Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reminiscing Young Love

I arranged to travel to Puyallup on Friday to spend time with my friend, Suzi, for the weekend.  I took a couple of days off work.  I am not going to be able to take much vacation time this year because of several projects going live at work.  I hadn't seen Suzi since the wedding and really wanted to spend some time with her.

I decided to head up early so I could have some me time to revisit all the places I remember as a young woman.  Lakewood was my first home away from Wisconsin.  Steilacoom was Bill's first home post-West Point and Infantry Basic course.  My first stop was Steilacoom.  Love it there.  It is one of the oldest towns in Washington State and is the home of lots of first.  First incorporated city in the territory in 1854.  First jail.  First sawmill.  First county seat for Pierce County.  Was almost selected the first territorial capital.  There are so many wonderful old buildings there.

It is also the place that Bill and I first fell in love.  Bill lived in a pretty crappy apartment right across from the train station and ferry dock.  But the view was fantastic.  There was a view of Ketron and Anderson Islands which is where the ferries go.  You can also see the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from there.  There is a view of the prison on McNeil Island and there is a boat that takes workers and families out to the prison from the ferry dock as well.  On a good day, there is a great view of the Olympic Mountains.

E.R. Rogers was the place Bill took me on our second date.  I had never been to such a beautiful restaurant before.  I was impressed.  It was a frequent spot for us to have many a romantic dinner or Sunday brunch.  And where we decided to have our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding.  It was built in 1891 and has been a private home, a boarding house, a rock museum and a restaurant.  It is currently an office building with a law practice and counseling practice there.  So sad that is isn't a restaurant anymore.  I have such wonderful memories of the meals the we had there.

This is what it looked like when we lived and ate there.

Bill and I liked to eat at Bair Drug and Hardware on occasion as well.  It is a living history museum.  It was built in 1895.  It is a great place for breakfast and lunch and has a soda fountain.

Bill and I used to like to go to breakfast at the restaurant at the ferry dock.  That restaurant has since burned down.  They do have a little bit of a snack shop in the lobby where you buy the ferry tickets but it isn't the same as the old place.

I arrived right as they were getting to load the ferry.  Walked around town a bit.  And then went to have a light lunch at Bair Drug and Hardware.  I had a fairly large breakfast to I wasn't that hungry.  But I wanted to soak in the place and enjoy reminiscing our time there.  So I just ordered a cup of homemade chicken noodle soup.

The next thing I did was drive around to various spots in Lakewood.  I went to see my old apartments.  Hunter's Glen was closest to Steilacoom so I went there first.  Then I headed to my first apartment at Amber Court near McChord AFB to check that out.  Then just drove down Bridgeport Way and some other streets to check the place out.  Seems more run down than a remember from 30 years ago.

Bill and I actually met through church.  There was a College and Career Group for young adults to get together for fellowship.  We went to plays, played games, went bowling, watched movies and had Bible studies.  It was a great place to meet people.

I also looked for the place we had our wedding reception--at the Lakewood Community Center.  Looked for a few other restaurants we frequented.  It was such a great afternoon to just drive around and remember a time from my young adulthood.  The only thing that would have made it better was to be able to go onto Fort Lewis to see Madigan, old Madigan, the Post Chapel where I had my wedding, and other places that I remember from that time when I was stationed there.  But too hard to get on base since 9/11.  Hopefully one day I will be able to spend more time with Suzi and she will take be on post again.

All and all it was a great couple of days.  Got to revisit old haunts and see my oldest (or should I say my longest) and best friend in the world.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Serving With Honor

Beyond proud of Tom.  He has been in the Air Force three and a half years now.  As with most young lieutenants, they take on a huge amount of responsibility at a very young age.  Not only does he go on flying missions but he has been running the squadron office and is getting ready to be an instructor and safety officer.  We got a letter from his commander this week which made us very proud.   The squadron is being awarded so I suspect everyone's families got a letter to talk about their contributions to be selected for this honor.  But there was so much personal references to the work Tom is doing that it made it a really special letter for us to get.  He has a couple of TDY assignments coming up that and he is keeping busy with starting graduate school too.  So he is a very busy young man these days. He flew with another officer on his last flight in the Air Force before retiring.  So they had a photo op with him.

Wandering in Seattle With Sarah

Chris spent a weekend in Seattle with a friend he met nearly three years ago on his trip to China.  They have kept in touch and when she and her parents came to Seattle for a Rick Steves' trip reunion, he went down to spend the weekend with them.  He found a great hostel to stay in--Hotel Hotel-for thirty dollars a night in the bunk room.  They explored the city including the Seattle Center, the Lenin statue and Fremont Troll in the Fremont District and the gum wall.  They had a great time reconnecting.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Wildcard Weekend

I didn't watch any games on Saturday.  AFC games don't really interest me that much until closer to the Super Bowl.  But I watched both of the NFC wildcard games.  I got new Packer stuff for Christmas this year.  Maddy made me a new fleece Packer blanket and her parents sent us two new handblown wine glasses in Packer green and gold.  So I got dressed up in my Packer fleece shirt and had my 2010 Super Bowl Champion t-shirt on underneath. Poured a little white wine and huddled up under my new blanket to watch the games.

I wanted the Seahawks to be the Vikings.  And they did.  It wasn't pretty and they really shouldn't have won.  Unbelievable the the Vikings kicker missed such an easy field goal attempt but anything can happen.  So the Hawks will be going to Carolina this weekend.  I was really getting discouraged with the Packer game to start.  They have had such a rough season and this game wasn't looking any better.  But they managed to turn it around and win pretty handily against Washington Redskins.  So next up in the Cardinals.  Hopefully they will play better than they did against them a few weeks ago.

There have been some comparisons about this year to the last time the Pack went to the Super Bowl.  Hopefully it will all come true again as it did 5 years ago.  GO PACK GO!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Treasure Today

Life doesn't always turn out the way we hope.  But every day that we wake up, really is a good day.  We are alive.  We go to work.  We have family to love us.  Most of us have something to be grateful for even though sometimes it doesn't feel that way when we are stressed.  We need to remember to be grateful for that and thank the Lord for his guidance and wisdom in helping us through each day.

This week was really cold.  Normally when we get snow, it disappears the next day but it held on for almost the whole week.  Because of our clear and cold weather.  I have been admiring the beautiful blue and pink skies we have had most mornings this week.  I kept thinking--I need a picture of this.  Friday I didn't need to rush to work so I decided to drive down by the fort on the way to work to try to catch it.  Friday probably wasn't the best day.  Mt. Hood was hiding in the clouds and I got there just as the sun was peaking over the mountains so I couldn't get that to die for photo of the sky that I had hoped for.  I am going to have to pay more attention a little earlier in the morning and maybe I will catch what I am really after soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year

We are starting our New Year out with a bang weather-wise. Snow is one of those things we don't see that much of here in western Washington.  And when it does come, it creates a lot of havoc since we don't have very many snowplows.  We like having it for a bit right around Christmas to put us in the mood but beyond that it is more of a nuisance than anything else.

New Years Eve was pretty quiet here at the Roller house.  Bill and I were on our own since Chris decided to go to a movie with a friend.  We got some Chinese takeout, watched a little TV and went to bed early.  New Years Day I watched the Rose Parade for the first time in a long time.  I used to watch it every year growing up but not so much anymore.  And I spent most of the day cooking--making pumpkin bread and pie and working on the turkey and dressing.  We didn't have turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year and Bill wanted oyster dressing so we had it for New Years instead.

The weather on Friday and yesterday was really cold--especially with the wind chill--but sunny.  A pleasant change from the heavy rain we had been having all last month.  I took a walk yesterday and was uncomfortably cold the second half of it.  Was glad to get back home into the warmth.

Woke up to this snow this morning.  I was expecting that we would get some but not this much.  And we are expecting freezing rain and ice to follow up the snow.  I got Chris up early.  Today was the day to drive back to school.  The weather was such at that time that it was snowing here but not much further north of us.  If he had left early, he could have beat the storm as it moved north.  But he wanted to go to church so he got a later start than I was hoping for and will have snow most of the way back.  Bill and I went out for a bit to do an errand and pick up my computer from work--just in case I can't make it to work tomorrow.  It was pretty slick out there.

Bill and I are back to the quiet of our empty nest.  Always good to have the boys come home but always glad to have our new normal back too.  Hoping for a wonderful 2016 ahead.