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Photo Journal; Mountain Valley to City to Beach Cave

 

Near Kevin's in Packwood, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

Near Kevin’s in Packwood, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Kevin's kitty waiting for me to leave.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Kevin’s kitty waiting for me to leave so she can have him to herself again.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Wooing me with homemade pizza...it worked very well.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Wooing me with homemade pizza…it worked very well.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

A woodpecker neighbor in Hidden Valley, Packwood, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

A woodpecker neighbor in Hidden Valley, Packwood, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Before... Morton, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

Logs before…
Morton, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

After. Morton, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

Logs after.
Morton, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Moss draped on trees along Hwy 508 outside of Morton, WA. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Moss draped on trees along Hwy 508 outside of Morton, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beautiful Salmon Berries usher in spring. Hwy 508. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beautiful Salmon Berries usher in spring. Hwy 508.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

This dog at Kevin's daughter's house wants to know who I am. Missed the tilted head look it gave me. PHALL PHOTO 2014

This dog at Kevin’s daughter’s house wants to know who I am. Missed the tilted head look it gave me.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Flowering tree at Centralia College, where Kevin's daughter works and my daughter lives next to.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Flowering tree at Centralia College, where Kevin’s daughter works and my daughter lives next to.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

My grandson as whirling dervish superman. This is his speed unless he is sleeping. Love my Cameron. PHALL PHOTO 2014

My grandson as whirling dervish Superman. This is his speed unless he is sleeping. Hard to capture a still photo. Hahahaha! Love my Cameron.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Bulbs I planted in December before I went to Alaska. I almost missed their blooms. Weeds are history right after I took photo. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Bulbs I planted in December before I went to Alaska. I almost missed their blooms. Weeds are history right after I took photo. Westport, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

 

Seriously? Pile of hail at downspout. I have witnesses. Sara & Tiffiny came by later and Sara grabbed a handful of it. I was working in garden in tank top right before rain then hail started. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Seriously? Pile of hail at downspout. I have witnesses. Sara & Tiffiny came by later and Sara grabbed a handful of it. I was working in garden in tank top right before rain then hail started.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

A crop of morel mushrooms grew while I was away. Cool. PHALL PHOTO 2014

A crop of morel mushrooms grew while I was away. Cool.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Weed after hail storm. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Weed after hail storm.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Pile of weed in front of the pond. The primroses that were blooming in winter are still blooming! PHALL PHOTO 2014

Pile of weeds in front of the pond. The primroses that were blooming in winter are still blooming under the Camelia!
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beach sunset ends my first full day home. See another sunset on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/patti.hall.3950 PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beach sunset ends my first full day home.
See another sunset on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/patti.hall.3950
PHALL PHOTO 2014

 

 

 

 

 


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Sara of 27 Springs

 

Sweet Peas for my Sweet Pea! Grandma's  flowers and photo.

Sweet Peas for my Sweet Pea! Grandma Rae’s flowers and photo.

Today my daughter turned 27. There are so many reasons that spring was the perfect season for the birth of my Sara. Spring is fresh, cheery and full of energy. Most of all, with spring comes hope. Sara brought so much hope to my life!

The year before Sara was born, a young military couple who I was close to got pregnant. They were so young and in love and mutually glowing, that you’d have to be made of stone not to feel it. I was almost 30 and not thinking about settling down to domestic life with babies, although I was married. In a few months I realized that I was pregnant. Then I realized the glow was not automatic. My husband was not feeling it. Our company relocated us to Yakima, where we didn’t know a single soul.

Where was that damn glow? It was a rough pregnancy and the pothole filled streets of our new town didn’t help. Yakima was colder than anywhere I had ever lived. Maybe if I could get that illusive glow it would warm me up!? No such luck. I focused my energies on crafts and genealogy. I met a few neighbors, but had no real friends. Pitiful!

At some point, my focus turned onto the bundle of joy curled up inside me. Yep, I know, duh. I had scary pregnant-mother dreams and I had day dreams about the wonderful life we would have. As spring moved closer, my heart thawed even more and I began having long conversations with that little person in my tummy. I sang songs and read books to the tiny future that was tumbling and turning within the mound at my center.

Waiting for Sara’s birth was very much like waiting for spring. After a long (9 months!) winter, with no color or warmth, I yearned for the bright hope and cheer of my baby. I remember counting and recounting the days until the baby was due. I remember the doctor appointment that day. “Any time now.” My mother-in-law (RIP, Katie) was over for the great event; the birth of her first grandchild from her only child.

I will always remember pacing that small duplex, while dad-to-be and his mom slept peacefully unaware of the drama taking place. I loved those hours anticipating the birth, and cherished the strange communication we had in the wee hours that night. I almost didn’t want the baby to leave my body. I felt it would sever something special between us. So I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer; I was dilated 8, of 10 centimeters by the time I finally woke the household and moved to the birthing center at the hospital.

Sara was the light and hope of spring 27 years ago, and she continues to be my light and hope.

Funny, Sara came after I moved to Yakima, and my son Jon joined us a month after I left Yakima…

So full of love for my daughter on her special day,

Patti


13 Comments

REBLOG: An Afternoon at Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

Since I don’t often reblog, I recently found out that I need to make it clearer when I do. The purpose of this post was to shine a light on Tricia A Mitchell’s incredible travel blog.

I can’t travel everywhere that I would like to, nor can I take you along on my travels. What I can do is share a bit of Tricia’s travels with you. This is an older post, but spring in western Washington seems like a perfect time to spend “An Afternoon At Claude Monet’s Garden…” with Tricia. Here is a Monet quote that I feel to my core,
“Every day I discover
more and more
beautiful things.
It’s enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire
to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.”
― Claude Monet


19 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Water not sky.  Packwood, WA.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Reflection. Water not sky.
Packwood, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Photo of small creek through twigs and branches, with drops of water clinging to their tips.

This week’s photo challenge calls for reflections, literally and figuratively. This fits my world well. Much reflecting going on here. Going to see kids and little grands in a few days, on my way back to beach cave at Westport, WA. Have doctor and dentist appointments, as well as cleaning and sorting to do. I miss my peeps and my beach, not so much, my dentist!

Peace,

Patti


25 Comments

One Year on Word Press. Thanks!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yes, it has been a year since I began blogging. Even though it was very lonely the first few months, you eventually found me and have kept me going with your support and encouragement ever since. The secret to bringing folks to your blog is so simple: Get out and visit, comment and “like” other blogs. That’s it. Go forth and make friends :>)

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Here’s how the first 6 months went for me. I didn’t know one blogger and had no idea how to blog. After a couple months of loneliness, I started searching for info about memoir and children’s writing and publishing. During my quest for info I started visiting other blogs, I made some friends. Adding photos to my posts seemed to bring more people to this little community. Popping in on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, really brought some new faces to The Write Place.

I hope to add some highlights of the second half of my first year in the next few days, but for now, here is what I was up to my first six months…

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Six entries in March 2013, including things like:

I posted a quote that seemed to fit my state of mind as I began this new endeavor of public blogging, writing and (hopefully) publishing. “Do not hurry, do not rest,” by Goethe. As fast as I wanted to get started, I knew that I also wanted to take my time and not make a bunch of (public) mistakes.

I was unsure of what/how to begin, but decided to use my long dormant maiden name for my writing. I posted a poem inspired by my mother, who instilled the love of reading and humor in me. Another poem that I posted that first month reflected the pain of the sudden and unexpected loss of one of my sisters the year before.

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 3

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach, WA w/Coast Guard Tower. Phall Photo 2013  

The post, Keeper Book Synopsis, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-x tells the genesis story of the handcrafted “Keepers” that my friend (Leslee) and I created years ago. My hopes are to publish the stories that I wrote for each one. I also finished typing a 2500 word story that I wrote for my children in 1996.

The last entry of March 2013 says, in part, “I woke up this morning, well, it was really almost 11. Anyway, I was looking around and my eye caught on some star wands that I need to give my granddaughters, from a mutual friend. Soon I had a story rumbling in my head and I was off. I have been writing and editing all damn day long, and half the night! I made some coffee, finally ate a snack, packed some things for my move [home relocation] tomorrow and wrote like crazy. I completed a children’s story 10 words shy of 4000 words. Crazy. It just came out. Does it happen like that for you? And, hey, I have no illusions that this would not get whittled in half by a real editor, but I’m good with that. It is the process that is so…gripping, so addictive.”

April- 12 entries. This was my third month going to the local writer group that I joined, and I posted,  “Have been checking out and “following” several other writer blogs. Have been “invited” to join a writer site that allows us to give and receive feed-back. I am learning about the current trends in writing and publishing…” Another entry, Good Grief, A Widow Writes A Memoir, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-V explains some of the things I was learning about memoir writing and how painful it can be to write about Paul’s illness and death. Still is.

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I posted about a writer retreat and a writer conference in Homer, Alaska, which is also home to one of my sisters and her husband. I began taking a writing class taught by a local writer, and I met several other writers there. I posted a poem that I wrote for Paul’s 60th birthday in 2007. I made an ambitious attempt at a blogging schedule. Hilarious, if you really know me; the “s” word and me are not close.

I signed onto several more social media venues and shared some sites with helpful information for writers. I touched on some newsy information in one post, about the way technology is taking away our privacy. I wrote a poem about the deaths and injuries in the Boston marathon bombing and the explosion in Texas. I posted a short story about a child molester/monster.

Kites down on beach. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Kites down on beach.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I moved Maggie (my trailer/cave/home) from the bay outside of Westport, into Westport proper and closer to the beach. The worst shock and heartache of my life happened on the 26th, when my grandson died. Still dealing with the other recent losses in my life, I stopped blogging for awhile.

May- 13 entries. I lost my mind a bit, but returned to blogging late in the month, with 2 poems on grief and loss. Lady In The Cave http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1N and Treasured Souls http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1P  were followed by a post complaining about the new parameters for the medical definition of grief. I wrote a few other poems/essays and shared some of the writing/publishing information that I was learning. Still very few visitors or followers on my blog, but I kept on. This was my first poetry/photo combo post: Beach Bird Bliss http://wp.me/p3i5jo-2c and it made me realize how much readers enjoy photos along with the words.

Fresh seed pod on tree. PHALL PHOTO 2013 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

Fresh seed pod on tree.
PHALL PHOTO 2013
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

June- 22 entries. This was a very busy writing month and I had some fun with the essay, Things That Go Rrrrr, Crash, and Drip In The Night http://wp.me/p3i5jo-4w. I also got better at working with photos and started posting photos for Word Press Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges. I posted quite a bit under Writing Journal as I learned about and organized for successful memoir writing. The post, New! Dedicated Memoir Page and Sneak Peek of Prologue http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3m tells the story of how I got from the house that Paul and I shared, to living at the beach. What I Would Tell You Now http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3v is a letter to my late husband, written long after he was gone. I also started writing and submitting book reviews this month.

Butterfly on Flower in my friend's garden. Phall Photo 2013

Butterfly on Flower in my friend’s garden.
Phall Photo 2013

These are busy days, but I will try to post the summary of July-December 2013, in the next few days… Still not smoking and happy about it, over 2 months later!!!!!!!! Was thrilled to know that one of my sisters quit smoking 4 days ago too. So cool.

Happy Almost Spring!

Patti

Thistles PHALL PHOTO 2013

Thistles
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 


30 Comments

March Mountains; Alaska to Washington, It’s Time

PHALL PHOTO 2014

Chugiak, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2014

My one year bloggiversary is coming up on the 17th, and I will write a summary of my first blogging year on that day, but today’s post is about a completely different summary and adventure.

As most of you know, I’ve been living near the beach in Washington State for over four years, and I’ve been a widow almost five years. They have been some hard years, with too many losses of family, friends and pets. Among those losses (after my late husband’s death), I lost my sister, my little grandson, and my aunt. Just as I picked myself up off the floor from one loss, another death flattened me.

Yet I’ve also had some real joys these last few years; I reunited with a dear girlfriend and several family members. I have a new grandson. Both my nephews, and several other family members, have had babies. I’ve reveled in the healing atmosphere of my wild west coast beach, while I gained energy, balance and perspective in my solitary world (with the help of family and friends).

One thing I haven’t done, is make room (in my heart and head) for the possibility of becoming part of a couple again. Since you’ve been trailing along on my blog journey, you know that I’ve finally done that recently. Kevin and I were reunited on New Year’s Eve, about 38 years after our first and only date. He is my sister’s brother-in-law and the son of Mrs. M, who I broke out of the nursing home in Oregon this past November.

You may also recall that Kevin tried to catch me at the airport, before I left Alaska, all those years ago. He missed by 15 minutes. Now I’m ready to leave Alaska again (after caring for my folks for a couple of months) and Kevin will be waiting at the airport for me in Washington. He has been faithfully courting me long distance, with a romantic Youtube song every morning, and an hours-long phone call every evening. Do you really think there is any chance that we’ll miss our connection this time? Me neither.

PHALL PHOTO 2014

 Eagle River, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2014

Every time I come to Alaska, I fall in love with the mountains. You’ve seen the photos. Of course, you’ve also seen my camera-love of the beach too. I can’t give up either, but tomorrow I will be moving from my parent’s home below the surrounding mountain ranges of Eagle River, Alaska, to Kevin’s home, nestled between Mount Rainier National Park to the north and Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to the south, with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in all directions.

Eagle River, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2014

Eagle River, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2014

My next post will be on my one year bloggiversary. I’ll also give you an update on the new views of mountains and maybe a few other things…

Happy March!

Patti

Eagle River, Alaska  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Eagle River, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2014