I have never seen so many different colored roosters, chickens and rabbits in my life! Some of the kids had them out of their cages and perched on their shoulders. We even saw goats vying for ribbons, some of whom would later be sold at auction.
Next we walked through a barn containing cages of pigs. They were all sound asleep except for one. These animals were much larger than I had ever contemplated.
Another building found the walls covered with quilts. There was such a variety of colors, designs and sizes. There were displays of prize-winning vegetables, jams and baking. A pumpkin weighing 611 pounds was prominently featured.
Other buildings housed children’s and adults’ artwork, as well as a display of model trains in a variety of different scenes. There was also a children’s building where kids could play. We skipped that one but did explore one of the tiny houses.
There was a midway for ride enthusiasts, entertainment on stages including a magician and a levitater. There were booths selling jewelry and clothing. The food vendors were out in full force with everything from corn dogs to curly fries to funnel cakes.
On Monday we drove out to Ellensburg. This is a quaint college town and I did snag some photos of the campus.
Next we headed out to Cle Elum and on the way back drove through Liberty.
On Sunday we went to Snowy Owl for Elder Speak, a program sponsored by the Riddle Foundation. This event is aimed at bringing generations together and takes place on Grandparents Day. Interviews with seniors are filmed by high school students. The seniors then come on stage and engage in a panel discussion. Questions from children as well as the audience in general are answered and discussed.
On Friday I went to the Wenatchee Valley Museum. I had been there last summer and was eager to see the displays again. While I had taken photos and videos of the train on a previous visit, the area I find most interesting bans photography. The history of Clyde Pangborn, aka the upside-down pilot, is depicted here. There is also a country store, a doctor’s office and a few other displays in this area. Here are some of the photos I did take.
Tomorrow I’m looking forward to the 9/11 service at Spirit of America in Cashmere. I went last year and there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. It was such a moving ceremony with an excellent keynote speaker.
Throw all of the above in with my usual routine of children’s ministry at church, volunteering at the senior center, teaching fitness classes and playing bridge and you can understand why the time passes so quickly here. Friendships have grown stronger and Leavenworth indeed feels like home to me. No wonder I haven’t given much thought yet to returning to Mexico.
Founders Day was celebrated in Cashmere, Washington last weekend. On Saturday we braved the 90 degree temperatures and took in some of the festivities. Cashmere is my favorite town in this state and is also home to my tree that I photograph constantly throughout my stay here.
Cashmere was originally slated to be called “Mission” but there was a conflict with the name as it was already being used by more than one town in the state. The town of Mission was incorporated on July 1, 1904. In 1909 telephone lines were installed. Paved walks were next in 1913 followed by electric lights in 1914. Paved streets arrived in 1919.
Cashmere is a charming town that boasts the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village as well as Spirit of America, a tribute to 9/11. We began our afternoon on the grounds of the museum where a barbecue was being held along with a small flea market.
Next we explored the outdoor area at the Pioneer Village.
We then headed over to Riverfront Park. There was nonstop entertainment featuring local talent. A handful of vendors were selling everything from kettle corn to jewelry. Helicopter rides were available for brave souls and a children’s activity area was quite popular.
An added feature was the steady stream of rafters on the river.
After a few hours the heat got to us and we decided to return to Leavenworth before the ping pong drop from the helicopter and the grand parade. Back in Leavenworth the accordion festival was in full swing. Alas there are only so many hours in a weekend…………….
This past weekend marked the Memorial Day Weekend here in the USA. Canada celebrated Victoria Day last week with a long weekend. But I’m in the American mode now.
A fabulous brunch at Wild Huckleberry on Friday was a great start to the weekend. This restaurant serves the most amazing eggs benedict and also boasts a magnificent view of the golf course.
My friend Laurel and I decided to go hiking at Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee. Flowers were beginning to bloom and the views were spectacular. With the aid of walking poles, we tackled some of the more difficult trails. The steep, rocky terrain was well worth the effort. And it was definitely strenuous for yours truly with two replaced knees, although Laurel was more like a mountain goat.
I attended an Alpine concert at Snowy Owl Theater with some friends. The music was delightful and the Alpen horns stole the show. The first time I ever saw one of these horns was decades ago at Epcot in Florida. They are 12-1/2 feet long and are quite a difficult instrument to play.
I was so entranced that I went downtown to the gazebo the following day to see them perform once again. Out at Snowy Owl there had been only three horns. Have a look at the number of horns that played at the gazebo.
On the weekend we also went to Cashmere. The flagpole at Spirit of America as well as the one at the post office had added a second flag to commemorate Memorial Day. The black flag signigied those who were prisoners of war or who were missing in action.
A barbecue one evening rounded out the weekend. All in all, it was a relaxing weekend enjoying good times with great friends.
This morning I went to Wenatchee. As I drove along the winding roads I marveled at the view of the majestic mountains, valleys and rivers alongside Highway 2. The sun shone brightly and traffic was light. This truly is God’s country.
Last night Becky and I went out to Mountain Meadows, a personal care home that also has assisted living units. The Village Voices were performing and our friend Charlene sings in this choir. Their harmony was beautiful and their renditions of a variety of songs brought bright smiles to the faces of the seniors in the audience.
I volunteered at a children’s ministry in church the other day. The children were enthralled with the story of Adam and Eve, and eagerly participated in games and crafts. Children are so precious.
I met a woman the other day who had just celebrated her 72nd wedding anniversary. She and her husband chose Disneyland as the venue for this momentous occasion. An amazing event.
Spirit of America in Cashmere captured my heart at a memorial service on September 11th. The flag at half mast, a color guard, music, awesome speakers and a 21 gun salute ensured that there was not a dry eye in the audience. God Bless America.
Elder Speak was held at Snowy Owl Theater in honor of Grandparents Day. I was especially touched by one member of the panel who at the tender age of ninety-five offered the wisdom he had gleaned throughout his years.
And I also got to speak to both of my kids in Canada the other day. Real conversation, not just voicemail. The highlight of my week.