Sixteen years ago next week, my folks and I loaded up the car and headed west, destination Seattle.
At the time, I was working in Redwood Falls and in dire need of getting away from it all. Seattle sounded like a place where I could do that.
I’d done my research on the Internet, connected with a guy offering charter boat rides in search of orca whales, dolphins and bald eagles, and mapped out a trip that would ultimately take us through 13 states in less than two weeks.
It was a trip filled with memories, from traversing the Lewis & Clark Highway through Idaho to taking the elevator to the top of the Seattle Space Needle and peering over the side of the boat to watch dolphins leaping out of the water. We didn’t see a killer whale, but every other experience made the trip totally worthwhile.
You just can’t get that kind of experience reading a book or watching a movie.
For the longest time, I dreamed of leaving Minnesota behind for the lush greenery of coastal Washington. The images I captured with my old Pentax K1000 were spectacular even for me, a moderate photographer. You can’t go wrong snapping photos of sunsets over Puget Sound or fields of tulips in bloom.
If only … if only I could convince the entire family to pack up and leave with me. Then I wouldn’t get homesick.
No matter how much I dreamed of life in the Seattle area, everyone around me was intent on telling me how often it rains in Seattle.
It was absolutely beautiful the few days we spent in the area. Everyone can tolerate a little rain as long as you can also enjoy the beauty, right?
Well, here I am in Worthington and after three days of Seattle-style rainy weather, my mood is reflective of the gray skies. I just want to curl up with a good book and a blanket on the couch and not venture out of the house.
We need the moisture so bad that I wish it would just really rain — the kind of rain that makes a noise when it hits the windows of my house, complete with thunder and lightning — and leave a measurable amount in the rain gauge. If my recently acquired rain barrel (aka Buntjer farm find) overflowed, I will be overjoyed. The perennials in my flower gardens might actually survive another summer.
No, there’s no more dreaming of a Seattle-area lifestyle for me, although I wouldn’t mind having a row of blooming tulips in the back yard and perhaps a view of the lake.
A girl can dream!