Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Vist from Grandma and Grandpa

The last week was hectic. Our house had been scrubbed top to bottom by Traci and the kids in preparation for our guests, Grandma and Grandpa. The children asked daily when we would see them. Time seemed to have forgotten its normal forward flow for the two days before they arrived. The final day of waiting nearly created a situation requiring a sedating medication for everyone in the house. Then they were here.

They brought Savannah with them making their arrival more sweet. We were blessed with an entire week by their company. They were generous with their time, their cooking and cleaning skills and gave us every opportunity to drag them all over the area to see the sites. They have always been a reassuring force in our lives and they came through strong on this trip.

The blog may take a while to catch up to current events. I wish to do service to all of the activities we were able to take part in for the last week and express gratitude to our recent house guests. Our cousins Olin and Ginny MacNamara rode in on the tail of the grandparent visit. Traci and I are still digesting all the sights, sounds, information, and imagination kicked up from the memory of the activities and conversations from the last week.

The grandparents settled in the first night after a long flight from the Midwest and helped cook dinner. It was a celebration. We ate corn on the cob, grilled chicken, cantaloupe, watermelon, and salad. We all gathered around the table munching and telling stories about our travels. We had had many similar meals in Belleville with the grandparents hosting us for dinner. I had to look out the window to remind myself we were not there again. It felt so comfortable to have them sitting at the table indulging the children with their attention to their tales from our trip. Asking them questions and listening closely to every detail. I know the kids miss them as much as we do.

I was fortunate enough to have been along for several of the trips we took with our visitors. We started the week in Edmonds at the local garden market set up on Saturday mornings downtown. Here vendors display and sell their wares to all who are willing and able. The event was being serenaded by a young fiddler who tapped his foot while he played rolling lines of bluegrass tunes.

We all walked around dazzled by the sights, sounds and smells, venturing into different booths to sample fresh fruit, crepes, baked goods, jams, cheeses and olive oils. The vendors would talk up their products with friendly chatter offering samples at nearly every stop. A person could fill up quickly just walking around tasting the little tidbits handed out. One vendor, wearing a Boston Red Sox cap, apologized to me for beating us so badly in the World Series. I wore a Cardinals pullover. He handed me a large piece of butter toffee covered with chocolate and nuts and we shared a laugh.

Grandpa was eager to sugar up the young ones so he stopped at a bakery stand. The booth was full of chocolate muffins, cookies, pastries, brownies, and danish enticing the children's interest. He allowed each grandchild to pick something, paid and walked off while they all unwrapped their goodies. Shane took a bite. "I don't really like this." Sophia ate slowly, using each chew to direct her next bite. She hadn't eaten chocolate this slowly ever. She seemed to contemplate the worth of another bite and reluctantly would nibble off more. Grandpa turned back to the booth and read the sign above the mouth watering pastries, Vegan and Gluten-free. The children were given permission to abandon all efforts at eating the pastries.

Traci had chosen a crepe filled with banana and nutella. I, fortunately, was nearby when she made this purchase. I tried not to eat too much of it and was unsuccessful, Traci just handed me the plate with one of her thanks-a-lot looks. I also had failed to procure cash for the event so most of the treats were made possible through the generosity of Grandma and Grandpa. They always spoil all of us.

We gathered all of the purchases and went home, dropped them off, gathered various sundries and headed off for a real adventure, Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Peninsula.

Morning Painting

Getting Out of Bed In The Morning

View From Our Window


Mt St Helens During the Eruption

We spent the morning painting. Shane chose a volcano theme for his paintings. He worked from his knowledge of the Mt St Helens eruption to create pictures of before, during and after the historic 1980 eruption. He went forward in time, extrapolating an imaginary eruption from Mt Rainier. He painted how he thought the mountain would look during an eruption. His curiosity about volcanoes continues.

Sophie made a few more abstract pieces. The picture above is called Rainbow. She mad a mud puddle painting and Orange Glove Hand. Her depth of understanding of the human condition is extraordinarily expressed without apology in these fine expressions of her life experiences. She may have crossed into a new level of artistic believability.

I put my two cents in with the realistic rendition of the view from our window. I have forgotten this was only acrylics and not an actual window.

Savannah portrayed her younger sister in Getting Out Of Bed. Here she has captured Sophie's sweet morning greeting as she emerges from the bedroom. I have included a photo of the real life morning greeting from Sophie (although this was a dramatic re-enactment you can still imagine the joy we feel every morning when Sophia emerges smiling from the bedroom). Savannah has managed to capture this simple delight with warmth and detail.
Mt Rainier during and before eruption

Orange Glove Hand

Mt St Helens Before the Eruption