Happy Summer!

I hope everybody didn't give up on me when they clicked on my blog address and found--hah! Nothing new! (Okay, I just snuck one in that had been saved and not posted in May. So sue me.) But that's the problem with summer. No nose-gnawing winds to keep one inside writing things. Since the Big Freeze left, I've been out and about, planting seeds, visiting family and friends, and just generally making memories to keep me warm when I'm back inside shivering inside my woollies.

I just returned from a five week trip--my longest ever. The first few nights home I found myself waking up wondering where I was and in what direction the bathroom might be, just in case I had to make fast tracks. I think I'm over that and the jet lag and it actually feels like I have a whole new wardrobe! Try wearing the same things over and over for 35 days! (In case you're wondering, yes, I did toss them in somebody's washing machine every so often.)

Anyway, where I was, mostly, was Washington State. For three weeks I stayed with our youngest son and his family in the Tri-Cities area on the eastern (and dry) side of the mountains and had a great time crawling around the floor playing trains with PJ, who is three. I'm obviously not three. My muscles told me that every time I tried to get up. I finally convinced PJ that I had "old bones" and couldn't follow him indefinitely. We came to an acceptable compromise where I could sit on the front steps sometimes.

After that, Pat and I drove through the Snoqualmie Pass to the western or wet side, although it was actually kind of nice there for a change. We regrouped our suitcases and then headed for Hawaii for a week. My first time ever. Beautiful. Stunning sunsets, tiki torches, lush vegetation, and mai tais. Hawaii, if you've never been there, seems almost like a foreign country. Although once you master "aloha" and "mahalo," you're pretty much home-free in the language department, there is a decidedly different look to street and town names. It's like the founding fathers got feeling giddy and just started throwing vowels and accent marks into perfectly good words. Kilauea, Honolulu, Hawai'i, a'ama--and those were the easy ones. They actually had three kings named Kamehameha. In all honesty, one you mastered some of them, they were kind of fun to say. I'm still trying to figure out the Hawai'an name for Place of Refuge, which is a sanctuary and historical site. Don't try it when you've had a few mai tais: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau. Also, almost everyone tells you, steer clear of poi, which is a purplish paste that is the staple food of the Hawai'ians. My kindergarten paste tasted better.

On the Fourth of July, we boarded a boat and went out in search of dolphins. And that's another story for when I get my pictures. Until then, aloha!