This morning is one of my earlier ones on the trip. Uncle Ed’s neighbor has a long commute and leaves on his motorcycle at 4:00 am. That woke me up, I went to the bathroom, and then out to the car for something. All that commotion woke Ed and since I thought he was up, I got up, so he got up, and then Lorraine too. Ed left at 6:00 am for work leaving Lorraine and I a few hours alone before I would leave for Everett.
Lorraine leaves the house at 8:40 am and I leave five minutes later after making sure I had everything in the car. I visit Fort Ebey State Park and walk around Battery 248 and through its dark hall. Construction started in 1942 for defense in World War II and began conversion to a state park in 1965 after years of using the property as a training facility. There was a seaplane flying near by, but I only caught glimpses of it through the fog.
I returned to Coupeville like I said I would and went straight to the Island County Historical Museum. I read all the information available outside while waiting on them to open and had time to see the Alexander Blockhouse and part of a 24-foot cross that was erected by the local Indians in honor of the ministry that taught them a new religion. Only a section is left as a renter pulled it down to use it as fence post.
Inside they have displays about the printing press, Penn Cove Water Festival, local places with their Indian names, arrowheads, basket weaving, telecommunications, wooly mammoth fossils, the army at Fort Casey, an apothecary, some Victorian hair work, and an 1880s Square Grand Piano that they allow you to play. But they ask that you please not sit on the stool as it’s very fragile.
It seemed like a smaller museum on the outside, but it had plenty of history to learn on the inside. And had I known that Whidbey Island is the fourth largest in the contiguous U.S. I would have expected it to have that much history, but I consider it another thing learned. This time I will take the ferry to return to the mainland. From Clinton to Mukilteo, a 15 minute transport, it’s $9.75 for my vehicle, up to 22 feet. On the return trip they charge for passengers. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes if both are running.
At my 11:30 departure I call Grama’s number, the one she gave me after I lost my phone, and say hi to Dan. She gave me her work number and he will give me her personal one. I call just in time. Her and Amanda were about to leave for lunch, but agree they can wait another 15 minutes for me to cross the water, another 17 minutes for me to drive to her house, and then another five minutes to Gyro House where we will eat.
I order the falafel sandwich, we all get a bottle of water, and Grama suggests I get some baklava. The sandwich is yummy, but I’m learning that the only baklava I like is served at Saba’s with some flame action and a loud ‘Opa!’ After lunch we need to do some dinner shopping since there is now a non-meat eater in the house. Grama was definitely more excited about dinner than I was – she found the best corn she’s had in 40 years.
I was still happy to be a part of the process. It’s been over 12 years since the three of us have spent time together like this. Grama will make the cabbage noodles and Amanda and I will shuck corn for the steamer. While Amanda is on a conference call, Grama and I will make a no-bake strawberry shortcake. We tried melting the chocolate in a plastic bag and got it right on our second try.
Scott will get home in time to change for dinner and it’s his misfortune that he went upstairs immediately after dinner to escape the estrogen also missing out on dessert – no complaints from the girls downstairs including Bella, my aunt’s dog as Frankie went upstairs to join the guys hiding party – we can’t all be social. In a room full of women that love to cook we decide to watch Julie & Julia – a cute tale of Julie Powell cooking all 524 of Julia Childs recipes in one year – how inspiring!
Amanda doesn’t like the taste of most regular beers whether stout, hoppy, or full of wheat. Lucky for her she lives near McMenamins Mill Creek Brewery that serves a ruby ale that tastes like raspberry juice. She suggests we go after the movie and I agree. I order one of their IPAs and we sit sipping our beers for the next hour and a half over conversation. Now I know how my mom felt when she could finally talk to her older sisters about adult things; it changes the dynamics of a relationship.
It’s good to be getting to know family members better. It feels later than it is getting home at midnight knowing two people are upstairs sleeping. Grama is in the guest room so I will get the plug-in air mattress downstairs. Grama warned me that she will be up at 5:00 am and I told her to have no worries as I will either be up too or sleep through it. Amanda turns off the lights, sets the alarm, and says goodnight – in hopes that my sleep will match the pleasantness of the day.