Saturday, October 17, 2015

Flip flops walk

This post is still about the Vashonistas - six women bloggers who have gathered for a weekend each October for four years. The flip flops walk happened over two weeks ago, but I still remember it well as an unexpected surprise.

We'd been together at Lavender Hill Farm, on Vashon Island, for five days. Six women. Writing and talking and laughing and eating. A lot of time spent together, most of it very good.

Still. Six women. After a while, you know, it can get a little, uh, less than very good. Maybe someone talks too much. Maybe someone goes to bed too late and misses early morning activities. Maybe someone goes to bed too early and misses evening activities. Maybe someone is gluten free or vegetarian or allergic to peanuts or dairy or alcohol. We all care, of course, about each other's well being. And after all that caring, we probably need an outing together where we can get some fresh air. So, on our last day together, five of us had an "adventure day", while one of us stayed at home to work (Jann is a grant writer, even in retirement).

The day was sunny, temperatures in the 60s. Deb assured us our adventure wouldn't require walking shoes, so most of us wore flip flops. We decided to walk on the beach at Point Robinson; there's a lighthouse there and keepers' quarters, and some nice driftwood. A perfect spot for conversations in twos and threes or a little time alone.

Everyone but me visited the keepers' houses, which are available for rent. I sat at a picnic table. I'm not much for visiting interiors of places, probably since I just returned from Europe where I had more than my fill of such things.

We then set off for the Dockton Historic Interpretive Trail, which begins and ends at Quartermaster Harbor. This was Deb's idea, and I admit I was a little cranky about it, since the beginning of the trail is uphill along a highway. I kept most of my crankiness to myself, though. 

What we found as we walked the route, less than two miles in length, was a charming local area of farms and homes. We'd expected mostly historical markers, but the area was full of life and beauty.

 The old sidewalk

 A faithful gardener

 Not in the city!

 Where to store the ladder?

 For observant dogs

 DJan and Sally

 Blackberries in October

 Deb stepped in something!

 Leftover cornstalks

 Island grasses

 Welcome home

By the time we arrived back at the car, we were a mostly happy group again. Such a visual feast we'd experienced together!

We met up with Jann, Vashonista #6, for a late lunch at The Hardware Store, a favorite place of ours. We laughed and talked and ate, as usual, as we reminisced about this time together. Tomorrow morning we will be leaving and we have to do at least a little planning. Jann agreed that next year she will plan the adventure day. She wants us to go kayaking!


Linda Reeder said...

Having met all of you now, it was fun to read about your "adventure day". I have to admit that when I arrived at Lavender Hill for my visit, I really wanted to go for a walk. It would have been very difficult for me to spend so much of that time indoors, sitting.

DJan said...

I went for a walk every day I was there, Linda, sometimes alone and sometimes with a few of the other women. I am like you, I really need to get out and exercise. But it was such a great time, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it! I was the one who left early every night to go to bed while the others carried on. :-)

#1Nana said...

...and I was the one who stayed home. Next year I will not be writing grants! I'm ready to retire again, but I say that having just finally finished the three I was working on at Vashon. Time will pass and I will forget how all consuming the grant writing is. But next year in Vashon I will be fully present! Thanks Linda, I enjoyed seeing and hearing the walk.

Arkansas Patti said...

You covered a lot of ground in flip flops. That would have killed me. They sure aren't walking shoes.
Loved the "no dog pooping" sign. Sure makes it clear.
Do go kayaking next year. That is a wonderful way to spend peaceful time on the water.

Sally Wessely said...

Thanks for the memories...

Truly, it was one of those wonderful days that I will forever treasure. I'm glad I shared it with you.

Olga said...

Getting outside and enjoying nature--what a certain way to recharge and reset. Doesn't matter is you are in a kayak or flip flops although I am sure I would have been wishing for sturdier shoes.

Deb Shucka said...

This was so much fun to read! Your description of our need for the adventure day was spot on, and made me laugh. I can't believe I was laughing at the dog poop on the bottom of my flip flop, but it was a day for laughter and wonder and awe. That magic that happens every time we're together.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Interesting insights about how you view the group and yourself.