Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter Wanderings

Saturday afternoon The Investigator and I decided to take a winter drive to clear the cobwebs from spending too much time indoors.  We headed north into the farming country of Skagit County passing old farmhouses, barns and empty muddy fields.

Off in the distance we could see flocks of snow geese which have migrated down from Alaska and Siberia.  Thousands of them arrive every winter.  Unfortunately, we were unable to get a close look at them this trip, so the photo below is from a girlfriend who was in the area last week and was lucky enough to see a flock resting by the side of the road.
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Eventually, we ended up in the little town of LaConner nestled along the Swinomish Channel between the mainland and Fidalgo Island.  In the spring and summer these little streets are bustling with tourists stopping to enjoy the farm produce and to boat along the channel.  This day the skies were overcast, the breeze was blustery and cold, and the boardwalks were empty.

In the distance you could see the Rainbow Bridge which crosses the Swinomish channel and takes you onto the Swinomish Indian Reservation.

Back on the main street we burrowed into our coats, and with hands in pockets, took a little walk peeking in the windows of the local art galleries and enjoying the peaceful courtyard gardens between buildings.

We wandered into a couple of shops including this old fashioned general store.

I have been seeing these little sipping broths in several places recently.  Has anyone tried them?

Lavender farming has become very popular in the area and this sweet smelling shop, showcasing local Lavender products, looked interesting.  

I loved this lavender wreath and was tempted to bring it home.  Perhaps another time.

 We took a late lunch in a little bakery restaurant, redolent with the delicious smells of fresh baked bread.

Homemade bacon and mushroom quiche with fresh clam chowder, Yumm!  I was halfway through it before I realized I wanted a picture.

The days are short this time of the year and by the time we had finished it was time to leave if we wanted to be home before dark.  I have already decided not to wait so long to come back to this lovely spot but for now it's time to call it a day.  Adieu!

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Work of Christmas

Hard to believe that Christmas was already almost three weeks ago. 

 The packages, piled high, have been opened.

Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach

The story of Mary and Joseph has been told.

Lights of Christmas, Warm Beach

The Angels have made their proclamation.

Jesus the Savior has come into the world!

And already the world has moved on.  The story has been all but forgotten as the tree has been taken down, the ornaments and lights packed away for another year, and people make their new year resolutions.  So what now?

Truthfully, I am not sure if I kept Christmas as well as I could have this year.  Certainly, we did some wonderful things during the season, visiting the lights at Warm Beach, taking our family for a winter weekend at Seaside (which I will share about more in another post), baking cookies and hosting the family Christmas dinner, and just enjoying all the festivities that the holiday season brings. I loved every minute of it, but I think perhaps I was a bit more of a Martha in a Martha world than a Mary.  

There was one moment though, when I took my mom to the Christmas concert at the beginning of Advent, and I heard a song I had never heard before.  Perhaps you have, but it was new to me.  I would like to share it with you here  The words have echoed in my heart and reminded me over and over that Christmas isn't done.  Christ is still here living in us and we are the light shining in the darkness because of him.


When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins;
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the brothers,
to make music from the heart. 

Our Lord said whatever you have done for the least of my brothers you have done for me. (Matt. 25:40)

May this not be just a new year resolution, easily made and quickly forgotten but a way of life because God first loved us.

Wishing everyone a blessed and happy new year.