We are well,...there’s a cold fog outside this morning. The temperature is 35, but no wind – flags are limp, it’s dead calm. So it's really not uncomfortable here in Birch Bay. The humidity helps the comfort level, too and the air is so clean and good. When the Sun peaks out, a “sun-break” the weatherman call it, warmth is immediate. We’ve gotten accustomed to the weather here. I’ve always been drawn to hot weather, grew up in it and have never vacationed in the snow. So I somewhat expected not to like the weather here while contemplating the move back in sunny Corpus Christi. Wrong. And it’s a good lesson to this stubborn Taurus that changes are not always going to be predictable or negative. We both love the crisp temperatures and changing weather here. The forest is just as beautiful in the rain. And bare Birch tree branches now let us see into the woods deeper to admire usually hidden cottages with a small lake in the front yard, hideaways you wish you owned. We’ve been here long enough now to notice farmers rotating their crops. Corn was there last year, and now there’s a green carpet of alfalfa with a good headstart covering the same acres. Green yards and pastures. White snow on the mountains around us. Winter is gentle and not offensive here, the beauty remains. We call ourselves “local” now.
No shortage of Christmas trees with the forests all around us. Just pay ten bucks to get a tag that lets you cut one (up to 12 feet) on the national forests and parks to take home. Christmas tree farms are on the back roads locally, too – my kind of Business and what you don’t sell becomes this giant evergreen in your backyard – fabulous. A positive sign is that we saw 20-30 Trumpeter swans out in a cornfield one afternoon and then read in the paper this once endangered bird has made a comeback and will now be returning to Washington to winter. They were huge, blindingly white and beautiful.
We both laughed reading that they delayed the commercial Dungeness crab season set to begin in December for two weeks to give the crabs time to “fatten up.” Washington state officials want more meat on the claw before they allow commercial harvesting. I’m ready. I’ll get one and eat it standing up in front of the kitchen sink cracking it open and getting all the meat out, messy but tasty. Fishing rights, in general, are a big deal here.
Some Indian tribes have claim to the harvests. And it seems to me that the Native Americans get more respect and are stronger here than my early days in Oklahoma where Indians were treated so poorly. I just saw a piece on tv explaining the services and programs of the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation – it was inclusive and well done. And I read in the paper the Lummi members are fighting again – they are all a part of the news and world here and important to more than just the tribal members.
I still haven’t seen a Washington state flag out anywhere. People who live in Bellingham are called Bellinghamsters. Love it. Leslie throws goobers (peanuts) out in the backyard and whistles. Earl, the squirrel, shows up in five minutes and comes back repeatedly to get them all. Birdseed is out and draws a crowd. A crow came by yesterday. Our Winter rituals return with our Winter visitors. I’m asking Santa for more aces on the poker table this year. And better days are ahead. Skim over this issue when you can. Times have changed.
Merry Christmas! We say. And Happy New Year!