Sunday, June 18, 2006

Back in Seattle again

Here's a less-than-postcard-pretty view of Seattle, coming in on I-5 from the north. It's what coming home always looked like, from all those camping and hiking trips in the years before we moved up to Whatcom county. It was littlest sister's high school graduation, and a chance to see lots of family in one place. We also took a few detours through places I spent most of my life. South Park, High Point, White Center.

Downtown Seattle and the working part of the city, from the top of the West Seattle bridge. This was my nearly daily view for over 15 years, as I went from home to work and/or play. On clear days, looking south from the bridge, you can see the most stunning view of Mt. Rainier. Over time though, I've noticed the smog getting worse and worse, and views of the mountain are more rare. The bridge itself used to be called the "new bridge" back when it opened in the early 80's. The old bridge was actually two side-by-side drawbridges. One for each direction of traffic. One broke and then the other was hit by a boat, so the new bridge was built. That ended the popular West Seattle excuse for getting home late - the bridge was up. The new one towers over the ground, amazingly high, and scary to stand under and look up at.

My first grown-up house. It's nice to see it's new people taking good care of it. I had a lot of good times here and loved fixing it up as best I could. It was built in 1930, and I was it's 4th owner. Stucco isn't the best siding for Seattle weather, and 21 is a bit young to know how to pick out a sturdy house, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. The front porch we rebuilt, just like the original one the carpenter ants ate. The metal awnings were put on in the 60's, and make a nice sound when the rain hits them. If you look close at the bottom edges of them, you can see bent in areas. That was from little gangster kids throwing rocks at the house. We used to have band practice in the basement, complete with long-haired musician-types coming & going. For whatever reason, the local hooligans from the housing project down the road decided we were "devil worshippers". It took a lot of perserverance, and some really frightening events, but we stuck it out and came to love even that part of living there. I remember working on my old 67 Impala out front and having nice chats about cars with some of the "gentlemen of the hood" that would walk by on their way to the corner store. And the other neighbors on the street got to be good friends too. When the electrical panel caught fire one winter, we had power while we fixed it thanks to neighbors running power cords from their houses. It's funny how people who don't live in big cities assume we left because we wanted to escape from city life. But I loved the diversity and vibrance of it. Hearing 4 or 5 different languages while in line at the store, or walking home from the bus stop and enjoying the smell of all the ethnic foods being cooked for dinner. Country llife and city life are just different. There is good and bad to both, but they are each wonderful experiences, and I feel blessed in being able to try them both and choose what works best.

Here's the new grad! The cute one in the middle... and an honor student too.

There was a lot of family there, aunts & uncles, siblings, cousins, parents, a grandparent, and many friends. It's an ancient and revered family tradition to cheer and heckle any family member, on stage or in a public situation, as loudly and obnoxiously as possible. I'd like to think we did our duty well Saturday, and inspired other grads' families to heights of rowdiness as well. Nothing says pride like a stand full of Coopers in full voice 8- )

I won't post too many family pics (I also got too busy talking to take many) but I have to share this one of these cute little nieces! And dad, modelling the new must-have fashion accessory for summer.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Sounds like a great time was had by all....I am waiting for a photo of the newest member of the family. Guess I will have to wait a while. Hope you are both well and hope to see you soon...