Tag Archives: Washington State

Last Post From Washington State

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Last Post From Washington State

Three days until I leave. I’m actually very organized, other than the last minute stuff that just can’t be done beforehand.

I’ve been here for almost a year and am more than ready to head south except for the fact that I’ll be missing fall here. I won’t see the leaves in their fall splendor as they change color. The view along Highway 2 in Leavenworth is spectacular. I also won’t be able to meander through Cashmere admiring the glorious fall colors, especially my favorite red maple.

Wednesday will be a busy day and I won’t be posting. I fly from Wenatchee to Seattle to Los Angeles. Then on Thursday I fly to Guadalajara and grab a bus to Aguascalientes. I’ve done it before but that was before Covid. My masks are ready.

I said goodbye to my life group on Wednesday at a barbecue. Last night I had intended to bid farewell to my friends at the Senior Center, but the activity was canceled due to the rising number of Covid cases here in Chelan County. On Friday Joyce and I had spent the day together in Wenatchee and had one last lunch at Olive Garden. Joyce and I also taught our last fitness class together on Tuesday.

This afternoon Linda and I will have one last movie afternoon. We’ve been hibernating indoors on Sundays due to the smoke. Her husband Gene is an amazing chef and pampers us with a variety of tantalizing dishes.

There will be more goodbyes to more friends in the next couple of days. Each fall it gets harder to leave here as relationships grow. And I have been especially blessed this year as Debbie and Paul have provided me with a wonderful home for the last few months.

Although I am excited about a winter without snow again this year, I do look forward to returning to the mountains in the spring. This prairie girl will always be enamored by the beauty of the Cascades.

Maybe I’ll Paint Today

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Maybe I’ll Paint Today

I’ve been running around a lot in the past few days so I thought I’d just take a day and stay at home. It’s a much needed day of catching up on emails, phone calls and even laundry. But as I sit here sipping my coffee I’m seriously considering getting out my acrylics and playing with colors.

I spoke to Juan in Mexico last night and my family are all on the mend. Thank you everyone for your messages and prayers. Your thoughtfulness is very comforting.

Wildfires are burning like crazy everywhere. The smoke was so thick in Wenatchee the other day that we couldn’t even see the mountains.

I recall a time when we would all don masks when the smoke got bad. Not this year!!!

I finally did it. The heat got to me and when I was at the hair stylist’s yesterday I told her the short bob I’ve been wearing was just too long. So off came the hair.

We had an incredible storm last night. It finally rained. It didn’t last long but people were concerned that lightning may have sparked more fires. The wind was pretty wicked too. But it sure didn’t phase these guys who sat placidly out on the lawn.

Oh oh. Canadian Border Patrol are threatening to strike later this week. Will they?

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday Humpday Again

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Wednesday Humpday Again

When I taught ESL in Mexico, days of the week was one of the first lessons in all curriculums. The students were always amused at the nickname of humpday for Wednesday. But they readily embraced this term when they understood the significance of the day. As for me, I still chuckle at the Spanish term for Wednesday. Miercoles is quite a mouthful.

It’s still hot and dry here in Washington state. There is no rain in sight although some clouds did tease us momentarily yesterday. The outdoor pool in Leavenworth is becoming very popular.

Almost eleven months since I arrived from Mexico and I’m still here. Physically so close to Canada yet it seems to be getting farther away. Biding my time and wondering what the next announcement will be regarding Covid tests and borders.

The Olympics are well underway in Tokyo. It seems strange to see the stands so empty. And the competitors and coaches with masks are just too surreal. The athletes will definitely have stories to tell for years to come.

I’ve been reading more than usual lately. I highly recommend the two books co-authored by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Big, heavy books but great reads nonetheless.

Coffee is calling.

Happy Humpday!

Wildfires and Crashes

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Wildfires and Crashes

It’s been a hot and dry July so far. Wildfire season is upon us here in Washington state. There isn’t much smoke blowing in to Leavenworth, but a fire near the airport in Wenatchee caused some people to be evacuated.

In Manitoba I enjoyed the thunderstorms at night after the heat during the day. But here the lightning is often responsible for sparking fires. Thunderstorms are dreaded.

Chelan County has a fireworks ban in place. Over in Wenatchee fireworks were set off on the 4th but no-one was allowed into the park. Watching from a distance was the norm this year.

Two car crashes in the news this weekend. One near Tumwater resulted in a fatality. The other near Stevens Pass tied up traffic for hours. Too many reckless drivers out there in a hurry to get through the mountain passes.

On the prairies in Canada it’s a different story. A flat terrain and straight roads often lull drivers to sleep. Of course speed and intoxicated drivers just add to the mix, regardless of where you live.

Wildfire and crash season is well underway.

Just A Number

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Just A Number

Last weekend I celebrated another birthday. At this stage of the game, age is just a number. It does not dictate what you should or should not be doing. It also should not rule your life.

I live a very unconventional life. It’s never what I envisioned my life to be at this age. In fact, four years ago I was living a more conservative life. I was living and teaching in Mazatlan. I had been there for four years.

The fall of 2018 brought many changes. I flew from Seattle to Guadalajara, where I extended my stay to two weeks. Then it was off to Mazatlan for a long weekend. Next came a week in Culiacan with my family.

I wound up in San Ciro de Acosta and somehow extended that stay to just under three months. I then discovered Aguascalientes and stayed there for three months.

Covid curtailed my travels. Eleven months in Aguascalientes and eight months here in Washington state and the travel bug has hit. I’ve been vaccinated and things are opening up in America and this nomad will finally once again be on the move next weekend.

I get really mixed reactions from my friends. I have encouraging friends who say “Go for it! Live your dream!” Many of these friends envy what I’m doing as they aren’t able to.

And then there are the friends who say “I could never do what you’re doing. Isn’t it about time you settled down? You’re not getting any younger.”

EXACTLY! I’m not getting any younger! So while my health permits, I intend to keep traveling. There are so many amazing new people to meet and incredible new adventures to be had.

Age is just a number.

My Long Range Plans

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My Long Range Plans

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.

Open? Closed?

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Open? Closed?

When I talk to my friends in Canada I feel like I live in a completely different world. Yes we still have Covid here but we have a lot more freedom. I enjoy a quality of life far superior to what I’d experience if I were back in Winnipeg.

I know we’re far from out of the woods yet. However it is encouraging to hear that 80% of seniors in the USA have been vaccinated. And almost 30% of Americans have been vaccinated. Perhaps herd immunity is on the horizon.

Traveling is once again on my mind. In April I enjoyed a couple of short trips in Washington state. And I’m planning two more short trips within the state in May.

But my plans do not include travel to Canada at this time.

My American friends are appalled at what they read about forced hotel quarantines. “Just let them try that here” they tell me.

I’m not a big fan of FOX News, but I have to agree when they refer to the hotel quarantines as forced internment camps. There is no excuse for this violation of human rights and the deplorable conditions Canadian citizens are forced to endure.

Canadians were quick to condemn Trump for the mishandling of the Covid crisis. I think it’s time Canadians took a long, hard look at their own country and the disaster that has been created by Trudeau.

I not only worry about my family and friends in Canada, but I actually fear for them. There is something very wrong when sufficient vaccines are unavailable by appointment in Winnipeg, and here in Washington state people are encouraged to come by clinics as drop-ins to be vaccinated.

As much as I long to see my children and my granddaughter, I won’t be traveling to Canada under the current circumstances.

Two Down And Done

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Two Down And Done

Yesterday I had my second dose of the vaccine. Now to wait another couple of weeks until it’s fully effective.

A year ago today I was in Aguascalientes. Masks were not yet mandatory. Restaurants and parks were open. There were no temperature checks or health survey forms. Schools were open.

I wonder what life will be like one year from now. Will masks still be part of our wardrobe?

We went to Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee on Sunday. It reminds me of Church of the Rock in Winnipeg. But Washingtonians are rebels so no masks or physical distancing in this huge sanctuary.

Costco was a zoo on Sunday. However masks are required. Limited menu in the food area and no sauerkraut or onions for the hot dogs.

Now that I’ve been vaccinated I feel more comfortable about traveling again. I’m not used to staying in one place for such a long period of time. Last year I was in Aguascalientes for 11 months with only one side trip to Culiacan. In another week I’ll have been in Washington state for 6 months.

It’s a wait and see game as to when I’ll leave here and where I’ll go. I’d like to go to Canada before returning to Mexico in the fall. But with all the quarantine and other restrictions it doesn’t really appeal.

My Canadian friends envy me because I have been vaccinated already. They still have a long wait ahead of them.

I remember when the vaccines first came out. I was reluctant to be vaccinated. But I travel a lot, and it’s only a matter of time before airlines will require proof of vaccination for international travel.

Two down and done.

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.

Here We Go Again

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Here We Go Again

Washington state has been shut down….. again. The first time was back in the spring while I was still in Mexico. The governor here was recently reelected and he lost no time on imposing restrictions.

Supposedly these will be in effect for four weeks. Consequently my life group won’t be meeting and the exercise classes have been cancelled. The library had just reopened a little over a week ago and now it’s closed again, as are gyms and theaters. Bars and restaurants are closed for dine in. It’s actually very similar to what I experienced in Mexico. Only the weather is different.

The big contraversy here is the restrictions imposed on the churches. Fewer people are allowed in the building due to physical distancing and masks must be worn. However singing and a band have now been added to the no-no list. Church goers are not happy.

Thanksgiving is next week. It promises to be a very subdued celebration. Zoom will be busy that day as many families have chosen not to gather in person.

And Christmas is just around the corner………