So as most everyone at the Crochet @ CAMA 2011 Retreat learned, I stayed at Cama a couple extra days after the retreat to celebrate my 40th birthday this year. As clichéd as it may sound, turning 40 has bugged me a bit, which tends to gripe me more. I guess somehow I thought I would have figured out more of life by now. Perhaps conquered some of it. And aside from needing a break from motherhood and work and rush-rush demands, I knew I needed some time to settle, sit with the water and pull my thoughts together, mourn Grandma Dot. I wanted to take accounting of my life. I did not want to make this transition thoughtlessly or without meaning and somehow I found Grandma’s recent transition to the after-life to be assisting my own transition into something as well. Some new thing whose outlines I can’t even quite perceive.
A little wistful perhaps, but I believe in embracing life and celebrating every moment we can. After all, what is it that we have that we can take with us to the here-after? No matter what we believe? I know there are many things I won’t be focused on upon my death-bed. And I know there are many memories I have not lived yet that I want to. Deployments, lay-offs, near-death experiences – all lend to my views today. Forty is a nice round number, somewhere around the average American mid-life, to take accounting of oneself.
I didn’t take photos as religiously as I did for the crochet retreat itself, but I did take some. I was also given permission to copy some photos others took of me at the retreat. So I finally have proof that I was there! Here they are for you now.
Finally have some photos of me to post! This is what crocheters do when they eat, drink and are merry together. We dress up crochet hooks and contribute to their general delinquency. LOL!
Photo of Laurie and I together, taken by Jimbo I think. Yay! Good pic!
My friend Dippy.
This is Panda. Apparently she doesn’t just let people touch her. I petted her for 15-20, minutes non-stop.
Dennis and I working on that Scrabble puzzle, started by Jeff about Cama.
Jimbo took this photo of me with the hooks of various shapes that he, I, Dennis and Don all worked on for our crochet hook demonstration. Thanks to everyone for helping to make our idea work!
Foggy morning view.
Friends load up and say good bye to each other.
As I dump out our trash, I find a leopard snail.
Moving my stuff over to my new cabin for my extended stay. The second row cabins have two sets of bunk beds and a full size bed.
Similar kitchen to the other cabin.
It’s not a front row view, but in cabin 19, it’s close.
Beautiful view of the beach.
Cama Beach is not a sandy beach, but one of rocks and shells.
Driftwood trees line parts of the beach.
Over 10,000 rivers and streams flow down from the Olympic and Cascade Mountains eventually into the salt water Puget Sound. Along with all that comes an amazing variety of rocks and their colors that finally wash up on the beach.
Beached jelly fish. As my daughter says, “It look soooo squissshhhhhy!” Yeah, but don’t touch it. I didn’t see any star fish this year.
Seeking sanctuary for awhile, I pass this makeshift structure on my hike along the shore.. This wasn’t on the beach last year, so I’m guessing it was created during the Native American Canoe Journey that landed at Cama earlier this year for it’s annual canoe journey.
There are little over-hung hollows like this all along the beach, which can be seen in the afternoon/evening after the tide goes out.
Here’s another little “cave” where the water comes all the way up under the trees when the tide is in.
Next to that light green rock, which is about 3 feet wide, is a little stream running down the the beach. As I stand there a bit, I can hear splashing sounds back behind the trees up the hill from whatever larger stream this little streamlet is coming from.
The little stream runs out all the way to the rocky beach where it disappears into the rocks.
Wild blackberries grow along parts of the beach.
Grandmother Spider is guarding. I accept two blackberries and thank her.
Piles of driftwood line parts of the beach. I have walked way around the side of the beach. The cabins are off the to right.
Part of the clay like hillside, full of a variety of rocks left by the glacier that formed this area.
An interesting textured log.
An interesting piece of driftwood revealing an unusual black/grey staining of the wood after stripping the bark off.
This peaceful haven is where I finally take my rest, almost to the end of Cama Beach, to sit, reflect and do a little carving the afternoon before my birthday. The entire hike along the beach has been interesting, but this spot feels safe and protected, like Grandma’s Kitchen. I imagine Grandma Dot nearby, telling me about fossils, rocks and shells like she did when I was little and Grandma Leona’s soft chuckle. A yellow jacket has followed me along the beach. I pour out some of my mango juice on a rock for him and he becomes my buddy instead of my antagonizer. Together we enjoy the beautiful afternoon. It was wholesome time my soul needed.
It’s my birthday morning! I sit on the bench outside my cabin, drinking coffee, enjoying the drizzle and working on a different kind of hook shape. Not sure where this will go.
It’s a foggy morning and so very pretty.
Foggy morning on the beach.
Later the clouds and fog diminish and visiting families are quietly enjoying time together.
Little pockets of fog cling to trees across the water like tufts of fleece.
Laurie takes me to see Snoqualmie Falls on Saturday after my birthday. Great present!
A fine mist hangs in the air over the Snoqualmie River below the falls.
At the top of the falls is a lodge you can stay at.
It shows how much of a geek I am when “Oh look, that’s actually a decent photo of me” was my second thought and “Oh look, my hat looks great in that photo” was my first! LOL!
The Snoqualmie Falls Park is really pretty. Tall, tall trees.
Leaving the Falls area, I’m struck by the colorful trees. We don’t have color like this in Austin, except in the spring when the wildflowers bloom.
And it’s time to go back to Cama, clean up the cabin, pack and get ready for the long trip home to Texas. Thanks Laurie for making the crochet retreat a reality. Thanks for the soulful giving you do for the crochet community every day. And thanks for your friendship. I had a great time!