Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Memories

Don't you just love it when a sound or smell or taste transports you back to a wonderful childhood memory?

We traveled to Eastern Washington last weekend to celebrate a couple family birthdays. While there, it quickly became apparent - as the distant sound of turbine engines made its way from the river all the way up the hill to where we were staying - that the hydros were in town!

As a child, I lived in a neighborhood that sat just off a street that had a perfect bird's eye view of the river. In the week leading up to Sunday's big race day, every time I would hear the hydroplane engines fire up, I would run, walk, or ride my bike down to the street, and perch myself on the sidewalk corner to watch as the boats tweaked and tested and practiced on the river, in preparation for race day. I would scan the newspaper, looking for any article regarding the boats and drivers and then committing the information to memory.

Then came race day, and the annual BBQ at my house. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins would descend upon our home for food and race-watching. One of my favorite dishes during those BBQs was as simple as they come ... garden-fresh cucumbers, Walla Walla Sweet onions, rice vinegar, salt, and ice all mixed together.

This past weekend, before leaving town on Sunday, we headed to my old stomping grounds and were able to catch two race heats. I felt like a kid again ... except that I knew nothing of most of the boats and drivers, like I used to! And, I didn't have the cukes & onions on-hand ... though, that was fixed after we returned home! :-)

Hope your summer is sparking wonderful memories as well.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sweetness is ...

A 4-year old 'coordinating' a cancer walk!

"Let's go on a cancer walk!" said our daughter last night, as we prepared for our nightly walk around the neighborhood. ('Cancer Walks' are what we call the walks we do each year to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer.) She urged us all to wear our matching pink American Cancer Society t-shirts ... and, we obliged. With urgency, she then ran to get her 'Cancer Walk' bear, so he came along too!

And ....

An 8-year old hoping that the Chocolate Mint plant in our back yard will yield ... what else ... chocolate mints!

"Has that plant got any chocolate mints on it yet?" asked our son. I had to double-check that he wasn't pulling my leg ... but, he was nothing but serious. And, very disappointed when I told him that, unfortunately, it didn't grow chocolate mint candies. I must admit ... that would be cool!

Some trivia ... did you know that mint plants have square stems,
rather than the typical round stem that most plants have?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good Things Await

Waiting. For me, it is one of the hardest parts of the writing profession. Not just waiting for any response ... waiting for a positive response! So, I'm turning to the outdoors for a little lesson in enjoying and appreciating the wait. Granted, my garden provides a much more colorful and interesting perspective on waiting than my e-mail in-box and mailbox. Daily, there are beautiful berries needing to be monitored for ripeness and new blooms opening on the hydrangeas. Soon, the backyard will be bursting with color. It's easy to see that good things await ... and I'm certain that will be the case for the writing as well.