Today our little city of Bremerton turned out to watch the annual Armed Forces parade. Ours is one of the biggest parades in the country, which is astounding considering the size of the city. But we are a navy town and you could tell that today by the large turnout in spite of a steady rain which was anything but warm. Felt more like March than May!
Still, all branches of the armed forces came out and every high school and middle school band dutifully braved the rain and cold to play for us. Service organizations, city officials - everyone was there. It was so great to see such a huge turnout considering what a cold, rainy day it was. Still, everyone was in a festive mood.
There's something unifying about this kind of event. Seeing all the branches of the service represented - so many!- drove home to me that a lot of people are risking their lives so that I can happily sit home and write. I certainly came away appreciating all the young people who feel called to make defending us their career. So I applauded and hooted along with everyone else as they marched by or drove past in vintage army jeeps. And I took pictures, of course.
Loved the guys giving out hot dogs and potato chips! Lucky Gerhardt got a hot dog. I, alas, am dieting so no hot dog for me. Wah.
Still, I had fun in spite of getting drenched. I felt badly for all those school kids in the drill teams and marching bands. Hope they were all properly rewarded with hot chocolate when they got home!
As for all the military folks who came out... thank you for your service!
DOES MY HUSBAND LOOK WORRIED? Maybe he sensed that today we were going to have a Friday the Thirteenth boating adventure.
It started off innocently enough. Our condo neighbors have a boat. Lucky them! (I've been hankering for a boat.) He’d had shoulder surgery and needed someone to run the boat for him. (Lucky us!) The weather was supposed to be great. We all set the date for Friday.
On Friday at noon we walked to the marina, armed with the necessities of life: pop, pretzels, and oranges (and an egg for Sheila, who was determined to stick to her diet.) We did our pre-cruise check and Captain Gerhardt settled in behind the wheel. The engine started right up. Sounded a little sickly but, not letting a little thing like that stop us, we began to putt-putt our way out of the marina. Two minutes later the engine putt-putted to a stop and we wound up drifting into a slip, an unwelcome third between two other boats. Thank heaven they were small!
And, thank heaven for Bryce the boat detailer who saw our dilemma and helped us tie up and work on the engine. And work on the engine. And work on the engine. At this point I turned to my husband and said, “Maybe I don’t want a boat.”
At last it was time to give up. Fortunately, a nice man in his bilge pump boat came over and towed us back to our slip, while we hummed the theme from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. As we limped back someone remembered that it was Friday the Thirteenth. Well, that explained it.
Anyway, it was quite the adventure and, in spite of our technical difficulties we had fun. Because when you’re with nice people you can always have fun no matter what. So, many thanks to our hosts. And, better luck next time. (We’ll be sure to check the calendar before we take out the boat!)
... are the best! There's something about spending extended time with good friends that is simply good for a woman's soul. Of course, it helps if you have exceptional friends like I do!
I just recently returned from a midweek mini-vacation spent with "the Game Girls," a group of women I've been hanging out with for many years. Once a month we get together for lunch at someone's house and then spend the afternoon playing games. This can range from card games to word games, the two newest favorites being Farkle and a card game called Golf Ten.
We soon realized that we needed to enjoy more of a good thing and so started doing a yearly weekend getaway in April, which we dubbed "Enchanted April," naming it after that classic chick flick with Josie Lawrence and Joan Plowright. We've been doing this for about ten years now and we've been to a lot of wonderful places: Whidbey Island, Portland Oregon, and Granville Island in Vancouver, to name a few. We even took a weekend cruise from Seattle to Victoria one year. This year we were on the Oregon Coast. For the most part the weather cooperated, but even if it hadn't we'd have had a great time. (You don't need good weather to stay up until two in the morning laughing and playing games.)
We have several gourmet cooks in our group so the food was spectacular. And the treats were, too. Trader Joe's dark chocolate caramels - oh, chocolate heaven.
But really, the best part of the trip was being able to share our joys and troubles, to be able to be ourselves and know that whether we were at our best or worst we were still loved. Because we've long since gone from friendship to sisterhood.
How about you? Do you have a special group of friends you hang out with? I hope so, because I'm convinced that friends are one of God's greatest blessings.