Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Perfect Timing

It is the last morning walk of our five-day (first ever!) Blogging Vashonista Writing Retreat.  While this is our fourth year to meet together at Lavender Hill Farm, it's the first time we're "getting serious about writing!" Over the years, we've enjoyed many Vashon adventures, a lot of laughter, and not a few tears.  This year has been especially memorable and it's easy to feel nostalgic this morning. The air is crisp and the view is soft, at 6:45 am, as the sky begins to lighten. I will miss the sunrises, and the sunsets, and everything in-between.

We head out for the Burton loop, what has become a daily delight.  I'm with my typically faster moving friends, Deb and DJan.  Today, I am the pacesetter. I know there are hills coming that will literally take my breath away, and set my heart pounding uncomfortably fast, yet I eagerly set off with my comrades.
Sunrise as we begin our walk . . .
We slow down almost immediately for the vivid tapestry before us, snapping pictures that dim in comparison to the being there. 

It is downhill for a few blocks, before the first uphill that seems to be double the distance, and I am reminded as always of the multiple extra pounds I'm carrying along with me.  But I refuse to waste time chastising myself and listen instead to the cheerful voices of the birds and my friends.

This is our down hill beginning . . . and in the distance, the first of the uphills. 

About ten feet from the top of the first hill I stop, check my pulse (117 this morning; it was 130 the first time I walked with Linda) and I catch my breath.  Onward we go.

A little more than half way around the loop, we arrive at the Vashon Island Rowing Club.  There are already several boats silhouetted against the rising sun, and to watch the graceful ballet of experienced rowers is delightful.

We are greeted by a lovable labradoodle, and stop for a chat with his owner and a sweet two-year-old. Walking onto the rock strewn beach, my eyes searching for some of the greenish colored rocks that Jann and Sally found the day before in this spot.  Suddenly, someone calls, "Look!"

We gaze toward the water,  amazed to see what looks like a sort of oceanic sprinkler system created by dozens of clams (or some other creature), spouting (or squirting) streams of water from beneath the rocky ground.  It is magical!  (I took a cool video, but unfortunately I took it sideways, and couldn't figure out how to post it.  You'll just have to believe me!)

It dosen't take too long to find and collect a number of green rocks (which we believe are algae tinted) and others that I am hopeful will polish up in my rock tumbler at home.  (The rocks below weighed 1.87 pounds before I deposited them into the tumbler for the first polishing this morning.)
I know they really don't look very good, but stay tuned - they will be amazing--I hope! The barnacles will be gone.
Sadly, it is nearing time to return to our lovely island retreat. There are breakfasts to eat, showers to take, packing to finish.

Trudging up the hill one last time, we are greeted by this guy, who watches from one of the neighboring decks.

Oh Vashon, how I hate to say "Good-bye!"

With sad hearts and after exchanging warm hugs, the six Blogging Vashonists drive away from Lavender Hill Farm ~ October 2015.


  1. It sounds like a wonderful trip with the other ladies. Good friends you love, old friends you treasure and it appears your chest is full of lovely memories.

    It was so nice to see your blog appear on my dashboard again.

  2. It was a wonderful time, and I too am so happy to see your blog is active again. I am proud of that new portrait of you, since I got to take it! That last morning walk was so magical, with the rowers, the clams spitting, the seal, and the conversations. :-)

  3. This was wonderful to read! Your voice is strong and happy and clear, and I loved getting to experience that morning again through your eyes.

  4. Dear Sandi, I so enjoy reading the post you Vashons write while there and afterward. And truthfully, I think this posting reflects your new writing prowess. Your words appeal to my senses. I'm wondering if you are planning to begin blogging again. I've been away since November of 2014. I've begun again, but my posting and reading/commenting are going to be much less obsessive and much more sporadic. Still I want "to keep my hand in"!!! Take care. I hope you are having a good year in the classroom. The students are always so fortunate to have you there. Peace.

  5. oooh, you did find a bunch of good rocks! I have my shells with the barnacles on the kitchen window ledge and my big square green rock is happy in my glass of rocks I've collected on my travels. Keep up the blogging!


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