Before the trip begins

We are counting down to departure time.  Seeing friends we won’t see for the next 6 weeks.  Finishing jobs around the house and garden.  Paying bills.  Arranging cat care.  Making lists; shopping.  Getting blood pressure, eyes, heart checked.  Getting teeth cleaned.

Jerry still has some work to do on the camper, he says.  “What work?” I ask.  “Oh, some wiring, putting some things away.” He answers.

We had dinner with my cousins, John and Betsy, on Sunday.  Tonight we have dinner with Cathy and Russ who will take care of our yard while we are gone.  Tomorrow night with Ria and Basil.  And Easter Sunday we go down to daughter Deborah’s for dinner.  She will have roast lamb and Greek salad, and my grandson James and his wife Maria will bring a sticky-toffee pudding.  Most important, they will bring my great grandson, Julian.  I have not seen Julian since Christmas.  I’m taking my camera, so be warned.  There will be baby pictures on this site before I go to Alaska!

In the mean time everything outside is growing.  The daffodils are fading, the hyacinths still going strong.  In the middle of winter I found a bag of blue hyacinths I had forgotten to plant.  I stuck them into pots and the front garden and they came up like gang-busters.

Blue hyacinths

Blue hyacinths

The birds swarm all over the feeder and the suet cake.  There are chickadees and sparrows and finches and blue jays and juncos.  No grosbeaks as yet.  Big handsome flickers gobble up the suet.

White iberis drapes over the rocks at the side of the house.



Jerry mows the lawn whenever the weather dries a little.  A storm is brewing just now.  We have wind warnings of 50 miles an hour or more.

Last night after Mah Jongg I had to drive Betsy home because her phone didn’t seem to work when she called John to come and get her.  It was a black wet night and waves were crashing over the sea wall at Village Point.  The car got salt water on it and bits of wood debris hit the side.

Today the trees are swooping and diving in the wind.

Windy day

Windy day

A power loss is almost certain in this kind of weather.

When I get to our dear little house in Manley Hot Springs I plan to spend as much time as possible in my upstairs studio painting.  I will have a show in Bellingham with a fellow Lummi Island painter, Ingrid McGarry, in September.  I need to get some new work ready for it.

I have a stack of books to read.  Mostly science, but some poetry.

It will be good to see our friends, the Reddingtons and Linda who live across the road in Manley.  Perhaps I’ll have a moose dinner.  I like moose.

If there isn’t too much snow in the woods Jerry and I will walk with the poodles up the hill to the mining road every evening.  I love that walk. Spring is so speedy in Alaska that in a period of a few weeks the woods are transformed.  New things grow up overnight on the forest floor.  The days linger long as summer gallops in.

The last week in May we start for home.  I wonder what stories I will have to tell you then.

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14 Responses to Before the trip begins

  1. Tessa says:

    We’re having a most unseasonal few days leading up to Easter, here in Ontario: 29C outdoors, sun shining, crocuses popping everywhere. It’s quite scary, really, just because of its unseasonality. But we’re nowhere near as advanced as your garden, Anne, which looks quite beautiful. Although I must confess that I hate hyacinths; their cloying smell nauseates me.

    I hope you and Jerry have a wonderful trip to Manley Springs this year. I’m looking forward to reading all about it here.

    Take care.

  2. Annie in TO says:

    My brother in Victoria BC emailed me about the weather you are having, sounds like quite a storm!

    Your garden is lovely. I like the smell of hyacinth when they first bloom, but Tessa is right, the smell is a little cloying after that. Much as I am tempted to bring them indoors in the beginning, I’ve learned better.

    I look forward to stories of your trip north and your stay in Alaska. How lucky you found a man with a place in Alaska! 😉

  3. Rain says:

    I want to go to Alaska someday but have not yet been there. It sounds delightful to have a home there to enjoy part of the year. I’d love to see pictures of the paintings you will do there. Sounds like a very creative time

  4. Marja-Leena says:

    With all the heavy rains here, I found all my top heavy hyacinths bending down to the ground, inviting the slugs and snails so I picked them for indoors. We all love the scent, strong though it is but it fades a couple of days later.

    The winds are immensely powerful today, shaking all the huge trees around us and making me nervous that they’ll fall on the house. Vancouver Island was hit hard with many power outages.

    It amazes me that you travel to Alaska this early! I’d love to go north in June with the ‘white nights’ as they call them in Finland. Anyway, have a great trip especially in the camper, and a happy creative time once there. Someday we’ll get up there and will have to get some tips from you.

  5. wisewebwoman says:

    I so want to visit Alaska, lucky you but sad to leave that lovely garden and your island home.
    Keep us posted, pun intended…

  6. Jan says:

    We’re having an unseasonable warm spell here in NE Ohio, as well – it’s been in the upper 70s and low 80s for the last few days, and will continue to be over the next couple. After that it will cool down to more normal temps for this time of year, but in the meantime, our garden is also going like gangbusters and the rabbits are having a field day.

    I can’t wait for you to post some photos of your new work, and of course the little great-grandson – I’m rather partial to baby pics these days. LOL

  7. Darlene says:

    Have a safe and fun journey in your camper. I do love road trips as you can go at your own pace and see so much more.

    I, too, am looking forward to the baby photos. I do love babies.

  8. Friko says:

    How is it possible that your Spring is further advanced than ours.
    With us April is already true to its reputation, sunshine, sleet, cold, rain and another drop of fleeting sunshine.
    Too cold to do much out doors.

    Enjoy the family and friends get togethers before the big departure date.

  9. Lavenderbay says:

    My, you’re organized! Sounds like you’ll have a worry-free vacation, if the weather cooperates.

    We have three hyacinths, looking so far like little purple pineapples.

  10. m.e says:

    love the photos! and you’re a PAINTER??!! and you LIKE moose? omg. i had it once, and i hated it–half venison, half dead fish–not too different from bear. i suppose it depends on where it lives and dines….i thought elk was the very best.

    have a wonderful trip!!

  11. Tabor says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your spring flowers are so lovely. I really like the rock garden with the white flowers spilling over like lace.

  12. pauline says:

    Looking forward to the stories and the photos! Have a wonderful trip.

  13. Duchess says:

    Your spring is much more advanced than ours. The daffs are just coming into full glory. The trees are mostly without leaves. I don’t think the temperature has yet officially gone over 60 yet, and we had sleet and hail for a lot of last week. I’m tired of the cold, and I haven’t forgotten that April is the cruellest month.

  14. Dick says:

    Stack up the stories and maybe some pics to go with them, Anne. Bon voyage et bon retour!

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