North to Seattle!

 This is Week 2 of a two and a half month long road trip around the West Coast, visiting my niece Lisa.

Cora, Milo and Lisa

Leaving Oregon I drove north to Seattle to visit my niece Lisa and family.  Last summer she and husband Dale sent their 11-year-old daughter Cora to Alaska to stay with me while I had my 5-year-old grandson Janek from Germany, and we had fun cooking and traveling around.  They always are happy to have me visit, so I was looking foward to seeing them and their son Milo again.  Lisa is a nurse at the VA Hospital in the ICU unit, and teaches clinical nursing for the University of Washington.  She is a wonderful and brilliant woman and I am proud to have her for a relative.  Some of our other relatives are best avoided and forgotten, so we know how lucky we are to have each other.

I love this woman!  She is a bright light in my life, and I admire her so much.  Lisa helped organize a community “family” where some dozen women meet Monday nights every week for a potluck and fun night that includes all their kids.  The husbands meet somewhere else to watch football or do guy-stuff.  I always go along when I am in Seattle, and can see what a strong support system this has made for everyone.  They talk about anything and everything, share joys and sorrows, and even take vacations together.  Every neighborhood needs something like this, and America would be a better place to live.

Cora and I fixed homemade ravioli for the Monday night potluck (and group birthday party).  It turned out really good and was so much fun to make!

(I had made some of these at home before I left on this trip, and they were the first things I dragged out to eat after I returned before Thanksgiving!. Yummy with spinach-almond pesto!)

While I was in Seattle, I had to buy tires for the Acura.  From all the years of storage, both in Nevada and Oregon, the tires were all weather-checked.  My mechanic son Grey demanded that I get replacements immediately, saying that if a tire “blew up”, the damage to my car would be too great for him to ever repair… even if I wasn’t hurt in the resulting accident.    In other words, Grey scared me into it, maybe that’s what sons are for.

Oh, yeah… nice looking tires, don’t you think?

This was an adventure in itself, trying to find a used tire place since I couldn’t afford to buy new tires.  The first place had one – yes, one – tire that would fit my car.  But the nice Mexican who worked there alone told me how to find a bigger place about 15 miles away.  That place, which was interestingly also manned exclusively by Mexicans, had stacks of tires, and I decided to go for 80k like-new Michelins hoping that they will last a long time.  They cost me $350 but will be worth it.

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