Tag Archives: Cashmere WA

Autumn in Washington

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Autumn in Washington

Autumn has long been my favorite season of the year. Trees and bushes show their glorious fall foliage. Once they fall to the ground they make a crunching sound under my feet as I walk along the street.

When my son was a toddler, we would head for Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg where we would collect leaves. He would squeal gleefully as he darted about  looking for different colors and shapes. We would take our treasures home, wrap them in saran, and place them carefully in one of my heaviest cookbooks to preserve them. I actually saved that one cookbook with the last leaves we collected and it’s hidden beneath some photo albums in a bin stored at my son’s house. A beautiful memory.

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Two years ago I spent a couple of days in Toronto. My friend Deborah lived by the lake and I recall our wonderful walk among the colorful trees in the neighborhood. I hadn’t experienced fall in a while as Mexico has a totally different climate and vegetation.

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Last summer I discovered Washington state and I returned again this year to enjoy the summer and fall. Busloads of tourists come to Leavenworth to admire the amazing display of color at this time of year. The Autumn Leaf Festival held two weekends ago attracted hundreds of tourists. The Salmon Festival also happened recently. But we are now in the midst of three weekends of Oktoberfest, which means thousands of people flocking to Leavenworth.

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Oktoberfest! This quaint Bavarian village is synonymous with the Oktoberfest celebration. Lederhosen and dirndls are worn by many. Entertainment abounds at three different venues. Bratwurst on a bun is just one of the many items on the menu. And of course there are numerous types of beer to choose from. Hotels and campgrounds are booked solid. Driving through town is more like a congested parking lot.

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This weekend Apple Days was held at the Pioneer Museum in Cashmere. Yours truly got caught up in the spirit and volunteered in the vintage railroad ticket station. Entertainment varied from gymnasts to mariachi and more. Shoot outs were held on the hour. And of course an apple pie baking contest was featured. This gentleman was serving up sarsaparilla in the bar.

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A wind blew in yesterday and a shower of pine needles has covered the ground. The aroma is heavenly. And my favorite tree in Cashmere has begun to change color.

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A Museum, A River Baptism, An Outdoor Movie, Village Voices, Bavarian Brass and Bye Bye Birdie

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A Museum, A River Baptism, An Outdoor Movie, Village Voices, Bavarian Brass and Bye Bye Birdie

Wow! There is just so much to do around here! Choices, choices, choices……….

A priority was to explore The Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. This friendly statue greeted me near the entrance.

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On the main floor I came upon this vintage auto, as well as a display indicating that in 1997 the museum made the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest apple pie weighing 34, 438 pounds. Volunteers put in almost 3000 hours creating this pie.

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I headed up the stairs and found myself in a vintage train station. A display featured a model train that traversed through tunnels and over bridges for a full six minutes at a time.

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I then wandered through an area depicting Native People of the Columbia Plateau. Another section featured Beringia Migration and an extensive array of items was found in the Fossil Collection. There was also a room dedicated to flight and an extremely interesting section which unfortunately prohibited photos and had a history of Pangborn as well as a variety of other vintage items on display.

The Museum hosts a number of children’s programs over the summer and also offers lectures and field trips for adults. The main floor also features a gift shop.

On Sunday afternoon we ventured up the hills in Peshastin into an orchard where Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene was holding a River Baptism. This was very different from the traditional hot tub found at Church of the Rock in Winnipeg. How amazing to have a beautiful park-like setting complete with a river to celebrate a baptism! Talk about God’s country…………

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Around here everything revolves around the outdoors. On the weekend we were up in the hills again, this time near Cashmere. Rotary Club was showing an outdoor movie. Yep, they hang screens from trees around here.

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And then I was off to another production by Leavenworth Summer Theater. This time the venue was The Fish Hatchery and the musical was Bye Bye Birdie.

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And I can’t possibly forget the kick-off potluck dinner for Village Voices. The Bavarian Brass serenaded us with Christmas music while we ate and then the ladies enchanted us with their musical selection.

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And a new week begins…………………

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…………………

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!

It’s Great To Be Back

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It’s Great To Be Back

I don’t mind gazing up at the still snow capped mountains. Here in the town of Leavenworth it is sunny with a predicted high in the 70s today. I listen to the chimes outside my window. I glance over at the 17th hole and note that the golfers are all sporting shorts today. I plan to go out for a walk later today to take pictures of the blossoming trees. I miss the springtime when nature truly comes alive. In Mexico it always feels like summer, and there are no definitive seasons.

View of 17th hole from the deck

Yesterday my friend Ann drove me into Wenatchee. It was a tedious process, but I successfully got a sim card and had my phone activated. It’s nice to be able to call and text again and not to have to rely on WiFi to call on What’s App or Messenger. This number is now mine so that when I return next spring after wintering in Mexico, I’m good to go.

I had dinner with Ann at her home and had to share this spectacular view as we ate outside on her deck. The next best thing to ocean is the rippling water nestled among the trees. Peaceful and tranquil.

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I have a “to do” list for the coming week that will keep me busy. I plan on going to Cashmere to visit my tree and enjoy an apple fritter at the bakery. Some shopping in Wenatchee includes Bath and Body as well as Walmart. A visit to the salon is in order as I have not found anyone in Mazatlan who layers my hair properly. I intend to check out the Leavenworth Senior Center to see what activities are offered. I have several books on hold at the library here and they should be coming in this week. My life group has a pot luck Monday evening and there is a meeting for volunteers at the church on Tuesday.

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It was without saying that I want to renew acquaintances with friends I haven’t seen since I left last November. We do keep in touch on Facebook and What’s App, but it will be nice to get together again in person over coffee or a glass of wine.