Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer 'Sol' Searchin'

September is here, Labor Day is through, and it's almost time to close the book on Summer 2013.  The daylight hours are whittling away a bit more each day, and the mornings & evenings are getting just a tad cooler than they were the day before.  I admit, I'm not much for being an active blogger in the summertime.  I guess when you live up in the Pacific Northwest, being one of the wettest climates in the Continental U.S., you learn to get in while the gettin' is good whenever the sun comes out.  Summer 2013 was most definitely one to be got here in Seattle.  In the past 7 summers I've lived here, this compares to no other.  The weather was consistently clear, with blue skies & sunshine, and 80 degree temps with very low humidity.  In fact, we made it through a record stretch without rain.  I don't have the facts in front of me, but it was somewhere around the ballpark figure of 30 days straight with not a drop of precipitation.  Seattle bared its 'sol' this year and it was the perfect opportunity for me to do a little 'sol' searching too.  So lemme take the opportunity to reflect.

Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage..... 
Lake side, pool side, beach side, river side...or just plain old sidewalk!  Nothing beats the Greenwood Classic Car show!  Cruise the mile and a half thoroughfare dotted with one vintage beauty after another....

Summer in Seattle sure was nice, but sometimes a girl's gotta hit the road and head south.  Run for the border to the Rose City, aka Portlandia aka Portland, OR.  June is the time when the flowers are in bloom and the Roses are Free in Peninsula Park.  But a summer just isn't a summer without a trip to the beach!  Head west to the coast and you'll run into a sweet little beach town called Manzanita.  Perfect setting to taste the salty breezes and tickle your toes in the cold Pacific surf.

Those cool rainy winters in Seattle sure can be a drag, but at least we have gorgeous flowers and plants to show for it when Summer comes to town.  Speaking of towns, what a better place to see all sorts of flora and fauna than south of Seattle proper in a quirky neighborhood called Georgetown. A little jewel tucked inside of industrial parks, railroads, and airports, you would never know the secret gardens that await you had you not gone on the Georgetown Garden Tour.  Petunias, Succulents, Hydrangeas, Roses, and Pictures of Lily(s), could be spotted in hi-definition brilliance.

As mid-summer approached, near the end of July, an amazing surprise and early birthday present was bestowed upon me.  Jimmy Flame had purchased a ticket for me to go see Paul McCartney play at Safeco Field.  My teenage dream had come true and I leaped with joy in the thought of seeing a real, living Beatle perform!  History was in the making.  Giddy & gushing as in true teenage fashion, I did get crafty once during the summer and made an applique Paul on my tee-shirt to show my undying love and devotion as a fan.  Sitting in the stadium watching a very spry Sir Paul perform for 3 hours straight at the ripe age of 71, and with my impending birthday on my mind, I learned you're never too old to ROCKLet me roll it....

Oh yes, that birthday.... they say it's my birthday (we're gonna have a good time)....It was a milestone one this year.  But a lady never reveals her age.  She will just have her cake and eat it too, thank you very much!

It's no secret that sometimes those 'milestone' birthdays cause you to question the meaning of life and where you fit in to the scheme of things.  With such pensive thoughts on the brain, another 'get outta dodge' moment was needed in search of my 'sol'.  So a short roadtrip and then a ferry ride brought Me Myself and I to Whidbey Island, where I felt like I was miles away from pressures of the city.  Time to let loose!

Beaches, blue skies, fresh air, and walks through the woods provided much needed mental clarity and renewal for my birthday'd-out brain.  Forget the fountain of youth, the key to anti-aging is a long walk deep in the forest to expand your mind!

Each day brought forth a new experience, a new answer to a question, and one step closer to being in touch with my 'sol', one sunset at a time.

If there was one take away moment I could reflect on this summer, it would be the one time I awoke extra early while at Whidbey Island to 'get up at the bum-crack of dawn to watch the sunrise'.  I'm not much of an early riser; I'd rather watch the sunset in mental peace & serenity than try to hustle out the door in the dark with morning grogginess to catch a sunrise.  But I wanted a new challenge and a new perspective of watching the sun.  Surprisingly, with no coffee in my system, I amazed myself by jumping out of bed, brushing my teeth, and hitting the ground running  at 5:30 am for the sunrise!  

So I set out on my journey from the cottage at where I was staying.  Blankets of fog covered the surrounding fields on each side of my path, and the sky above transitioned from midnight blue to medium blue.  I wasn't exactly sure where I wanted to see the sunrise; I just knew I needed to head East.  I decided that maybe I'd see the sunrise in a new a location that I had never been to on Whidbey Island and set out towards that point.  As I continued driving, the blankets of fog that were once dotting the fields here and there morphed into one thick, nearly blinding white cloud-wall.  The voice inside of me said you'll never see the sunrise in this.  So with just minutes to spare, I backtracked and decided on a sunrise destination:  Langley.  I knew the little town well and had even spent time there the day before relaxing on the water bank.  It was East and of course I'd see the sunrise there, I thought.  So Langley sunrise or bust,  I headed in that direction and the sky went from cotton ball white to clear blue.  I had finally gotten my bearings and knew my sunrise GPS was up to speed.  With just a minute before the actual sunrise time, I parked the car and walked towards the public landing near the water which faced East.  Moments after, a bright orange ball slowly rose above the peaked horizon.  The ball grew larger and more intense with every second it lifted up in the sky.  Wow...what a glorious sight to behold!  And amazingly, I was the only person to witness this!!  I continued walking around the landing area to get different view points and then I looked up at the street name which I had never noticed until then.  Well, whaddya know!?  I was on Sunrise Lane, watching one of the most magnificent sunrises!!  I chuckled to myself.

What I learned from this experience is that sometimes you just got to go after the 'unknown', trust your instincts, keep your eyes on the prize, and the answer will be obvious, looking you right back in the face.  And that makes you Happier than the Morning Sun!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my summer 'sol' search.  Looking back on it, it was quite a journey.  Pictures say a thousand words, but music is always in my heart, body, mind, and soul.  Sprinkled throughout my summer travel recap were some musical clues that I listed in bold.  Pick them out and you have the soundtrack of my summer.  Press play & enjoy!

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