Friday, August 28, 2015

Back to the Beach

With the continuing drought conditions and the terrible fires that were still ongoing on the east side of the mountains the Investigator and I decided to postpone our plans to spend a few days in Eastern Washington and drive back to the coast instead.  This time we headed to the Washington Coast town of Ocean Shores, a planned community that came into being in 1960 and incorporated into a city ten years later. 

Unlike Oregon's Cannon Beach elegance and Seaside's Resort town style fun, Ocean Shores still retains that casual small town "Beachcomber" feel.  It's a place where you just kick off your shoes, relax and entertain yourself and that's just what we did for three days.  
This was our hotel near the beach.  Aren't these dahlias in front exquisite?

When I saw this boat in the lot next to our hotel I thought of this quote: 

“Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.”
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

A little look at the town.

 Of course, there must be the requisite fun and tacky souvenir shops filled with t-shirts, shell crafts and tie-dye. There's even a shark!

The currents along the Washington Coast are much stronger than along the Oregon Coast making it less safe for swimming in the the waves.  Still, there was plenty of activity to be had along the shore.

Riding Horses

Flying Kites
  Building Sand Castles

Beach Combing. 

The sea didn't give up many treasures this morning, just a broken sea star, a seagull feather and this clam shell.  I thought it looked rather pretty, like a pair of golden angel wings.  I gave it to a little girl playing in the sand.

There is a jetty at the end of the point four miles from town which became our favorite spot to hang out.  The boulders protect the homes from the invasion of the sea and separate the ocean from the inlet into Grays Harbor.  As we scrambled up onto the rocks we could faintly see the fishing town of Westport across the bay.

I loved watching the water swirling and crashing up against the rocks.

 On the ocean side of the jetty.  You can see more of the waves tumbling to shore.
At dusk we returned to the beach to watch the sunset.  A light fog had rolled in, slightly obscuring the waves.  . We discovered there is a bird sanctuary close by, which explained the hundreds of seagulls and pelicans we saw along the shore.  

As we waited for the sun to go down I took these photos right into the sun which made everything look dark.  I think it looks kind of cool, as though the sun is setting in the middle of the night. I love the reflection on the shore.

 But as the sun slowly dipped over the horizon the natural glow of the sunset gradually came back.



It must seem as if many of my last few posts have been a bit repetitious with all the pictures of birds and sand and waves, but truthfully, as much as I love the lakes, forests and mountains of this beautiful state I call home, there is no place that I am happier or more content or where I feel closer to God than when I am walking on a beach.  If I were a wealthy woman I would own a beach house by the sea where I would spend every summer.  It would be a beautiful home on the dunes overlooking the sea and I would gladly share it generously with everyone I love.  I can think of few greater joys.

With the coming of fall it will be many months before we can return again to the coast and so these pictures will have to keep me until that time comes again. So I leave you with this quote:

At the beach, life is different, time doesn't move from hour to hour, but mood to moment. we live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.

                                                                                                      Author Unknown


Friday, August 14, 2015

Thankful Thursday, #11

This has been a slow summer in which I have allowed the days to just drift by aimlessly and with little ambition.  While there is a time and place for that, I realize that I also haven't really stopped to say, "Thank You" in quite a while.  So here is my Thankful Thursday list, a day late and with few photos but with heartfelt gratitude.
1.  This morning as I was running my errands I was thinking just how grateful I am to own a good reliable car and a wonderful husband who keeps it maintained for me so I don't have to worry.  I take it very much for granted.

2.  Shopping with my mom and then having lunch together.  She is 82 years old now and how quickly these opportunities to spend quality time together could come to an end. 

3.  Walking into the yard to pick apples from my very own trees and then turning them into fresh baked apple bread. That one still amazes me.  I am looking forward to breakfast so I can have a slice with a fresh cup of coffee, decaf of course.

4.  Having time to spend just reading a good book.  I have read these three in the past two weeks.

5.  Here is the best thought of all, when I was going through some boxes of family stuff I came across an old church youth newsletter.  As I was looking though it I found this cinquain poem written by my older brother who died of cancer 20 years ago.  It was from when he was in high school. Having lost all three of my brothers to cancer, this for me was a confirmation of  faith.  Indeed, I am grateful that all my brothers were men of faith.  I would like to share it here.

Life is
for the Living
Yet Life is for the dead.
One lives life, then death, then life again
That's Life!

 Indeed, that is the Christian life in a nutshell and I, for one, am beyond grateful for The Savior who chooses to love me even when I forget to stop and say, Thank You..

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A summer Festival

I don't know what its like in other places but around here summertime means summer festivals and whether it's The Tulip Festival, The Apple Blossom Festival or The Strawberry Festival, nearly every community does something that celebrates what is special about where they live.  Our festival is meant to celebrate and showcase our beautiful lake community.  Over the 37 years that we have lived in our town I don't remember ever missing our festival and we have watched it grow and change just as our community has grown and changed.

Most years we have celebrated under bright sunny skies but ironically, this year we had cloudy skies and the first rain we have seen in the past ten weeks of unusually high temperatures and drought.  That meant we didn't have the usual crowds.  Even so, the locals came out all weekend to celebrate and support our community.  Here is a little taste of the weekend.
Two contestants  for the Proud Pet Show

The annual book sale

The carnival comes to town.

Elephant Ears and Sweet Kettle Corn
Exotic Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Blowing giant bubbles
free carriage rides


 There are always two parades, the children's parade on Friday night and then our small town "Grand" Parade on Saturday.  Come and see.

After spending the morning cooking and serving at the annual Fireman's Pancake Breakfast, our local heroes jump into one of the firetrucks to lead off the parade. 

Next,comes our military veterans and honor guard.

Representing the schools are the high school band and cheerleaders. 

Do you believe in Big Foot?

  The local churches always take part in the parade.

Of course, once the parades are over some of the most popular spots to head for are the food booths on the street and in the food court.

Our church youth group and volunteers run this booth every year to help support their youth activities and summer camp.  The Investigator and I both helped out for several hours. The corn dogs are delicious and a great favorite with everyone.  

As we walk past this booth we remember many former years as volunteers making snow cones and spinning cotton candy when our boys were in Boy Scouts.

After savoring several tasty treats we leave the street fair behind to walk over the hill and down to the cove.  Here we can listen to bands playing as we look out over the water. 

 As we are walking out onto the city dock, and listening to the music we can see more storm clouds coming in.  It's only early afternoon but the sky is getting pretty dark. That's ok.  We need the rain.

The clouds and rain may have kept the crowds away but it has still been a great weekend to enjoy celebrating with our neighbors and friends and after all, isn't that what it's all about?