Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weekend Shopping

I have become a real home body since all the kids have moved out. It just sort of happened gradually. But every Saturday (or Sunday if we have plans) I take a day all to myself.

First stop is to visit Dad at the nursing home. This is the view from the parking lot. The nursing home sits next to a Christmas Tree farm! You can see the little trees growing along the fence line.

If you zoom in you can see the ever present Mt. Rainier dominating the horizon. Did you know that this community has a siren alarm system to alert all residents in case there is a Lahar or eruption on this active volcano? A Lahar is when one of the many glaciers breaks off and starts a mud flow. Worst case scenario is that this little town is buried under 40 feet of mud flow. There are evacuation routes posted all over town directing you to higher ground. School children have regular drills for evacuation practice.

But life goes on in the shadow of the mountain while people go about their day to day lives trying not to think of things like that.

Why would people live in a place like that, you ask? This is a farming community, farmed on mineral rich land from centuries of previous mud flows and eruptions. Besides that, it is breathtakingly beautiful. And like a moth to a flame, people are drawn to the beauty.

The reason my Dad is here is because this is a Veteran's Facility. Dad proudly served his country back when the Army-Airforce was one branch of the military. It is a lovely historic facility set on park-like grounds with stately old trees, flowering bushes and gardens. It is quiet and peaceful, filled with loving attendants that care deeply about their residents. I can rest easy knowing my Dad is in loving hands.

I park in between the trunks of these beautiful old trees. Don't you just love the red fire hydrant? I have seen many kinds of wildlife in the fields beyond the fence of the Christmas Tree farm. Eagles, Hawks, Coyotes, Rabbits and Pheasant.

My Mother was also here during the last few weeks of her life. They put my parents together in the same room. It was so bittersweet. After my Mother died, the first visit back was very hard for me. As I left with tears clouding my eyes, I looked up, and over the little tree farm there was a beautiful rainbow. I imagined that it was a sign from my Mom telling me that everything was going to be alright.

After visiting Dad, I do my grocery shopping. All of my favorite stores are together in one shopping plaza. The grocery store, craft store, the large department store, my favorite vintage store, and the stationary store, among many others, including restaurants. Across the street are many more, including the drug store and the big hardware store. So I am free to diddle daddle all afternoon if I like. Usually, I do! The cab of my little pick-up truck is stuffed full by the time I am done. Especially if I go into the vintage store. There I find lovely paintings, books, fabric, and even beautiful embroidered clothing. I will have to show you some of my finds in a future post.

On my way home this week, I saw this strange glow on the horizon. I pulled over onto the side of the country road, only to realize it was the full moon rising over the foothills. So I started taking some pictures with the new camera Hubby bought me for Christmas. It is a small, portable camera that I can slip into my purse for just such an occasion.

It was breathtaking. Pretty soon there were others pulled over taking pictures. To the left was the moon rising.

To the right was Mt. Rainier bathed in the pink light of the setting sun.

And behind me, the brilliant pink and purple sky.

A perfect moment in time

Turning an ordinary day into Extraordinary.


  1. Wow, the shots of the moon rising are amazing! The pink and blue sky looks almost unreal (I'm sure you haven't been Photoshopping along with your other shopping, though).

    I'd never heard of a Lahar, but I remember Mt. St. Helens very well. I hope your community never has to put the drills into practice...

    The phrase "once a week I have a day to myself" caused me a pretty big pang of jealousy, let me tell you! But then I read on about your visits to your Dad, and was less so.

    I'm in the middle of reading a book that might interest you, called "Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells" by Mary Treacy O'Keefe. She writes about the deaths of her parents, her and their faith, and about the various signs by which she has felt sure that their spirits are still with her.

    She says rainbows are a very common sign for many people after they've lost a loved one. Certainly we had a very magical moment after we buried one of our beloved cats. A rainbow appeared beyond our car in the next field, and our 4-year-old son said, "let's go touch it". We explained that wasn't possible. But then the rainbow moved closer, until it was right behind the car! And there were so many rainbows the rest of that day and the next...

  2. Hi Christine, thank you recommending the book. I will put it on my reading list! I have heard of that book once before. Now that you have recommended it, I will know it is worth reading.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with rainbows. It is comforting to know that others have experienced the same thing. How sweet of your son to want to touch it. Children are so pure. I miss having little ones around. They give you an honest perception of the world.

    I took the pictures with a small Canon Power Shot camera. I did use the zoom feature. I have a confession to make. I don't know how to use photo shop! I can't even resize my pictures, I haven't figured it out yet. I am learning new things every day, though. I did take classes for business computer training, but it was strictly Windows, Excel, and bookkeeping programs. The blog forces me to learn new things. All of my pictures are untouched and 'real'. My other camera is a Kodak Easy Share, which is point and shoot but with a few more little bells and whistles. It is getting old now, about 7 or 8 years old.

    Thank you for sharing your stories with me! I always look forward to your sweet comments. xx

  3. Hello again, Karen! How funny about Thin Places - Mary Treacy O'Keefe says she follows "signs" that come in threes, but I don't think you have to necessarily wait for a third. :-)

    You know, I don't use Photoshop either. I have an Easyshare camera and I use their software, which doesn't allow you to do loads of things but most things I want to do, like cropping or making something a bit less dark. Have you seen The Barefoot Crofter's tutorial on making mosaic banners? It's a bit more than I would want to do at the moment, but really interesting. I've learned a lot of computery things since I started my blog.

    Thanks for letting me "chat" via comments. I always enjoy your replies and in fact yesterday I snuck on the computer before I left for work and was so happy to read this one, thank you!

    Now to look at your crochet sweater...

  4. Oh, we use the same camera! I have never tried the software that comes with it, I probably should! I will check out the Dafter's tutorial, thanks for the tip! I have always wanted to learn to do mosaics. I learned how to do my blog banner from another blogger's tutorial!

    It's so sweet that you check my comments! I wasn't sure if anyone ever did! It's nice to know... xx

  5. Oh yes, I'm a comment-checker! :-D

  6. thanks for joining us with this great sky! i love the moon and the cloud on the mountain most :)

  7. ling ling must be a sister of my kitty :)

  8. What a beautiful post. Your photos are fantastic.

    My Sky.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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