Friends, Jan 4, 2019
Old Man Winter has been slapping us around of late. Storm after storm has blown through our area with winds near 60 mph. And lots of rain. But it’s been mild with the highs sitting near 50 degrees and the lows each night in the 40s. A tornado hit Port Orchard, about 125 miles to our south, a few weeks ago and did some real damage. Not only were roofs blown off but the big problem was huge trees falling on cars and houses. I grew up in tornado alley Oklahoma where the trees are not big, maybe 30 feet tall and they didn’t really do much damage when they fell. Here we have 100 ft pines that almost cut a house in half when they crash down on the roof. Power lines were down all over town, too, and crews will be working with chainsaws for a couple of days to just clear the roads of fallen trees. But that is a rare, very rare event for Western Washington. All we worry about when the storms come in is losing power. So I have stashed flashlights in our bedrooms to be ready in case it happens – old boy scout training. The Winter storms have chased in flocks of Canadian Snow geese to our area. We see them out in the cornfields in groups of 10 to 100 – huge, beautiful birds you can spot feeding in the stubble from a mile away. All this blustery weather keeps the soup pots going in all the local restaurants and clam chowder is always in one of the pots – my favorite. Big Signs up are up here in Birch Bay announcing “the Polar Bear Plunge” on New Year’s Day. Not me. Not Leslie or Pete. But there were hundreds of hardcore souls who jump into the cold waters of the bay and freeze their tooties off that morning. The event here on New Year’s eve is much more civil as folks all around the bay hold up torches flares, and other light sources that night and create a “Ring of Fire and Hope” which is quite dramatic and makes us all realize we are neighbors and friends living in this beautiful spot on the Washington coast.
Leslie has added a holiday spirit to our house with big poinsettias in the living room and a cheerful wreath on the front door. We keep it pretty simple over Christmas and New Years. I ’ve been talking about doing a prime rib for Christmas dinner for a long time, and this year we did one. I know, time is flying. We are kinda stunned we’ve been here in Birch Bay for almost three years, long enough for me to forget all the names of the streets in Corpus Christi and our old stomping grounds. We’re still amazed we packed things up and made the move so late in life. And now we are settled in and feel like locals driving down the two-lane farm roads enjoying the scenery and clam chowder when we stop for lunch.
We wish you all a Happy New Year. Thanks for your love and support. We begin 2019 with high energy and lots of very good days in the Skywatch – make some plans and put something positive and healing on your agenda in January.
But be sure to read ahead and get all the details before you set up anything important.