Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The morning before cousin Bob arrived, Melissa invited me to go canoeing on nearby Lake Kokanee.
It isn't a very big lake, just right sized, with smooth as glass waters.
She steered and we both paddled. I brought my small back-up camera and didn't realize the lens was spotted.
I learned to paddle and she likes canoeing better than kayaking. She finds the stroke relaxing and easy to enjoy.
We were surrounded with beauty. The lake has picturesque little inlets.
The weather was beautiful, perfect for photos.
Kind of like an abstract painting.
We saw two boats in this quiet floating painting. Perfect. The lake does not allow motors.
Then yesterday, David and Melissa took us for a scenic drive, through Shelton, Potlach, and on to Hoodsport and above to view the High Steel Bridge. I think we traveled, north, south, east and west. My sense of geography and direction are not to be depended upon. We stopped here, hoping to get a glimpse of Mt. Rainer. Can you see it? Neither could we. It was totally under cloud cover, but what a lovely little valley.
I caught a glimpse of a little spot of fall.
We probably spent an hour on the bridge, trying for the perfect photo of this deep canyon, with a thin stream of falls to one side.
The Skykomish River forged this deep canyon eons ago.
A triple fall replenishes this portion of the canyon. On everyone's lips, "We should come see this canyon during winter." Of course, the falls would be spectacular.
We kept taking picture after picture.
But who can question mother nature's plan.
We returned to the site and enjoyed our last meal together and said our goodbyes, with promises to meet again soon, now that we've gotten to know each other. And, I'm sure we will. I'm so grateful we were able to re-connect with cousins, meet Melissa and their little dog, Toby, and enjoy new adventures.
Monday, September 1, 2014
We are parked at my Cousin David Moore's get-a-way camp. His wife Melissa took me on a first adventure, canoeing on Lake Kokanee in the morning. Another cousin, Bob Moore joined us at noon. We toasted our get-together and talked about family and it was interesting to compare our basic family experiences.
The Moores, from right to left, my father William, Bob's father, John, David's father, Ward, then brother's Dan and Leonard front row left with our grandmother, Lydia. Sisters Mary, born after Leonard and Adele, the oldest child in the family and George the youngest in the family. Bob was wondering about the order of their births. It surprises us what we forget or failed to think about growing up.
David's family, Eva, Ward, David, sister's Joan and Gail. A younger brother Bruce, I have no pictures of. The Ward Moores were city folks and lived most of their life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ward worked several levels of factory work at Harnischfeger for 30 years. He died at 79.
I only have one picture with Bob at about age seven, with his mother, grandmother and sister Diane. He has an older brother, who was probably taking this picture.
Bob's father was a submarine Commander at the top of his military career and died young at age 52. Bob was only 16 years old when his Dad died. John, (we called him Uncle Jack) was away from home a great deal.
My father was a farmer, logger, welder, laborer, jack of all trades. We moved around a lot. Our fathers did not attend high school, because there was no high school close enough for them to attend without getting their own transportation. My dad died at age 64.
The youngest sister, Mary, recently died at age 94. She is the source of much of our family history. But what we discovered during this time together were some strong, similar family traits.
It behooves me to explain that I hadn't seen David in over 60 years. And Bob and David hadn't seen each other in 43 years. It wasn't because our families were estranged, it was the simple economics of the times.
My father, his brother's Dan and George, his sisters Adele and Mary, all migrated to the West coast.
Ward, Leonard, and Jack stayed in the Mid-west. Realize that in the 40's and 50's, making a long distance phone call was prohibitively expensive for average working people. People then didn't necessarily have gobs of vacation time nor did they go flying across country in airplanes. You either drove or took a train. Everyone kept in touch by letter, which was a woman's responsibility.
David moved to the West Coast about 12 years ago from Pennsylvania. Both he and his wife Melissa are educators.
Bob moved West in 1974 and I've had contact with he and his brother Jim off and on in California. Bob is retired from being a Fireman.
What we learned was that our father's ruled the roost. They were strict and we all lived in fear of their wrath. They shared a common frugality.
David's parents rented out rooms in order to help pay for their first house. When that was paid for, they lived in a duplex where again, the renter helped pay the freight. Our father's rarely talked about their personal past, nor discussed family business with their kids. David said that age 12, his father announced, "Mother has a job, and you are now the cook." And, just like that he had to learn to prepare meals.
My father was promoted to a foreman at the factory where he worked. He didn't want to be in a position to fire friends, so without saying a word to my mother, he quit his job, and moved us to a cheaper, smaller rental. My mother got a job cleaning fish and we kids had to instantly learn to fend for ourselves until he got another job.
Bob's family, the income was regular, his mother didn't work, but his father was absent a lot. So, mother would be less strict, then when Jack came home, he'd lay down the law and the household had to accommodate and switch to a different set of rules.
Our fathers were frugal, no waste, use everything. Pinch pennies. Stretch a nickel.
Twice when my dad was out of work, my oldest brother went to work and sent money home to help out. I worked the cafeteria at school for a free lunch, so it wasn't necessary to pack my lunch. I babysat and bought most of my clothes for school.
David had a job and turned over the money he earned to his dad. He wanted a motorcycle so he secretly worked a second job, bought the motor cycle and stored it in a friend's garage. Of course, his father found out, and without a word, sold the motor cycle and kept the money.
Bob claims he really wants to be a recluse. David says he has a bit of that in himself. We differ greatly in that regard. But, my brother Bill is much like that, a loner. He has lived alone for at least 30 years. Bill married twice, my other four brothers and my sister, married once, divorced and never married again.
The Moore brother's were never demonstative, they didn't use the "L" word, couldn't say "I Love You" even to their wives. Never a hug, or a kiss, or a pat on the rear in public. Maybe it was a generational thing, but I think not.
Our grandmother divorced our grandfather, and not even Aunt Mary knew why. Lydia did tell her, Bill Sr., our grandfather was good to her daughter Adele, from a previous marriage, and he was a hard worker. She gave him credit for that.
Bob became a rambler, and took up hitchhiking at age sixteen worrying his mother sick while he was on the bum. He wondered all over the United States, riding the rails, hitchhiking and living from pillar to post.
My Dad struck out on his own at age 17.My father bummed around the country before marriage, those many years ago.
Adele left home at age 13, found a job and eventually married.
Independence, frugality, wanderlust, learn to make do. That is what life was like.
I'm looking forward to future contact with my West Coast cousins. Family is still a strong connection, even at this late state of affairs.
My parents were hardworking, loyal, and of their time, just as we are of our time.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Melissa and David took us for a drive around lake Cushman, a very scenic lake.
It is about 10:am and misty, rain in the forecast.
The shoreline changed dramatically as we drove.
We stopped for lunch at the Geoduck Tavern. Pronounced gooey-duck, this giant clam is one of the longest lived organisms with an average life of 100 years. I thought it was a fake trophy, but they really grow to such huge sizes. They are edible, but kind of like chewing on an inner tube, so we ordered the usual fare, clam chowder and oyster sandwich for me.
My favorite ham wanted his picture taken with the black bear.
The restaurant had mighty hunter trophys all over the walls and silly signs. This one gave me a chuckle.
We came to a couple places on the lake where we could get out and scout the beach a bit. This was a very pretty spot.
Oyster country here, many spots with bleached shells via the gulls, I'm guessing.
Shallow water and oysters growing very close to shore.
We stopped and picked wild apples, but they weren't quite ready yet.
If I painted my house and outbuildings like this, people would think me crazy. I like it though. This house sits on Hamma Hamma Rd. just across the Hamma Hamma Bridge that crosses the Hamma Hamma River. We met the father of the girl who rents the place since the road was so narrow he couldn't get by us. We are such encroachers. But he was fine with our admiration of the artwork.
At one stop I watched for about ten minutes while these guys launched their boat.
That water is glacier cold. Brrrrrr! I guess it is worth it to them. They fish and ski with it.
Then we drove to Cushman Dam, the area is steep above the water and very picturesque. Melissa and David had never visited the Dam. We made several stops for pictures. We are running close to our recycle time, so I must not publish too many pictures at this time. Another cousin, Bob Moore, will be visiting us today.
I'll be sure to warn him that this is rain forest area and if he allows his vehicle to sit too long, it will gain a roof garden.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
From Aberdeen, Washington, Melissa and David Moore invited us to their campsite at Lake Cushman Park. My father and David's father were brothers. We're not sure how long its been since we met. We do know it has been over 60 years. That black ball of fur is Toby.
Our ancestry connects us, but we found we have a lot in common, love of nature and books, and pets. For instance, we both were familiar with the small house movement. David went to see one of those 124 square foot places, but that was a bit too small. He built this neat cabin where he and his wife can get out of the rain and the confines of their small trailer and sit in a leisure chair and read, enjoy a snooze like a mini living room. A small footprint in the middle of a rainforest.
A towering alder forest behind them leads to a delightful creek.
A fallen alder stretches across the spongy duff of mosses and dead leaves. I estimated its height at 70 feet.
Two of them provide a bench at the side of the creek, David's favorite spot. The quiet, burbling water, cool temperature, a personal haven.
Melissa has her own favored place that looks upon her private "beach".
Of course, this creek roars and rises and gushes through this woods in winter.
The mosses remind us of Louisiana.
They eat into every crevice.
David pointed out to us that this property was once an old growth forest. Average rain here is 100 inches and this is known as the dry side of the Olympic Penninsula. Huge stumps are a reminder of the lust for timber. The area was clear cut years and years ago. Like the Louisiana cypress, men in their folly cut every giant tree.
On this particular stump, he pointed out, you can see where the logger cut a crevice and inserted a shelf to stand on while sawing the tree down, something hard to contemplate. It was most likely a dangerous business to be a sawyer.
This forest may never be the same again, but with people like Melissa and David, in private lots and ownership, it is unlikely to fall to the axe and saws again, though it is questionable if it will ever regrow those giant trees. (I forgot to ask what they were. Possibly redwoods.) But, mother nature, if given the chance...who knows? In the meantime, we can all enjoy the beauty and appreciate nature.