All posts by Dona

Some Delights in Olympia

On Sunday we arrived in Olympia after a 6 hour flight, 1 hour wait for a rental car, and 45 minute drive. While not exactly not delightful, also not at all dreadful. Everyone was kind, no one was nasty, even in the rental car line.

The first delight was when we arrived at our delightful Airbnb. The host left me a long note and two gift cards for local food vendors because, she said, she was happy we were returning and because the house next door is going through a remodel starting this week. Isn’t that delightfully thoughtful of her?

Our next delight was a 3-hour sailboat trip on the Schooner Pterodactyl that started at 4. Clare mentioned that she wanted to do it and we booked what turned out to be the last sail of the season. Clare invited three friends and we all brought goodies. It was beautiful, peaceful (except for when I was almost tossed overboard), and the food and conversation were delightful.

Yesterday we had a delightful walk through a mini rainforest a 4 minute drive from our Airbnb. This was my second or third time there and it was as lovely as I remembered. I brought Rupert and Chum along and near the end of the walk a little girl exclaimed in delight to her mother “Look, she has a bear!” Of course I stopped and introduced her to Rupert and Chum. The little girl said she had a friend in her mother’s backpack and begged her mother to get out the friend. It turned out to be a small Orca whale named (I think) Stash. Stash, Rupert and Chum chatted for a bit, posed for a group photo and then we all parted ways after assuring the little girl that we’d chat again next time we met up at the park.

I finally met Clare’s cat, Milk (or Ghost depending on the day). It was delightful to meet him but I am not sure he found me delightful. I scolded him for scratching on the sofa and must have hurt his feelings because he didn’t warm up to me while we were there visiting yesterday. I’m here for two weeks, so perhaps I can win him over.

Last night Dean grilled chicken, pork, eggplant, mushrooms and tofu for a delightful Labor Day feast for Clare, Pete and me.

A Dream

I’m still getting used to the time change and have been getting up way too early. I took a nap today to make up for my lack of sleep. I feel like I may have drifted off and woke up several times until I finally fell asleep long enough to dream.

It was one of those dreams that seemed very real. I was in Elgin with my parents. I kept kissing the top of my dad’s head, happy he was with us. He seemed happy that I was happy. See, he’d died and then a month later he was alive again. Alive and well — no dementia. Alive and kind — no alcoholism.

Later he was driving me somewhere and I said to him, “Dad, you know that what happened to you has never happened to anyone ever, right?” He asked me what I meant and I told him that we thought he was lost to us, but he was back. And fixed.

I woke up then and it took me a while to remember that I was on vacation in Olympia and that my dad was, in fact, still dead. I also, in those few waking seconds remembered that I’d dreamed this same sort of dream many times, but never remembered them.

I don’t really know what it means, although I have a clue that I will keep to myself for now.

Dad and me, circa 1958

World of Wonders: Peacock

I didn’t think I would have a reply to Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s essay on the peacock because I have little experience with the bird. Once I saw one on the roof of a farmhouse in northern Illinois, another time I saw and heard them at a public garden somewhere and then there were the few at that alligator tourist attraction near Orlando, Florida.

Nezhukumatathil doesn’t necessarily focus on peacocks, but on her relationship with them — how she loved them, seeing they all over the place on a trip to India, and how she drew one for an animal drawing contest in grade school, only to be told that the assignment was to draw an American animal. That’s something I can sort of identify with, a teacher calling me out on my artwork involving a bird.

In my case the bird in question was a turkey and in my case I only had to color it, not draw it. We were told to color our turkeys and bring them to the teacher so she could write our names on them for name tags for our desks. When I brought my finished turkey to my fourth grade teacher, made fun of the way I colored it and refused to write my name on it. This is the same teacher that told me I couldn’t sing. To this day I don’t even try to do artwork, even coloring in those grown-up coloring books. Nor do I sing out loud within hearing distance of anyone other than family (and that only rarely).

Aimee Nezhukumatathil finally got over her self-professed hatred of the color blue and finally admitted that peacock blue is her favorite color. In my case — I have not gotten over the stings of criticism from Mrs. Tidwell.

Peacock at Jungle Adventures in Florida