Monthly Archives: June 2017

I Do Some Really Different Things On Weekends

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I Do Some Really Different Things On Weekends

Wherever I may happen to be living, I try to immerse myself in that particular culture. Here in Washington state, there are always so many events and activities to choose from on the weekends.

This weekend my favorite town of Cashmere had its Founders Day celebrations. While it all sounded interesting and exciting, I opted to stay here in Leavenworth to attend other events.

Friday night some fifty-five children and adults gathered together at Icicle Junction for pizza and mini-golf. Pastor Becky Goodman from Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene did an amazing job of organizing this event. The kids had a wonderful time golfing followed by games in the arcade. By some miracle, they were lured out of the arcade to pose for a group photo.

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On Saturday I found myself at the Cascade High School watching a performance of The Little Mermaid. This production by Upper Valley Connections touched my heart as the majority of the cast members were from the special needs community. I worked in this field in Canada, and was moved to tears by their beaming faces as they acted, sang and danced for us on the stage. 

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Another event on Saturday was a car show held in the downtown area. I have never been a car buff, but some of the vehicles on display did attract my attention, especially the Corvettes. The temperature was above ninety degrees, and with no shade I didn’t stay very long.

I went to church Sunday morning and the guest speaker was Rev. Bob Luhn. He will be back again next weekend, and I look forward to hearing him again. Although he is retired, he is highly requested for speaking engagements and we are fortunate to have him here in Leavenworth.

Next weekend may be Canada Day where I am from, but I will be at a potluck in Cashmere as well as hanging out near the gazebo here in Leavenworth to listen to music. And Fourth of July is right around the corner…………………

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Last Weekend in Leavenworth

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Last Weekend in Leavenworth

There is always a flurry of activity on the weekends in Leavenworth. Last weekend was the International Accordion Festival. Lively music filled the air both indoors and outdoors. The Festhalle and a number of restaurants and bars featured accordionists.

Saturday morning I attended a seminar and demonstration of various types of accordions. The Upper Valley Museum was a perfect venue for this event. The program itself was in the lovely sunroom overlooking the river. The man who spoke had brought in several items from his personal collection.

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Here are a few of the different accordions that were on display.

When the program was over, I headed downtown to the gazebo to watch the accordion parade.

A special treat was when they all gathered up on the gazebo and played Edelweiss and The Happy Wanderer. The participants were of all ages. The youngest was the little girl in front playing her toy accordion.

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In the evening I was invited to a dinner party where one of the accordionists entertained us with a variety of tunes. His grandson also performed for us.

Sunday morning at church………you guessed it…………one of the pastors was up there with his accordion playing with the band.

My plans for the upcoming weekend include volunteering at a mini-golf and pizza event for the youth group from church as well as attending a performance of The Little Mermaid over at the high school. Can’t wait!

Friday Hodgepodge

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Friday Hodgepodge

It’s Friday afternoon. After two days of rain the skies have cleared and the sun is shining. Folks around here tell me this is unusual weather for Leavenworth at this time of year. The highs the past couple of days have been in the 60s. But I am still in awe of the beauty of the clouds enveloping the mountaintops, even though they are still snow-capped. This was the sky yesterday evening.

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The other day we were out in Cashmere as my friend had to pay his car insurance. The office was sandwiched between a liquor store and a marijuana outlet. Here’s the sign on the highway advertising this little strip mall. An interesting combination.

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The Pioneer Museum in Cashmere was especially an interesting place to be last week. The children in the local elementary school and their teachers wore period clothing and had classes in the school house, complete with quill pins. At recess they jumped rope, played with hoops or enjoyed games of checkers. Apples were the common snack.

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Waterville is a quaint town about an hour away from Leavenworth. This old barn with its advertising caught my eye.

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We drove up in the hills to a home in Monitor. How is this for a view?

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The International Accordion Festival happens this weekend in Leavenworth. Yesterday some musicians gave us a preview at the gazebo.

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Tomorrow I’m off to the Upper Valley Museum here to attend a seminar and concert featuring accordionists. And tomorrow evening, in the spirit of the accordion festival,……………oh, I’ll save that for another blog post.

Retirement Part 1…..Life in Leavenworth

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Retirement Part 1…..Life in Leavenworth

When I was younger, I always envisioned retirement as a time when my husband and I would kick back and relax after years of working and raising children. We would enjoy leisurely hours together and do things we’d never had time to do before.

Part of this has come true for me. My life is a lot less stressful and I am certainly involved in activities I’ve never participated in before. But instead I’m divorced and am doing these things on my own.

Did I say on my own? Not really. I have developed friendships and relationships with people I would have never met had I still been married. On a whim two years ago I moved to Mazatlan from Guadalajara, where I anticipated teaching full-time as well. And that’s when the retirement began. Teaching in schools became history and a few private students became the norm.

Of course this has led to my having more time to pursue my writing. As well as my blog posts, journals, travel writing and the book I’m currently working on, I’ve submitted articles and stories to books published by other authors. I belong to online writers’ groups and have just discovered a group right here in Washington where I am spending the summer.

Being a volunteer has always been an important part of my life. When my children were growing up, I volunteered in a variety of organizations. Now I have become quite active at the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. When I was here last year, I enjoyed helping out with Light The Night. My focus right now is on Vacation Bible School to be held next month.

This year I discovered the Leavenworth Senior Center. I’ve made new friends and attend exercise classes, play bridge and have lunch with them regularly. There are other activities that I just finding out about, and I am looking forward to participating in them as well.

I also joined a women’s bible study group in the nearby town of Cashmere. We’ve just begun reading a book by Randy Alcorn entitled Heaven. Thought provoking questions accompany this book in the form of a workbook.

A friend of mine is a contractor and the other day I painted a basement floor in a house he is renovating in Waterville. Although I was able to snag a few photos, I’m interested in going back to this small town to check out the antique and thrift shops.

Another favorite pastime is wandering around Wenatchee. The Valley Mall in East Wenatchee is small but indoors, and has Bath And Body as well as Ross. The outdoor North Valley Mall has Old Navy, J C Penney and several other stores. There are also restaurants in abundance in Wenatchee, as well as The Igloo for an ice cold Mack n Jack.

My favorite town is nearby Cashmere. This quaint place is home of Spirit of America, a tribute to 9/11. Cute little shops, a candy factory, a pioneer museum, a library and a great Mexican restaurant are found here. And if you’ve read my past blog posts, you know that my favorite tree is here as well.

I walk around Leavenworth, exploring and taking photos. This quaint Bavarian town attracts hoards of tourists, especially on weekends and during festivals. Acres of orchards are found in this area, and the cherries are just beginning to color the trees. Rafting, tubing, jet skis and kayaks are also popular around here. I have to pinch myself sometimes to believe that I actually live in this paradise several months of the year.

I lead an active and fulfilling life here in Leavenworth. I am truly blessed with the friends I have made here and the time that we are able to spend together.  

               Watch for Retirement Part 2 when I return to Mazatlan for the winter.

What Happened to May?

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What Happened to May?

I left Mazatlan on April 29th and it seems like yesterday. May was a blur of traveling and suitcases until I arrived in Leavenworth on May 16th. Then it was finally time to actually unpack a suitcase and settle down for more than 3 or 4 days in one place.

I’m still in awe of the beauty of the mountains and the rivers and streams around here. Spring is here. The pungent aroma of budding lilacs fills the air along with the scent of pine from the towering evergreens. I went to visit my tree in Cashmere the other day and it is completely green with no evidence of the crimson glory displayed last fall.

 

A friend and I were sipping Mack n Jacks at Igloo in Wenatchee the other day when I remarked that I felt like I was at home, as though I hadn’t been away for six months. Everything was so familiar and very little had changed. It’s comfortable and relaxing and it’s good to be back.

I haven’t even pulled out my laptop all week. I’ve been out and about and too busy to write. I’m back volunteering at the church again and it’s so nice to be back with my church family. Vacation Bible School is fast approaching next month, and as a co-director I am only too aware of all the planning and organizing that needs to be done this month.

I also joined the Leavenworth Senior Center. I’ve met some lovely people and enjoyed lunch and an afternoon of bridge the other day. Next week I start an exercise program and I plan on attending some of the daily lunches at the center. There are other activities offered as well including a monthly trip to a casino.

I took Link Transit into Wenatchee and rode around on the trolleys to the various shopping areas. And I got an ID card as I’m at that wonderful age where public transit is now half price for me.

I visited Spirit of America in Cashmere. This tribute to 9/11 is a must for any traveler.

I’ve also joined a bible study group in Cashmere and am only too delighted to have yet another excuse to visit my favorite town in Washington.

The public library system in this state is amazing and I have been at both the Leavenworth and the Cashmere branches this week. I have lots of reading material to catch up on as John Grisham and Danielle Steel are difficult to find in English in Mexico.

Also on the agenda this past week was a walk in Walla Walla Point Park in Wenatchee. The path is alongside the river, peaceful and tranquil. A few people were in the water on rafts or in boats as it was quite a warm day.

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I start a course next week from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The course is titled Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction. It’s wonderful to have the time to take courses that are of interest rather than courses that are compulsory in order to obtain a degree.

I’m also indulging in another favorite pastime while in Leavenworth. I love to cook and bake and both the kitchens and available ingredients are certainly lacking in Mexico. I am overwhelmed when I walk into grocery stores here but I eagerly make my purchases and return home to bask in the glow of an American kitchen.

No wonder it’s June already!