Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lightning strikes, mountain lions and adrenaline

These past two weeks had their share of adrenaline.  Even for an adrenaline junkie like me, it's been a tad over the top.

For example: a traumatic lightning strike at our house.  The other evening, we sat around the dinner table with friends during a thunderstorm.  We don't get thunderstorms very often here.

This particular one felt different.  It was right on top of us, when with a deafening sound the electricity went out.  Our ears rang for hours.  We smelled smoke.  After finding flashlights to investigate if our roof had been hit, we found that our phone line had literally melted.

Later, we saw that two trees very nearby the house had been hit by lightning.  Both trees were split in half, and we found big chunks of their inside flung 75 feet away.  One of the 170 foot tall trees had 30 feet of its top blown off.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is one of the trees that got fried, with the bark split off and wedged open.  Poor thing.

Another adrenaline-inducing event was the mountain biking adventure with my son Luke.  We want to ride our bikes over Washington Pass this summer, so we've been training.

When we went to park at the foot of Galbraith Mountain near Bellingham, a runner stopped us and told us he had just seen a mountain lion on the trail.  I shrugged my shoulders and told him that we live in a place where cougars, wolves and bears roam, and that I'm not too worried.

Turns out, I did make sure we talked loudly while we rode, to scare the kitty off.  On the way down, Luke and I whooped and hollered so much that even the most ferocious man-killing-mountain-lion would have been terrified.

We rode some pretty technical black diamond rides, with steep descents, huge jumps, and windy, rooty single track.  I'm not a very experienced mountain bike rider, but in order to keep up with my sons, I am game for anything.  

It's a good thing that I make up for my lack of endurance and conditioning with my competitiveness and sure willpower.  We had so much fun!

The week before this ride, Luke and I biked up the Cascade River road, a few miles from our house.  It's a gorgeous ride with a nice climb and views of snow-capped mountains, wild rivers and spring flowers.

My bike derailler broke on the way down, and we didn't have phone reception for most of it, so it took a while to get rescued by Steve.

I love spending time with my middle child on these bike rides.  He is such a good sport, and although he routinely kicks my butt, he's nice about it.

My oldest son Kai has been tied up with track practice and track meets, and the littlest one, Eva, just learned to ride a bike.  It will be a while til she can keep up with us.  We have a ride-behind bike for her, but I am certain I would die if I would have to haul her up a mountain with it.  My sheer will power, competitiveness and natural strength have their limits.

Allright, let's move from the ra-ra-ra Macho stuff to some tamer scenes.  Let's talk about goat babies!  They are growing and thriving, and I'm going to have to sell some.  Are you looking for goats?  I got some.

They are super sweet, of course, and beautiful, I think.  Their mamas are producing great milk, and I am thriving, too, with all the chocolate milk shakes I make.  After all, my sons are hauling my butt up all these mountains, so I have to consume enough calories, yes?

Back to goats: Eva's little friend came over one day and helped us take the goats to pasture, and since the afternoon light was so lovely, I took about 800 pictures.

Sometimes, I think these kids' childhoods are a fairy tale.  How lucky are they to grow up in a place like this, with all these animals and gorgeous scenery?  I hope they realize they could have been born in Iowa.

Spring is happening, albeit slowly.  Sure, you see my beautiful pictures of sunshine and baby goats and blossoms, but keep in mind that they were taken in the four days of sun we had all spring.

Despite it all, the garden is kicking in, and so are the fruit trees, and the chickens and ducks with egg production.

I even planted tomatoes in the greenhouse.  Imagine that.  Tomatoes!

I will leave you images from my blissful Mother's Day.  My family took me downvalley to my favorite nursery, where I got to pick out flowers for our porch.  It was such a lovely day, and I felt incredibly spoiled and cherished by my family.

I am one lucky duck.

What are you grateful for this spring?


  1. An inspiring post for sure!
    Learned my youngest daughter to ride a bicycle too and she got the hang of it today!! Almost rode into a stream today. Which happens to be 3 meters lower than the road! Good thing I had anticipated something like that might happen, so I could snatch her off her bike before going down!
    And you sure are lucky!!
    What I am grateful for? The sudden arrival for warm southern winds! Finally it feels like spring! Well, actually more like summer. 21C all of a sudden and a next to 100% humidity..... Quite a change.

    1. Yippie! Spring came to your part of the world! I'm so glad. And how exciting your youngest learned to ride a bike! It's such a huge milestone!

    2. It sure is and not just for her. Another step in the process of letting go.
      In 2 days time the greens just..... exploded! Yes, that's the right word; exploded. As if it all had been bottling up their growing energy and now *BOOM*

    3. Once again, a beautiful post. I sure admire you!

  2. very interesting, a beautiful view wanna go these when my holiday coming,
    thanks for posting


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