Monday, December 30, 2013

I’ve lost that Blogging feeling


How long does it take for the “new” to become the “not so new”?

When I came to Asia I committed to writing about my experiences.  I knew I was being handed the opportunity of a lifetime, and I wanted to make sure I not only took full advantage of that opportunity…but it was also important to me to actually remember all that I saw, smelled, tasted.

My dad used to keep diaries.  He had years of them…and I always loved reading them…the day in, day out, normalness of his life…of my mom’s life…of our lives.  It’s really our only record of our family.

We have a small family.  Not many cousins, and sadly, I don’t know a lot about our ancestors or history.

I wanted to leave a little something behind that told the story of the years I had here. My goal was to write about all of it…right as it happened, when my ever failing memory was fresh…the places, the names, the impressions.

Year 1 was EASY! EVERYTHING was so new…I literally would run back to write about my day, my travels. (Jan 2011 to Dec 2011)

Year 2….well, the wheels started coming off the cart…slowly off the cart…but…sure enough, things started to slow down…even though my traveling was accelerating! (Jan 2012 to Dec 2012)

Corey would say “you are losing your audience”…he may have meant readers…I now know it means …me

Year 3…well, the cart was now sitting by the side of the road…I was still an avid picture taker…and I thought that having the pics would help me reconstruct. It will be invaluable.  Corey always wanted me to change how my pictures are stored on the computer (why no names?? ).  I held on to date and picture order for one reason…continuity, consistency…Thank heaven!   

Year 4 - It’s time to catch up. It’s time to keep up. That is going to be my charge … I’m not under the impression that my kids want to read this now…but maybe, one day, they, or their kids…will want to know…or maybe, just maybe…when someone does a search on line…they will see MY experiences (I will be page 9,000 on Google…but I might be found)…and read my words, and know just a little, about my/about our lives.

In an effort NOT to set myself up for failure…I will not make promises in writing, no “resolutions”.  However, I will, this year, search for, set time for, prioritize…getting that feeling back…the feeling of newness…wonder…awe.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Playing tourist in my own (Seattle) back yard!

This one is ALL about the pics! 

I took a fair amount of grief for having waited well over two and a half years to visit the various markets that are literally two MTR stops away from my house.  It just seems to happen that so many of us live in great places…yet don’t take advantage of what there is to SEE in those places.

Case in point:

We’ve been in Seattle for about 13 years…ok…you can take away the HK years…but it’s still well over 10 years.

While I have driven North on the I-5…I’ve never gone more than 3 miles east off of WA522.  Why would I?  There’s nothing out there right?

Well, I learned quickly on December 26, that I have been missing SO much beauty and it was a mere 90 minutes from our house.

I love eagles.  The American Bald Eagle…the once endangered, now protected kind.

It started many years ago because of the California Channel Island “Eagle Cams”  I sort of got a little addicted to watching the parent eagles incubate the eggs (like watching paint dry); then after the eggs hatch, I would watch the babies struggle to move and eat…then beat the shit out of each other in an attempt to kill each other (I called it “beaking” the professional call  it “siblicide”).  It is natural I guess…survival of the fittest and all that.

I did move on from my addiction … mostly…(Facebook updates filled in the gaps of my needs)

Christmas was rolling around and Kirk asked if I would like to go on an Eagle Watching River float trip he saw a Groupon for?  The BEST gifts are those that family and friends think about you and the things you love (or were addicted to).

I told Kirk we had a limited window to go on the trip when we were back…so he set it up for December 26.

The day boasted an amazing blue sky.  Our weather hadn’t been terrible while we were back…but it sure wasn’t THIS! Truth be told also…Corey did not want to go.  He was actually a little pissy about it.

We drove north on the 5, We had some snow at the house, and as we made our way to the Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport WA. We could see how just few miles were a huge difference in weather.  There was a lot of snow on the ground from the dusting we had.  But the roads were clear, and we moved right along.

We arrived at the park…not really quite sure where to park, or what to do…but finally found the “shuttle” that would be picking us up after our float ended.

We got our own raft (nice since the only person I had to compete with for a prime picture taking spot was my Brother in law!)

Here’s the view as we turned to go down river


It took about 2 minutes to spot a pair of Eagles and a juvenile!  “Juvies” as we fans call them are a great sign that eagles are not only surviving

IMG_2535IMG_2534 You can see this guy (girl) has yet to develop its’ white feathers on the head…and blends right in to the trees!

Here’s Corey, Mair and our guide having a discussion…

IMG_2541  Sadly…today is the day I decided to change some camera settings …and the result is smaller files…which makes them impossible to crop…so I’m super disappointed in what you won’t be able to see…but here’s a few  Sad smile




Here’s the Eagle deciding he’s had enough of us looking:  OFF he goes!


We saw many Eagles!  We also had breathtaking views!


These two are the ride home! Light through the mist and reflecting off the sun


So…a great day was had by all.  I got to see Eagles.  Corey admitted it was pretty cool….Stewart and I shared the front of the raft easily and didn’t fight over photo ops!  Mair didn’t freeze…

SO…look around…open those eyes…and go see those things that are right under your nose…Take the time to explore close to home.  You just  don’t’ know what you might be missing!