Friends, September 7, 2017
The pictures on TV of Harvey's destruction of our old stomping grounds, Rockport, and the worry for our friends in Corpus Christi took their toll on both of us over the last few weeks - tears came along for the ride. But we also had great relief that we were NOT there. We had been through two hurricane evacuations when we lived in Lamar and knew the gut wrenching fear of watching a red ball of hate on the weather channel radar get closer and closer. And leaving with the kitty in the bathroom and no way to know if our house would still be there when we got back. Horrible experience. And now again in another state. We send our prayers to them all, and we know how awful it is.
What helped take our mind off of the storm was a visit from Leslie's cousin, Jane, from Dallas. She's a lovely Cancer we chauffeured around the three little towns nearby. Our address is Blaine which is a charming little town built on a ridge top overlooking a small marina and bay. It's a fabulous setting for a bar that hosts poker games every Sunday - 25 bucks and you get into a real Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament - deal me in.
Ferndale is also about 8 miles down the road. Good grocery store there and huge baskets of pink petunias on every street lamp. Lynden is also nearby and is the city founded by the Dutch with the two 42-foot windmills in town. The real action around here is in Bellingham, Pop. 100k, which is 15 miles south of us. The original courthouse from the last century is still strong and an anchor to a sweet downtown area. The main street is tree-lined Railroad, and it lays out and feels exactly like Berkeley in the 1960's. Pizza, crepes, bagels, burritos, elk burgers-lots of choices in the small store fronts/joints all catering to the 20k students at Western Washington University who come down from the hills to check out the used clothing stores and coffee shops - the buildings on their campus are scattered on a forested hillside overlooking the bay - fabulous. We like to hit the Bagelry for a light lunch and pick up bagels for tomorrow's breakfast. The Russian meat pies are also great to take home - lots
of Russian folks here - you can't miss the accents. At the end of Railroad St. is a steel-beamed building with a glass roof and huge glass garage doors that are open in the sunshine and closed in the rain. This is where the Saturday Farmer's Market is held. Jane loved the crowd and goodies to see and taste. We then took her to Taco Lobo, our fav Mex spot.
Having Jane light up at the Farmer's Market and reviewing with her all the things we love about Western Washington was good medicine for seeing the sadness on tv. The one spot she missed was the local bar with 15 pinball games upstairs. Old technology is my strength. I hung out at a bowling alley in my younger years and would watch this big dude (he was 16) play a pinball game and win free games - I copied his style of when to hit it and how to use the flippers and developed into a minor league pinball wizard. I searched every spot in Corpus Christi, and there wasn't one pinball game in town. Here I have 15 to choose from, and there's another pinball emporium on the other side of town I haven't checked out yet. Diggity. It's therapy to me, and I solve the problems of the world keeping the steel ball moving - the payoff is a loud "KNOCK." Which means I scored enough to win a free game. I always like to leave a free game ready in the machine when I leave cuz I know some young kid like me will go down the row of machines and hit the free game button on each one just to see if someone left one still to play. And bingo, he will get a free game that I leave and be smiling that someone was so dumb to leave it in the machine. It's a great feeling I remember well - miracles do happen.