Sunshine in Washington

Winters in Washington State can seem rather long. I know, we sound very whiny to people with ‘real’ winters, like in Minnesota. “Can you even call it winter, when it rarely drops below freezing,” I imagine they would jeer. Fortunately, one of our kindliest and most supportive blog readers is in Minnesota, and she never mocks our winters.

This winter has been a bit on the cloudy and wet side, and it starts to get people down. I’ve noticed a general malaise and discouragement among many of my peers. As they say, “Waning windy western Washington winters weary wet workers” (well, OK, only Elmer Fudd actually says that). Happily, God seems to provide a respite in the latter half of February, such that we often get a couple of days of warmth and sunshine before the rains of March set in.

This afternoon I was working upstairs, and I noticed Mount Rainier from my bedroom window, peeking from behind a stand of tall Douglas Fir trees. I ran downstairs. “Kids, let’s go find us a Mountain,” I shouted.

Flying high
While we were out, I noticed a plane about to hit the moon. As you see, it was a near thing.

Many visitors to our fine state deny the existence of Mount Rainier, never having actually seen it during their visit. “It’s just a big hoax,” they assert. “Kind of sad, really, to make up a mountain so that people will think they have some scenery in their swampy, pathetic state,” they sneer. (Truth be told, we’re fine with that — it is crowded enough here already — we don’t need a lot of Californians moving north.)

Hoax Mountain
Too bad this isn’t the view from my window …

Still, when the weather is clear, we rush out to take pictures to send to our friends and relatives. When we first moved here, Kathy’s folks visited us for a nine-day stretch. It rained the whole time, and they never saw the mountain at all.

Daniel, David and I found a good spot where we could see the mountain pretty clearly, and I tried out Kathy’s new tripod, hoping to get a decent picture or two. The light was a bit hazy — I probably should have gone out earlier in the day for a better picture.

Boys on a pedestal
We try not to put our children on a pedestal …

With a glorious, warm, sunshine-y day like that, we felt we just had to celebrate. What luck that the kids all had gift certificates from Baskin Robbins!

Hooray for Baskin Robbins!
Daniel was determined to try all 31 flavors, but his survey was cut short by impatient parents.

Project 366, Day 39

Another fine blog brought to you by Tim “Rakin’ in the Chips”, Blogger for Hire.

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13 thoughts on “Sunshine in Washington”

  1. looks like you all know how to carpe a diem! Good for you, life being uncertain and all that. “There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? (Ecc 2:24-25) God is good.

  2. Perhaps a good Christmas or birthday gift might be a carton of crisp new poker chips–maybe no one would notice?

  3. The mt. pictures are wonderful, Tim. Good job!! When we’re at Andy’s house in Portland, OR, we can sometimes see Mt. Hood from various spots in his neighborhood. Same feelings abound- ‘it’s sunny, let’s go outside!!’ Pure joy.

    I’m glad Mamie was in the picture- I love her.I know you’ll be sad to see them leave for TX today. Hugs all around.

    Love you Edgrens. It’s sunny and maybe a +10 today.
    Aunt Kate

  4. We did the same thing you did… saw it was sunny, threw the kids in the car and went to the beach. We just had to get outside and enjoy that sunshine!

    Glad to see Kathy is getting a little respite in the blogging responsibilities, but will be glad to see her back, too. :)

    Holly in Kirkland

  5. That’s worth a chip.

    And I don’t know that I’d brag too much about that “mountain” when it’s so small it barely comes up to the boys’ ankles.

  6. Mt. Rainier is known all over the world. (I’m sure that you know that, and were just being sarcastic to keep them Californians away…) My dad is a mountaineer and people train on Rainier for Everest. No joke. I’ts the type of glaciers that Rainier has that makes so amazing. Easy enough for beginners, but challenging enough for pros.

    I miss it….sniff. (My youngest was 4 when we hiked Paradise….do you know it?)

  7. It is sort of funny that Kathy and I spent part of our honeymoon at Paradise (mainly so we could talk about it afterwards: “We spent our honeymoon at Paradise”).

    For those who don’t know, Paradise is a lookout point and a lodge situated on Mount Ranier’s knees (around 5700 ft, I think).

    I had spent some years living here and loved “The Mountain” (as we call it around here). My first job was in Connecticut and I didn’t think it very likely that we would ever live here — I wanted Kathy to appreciate the Pacific Northwest. So we spent the rest of our honeymoon in exotic locations like SeaTac, Seattle and Olympia.

    At 14,000 ft (and change), Mount Rainier looms over the landscape. Equivalent mountains in Colorado go almost unnoticed, partly because there are so many of them, and partly because the ground is already so high. When you’re on a plateau at 10,000 feet above sea level, a 14,000 foot high mountain doesn’t look so impressive.

    As for Scott’s snide comment, it is called P-E-R-S-P-E-C-T-I-V-E, when objects seem smaller than they really are. I’ll bet that Mountain comes up to the boy’s knees, at least. Plus, they were standing on poles, which is cheating. What kinda mountains do you have in your neck of the woods, huh? Bring it on! :)

  8. I remember when I first saw Mt. Ranier. It was in the rear view mirror of my rental car and I nearly had a heart attack. It is huge!!! I was at Ft. Lewis at the time, so I could almost always see it. But you know what they say: “If you can’t see the mountain, it’s raining, if you CAN see the mountain, it’s going to rain.”

  9. Always love pictures of The Mountain.
    Definitely one the things we miss from home. People have the audacity to call the tree covered mound in the vicinity of Chiang Mai a mountain, but only because many of them have never seen the real thing. I sheepishly admit I too, have slipped and mentioned using ‘the mountain’ as a guiding landmark. Must be time for a visit to the good ol’ Olympics. :)

  10. When I was elementary school age I lived in Tacoma at McChord AFB. Years later my husband and I were visiting Washington on a trip up the coast and into Canada. I decided to stop at McChord and try to get onto the base to show him where I had grown up. As we pulled up to the gate I was astounded to see Rainier, big and beautiful, framed in the background. My jaw dropped–I didn’t remember it being there. I guess it helps to visit in August. That mountain certainly knows how to hide.

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