Killing Spree. That was his name. I remember thinking, “Who gives themselves the name Killing Spree?” He looked creepy enough. Dark, frightening images snaked around his heavily tattooed arms. His uniform of choice was always a T-shirt with images of Satan or bloodied gore.
Killing Spree. Hm. Killing what, exactly? Continue reading
“Mama! I see Grammy!”
Sarah waved to her grandmother as they pulled up the gravel driveway to the old Victorian house on the hill overlooking the busy waterfront across the street.
As soon as the van stopped, Sarah was out the door in a flash, not even needing her mother to unbuckle the car seat. There was no such thing as Sarah-proofing anything. Grammy bent down and gave Sarah’s blonde head a quick kiss, and then hugged her until she got tired of the bear hug and wriggled free. Continue reading
My parents didn’t move far from Yarrow Point where Dad grew up. They bought a cozy little house on Clyde Hill and settled in to raise their little family. So I came of age in what I call Retro Bellevue—now home to upscale shopping malls, expensive condos, conference centers, and towering buildings.
Back in my day, however, I referred to Bellevue as the City of Short Buildings. Even calling Bellevue a city seemed a stretch back then. The town felt more like Mayberry. Us kids wandered the streets, walked to corner stores, rode the ferris wheel at Kiddyland, and drank root beer floats with our moms at Newberry’s lunch counter. There were monkeys in the window of Nordstrom Shoes, a raccoon cage in the middle of the roller coaster, and a drinking bar for watering all the free-roaming dogs outside Frederick & Nelson’s north entrance at The Square. Continue reading
My dad’s family were hunters. My mom was repulsed by the bloody impulse that overtook her new family each autumn. Any time Mom expressed her feelings, my grandmother would say, “You knew what you were getting into when you married into this family.” So my mother usually kept quiet, shuddering on the inside while her in-laws hung that season’s kill to bleed in the barn.
I grew up in that environment. Going to my family’s property in North Central Washington was a beautiful trip I looked forward to, but the gore and bloodshed during Hunting Season was more than I could handle. A sensitive child, it upset me to look into the dead eyes of such magnificent creatures.
When feeling particularly frustrated with my latest crying jag, Grandma would sometimes confuse me with my mother, and she’d tell me it was my fault for choosing to be part of this family. Really, Grandma? I don’t remember choosing which womb to bring me forth.
Eventually my dad and grandparents stopped taking me with them to the family’s cabin during Hunting Season. A child wailing loudly over the death of Bambi’s mother or father evidently wasn’t conducive to enjoying the family’s favorite blood sport.
what you were getting into
when you chose
to be part of this family.
My grandparents front yard on Yarrow Point looking across Yarrow Bay to the Lake Washington Shipyards. The Kalakala ferry was being worked on at the time of this photo.
My parents married in September (I think), but the anniversary they celebrated was the day they met. Opening Day of boating season. I always thought that was romantic and sweet, which is a bit ironic because “romantic” and “sweet” aren’t words I’d ever use to describe my parents. Or their relationship. I knew them when they were older and settled, however, and no longer the romantics they evidently were in their youth. Continue reading
My daughter and I went for a walk at a local park last month and I took a few photos just to document the change of the seasons. Every season has its beauties.
There was something a little bit Monet-like about the algae on the pond. Almost looked like lily pads if you didn’t look too closely. All of this summer’s baby ducks at the pond have grown up now.
The dock at the park is what’s being reflected in the pond. Almost looks like spider webs where you can see the wire from the railing.
The lines made from the cattails and the ripples were fun.
I love this one. 🙂
For a few more photos I also took at Mill Pond Park (that were taken about a month before these), go here:
A few random photos at the park
When Rob’s mother died, I had mixed feelings. Phyllis and I had a flimsy, at best, relationship. The only thing we shared in common was our love for Rob. My love for him was the romantic and strong love of a spouse for a partner in both life and parenting. Phyllis loved the man we shared fiercely, possessively, proudly—as only the mother of an only son can really love.
Now, all that was left of Phyllis and her love was hidden away in the blue and white ceramic urn on our mantle, awaiting inurnment at Hebron Cemetery next month. Suddenly my teenage daughter’s voice broke into my quiet reflections about love and death.
“Hey, Mom! The cat just sprayed on Grandma’s urn!” Continue reading