LETTER TO BIRDLAND: Planning for a extensive journey |

Try to help a retriever, and what do you get? I was getting ready for my lengthy journey. Michael experienced set his breakfast of eggs and toast and it was cooling on the counter even though he helped me with the morning chores. I carried my grips to the car, and he fed the canines. We each have a various process and schedule to be certain the canine do not run absent at breakfast time. Michael had hooked Cullen’s leash to the garage and Ursula was jogging totally free in the garden. That worked, other than that Ursula was stymied by her tennis ball. It had frozen to the driveway. She tugged and tugged at it, but the freezing rain experienced produced the driveway a stable sheet of ice inches thick, and it was trapped quickly. I gave it a kick, and my toe felt how firmly it was frozen into the ice. But a next kick released it. Ursula created a dive and trotted to the doorway with the ball in her mouth. “Well,” I thought, “if she goes in, I can let Cullen off of his leash.” And so I did.

A couple minutes afterwards, I went inside myself, only to discover Michael forlorn in the kitchen area, his vacant plate on kitchen area flooring. It was all my fault, so I fastened him a next breakfast in advance of embarking on phase just one of my journey. The very first leg was a blur—the jaunt to the airport, the donning of double masks, a hoodie, and a plastic experience protect. I appeared like an astronaut, and I felt like a deep-sea diver. Anything was muffled and in sluggish motion. I felt protected by the airport’s protocol, and it was simple to continue to be absent from all people in my own small corner at the gate.

Traveling more than the Midwest gave me a view of the snow-protected fields—an eerie blue and gray patchwork: squares of snow outlined by a grid of county roadways with grey shadows of clouds shifting more than the land, the seam of a meandering creek embroidered above the pattern. I daydreamed about stitching a quilt just like that. I realized I was receiving shut to Seattle when I noticed Mount Rainier thrusting head and shoulders earlier mentioned the clouds. When we arrived down above the Seem, I texted our oldest, who was waiting to choose me up. We went to his new household where by my new daughter-in-law greeted me. (They experienced a Covid elopement, so we skipped the marriage. We’ll celebrate when we can all get with each other securely.) I acquired to satisfy the new Bernese Mountain pup, who is currently pretty much total sizing, and for a Berner, that is massive.

Now I am having a number of days of rest and peace just before I commence the truly challenging leg of the journey. We walked all over the new community in which I took images of the stones in retaining walls (my Seattle obsession) and their micro-gardens of moss and other tiny plants. Our minimal hike permit us verify off 1 of the four views of the new community. Properly, I found out that we could really see the to start with 1 from the again deck. It was an unusually apparent working day, and what on most days appears like a continuation of the grey clouds, these days had a horizon of grey-green beneath blue sky. It was the Seem, which you can also see from a lookout on our wander. One more lookout showed us the snowcapped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. But the canine were being ready for residence, so we would wander to capture the other websites (Mount Rainier and the Cascades) later.

Later on it rained, so we made the decision to just take a drive, looping all around the metropolis and ending at Golden Yard Park. We walked up the seaside and watched the solar go down, sailboats motoring to return to port, a couple obtaining marriage images, their silhouettes in opposition to the sunset. Incredibly restorative prior to my big journey. When I confessed to my firstborn my trepidation about the relaxation of the excursion, he stated, “Well, you just experienced a large birthday. You are Bilbo Baggins leaving the Shire. Now it is time for your journey.” And so I journey on.


Venture in Beauty Investigate in Peace Blessed Be


Mary Lucille Hays life in Birdland near White Heath. If you are lacking your weekly dose of Birdland Letters in the News Gazette, you can even now read them every 7 days in the Piatt County Journal Republican. Take into account subscribing to assist your compact-city newspaper. You can see photos about this week’s article on Instagram @BirdlandLetters. Mary can be reached at [email protected] or by using snail mail treatment of the Journal Republican, 118 E. Washington St., Monticello, IL 61856. She desires to thank her close friends for creating and will response you all soon.