As promised, here are some of the highlights of the last year.
We arrived in Tacoma in mid-June and moved into our apartment at Franke Tobey Jones (temporary until one of the duplexes on campus came available.) There wasn’t a lot of room, and even less once all the boxes were delivered.
We did enjoy the folks we lived with there, and still see them regularly at social events and around the campus.
We hadn’t been here long before we found the restaurants and views along the Sound, just at the bottom of our hill.
One of the first things we did was take the ferry across to Vashon Island and drive around all over the island.
The first trip we went on with the community here on the Franke Tobey Jones bus was to Mt. Rainier. On a clear day it’s visible from all over Tacoma, and I’ve come to judge the weather by whether we can see the mountain or not.
In July we found our church, Bethany Presbyterian Church, which is about as different from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church as could possibly be. Bethany has fewer than 100 members - Preston Hollow has over 2800. Bethany is much more liberal than Preston Hollow. There are many other differences, but gospel is preached and social justice ministries are important in both.
We discovered Point Defiance Park, on the other side of the fence in front of our apartment, and spent many happy hours driving around in old-growth forest, looking at wildlife, and seeing spectacular views of the sound.
The next trip was a boat ride out of Seattle on Elliott Bay to “Meet the Fleet”, also sponsored by the community.
We came back from that to find a large Marquee on the front lawn, all set up for the Annual Picnic.
Also during August the community sponsors an open air concert every Thursday night. Lots of neighbors come, bring their lawn chairs, and enjoy the music in the cool of the evening.
Also, in August, Tobey Jones took us on a trip to Mt. Saint Helens. At one time Mt. Saint Helens looked very much like Mt. Rainier. And then 33 years ago yesterday, the whole top blew off the volcano. All of these majestic mountains around here are still active volcanos, and we occasionally have earthquakes and worry that Mt. Rainier will blow up, too.
In August, Bethany had a potluck picnic at Spanaway Park and we explored more of the surrounding countryside. and we got to listen to our church’s Blue Grass Band Loose Cannon. (Yep, that’s Santa Claus playing lead guitar).
Toward the end of the month we had the first appearance of the Peace Cranes at Bethany.
Franke Tobey Jones sponsored a dinner for all the residents in independent living in September. It was a Hoedown, with barbecue and live entertainment.
Toward the middle of the month Al and I took several days and drove around the Olympic Peninsula. First up to Port Angeles, where you can see Canada in the distance across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca.
Then by Crescent Lake,
Then down to the seashore at Pacific Beach where the Navy has a military recreation area. We looked at the waves and watched the seagulls and enjoyed the cloudy, cooler weather. (We didn’t have any rain from mid-July until mid-October.
Franke Tobey Jones sponsored a trip to Vashon Island. We took the bus on the ferry and went out to visit the lighthouse across the Sound from Sea-Tac Airport.
My mother’s cousin died the end of October, and since she was the last remaining person of her generation, I packed up and traveled to Texarkana for her funeral. I had to fly down (because of the short notice) and I vow I will never fly again. I went Space Available on #1 son’s employee ticket, and both planes were packed (I almost didn’t make it on board). Couple that with the fact that it was a red-eye flight from Sea-Tac to Chicago, and I wasn’t a pretty sight. I did get a chance to visit with my brother and his family who picked me up from DFW Airport and my sister and her family in Texarkana. Bill (#2 son) drove up from Covington, LA, and got me and I had a week-long visit with him. I got to see his new house (which they moved into in August). Then I rode the train (the City of New Orleans) back to Chicago and from Chicago took the train (the Empire Builder) back to Portland, with a ride from Portland to Tacoma on the Amtrak Cascade. It was very enjoyable – much more so than the flight down – but I had picked up a cold from my granddaughter, so I wasn’t fit company on the train.
Al and I had Thanksgiving Dinner at Franke Tobey Jones. and really enjoyed it. (At least I didn’t have to cook or clean-up.)
They go all out here at Tobey Jones for Christmas. I think they have 18 (or maybe it’s 21) decorated trees, as well as all the other decorations in the public areas.
They also have a lovely sit-down dinner, catered by food services that all the independent residents are invited to.
Bethany had a Christmas play where they performed “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
I invited a family from church to be my family at the Children’s Christmas Party here on campus – kid food, snacks, a magician, Santa Claus, and more.
Big Al and I had a great Christmas. It was quiet, but very nice. We went to the Lobster Shop for dinner, and spent the afternoon groaning from eating too much.
It looks like this post is getting too long again, so I’ll finish off with the early part of 2013 tomorrow. Stay tuned for the big move to OUR DUPLEX in January.