Posts Tagged With: getaway


My son Doug is a blackberry engineer. Every year he comes up to his old high school haunts and picks roadside blackberries.  They are wild and free and mostly ignored by the locals. The last couple years, his friend, Jose came with him and  picked.  This year, Jose’s son, Anthony  joined the effort, learning how to pick berries like a master.

The idea is to pick at first sign of ripeness and test for the sugar content. Then return in a week  or two if the sugar isn’t just right. With so much rain, the berries are fat and juicy, but they haven’t gotten enough heat to develop the proper sweetness. Disappointing. Yet, you take what you get. This pick was only about six or seven pounds, delivered to the neighbors, intended mostly for jam or pies. Doug makes sugarless pies, so he had to add apple to the berries for our pie yesterday.  The next pick should  be the big one. He goes out with a pruning shears, gloves and long sleeves. He prunes away dead, non producing vines. He cuts off a berry laden vine,  drags it out, picks the berries and discards  the empty vines in a neat pile. He picks enough for the year and tucks them away in the freezer for Thanksgiving, Christmas and family reunion use. His youngest sister always gets a couple of pounds for jam. The blackberry engineer.

Afterward, everyone headed for the flume to cool off and play a bit.

Three year old Abbie, with mom, Norma,  was a bit uncertain at first,  but after a while, she too enjoyed the water and the ride.

Dinner afterwards was my bon voyage treat. Berries found their way into ice cream, pie, the fruit salad. And then, there was the mystery cake?

I was busy, doing something on the computer, I walked into the dining room and there was a beautiful cake sitting on my table. I tried to thank  the  most likely suspects, neighbors Karen and Jan.  Ron and Suzy. Nope!  Not them. Eventually, I found out it was ,  Jerry Baumgartner,  another neighbor. I didn’t hear or see a thing.  The cake was delicious. Thanks, Jerry.

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Located on a country road, set on the Snohomish River, seven miles from the town of Monroe, is Thunderbird Thousand Trails Resort. Foreboding clouds, spritzer rain, and cold, in contrast to our last stay here in July of 2009 when I couldn’t get enough of the beauty of this river. I must have snapped 30 pictures of melting sunsets. Where went summer?

We managed to get the exact same spot we had in 2009, near the laundry, on the river side of the resort.  We spent the morning doing household chores and didn’t get out to walk  until after dinner walk. The weather cleared, some, but summer still seems far away. Jim always comes to Monroe to catch up with friends, Mike and Vicki Coleman.  Mike is a mechanic and looks after the Bronco. Jim sold his old Bronco from this spot and had the “new” out fitted  as his “toad” that  July.  Jim’s  grammar/high school pal, Al Penta,  lives in Monroe. An avid cyclist, Al  bikes about 20 miles every morning and speeds right by the resort. Too early for us, however, and we get up at five a.m.

Across the road from us is the Family Lodge for the resort.

Someone painted a decent rendition of it on the TV dish at the Adult Lodge.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped, hilly, and cover about ten acres. This poppy is the size of a small cabbage.

Rhododendrons resemble balloons.

I’ll be making good use of the pool and hot tub here, before I leave for California on Monday.  I know the weather will clear and be sweet and sunny when I leave.  It’s Murphy’s law!

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