I know I’ve been remiss in my blog posts lately. New computer. Stuff to do. Places to go. I’m now in Seattle visiting my son, his wife, and my new (and first) granddaughter Sophie. KUOW Seattle Public Radio’s Facebook post said they wanted people to write letters to loved ones regarding their feelings on the upcoming inauguration. I had written my son a letter 31 years ago about my hopes for him, and thought why not. It’s a good time to let little Sophie know what her MeMaw hopes — and fears — for her.
That’s me and Sophie. My letter is several down the page. You can also hear me read parts of the letter in their studio, with Sophie squeaking in the background. (Her mom came, too.)
Then there’s the Womxn’s March in Seattle yesterday. I intended to meet a friend there, but with 100,000 plus people crowded in one spot, no way. My daughter-in-law and her two friends came, but had to leave early. I stayed perched on a homeowner’s steps while two rivers of marchers converged at a snail’s pace. Claustrophobia and crowds don’t mix.
But I did get to see lots of great signs. Really great signs.
I especially like the ones with the “F” word since that’s the word I used most while listening to/watching the inauguration coverage on the 20th as I prepared a sweet potato crust quiche.
People said there had been a pair of bald eagles overhead as the crowd gathered in the park. Somebody even posted a video of them. A blessing, perhaps?
One source said the beginning of the march reached the Space Needle 3.6 miles away before the end of it even left the rally site. I waited 2 hours for the end of the line coming out of Judkins Park to funnel through Dearborn Ave, so I don’t doubt that at all. Once the logjam ended, I joined the tail end.
It was supposed to be a silent march, but after an hour a roar wave began, moving from one end of the line to the other. After a few minutes, it would repeat from the opposite end. This happened all day. I could hear the roar even as I walked a block away on 5th Avenue so I could photograph the march from above (and stay out of the crowd.) I’ll post video later.
I tried to post photos on Facebook but with tens of thousands of cell phones being used at once in a small place nothing was getting through. Plus my phone hasn’t been keeping a charge and I had to keep it on airplane mode. Barely had enough juice to check Google Maps at day’s end to find the bus route home.
The march went through the International District, and I wondered why vendors didn’t set up food stands on the sidewalk. Finally I saw one outside a Vietnamese market, and the hot dog-shaped fried banana bread looked yummy. It was. That and a trail bar were the only things I ate. Didn’t drink much either, which was good since I saw very few porta potties and many businesses don’t allow use of their restrooms.
Many, many people with signs and pink pussy hats who finished the march were passing me by as I paralleled the march downtown.
Some places downtown were familiar to me, having lived in Tacoma for 18 years and worked in Seattle for two. But there are dozens of construction cranes in the city now. Traffic is congested all day. New tech industries. Google. Amazon. Not much room to expand out, so more high rises are squeezing in.
Chief Seattle’s bronze statue was backdropped by the Space Needle, and a marcher was trying to find a taker for the last slice of pepperoni pizza she had bought.
One store on 5th Avenue had footprints of famous people. I took this photo of Jimi Hendrix’s footprints for my little brother who visited me in 1980 and made a pilgrimmage to see the musician’s grave in Seattle. We also flew over the smoking wound of Mt. St. Helens which had erupted two months earlier.
It was an amazing crowd (estimated 120,000). An amazing experience.
The rain held off all day, only starting a little drizzle as I sat on the uncovered bench waiting for the 372 bus after a long and crowded ride on the 62 bus. My umbrella finally came in handy. I got out at the local pot shop near my son’s house (they are everywhere) but still haven’t worked up the courage to go inside yet.
I got back around 6 p.m. starved, exhilarated, and worn out.
The whole world marched. They protested in Iraq and Antarctica. They marched in London and Australia. Friends of mine also marched in Fargo, North Dakota; Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; Augusta, Maine, Washington D.C. and Oklahoma City. They marched in rain and snow and sun.
We are a force to be reckoned with. Trump, get over yourself.
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Well, I’m in Southeast Texas where I did some of my growing up. Visiting family for Thanksgiving. Didn’t talk politics so it went well. Yesterday we did something fun. We went first to the Spindletop museum in Beaumont, where the first oil well gusher in the area roared to life in 1902. (Stay tuned for another blog post on that one.) Read the rest of this entry »
Walking through a forested canyon in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Okla., I felt like I was back in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park in Texas. Big Bend was the first park I worked at when the Great Recession ended my art business, and it changed my life. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a pretty little nature park in the middle of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, named after the last passenger pigeon on earth. Martha died in 1914 in the Cincinnati Zoo. Her billions of other kin had been exterminated out of existence by greed and thoughtlessness.
Several decades ago, Fort Sill naturalists wanted to reclaim a part of the well-groomed military grounds for wildlife. They planted many native trees and shrubs, and let it go wild. Then they named it after Martha the passenger pigeon. Read the rest of this entry »
A stroll through the Martha Songbird Nature Park on Fort Sill a few days ago revealed many treasures, enough to fill several blog posts. This one is focusing on the leaves, fading in autumn glory.
A sycamore (or is it a red maple?) leaf was pretty enough with the sun shining through it, but when a little hole caught the sun, it just became extra-special. Read the rest of this entry »
It was Veterans Day, and I decided to finally go to the Pet Cemetery Annex on Fort Sill. It’s a pretty spot among deciduous trees and mowed hillsides. Anybody who loves animals knows they have souls, and we grieve terribly when they leave us. I cried for four days when my 14-year-old tabby cat Tommy died. He’s buried between two maples in the yard I used to own in Maine. Our pets often take our last names. (They do that at the vet’s office.) I’m glad our military and civilian families who live and work on post have a place to lay their pets to rest. Some of the epitaphs were funny, like the Fierce Kitty. (My favorite.) There was one gravesite with a tub of plastic spiders. No headstone. Trying to figure what pet would have been buried there. A tarantula? Something that ate spiders? There’s a ferret buried there, too. My sister in Nederland, Texas found a ferret in their yard after Hurricane Rita in 2005. After reading they were social animals, they bought another. Both are gone now. Anyway, here’s a stroll through the Pet Cemetery.
For years I’ve been wanting to get a photograph that showed the male ruby-crowned kinglet’s famed jewel on his head. I’ve only seen glimpses of it a time or two, but when I saw what looked like a head full of red at Martha Songbird nature park yesterday, I got excited.
He was upset at someone. Maybe he had a spat with his spouse (below.) Read the rest of this entry »
This is actually a pretty big rock. You have to view it from above to see it’s a heart. The bottom of the heart is about head-high when you’re next to it.
It’s easy to get to, but there’s no sign, and it requires a little bit of rock scrambling. But the grip on your shoes is good. Read the rest of this entry »
You never know what you’re gonna see when you get out of the car to stretch your legs. I was munching on an oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie when this little guy motored by at Queen Wilhemena State Park in Arkansas. Read the rest of this entry »
Who’d a thunk it? Oklahoma has mountains! Not just the Wichitas, which are pretty darned lovely, but rolling forested mountains with endless views such as I’ve seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the Ouachita Mountains (Wash-a-taw or Wash-ee-tah). And the road to see them is the Talimena Trail, officially the Talimena National Scenic Byway. Read the rest of this entry »