Remembering the Walke

Both my late father and Laura’s father served in the US Navy in WWII. Dad talked a little about doing MP patrols in Paris and being stationed in Guam, but really didn’t talk about the war. Mr. Wright was also reticent to talk about the way. I guess some experiences are just too hard to discuss. Now they are both gone, and those stories with them. However, there is one story from Mr. Wright that was told to Laura, not about WWII, but his later service in the Korean War. It was the story about how his ship, the USS Walke, was torpedoed in the Sea of Japan. Continue reading Remembering the Walke

Prairies, Marshes, and Beaches

I’m still trying to catch up after a whirlwind holiday travel season. Given our upcoming activities, I’ll probably be trying to catch up for the next month or so. Regardless, while we are in Florida we like to get out into nature as much as we can. This holiday season we were able to visit Kissimmee Prairie, the Stick Marsh at the Sebastian River Preserve, and several beaches. Continue reading Prairies, Marshes, and Beaches

Winter Solstice Full Moon Drum Circle

The Christmas Dinosaurs have been put away and the trees taken down. We’ve been catching our breath before ramping up for the next round of madness. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. There were paddle trips, swamp outings, drum circles, and we even celebrate a major milestone. All of this, while wrapping up 2018 and seeing in 2019 in grand fashion. Over the next several posts I’m going to try to summarize the Winter Holiday happenings. Continue reading Winter Solstice Full Moon Drum Circle

Mason and Nell’s Wedding Weekend in Chicago

Mason and Nell

Last weekend my nephew, Mason Taylor, married his sweetheart, Ashley Nell Buettner. Laura and I made the trek to Chicago for the weekend. It was the first time I’d spent any significant time in the city, apart from passing through airports. Even though it was in the midst of the turmoil of packing and getting ready to move back to South Carolina, we had a great time with family and friends. Continue reading “Mason and Nell’s Wedding Weekend in Chicago”

Family Scoundrels and Overcomers

Burdick Printing

When you start digging into family history you’re bound to uncover some scoundrels. In my own family I’ve got Samuel Campbell Clegg, who was hanged as a British spy at Star Fort during the Revolutionary War. Then there are the two uncles that spent time in prison, one of whom I visited when he was incarcerated. Of one branch of our family a fellow genealogy researcher said, “They weren’t nuthin’ but horse thieves and ne’er-do-wells.”

Here in Washington we’ve uncovered at least one potential scoundrel in Laura’s family. While his story is interesting, I think the real story is that of his daughter, Vinnie Alethia Reed Burdick, Laura’s great-grandmother, and her ability to overcome what could have been a disastrous family situation. Continue reading “Family Scoundrels and Overcomers”

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Roozengaarde Tulips-093

To say that tulips are a big deal in the Skagit Valley would be a massive understatement. Just looking around the town of Mount Vernon one sees a huge smoke painted with tulips and tulip motifs worked into architecture and bridges. Several business are named for the flowers, such as the Tulip Inn. It’s a big business and it all comes to a head during the month of April when the tulips are in bloom. That’s when the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place. Continue reading “Skagit Valley Tulip Festival”