Last night, Calvin and I picked up Eneko from the airport at midnight. Eneko is a student from Spain who is spending the month of July in US. He will be staying with our family most of the month. Eneko is from the Basque section of Spain where they speak their own Basque language. Of course he knows Spanish as well as English. The weekend weather is cooperating, and we took advantage of it. We played some three on three soccer, then some ultimate frisbee, and for the hearty ones, a dip in the waters off Southworth point. We are looking forward to spending more time with Eneko.
Next week Markus leaves for a two week trip to Norway with two of his cousins. In March, we sent in the paperwork for a passport that is supposed to take 'ten to twelve weeks'. On Wednesday (wk 14) there was still no sign of a passport and we were starting to get very nervous. Esther spent hours on the phone and finally got an appointment at the federal building for Thursday. She took the day off work, brought in a new set of paperwork and spent the day waiting with about a hundred other desparate travelers. At the end of the day, Markus received his passport, much to our relief. Jenny is here for the weekend. Tonight we pick up our exchange student from the airport. Esther is at the 'Women of Faith' conference and will have to wait to join the rest of us. BTW - for those who care - iPhone is here.
One of the perks of teaching is the gifts that students give at Christmas and at the end of the year. This year, one of our students gave Don and I tickets to the Red Sox game last night. So with a Red Sox fan next to us and 'Michael Scott' behind us, we savored our garlic fries and Starbucks coffee and enjoyed the slugfest. It was a great game to watch as the Ms hung on to win with an outstanding close from JJ Putts. Thanks for the tickets, John.
I'm home after 15 hours of driving! We left Helena at 9:00, after a big breakfast at Hunter's Point. Mom did great! As long as I made sure she had her meals on time, she was fine. We made good time cruising I-90. With the help of the extra hour going west, we were in Lynden by 8:00 pm. Mom was very appreciative of the trip, but glad to be home. I left Mom and packed up a bed for our Spanish guest this week, and drove home to Southworth, making it back by midnight.
Today was the main event. Even I'm tired from all of the events. This morning started with a hearty breakfast (the best meal of the day at Hunters Point in my opinion) Then it was off to the Christian Reformed Church that John and Dan's family attend. The pastor presented a genuine exegetical sermon (something I haven't heard for a long time) The church reminded me a lot of Pinehurst Chapel that I pastored in Everett; the building and congregational dynamics. When we got back to Hunter Point, Mom got a chance to play some hymns for the residents as they congregated for the dinner meal. I skipped out on dinner and went exploring for a couple of hours. I went to the 'gates of the mountains' and found a dirt road through a scenic canyon. I met up with everyone at Dan's house, and after a visit in their home, John, Mom and Maybelle went back for supper and I climbed Mt Helena with Dan's family. It was a beautiful hike and a great time of catching up with Dan. After some Maria baked Lasagna, I rushed back to Hunters Point to visit with Dave, Twila and Matt who had just returned from Billings. Tomorrow is the long haul home if Mom can hang in there.
Mom and I had a good ride today through the beautiful scenery of Western Montana. As long as I constantly monitered the music volume and the cabin temperature, Mom was a happy camper. We ate at a cool deli in Missoula where we enjoyed 'Doc's hangover stew' We arrived in Helena at about four in the afternoon. stopping to see Dan and Jo at the Bookstore on the way in. It's been about five years since Mom and John have seen eachother. Uncle John makes the perfect host, making sure that we got settled in to the guestroom. After supper, we all got in the van and John guided us on a tour of Helena, including five miles on dirt roads on the hillside above the city (now I know where I get it from!) Mom was ready for the sack by 8:30. Tomorrow looks to be a busy day for her.
For about a year, I have wanted to take Mom to see her brother in Montana. The end of the school travel itch provided the opportunity for me to finally do it. The next few entries in this blog will be a chronicle of the trip, particularly for the benefit of my family who are curious how Mom will enjoy the trip. After bowls of oatmeal and prunes at Meadow Green, Mom and I were off on our adventure. Western Washington said goodbye to us with cool showers, as we made our way up the North Cascades highway. Mom definitely enjoys music as we drive, and would only tolerate one Mark Driscoll sermon. I had decided to take Hwy 20 all the way across the state, since it had been a long time since I had been on some portions. Mom enjoyed the morning drive, while continuing to remind me that she is ‘not allowed to drive out of Lynden.’ Crossing Washington Pass brought us into the sunshine and warmth of Eastern Washington. We stopped in Winthrop for lunch. then had a beautiful drive through the Okanogan Highlands: Omak, Tonasket, Republic, Kettle Falls and Colville. We are staying in the Holiday Inn Express, close to Riverfront Park in Spokane. Tonight we enjoyed a walk through the park and dinner at Aztecas. Mom seems to have enjoyed the day and is anticipating seeing her brother tomorrow.
Each year the Rotary Club of Port Orchard solicits nominations from the district's seventh graders for elementary teachers who made the greatest impact on their lives. This year Don and I were co-recipients of the award. We feel very honored as the award is selected by students. Kudos such as these remind us why we do what we do. Another treat is to have former students come and visit us to share their successes with us. We have had several of those this week as well. Today was the last day of classes for the year. The students were ready for summer as well as the staff. I'll be taking my mom to Montana on Friday to start my summer adventures. As a side note, Bjorn fixed me up with my own internet domain for Father's Day. You may have noticed that the URL for my blog is now southworthsailor.com (no www) For right now, I'll still use the blogspot template, but eventually I hope to create my own site.
Last weekend our niece and nephew both graduated from Lynden High School. Friday night was the graduation and the two graduation parties were held consecutively on Sunday. Kelsea's party was a Hawaiian brunch in recognition of her plans to study in Hawaii this coming year. Mikal's party featured a 'roach coach' Mexican canteen and a mini car show. His plans are to attend Northwest College in Kirkland. Congratulations Kelsea and Mikal!
The fateful day has come and gone and I still feel the same. Thanks to some thoughtful promotion from Don, my birthday was widely acknowledged at school. The students made cards for me; some with 50 candles, or 50 ferblets, or 50 sailboats. One boy blessed me with 50 dots! Don also secured a huge cake for the staff room which of course got the teacher's attention. After school, Esther, Bjorn, Calvin and I ate at Anthony's Homeport in Bremerton and enjoyed their four course sunset specials. I have been blessed immensely for the past fifty years; I will trust the Lord for another exciting thirty of so.
Once again, the fifth graders from the Sidney Glen multiage made the annual camping trip to Neah Bay. After a four hour drive to the northwest tip of the state, we hiked to the Olympic National Park to enjoy Shi Shi Beach. The weather was foggy, but comfortable enough to stay warm in a sweatshirt. We explored the tide pools and some could not resist getting wet. Next, we went back to town and the Makah museum to enjoy the great display of Native American artifacts. We set up camp at a campground and enjoyed the beach until ten. The kids quieted down well after their big day. After a big breakfast the next morning, it was off on our final adventure of a hike to Cape Flattery. The fog refused to lift, and for the first year, Tatoosh Island did not show itself. It is alwys fun to share the experience with the students in a different setting. They are usually very cooperative and appreciative of the experience. The parents that come along are also very helpful. So even though the rest of western Washington was enjoying sunshine and the 80's as we were in the fog, it was a great weekend.