It took a while to materialize but taking a week off finally happened. May 22nd was a holiday here in Canada—Victoria Day, celebrating the Queen's birthday. I convinced my husband to use some of his vacation time for a short getaway.
Since we live close to the US-Canada border, we have often vacationed in Washington state. This time was no exception. We packed up the car and headed south. The first couple of nights, we stayed in Everett, which is on the north end of Seattle area. Our ultimate destination was Ocean Shores but first we (uh, I, actually) needed a shopping stop, hence the city stay.
Then we caught the Edmonds Ferry across Puget Sound to Kingston, which is on the Olympic Peninsula. If you're a travel fan like me, a map is always a necessity. I like to know where I am on the planet.
This will give you a better idea than if I try to describe it. The blue dotted lines indicate where the ferries sail.
Biny-man never leaves home without his trusty binoculars. You never know when you'll have to investigate a passing sailboat or an airplane.
We like to take the back roads and hardly ever get lost. We don't really care if we do, and we're not afraid to ask for directions, even my man!
But this is one of my favourite signs to find, wherever we are. The trail leads off through the beach dunes where black-tailed deer live and the wild strawberries were in bloom. It's going to be a good season for those tiny, succulent berries in not to long a time. I may have to make a return trip.
We stayed at a lovely hotel, the Morning Glory that I booked through Booking.com. (Full disclosure: I've become an affiliate for Booking.com because I love their prices and service.)
And then...there it is. The first glimpse of the wild Pacific Ocean.
I made it to the beach. And it was COLD! I'm wearing layers and my wind-proof jacket while my hair nearly blows off. Still, it's exhilarating just to be there and hear the pounding surf. It's spectacular and this beach seems endless—wide and miles long!
I know you probably wish you could be here too, and I wanted to bring back a little taste of the ocean for you. I couldn't get my videos to load here so I'll just post another photo of a day at the beach.
When we travel, we like to explore so in my next post, I'll take you on a little jaunt to Seabrook Village. You'll swoon.
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As a writer and artist, illustrated books are among my favourite things. I'm always on the look out for new ones, and new titles that come from artist authors I love and collect.
Below is a short list of my favourites, many which have been in my library for years and regularly come out so I can enjoy them all over again...and again. Picture books used to be only for children but no more. Beautifully illustrated books for adults are just as thrilling.
I've provided links for you to buy the books if you choose. I'm sure you'll drool over them as much as I do.
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I wrote this poem several years ago for my mom for Mother's Day, and now that she has gone on to heaven, I found it while cleaning her house. I still feel the same.
I am blessed to have had Inez Dewar as my mother.
A Good Mother
Thank-you, Mom, for loving me
For encouraging all that I can be
Thank-you that I am able to see
You're a good mother
Never a mentor so profound
Who lifts me up when I am down
Could I be certain would be around
You're a good mother
I realize as the years go past
And children grow up so very fast
That yours is a love that will always last
You're a good mother
As now I'm approaching middle age
And time turns yet another page
I see with the wisdom of a sage
You're a good mother
When you've finished the course and run the race
And heaven's reserved you a special place
Tell the Lord, when you see Him face to face,
You're a good mother.
Copyright 2017 Wendy Dewar Hughes, All Rights Reserved
Sometimes I don’t want to do anything. I sit by the window and look out. The neighbour drives by in his little red car. I see a hummingbird zip past, stopping briefly to examine a leaf. The forsythia blossoms are finished, dear. It darts away.
Clouds tumble over the mountains. Will we get sun? It’s iffy, but the clouds today put on a show all their own.
I sit here knowing I should want to do the things on my list, but I don’t even want to want to. I want to do nothing, or at least nothing “important”. I am fine with reading a few chapters in a novel, or even turning on the television in the daytime (heaven forbid!), though I don’t. I don’t want to enough.
I heard on the radio that spring floods are ravishing neighbourhoods, sweeping away homes and filling basements with water. People have to evacuate for fear of being swept away with the rising water.
While natural disasters like this can be terrifying, being flooded by activity, obligations, and social pressures can catch us just as unawares.
“I’m so busy!”
That seems to be the cry of the modern working person—and even sometimes the retired person. As a culture, being busy has become like a badge of worth somehow.
I’m not going to belabour the point, but I think this is the wrong direction to go. For one thing, it sets you up for a fall. Running around like your shirttail is on fire leads to exhaustion sooner or later.
I know of what I speak having been in business for a decade and a half. Work can easily overwhelm a life, but so can other things, such as childcare, elder care, and extra-curricular activities, and especially if they all happen at once.
Lately, I’m feeling like it’s all been too much. Do you ever feel like that?
I went to the library a few days ago, and had no enthusiasm for books. (I know. Weird, right?) My lilac tree bloomed and was done before I could cut any blossoms and bring them inside. I went shopping briefly at one of my favourite stores, and left with nothing after wandering around for ten minutes.
Sometimes you just don’t want to do anything. It’s a sign. When you don’t want to do anything, perhaps that’s exactly what you should do.
And me? Right now, I’m going to go and sit by the window. The clouds are spectacular and looking at them is enough. And the sun came out.
Yesterday I cleaned out my piano bench. It was full of cassette tapes. We all know that cassettes have now gone the way of the 8-track and the video rental store so even though I still own a stereo unit that will play cassettes, I haven’t listened to most of them in years.
Time marches on. We adopt new technologies, try new ideas, and buy new things. It’s so easy to simply leave something on the shelf where it has always lived and close the door without dealing with it. We still own it but don’t really need or want to have it.
Last week I sat at breakfast with a darling friend who told me about what she called, “my injury”. This person went through a terrible ordeal and still suffers the consequences. My heart went out to her.
However, it struck me that she is not only dealing with the after-effects of the injury but still owns it as her own. She hasn’t let go of it and relegated it to the past as something that happened to her from which she can move on, rather than something that she still accepts as part of her. She still carries it around.
I spent last week cleaning out my mother’s house. Cupboards and closets were stuffed with items than I’m sure she’d forgotten about years ago. It’s different when clearing someone else’s effects than cleaning out your own closet skeletons, I get that, but boy, it has sure made me take a hard look at my own trailing clutter.
The cassette tapes all went out the door. With the piano bench empty, I had room for music books and sheet music. Then the ragged pages and coverless music books went in the recycling, and the good ones that I no longer want, go to the used bookstore. The stand where they’ve languished for more years than I care to count now goes too. (I never liked that thing.)
Possessions that I no longer want to own are moving out of my life to make more room for the objects that give me joy.
The incidents and events that have happened in my past are like those belongings in my house that are no longer necessary. They’ve made an impact and won’t be forgotten. But I don’t need them anymore so I no longer own them as mine. Yesterday’s stuff can stay in the past.
Today is a new day with new possibilities, new choices, and new chances for wonder and happiness. A light heart is not encumbered by yesterday’s burdens.
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