Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Notes from my visit

What struck me when I arrived in Seattle was how much Wren and Frost have grown. Several times during the first day Wren held up his five fingers and said, 'I am FIVE'. frost at ten is on the cusp of being a young man. Very determined, very literate. 

Frost tries out the keyboard on a visit to Google

Sizing up the snow on Hurricane Ridge (see below)

The spring in Seattle is glorious. Gardens don't typically have a front fence so generally much effort goes into the presentation of these areas. Azeleas, bluebells, daffodils, magnolias, rhododendrons, lavenders are in full bloom. I love the architecture of the homes here. Wren is very happy to come on a walk, actually he scoots and I walk with the reluctant Beezle dog.

I have been here for two weeks and Shannon has been diverted from her normal busy routine.

Shannon has not been diverted from her vegetarianism despite
repeated servings of salmon

We started with three days on the Olympic Peninsula which is a story in itself. I love the way Seattle is surrounded by mountains. They are still snow covered and one stream running into the sea that we had to cross was bitterly cold. Birds are everywhere at the moment and Wren is becoming a spotter. In his new diary I had to write, 'i saw a hawk' and while reading to him he spotted a yellow warbler out the window. He notes the Stellar's Jay as we walk our road. From little interests like this kids can build a life long interest. wren is a highly imaginative child. He loves the backyard basketball court and plays imaginative battles there quite on his own. On the wild Olympic beaches, the driftwood took on many shapes to him, mostly of them forms of battle weapons.

Wren tries out a driftwood "rhino gun" on a long beach walk 
I have started reading to him from Geraldine Elliots books of African stories, The Long Grass Whispers and the Singing Chameleon. The former was my childhood book of 1952 and I remembered them all my life. Fisi, the hyaena is the villain and Kalulu, the rabbit is the clever survivor. At first Wren complained about the lack of pictures, but that did not last long.

Fisi the Hyena who is always causing trouble

My (Anne's) original copy of the Singing Chameleon from 1952 (she was 5 years old too!)

Each day has new excitement. Yesterday Shannon and I took out their new Indian style canoe on lake Washington. Wren came, sitting in the middle. It was a perfect warm calm day and all the birds were busy. Wren spent his time catching water lilies, counting the great blue herons we paddled past and enjoying his 'padkos'. He even tried to help paddle but was confused as to how to actually help without depositing scoopfuls of water on my lap.

Wren on Lake Washington in the canoe
Wren called the trip "the 13 great blue herons" because we saw so many


Anonymous said...

Hi Shannon - wonderfully clever to get your Mom to write a post, and lovely to hear her voice and perceptions of Seattle. I hope you had a great visit, Anne!

Shannon said...

As you can see, blogging has picked up slightly since Mum arrived and makes school lunches, coffees in the morning and cleans up the kitchen regularly!

tamusana said...

It all looks and sounds pretty idyllic.... and that much more so with Granny around.

(actually, I still find it hard to think of you, Anne, as Granny... you're still 30-something to me :-)