Tag Archives: Homesick

Ode to Rain: ‘The Pleasant Rain Hath Come!’

by Lindy
View from my window

View from my window on a rainy day.

Finally, we are blessed with rainy weather in Southern California! It’s such a nice change from the sunshine and heat. Not only is it pretty to look at an overcast, cloudy sky, but the air feels and smells more fresh too.

What is also great about rainy days in Southern California is that you get to see people genuinely upset by the rain. Desperately clinging to their umbrellas at the hint of a sprinkle. Turning on their windshield wipers to maximum speed. Bundled up in rarely-worn winter wear. Saying things like, “we PAY to live where it’s sunny” or “oh, this terrible weather” or “it’s so gloomy.”

Even our Saint Bernard, Buttercup, has become a weakling version of what a hearty mountain dog should be. She panics when it rains and tries to bury herself under the boat trailer in the garage when it’s stormy. Now she’s on a hunger strike; refusing to eat her gourmet boiled chicken/kibble blend – what a high maintenance California girl!

Today, I chose to eat my lunch on the office balcony to enjoy the crisp, fresh air (mind you it’s only 62°) and a colleague peeked their head outside saying, “Only a girl with Norwegian blood would sit outside on a day like this.” Another coworker complimented me on my puffy wool sweater/cardigan, “It looks like a professional woman’s Snuggie”. Funny people.

When I visit family and friends in Washington, I would be scorned if I complained about the weather. Or overly-relied on an umbrella. It’s not good form for a rugged outdoors-woman. So I will continue to welcome and praise the rain. It will be gone all too soon.

Here is a poem by American poet James William Miller about the awesomeness of rain – “To a Shower”. Thank you Google Books!

Final verse:

As a blessing sinks in a grateful heart,
That knoweth all its need,
So came the good of the pleasant rain,
O’er hill and verdant mead.
It will breathe this truth on the human ear,
In hall and cotter’s home,
That to bring the gift of a bounteous Heaven,
The pleasant rain hath come.

James William Miller - "To a Shower" Poem

James William Miller | “To a Shower” Poem
The Poets and Poetry of America | Published 1842 |
Courtesy of Google Books

Ugly Christmas Sweater T-Shirt

Ugly Christmas Sweater T-Shirt | Inappropriate Moose
Amazon Affiliate Link

Down the Rabbit Hole – From Portlandia to the Northwest Passage

by Lindy

I went down another virtual rabbit hole this week. This is how it went.

I was working in my home office doing tasks on one monitor while watching Netlix on the other monitor, as usual. Yes, two monitors are better than one! I selected Portlandia to watch as it prompted me that there were new episodes. Instead of recognizing which episode I’d watched last, it played episode one. I loved it! It reminded me again how funny and clever the comedy was – I was hooked immediately again by the intro song, “The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Portland.”

“Portland is a city where young people go to retire!”

“In Portland you can just put a bird on something and call it art!”

Then I saw in the song credits that it was from an album called ‘Songs of the Northwest’. So after watching several episodes of Portlandia, I went to YouTube to search for more Songs of the Northwest. Imagine my glee when I stumbled on some awesome historical videos on the development of the Pacific Northwest with all the lumberjack footage!

Then I saw a song recommendation pop up: Stan Rogers’ Northwest Passage; I had a sneaking suspicion that that was the musician I was trying to remember from when I first listened to it in the 90s!! I had purchased an old cassette tape at a garage sale in Bellingham and went through a phase of listening to this awesome Canadian folk music; although friends may have found it a little odd when Sir Mix A Lot’s Baby Got Back was also one of my faves of the time. But to find it on YouTube with actual video of the song and learn a little bit more about the history was awesome!

I stayed up a little longer than I should have that night! The Canadians are very proud of this song apparently and think it should replace the existing Canadian Anthem; no joke. I tend to agree – it’s hard not to be moved by the lyrics and the music. It makes you honor those adventurous explorers who risked it all to journey into the unknown. I like how the video poster said, “This video is dedicated to all who have journeyed north and west (and south and east) ‘to find there but the road back home again'”.

I love these final lyrics:

How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.

The rabbit hole didn’t end there; I ended up watching videos on ‘Occupy Cascadia’ – the Northwest Region of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. I found that very interesting, but I’ll save that for another day. There is more for me to explore in that regard.


Seattle’s 42nd Annual Bumbershoot

by Lindy

In it’s 42nd year, it’s hard to believe I’ve never been to ONE Bumbershoot! It’s only the biggest entertainment shindigs in Seattle. This year it takes place September 1st through 3rd and instead of attending, we’ll be camping and boating at Big Bear Lake. But I still daydream about someday partaking of the adventure of Bumbershoot; hopefully before I’m wheelchair-bound invalid. We literally just returned from our big Washington trip a week ago for my 20 YR HS Reunion, mass quantities of quality family time and a jaunt to San Juan Island, so we’re still recovering from the jam-packed family adventure.

“Since 1971, Bumbershoot has drawn artists representing the best in music, film, comedy, spoken word, dance, theatre, performance, and visual arts to the Seattle Center over Labor Day weekend. North America’s largest urban arts festival, Bumbershoot takes place in the heart of the city at the 74-acre Seattle Center. Over 100,000 visitors from near and far spend the weekend reveling in the world of Bumbershoot, experiencing everything from regional favorites to international superstars across all arts disciplines.” – Bumbershoot.org

In addition to all the great musical acts, comedy, art and film elements, the new Words and Ideas program featuring literary arts and lectures sounds especially intriguing. Words and Ideas features:

“Conversations, performances, panel discussions, and readings exploring the points where pop culture, new media, literature, theories, and trends intersect and explode into new cultural phenomena.”

Check out the entire lineup. It appears Goyte will be performing and that would be a show for me to see!  Janeane Garofalo in the comedy series would be incredibly awesome too! Youngershoot for families and kids also sounds appealing. There are so many things to see and do at Bumbershoot, it would be hard to choose how to divide your time. I will definitely put this on my calendar for Labor Day 2013, but in the mean time, I will be stalking from the sidelines at our camp site via Bumbershoot’s Twitter, Facebook and Tumblershoot Blog.


Earth Day Reflections

by Lindy

In celebration of Earth Day, I will remember and honor my roots. Bellingham, Washington – the hub of all things eco-friendly and natural.

Chuckanut Drive vicinity of Bellingham Bay, Washington by UW Digital Collections, on Flickr 

Some of my fondest memories include the great outdoors of Washington. Lake Padden, Lake Whatcom, Whatcom Falls, Bellingham Bay, Lake Samish, Interurban Trail, Mount Baker and so much more. Outdoor recreation abounds. Shout out to the granolas of Fairhaven!

Fairhaven Festival, Ski to Sea Race 2010

Photo Credit: Fairhaven.com

I do my part to nurture Mother Nature in Orange County by serving on the executive committee of the Newport Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, enjoying the OC parks, trails and beaches. I reduce, reuse and recycle as a good citizen should. As a matter of fact, I recently bought a big bag of gently-used designer clothes at Laura’s House Resale Store in Lake Forest – a win for me, the charity and the environment.

Individuals can only do so much, but they should take small steps towards lessening their overall footprint so the generations to follow will have the chance to fall in love with the great outdoors too.

Check out this super fun Earth Day activity at the Muth Interpretive Center in Newport this Sunday: Earth Day at the Bay, 10 am – 4 pm.

Become a member of Surfrider Foundation to help protect our oceans, waves and beaches. Rise Above Plastics!

This post is dedicated to Joe Chorvat, my childhood friend’s husband who passed away April 16th at the age of 40. Joe left behind a 10 year-old son and countless friends and family who love and miss him deeply. May you soar in heaven Joe! 


Admiral House Poetry

by Lindy

You can find poetry anywhere.  Here are some photos from my recent trip to Long Beach, Washington for my grandma’s 90th birthday. The guestbook in our rental home, “The Admiral House,” had some very creative entries.

One in particular stood out.  On the left page of the guestbook, some angry kid wrote “I hate this day!” This prompted another philosophical entry on the right page by a budding poet. (Perhaps who’d been smoking too much bud?)

Admiral House Guestbook

Here was some whimsical art at the entrance of the rec room of the beach house to inspire creativity.

All beach houses need poetic wall art.

The natural beauty of Long Beach is enough to ignite the writer in anyone.

View from the Admiral House

Definitely NOT Long Beach, CA – not a soul in sight.

To see more beautiful imagery of the Long Beach Peninsula, check out these books:


I’m always a little homesick for Washington. Let’s write a poem about it, shall we? A Haiku would be fitting.

Submit your best Washington-inspired Haiku for judging in the comments section below.  Remember, a Haiku follows the 5-7-5 syllable pattern and is nature themed.  Submit your poem by midnight November 12th.  The winning poet will receive an autographed photo of Long Beach, WA and a personal letter drafted from my lovely typewriter, Beulah Hildegard Francis.


Our winner of the haiku contest is Hans Johannson from Fargo, North Dakota.  Hans, we’ll have that letter out to you right away.  Thank for your sharing your poetry with us.

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