Last week the girls and I drove out to visit my parents at the beach. When we got there the sun was shining, Mom was cooking and Dad was building a deck. After scarfing down homemade fish sandwiches made with freshly caught perch and homemade bread we set about for a quick explore.
My mom has two big gardens bursting with vegetables, flowers and berries. This is the path leading down to the one closest to their house. One or 50 peas may have been casually eaten. A few strawberries, some broccoli and lettuce disappeared as well.
A2 and A3 ran off to their favorite sand pile. Every time we go to my parents they spend hours there digging holes, piling up sand, sifting sand and burying things. I doubt that dirt would be so entertaining if we were at home.
Next to the sand pit there’s a frog pond and the girls managed to catch this little guy. After a terrifying hour or so he/she was set free again.
My mom, the girls and I drove down to Tokeland to sit on the beach at the mouth of Willapa Bay. The sun may not come out often on the Washington coast, but on those rare occasions when it does, the scenery is spectacular! It was hard to tell where the water stopped and the sky started.
The girls played in the water and walked along the beach.
I finally cast on a pair of long-overdue socks for a friend of mine. The pattern I’m making is Elisha’s Summer Socks, but without the cuff. The yarn colorway is called “Jellybeans” and it was one of Dave Daniel’s creations.
That night we enjoyed fresh oysters for dinner, followed by cake and ice cream.
The next morning Aunt Marlene and I went fishing for perch near the dolphin on the south point near Wash Away Beach. The channel has shifted so much that at low tide you could even climb the ladder, if you wanted to. Of course, we didn’t.
We’d dug quite a few sandshrimp earlier and we also brought a bag of frozen razor clam necks for bait, but all we managed to catch were bullheads and undersized or female Dungeness crabs that had to be thrown back.
If not for the fear of getting stranded by the incoming tide I would have been happy to stay out there all day. Building a driftwood shanty and becoming a beach hermit has a distinct appeal. Maybe someday I could be the beach hermit cat lady!
That evening Grandpa Porgy came down to my parents’ house and we all ate dinner around the fire pit. He’s doing very well.
Everyone ate hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans, marshmallows and birthday cake. The cake was for an early celebration for A1, who would be turning 15 on Friday. While at my mom and dad’s farm she practiced driving up and down the dead-end road in front of their house.
Thursday morning we woke up early to come home. We took a different, scenic route through Astoria where we stopped to stretch our legs. While there we checked out some little shops and admired old buildings. I completely missed and drove past the bakery that sells boxes of cinnamon toast though. My parents used to buy Finn Toast and pickled herring whenever they went to Astoria while we were growing up. It’s been several decades since having any of the toast and my girls and husband have never tried it. Even though it was still fairly early in the day the weather on the coast had turned foggy and cool, which is common when it’s warmer inland. There were ships all up and down the Columbia River (some visible in back of the girls in the picture). They were probably going to and coming from a mill in Longview because I didn’t see any cargo containers.
It was late afternoon before we made it back home. The kitties were all happy to see us. Steven was particularly overjoyed and could hardly contain his enthusiasm.
Friday morning A2 and A3 woke up early to decorate a cake for A1’s official birthday. They did a pretty good job. I must admit that I’m not much of a fondant fan. It looks nice, but it doesn’t taste like something meant to be eaten.
About mid-day on Friday some friends of ours from up north arrived. They drove all the way down just so Anthony (the lone rooster among the hens in this picture) could go to the fair with A1 on her birthday.
The two of them went to school together from Kindergarten through 4th grade and they’ve remained friends. His mom, Mishelle, and I hadn’t seen each other in 5 years either. While the kidlets all ran wild on the carnival rides Mishelle and I explored the animals, viewed the latest and greatest inventions and taste-tested our way through the pavilions. I tried and bought some delicious dip mixes. She convinced me to sample 18 year-old balsamic vinegar (which I’m still kicking myself for not buying). I bought a pound of fresh salt-water taffy for my DH because he had to work, but I didn’t want him to feel left out.
We had to come back to the house at 6:00 so the out-of-town guests could drive home and A1 could go feed the horses (horse-sitting, not ours). When my DH got home from work we all went back to the fair and stayed there until it closed at 11:00 pm. Everyone, myself included, was exhausted and the reckless decision to buy a funnel cake just to try it out proved disastrous. Funnel cakes are kind of gross. On Saturday the whole family took turns rotating between the couches and our beds, while we tried fending off headaches, sore muscles and nausea.
By Sunday we’d all recovered. A huge pile of zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers were harvested and enjoyed that night for dinner. I made four loaves of zucchini bread and some apple jelly (they look suspiciously like laboratory specimens).
And with that final week of gluttony behind me, I’m now going to buckle down on my dieting. Bending in the middle is an arduous task and I’ve become complacent and now only wear slip-on shoes so I don’t have to tie my laces. This might not be a bad thing except that I recently started walking out the door wearing these shoes an almost didn’t catch it because I seldom bend any more. Only a brief glimpse of a reflection in the window clued me in.