February Letter from Lance…..

Friends,                                                                                                     February 21, 2017

Big time Winter here in Western Washington….coldest December on record and we were snowed in for three days…only 6 inches of snow but it melted and became ice at night…we finally got out one afternoon and got supplies.  We fed the birds and critters.

Leslie took down the Christmas wreath on the front door, brought it inside and strung apple halves on it smeared with peanut butter and covered with bird seed then hung it on the fence in our back yard.  Suddenly we had a hungry crew out there snarfing the apples, including two seagulls who weren’t interested but wanted to see what was going on.  A wood duck came by, too, and he scooped up the birdseed in the snow.  By Sundown the apples were gone, so she reloaded it for the next day.

We were cozy and cooked up a storm and really enjoyed the beauty of the snow-covered trees and yards.  Now, we have rain and will set a new record for the month – the old record was 8 inches and we are already there.  We don’t mind the rain as it is still so beautiful here – the snow-covered mountains turn pink and magical in the fading sunlight at dusk.  The good news is that the days are getting longer at 2 ½ minutes a day and when the Sun is out, it is glorious.

Check out the park just down the road from our house at www.birchbaywebcam.com.  The beach in the foreground extends out 50 yards from the shore at low tide which gives us a huge area to dig for clams and walk.  Lots of wandering two lane roads here and one of our faves goes to Sumas, pop 3,000 or so.

After driving out of the hills we come upon acres and miles of farm land.  The topography amazes me as there is so much valuable farmland and pasture flat as a table just before you get to the forested foothills of the Cascades and snow covered mountains.  Dairy farms line the road and you can smell them way before you get there.  Something like 100 small dairy farms just in this county.

So, when you get to Sumas, signs are up:  Milk @ $1.99 a gallon, butter for $2.49/lb.  The Canadians live four miles away in Abbotsford, BC and come across the border to stock up on these goodies and gasoline, all much higher where they live.  There’s a big train yard there, too.  Filled with stacks of lumber that comes in from Canada.  Trains are everywhere carrying wood, oil, and coal.  The locals are fighting the coal shipments as they are so dirty.

It’s nice to live in a blue state where they really care about the environment.  In the cities, there are two signs before you cross a bridge over a stream.  One sign names the stream.  The other sign has a picture of a fish and the message:  This stream is in your hands.  Enough said.

They serve tartar sauce with fries here.  But I haven’t seen one state flag.  They are everywhere in Texas.  Not here.  The only flag they fly other than the Stars and Stripes is the one for their pro football team, the Seahawks.  The Mexican food here is better than we had in Corpus Christi – amazing and delightful.  In general, everything is much more sophisticated here and our state leaders were the first to fight Dump’s immigration orders.  Bravo for Washington!  Bottom line:  we have been acclimatized by the cold north wind out of Canada and snow, and now really enjoy the normal temps of 50 in the afternoon and the low of 40.  it’s also amazing how temperate this area is for being so far north due to the ocean current nearby – it rarely freezes.  And on the radio, the CBC, cousin to the BBC) broadcasts informative stuff, but I have to get used to the Celsius temps- “what? It’s only going to be 5 degrees today”  cluck, cluck, cluck.  We’re happy and staying.

3 thoughts on “February Letter from Lance…..

  1. Sandy

    The Birch Bay view from the link you gave us was beautiful – but it was just an addition to the already WONDERFUL images you give us with your stories!!! Thank you! Loved the kind gesture of Leslie’s apple slices with peanut butter and bird seed for your wild visitors!
    Enjoy it all….it sounds like your health continues strong – and your new home is ideal!!!


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