The wind is howling outside. Jerry and I walked our daily walk this morning and it was beginning to blow then. Now I see on Nextdoor Lummi Island someone has posted that the gusts are up to 69 miles per hour at the ferry dock and the ferry is riding it out mid channel between runs. I am safe indoors watching the trees whip and thrash in the woods around the house. I like watching extreme weather. I did a tiny bit of tidying outside among my flower pots and plants this morning before it started. Then I painted on my cat pictures — finished one.
This is the finished cat painting. Then I changed sheets and did some laundry. I am almost back to normal. But I am not just recovering from a major operation, I am recovering from a whirlwind of a week.
A week ago Saturday I went to a painting workshop at Lorna’s. There I started another cat portrait: a cat belonging to a fellow islander. It’s a big, bushy part long haired Siamese with tabby markings. Here’s the unfinished kitty.The workshops are fun, and include a vegetarian lunch with wine and brownies. When I came home I began preparations for my birthday.
On Sunday, my two grandsons, James (from nearby Seattle) and Thomas (all the way from England) were here for a roast beef dinner. Also present were James’ wife, Maria, and their two children, Julian and Allison, and Cat Rodgerson, Thomas’s girlfriend (serious), my daughter, Debbie, her husband, Chris and their daughter, Clare. Suddenly my slightly crazy friend, Gwen, turned up from Alaska. So I had 12 at the dinner table. The roast was lovely. I thought surely somebody would bring a cake, so I had no dessert. When no cake appeared I sent Jerry to the island store, which has fallen on hard times and has little food, for a dessert. He brought back the only one in the store — a cherry pie and it was good.
I had planned an entertainment for the children because I want them to like coming here. I got them some books full of facts about the world and its critters from the National Geographic. Those great grandchildren revel in facts. The main attraction was a bag of geodes! I asked my 6 year old great grandson if he knows what a geode is. He thought a minute and replied, “It’s a rock with crystals inside.” Imagine his knowing that! The geodes were supposed to be broken open with a hammer, but when I read the reviews on the internet I learned it would be much better to open them with a tile saw. I asked Jerry if he had a tile saw; of course he said yes, and he set it up in the studio with a lubricating stream of water. It made a lot of noise and some mess. The children wore safety goggles while the geodes were sawed in half. The whole thing was a big success. Each child had a bag of half geodes to take home.
On Monday, my actual birthday, Jerry and I took Thomas and Cat (Catherine) to dinner at the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive. The scenery was wonderful, but I was disappointed in the food which used to be really good and is now just barely acceptable and is very expensive. Thomas and Cat left the next day, vacating the our small attached rental and Gwen moved from the loft in our house to the rental. She stayed for a week.
I am fond of her. She is a whirlwind of energy, and being with her is fun but strenuous. She wanted to catch up with all her old friends on the island that she hadn’t seen for years and she kept inviting them here. She invited her friend Barb up from Seattle to stay with her in the rental. Barb is a sweet and calm person and I was glad to see her, but Jerry and I are accustomed to solitude and semi-isolation; we were flustered at being surrounded by so many people. Gwen took us to dinner at the Beach Store Cafe one evening and I had a group of 6 for dinner one evening. Sunday night I went to a presentation at the school by Sharon Grainger, an old friend of Gwen’s and mine. The presentation was a Kickstarter for a book Sharon is collaborating on about Athabaskans in British Columbia. Sharon is a talented photographer and is illustrating the book with her sensitive photographs.
It was an exciting week. When Gwen left on Sunday Jerry and I flopped. Now we are getting some rest.