It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride the last couple of weeks. I’ve put a lot of miles on the car but I’ve really enjoyed the road tripping, something I haven’t done for a while.
Once again, I took the blue highway to Kalispell, rather than the more traveled roads. It adds a couple of hours but as I wasn’t planning to be there before 5 or so, it worked out well. And when I arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised at how well setup our VRBO weekend rental was. And even more thrilled when Cody and family came over later.
It was wonderful to see them all. Oliver and Everett of course have really grown. Oliver, who likes being called Ollie, is almost 11 going on 16, while Everett, Rett, is still just a youngster!
Ryan got in at midnight and driving to the airport was a mission - I hate driving at night, especially somewhere I don’t know and where there are basically no street lights! But I made it and his flight was on time, thank goodness.
The rest of the weekend was fun and games. Plus we saw Cody and Mel’s cute house they are fixing up in an older area of Kalispell. The streets are lined with lovely old trees and their house is so close to a local park that Mel could stand in her back yard and call them to come home for dinner! The boys’ school is within walking distance and they are both involved in sports. Ollie does football and lacrosse and Rett is into golf and baseball. So that keeps everybody busy!
The Whitefish Lake Classic Boat show was a treat, especially when we were invited out on the Lady of the Lake, a lovely, classic launch that belongs to the gorgeous lodge. I think the organizers picked families with young kids to go for rides. In such a spectacular setting, it’s difficult to have a bad time!
We could see the ski runs on the hills above the lake where Cody and the boys snowboard and where Mel is learning to ski. Cody says you have to have something going on in the winter or you would go crazy, as winters are VERY long and cold.
The afternoon we spent at the house, preparing for a barbecue on the big, new grill. The house was equipped with bocci balls and croquet sets, so much fun was had by all. It was such a pleasure to see all my boys together, while Mel and I could sit back and observe.
Sunday started with an enormous breakfast at a very popular little place on the way to Flathead Lake. The countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. Mountains tower over the lakes and valleys with vast fields of crops including mustard, which blazed in the sun.
Big Fork is a tiny tourist town that apparently closes down completely in the winter, but the day we went through, it was a bustling little place with really good ice cream! The boys played in the icy lake for a while, a very short while! And the lake was busy with kayaks and boats.
A bit of geography - Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states, with over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline.
Ryan had to get a 3pm flight back to LA, so he and I left the family and I dropped him off and returned to the house. A little later, I met the others at the local dog park where they take Meadow, the young lab.
And then it was goodbyes. As they were leaving, Rett hugged me and said, “Grandma Susu, why can’t you stay in this house forever?” Just about broke my heart.
Instead of driving straight through to Port Townsend, a 9-10 hour drive, I stopped for the night with Janet and Pat in Chelan. It had been an exhausting weekend, both physically and emotionally.
My Old Stomping Grounds
What a pleasure to see Mardelle and Jim. I always feel so welcome here. But the first couple of days, I didn’t feel like doing much, and as we had a sale going on the site, I spent a lot of time in my space downstairs working and regrouping.
And then I discovered through various texts from my old tenant that action that should have been taken last year had been neglected. So that meant tracking down the attorney to find out what was going on. But of course there were excuses about his client’s ill-health and inability to be able to handle anything. I shouldn’t be surprised but it really pissed me off. There is a huge liability involved and when I drove out to see the property, was appalled at the condition. Now it is completely in the attorney’s hands and whatever happens has absolutely nothing to do with me and I’m glad that I have nothing for anyone to come after.
On a more pleasant note, I am going through my stuff that is stored here. I found the one particular picture I was looking for and others that brought back wonderful memories. All my jewelry - nothing terribly valuable but all the pieces with history, both family and travel history. And fabrics I’ve collected, always expecting to be somewhere with a sewing machine.
And I found some of my writing from w-a-y back in 1987 - which I could have written last year! Most of my journals went up in flames in the wood stove before I moved out of the house on the canal. Some eye-opening thoughts I wish now I had taken action on back then. Oh well, can’t turn back the clock.
The only stuff I found to discard - so far - is all the paperwork from all the real estate I used to own! One box less of stuff to deal with.
In a few days, I’ll head over to Seattle for a 10 day housesit and Mardelle is coming to visit! Should be fun. Then it’s back here to Port Townsend for a couple of days and I have decided to drive back to SoCal the way I came. It’s a bit longer, but I avoid the I5 through Oregon and California. It’s a highway I dislike as there is so much heavy truck traffic. I feel like I am being pushed to drive faster than I want to, so it’s super stressful. Driving up was a pleasure and going back, I will take an extra day so the days won’t be quite so long.