Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sundry Notes from the Island

Dear Gma,

I didn't write yesterday because it was a very full day, full of all sorts of island delights, and by the time we got home and cooked dinner and settled down for the evening, I was floating on a sea of Amelia and unable to maintain coherent thoughts long enough to set them to email.

But, because I didn't write yesterday, experiences and observations have been piling up, so I'll have to do some (albeit lengthy) bullet points to get back on track.

--I saw at least 8 shooting stars on the 12th. The first, which happened before full dark, was the most dramatic I've ever seen. It tore like a comet with a long tail, through the sky from south to southeast, with three different periods where it appeared that afterburners were trying to slow it down, with more sparks and embers added to the tail. It appeared to burn out somewhere near Bellingham. Ian had time to say, 3 times, "Look at that! Look at that! Look at that!!!"

--Yesterday morning we stopped by Island Excavating to pick up our West Sound Water Association payment, which I had erroneously addressed to box 572 instead of 571. I was surprised the PO didn't just deliver it correctly, but the woman who had received it, who works in the office at the excavators, opened it up to call me when she couldn't find the correct address for the water association. At the PO, the clerk stuck a piece of tape on the envelope and put it in the right box. He also sold me an envelope so that I could pay an enthusiastic young man who's been doing mulching and yard work for us, and whose address is General Delivery, Deer Harbor. "Put it in the Out of Town box in the lobby," said the clerk.

--We visited Sucia yesterday, The Gem of the San Juans. The two smallish docks had lots of space on them, much to our delight, as our boat, tender-size to some of the bigger yachts touring the San Juans, does not have a dinghy of its own. We ate hamburger sandwiches using our leftover patties from the night before and freshly-baked olive/rosemary rolls that we'd picked up at Rose's in Eastsound after visiting the PO. We then trekked to Echo Bay where we watched a mother otter and two pups snacking and playing. We then went on to Shallow Bay where we admired the shoreline sandstone caves. We hightailed it back to our boat when we spotted--and heard--several kayaks full of 12-year-old campers from Orkila, heading in to land for a campout.

--We boated home the long way around Orcas, to the east, admiring Mt Baker presiding over the Salish Sea. We turned southwest around 5pm and headed directly into the path of the sun. The already-elemental colors around us--of sea, sky, and island--distilled another click from several hues to just three. The wind ripples turned to oily quicksilver, slate-gray and shiny. The sun glints, in a glittering path running before us, exploded into white-hot chrome sequins, like a billion bits of potassium diving into the sea and igniting the waves. The sky, in comparison, darkened to indigo. Everything else disappeared. I was already in a meditative state, simply from being out in the air and on the water, with no one around but the porpoises. Following the sun path mesmerized me completely: instead of being blinded by the glare, I was overcome by awed admiration for the exuberant fireworks show.

--We ate a delicious dinner of cous cous with raisins and almonds, plus mint and rosemary from the land, and basil and tomatoes from home; plus Idaho lamb chops. We've been eating really well and inventively, and were thinking it's because we're working with limited ingredients. We're thinking of imposing some limits at home.

--Charlie has almost finished mowing; he'll probably be done tonight. The resident turkey vultures love mowing time, and at least a dozen were hanging out behind the Dacha yesterday morning when we returned from town, lunching on the tasty bits that didn't manage to escape the mower's blades.

--Dinner two nights ago with our northern neighbors (onion tart, peach custard), delicious! Dinner tonight with our across-the-street neighbors, at the Lopez Islander Resort, by boat (our treat; they were the provenance of the Dacha).

--Intense works going on outside right now, with Ian sawing thin plywood for some unknown purpose, on a work bench fashioned from our picnic table, a clamp, and a large block of pressure-treated wood.

--Time for breakfast: buckwheat/blueberry pancakes, with lots of butter and syrup!

xox, Calin

one-fingered on my phone

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