AFTER THE CRUISE, IT'S A VISIT WITH SISTER SUE!
|Susan and Mark|
Of course, our bags had already been searched and my candy likely sampled, but they didn’t worry at all about Mark in the flesh. I was back in the US of A, and was again invisible.
We stayed two hours in Seattle, ‘cause that’s how long it took my sister Susan to find us at the port terminal. Kay had already purchased us a rent car before the trip. She got a decent deal on a mid-sized something. One reason the deal was so good was because you wouldn’t get a refund if you cancelled. So, we paid for a car that we didn’t drive. (That has nothing to do with anything, but it still bugs me.)
What happened was, my sister, Susan, called three weeks before we left and told us that she and her son-in-law, Curt, wanted to pick us up at the port terminal and drive us on the scenic route back to place in Grandview, WA. I begged her not to go to the trouble, but I was not that convincing.
The scenic trip from Seattle to Grandview is about three hours. During the first stretch of the trip we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls just east of Seattle. Snoqualmie: It’s what was heard from the first guy to go over the falls. He was from the Puyallup Tribe. The word roughly translates: “Hey, get a load of this!” I suppose.
But forget the name, what I wanted to mention was that while at the falls who should show up but Tom and Marge from the cruise. They hadn’t planned to stop, but their driver to the hotel wanted to stop. We could not get away from these people. They’re from Florida for Pete’s sake, and they keep showing up.
We finally forced ourselves away from Tom and Marge and continued the ride to Grandview. During the ride I discovered that Washington is one of the most beautiful states in the Union. Any setting you could envision for a movie could be found in Washington. You could film Tarzan, Brave Heart II, NCIS New Orleans, Viva Zapata, Frozen III, and any zombie flick you can think of. Washington has everything.
West of the mountains it’s wet and wonderful. East is considerably less wet, but agriculture is thebiggest industry. They’ve got fruits and nuts covering the hillsides. Apples, cherries, almonds, walnuts, grapes, strawberries, Fruity Pebbles…
And all during the drive, I couldn’t help but notice how nice Curt is. In fact, Sue’s entire family is off-the-charts nice. Scary nice, you ask me. They fed us to the hilt. (Your hilt is just below your ribcage.) They seemed right at home talking about the kids and grandkids and all the family that wasn’t there. Wait a minute. That was mostly me.
At one point during the stay I learned the names of every person there. Wanna test me. Rhonda and Curt’s first son? -- Clint. – The twin daughters? Bella and Livy. – Meagan is the precious girl who likes to milk the goats. Gracie is—Wait a minute. Back to the goats.
One of the greatest photo opportunities that I missed was that of Curt leading Meagan and Kay to the goat pen for a milking. It was early morning and they were walking in a row up a little knoll. Stick a tune to that last sentence and you’ve got a hit.
|In case you're wondering, Kay is milking a goat.|
I did get photos of Kay and Meagan milking a goat. And, Kay took a picture of me milking. I did not intend to, but it seemed the proper thing. I feel relatively sure that on my death bed I will remark, “Well, Martha, at least I milked a goat. Oh, I thought you were Martha.”
Shooting sage rats is something I wanted to do, but passed up my only chance, gabbing with the girls. East Washington is loaded with ground squirrels they call “sage rats.” Their mission in life is to dig, destroy crops and defecate. And they’re good at what they do.
In Washington and Oregon, sage rat shootin’ has become a form of relieving tension. Some people actually pay farmers to take them out to shoot sage rats. I had heard the stories and expected to do some rat killing of my own. However, I spent some quality time talking with Susan and her daughters, Rhonda and Sandy, and a few grand nieces. We talked about my Dad and the rest of the family. Few in that room had ever seen Faris, and I wanted a few of the youngsters to know him through some of the stories.
The next day was Sunday, and that meant church services. Curt is the preacher for the small congregation in Grandview. But on the day we visited, he had my nephew CJ preach.
CJ started out with a reading of Romans 5:7 – “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die…” –The lesson was about Christ sacrificing himself for all. After the reading, CJ told about the time in Afghanistan when his friend died while raising up to warn him about incoming fire. His friend had made himself a target to save CJ. It was an excellent tie into CJ’s message, and there was not a dry eye in the house when CJ sat down.
These are just a few of the many memorable moments during our Washington visit. I was eager to get back home, but regretted having to leave Susan and her family. Of course, we didn’t leave Curt and Susan immediately ‘cause they had to drive us to the airport in Seattle. I’m so glad we didn’t get the rental.
By the way, when Kay and I walked down the 18-inch wide aisle on our 737, I looked around to make sure Tom and Marge weren’t on the flight. Those people are so hard to lose. – Next time.