Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good News/ Bad News

There is always news. With that news, there is always good news and there is bad news- except on CBS where all news is bad news- but that's another story, ask Old Dan Rather about that.
We are back in the lower 48. For some that is good news; for others, that is bad news. No matter; that's where we are. We, that is to say the three of us-Greg, Marilyn, Abby- seemed to have really loved north of the border especially well. But we love it here too so it's all good for now. Here's the Seattle skyline as we approached. Classic. Magnificent in its own right. But for us, only symbolic of the fact that we will have our visit- long delayed and overdue- with Derek and Karin who have made Port Ludlow their home for now. Once again, we have family and friends in a position to show us the area must sees from the perspective of a "local" who is always in the drivers seat of knowing what should be seen and how best to go about seeing it in the allotted time.
Karin is a medical professional and Derek is a working artist. We went to the Seattle Aquarium one day and I made my best attempt to take a photo of the two of them that would capture their essence in terms that would seem, more or less, like a Derek Gundy original painting- where monochromatic images are projected into a realm of both real and surreal, with surprisingly pleasing and identifiable images are representative of that which is there, but may not otherwise be seen. For a better look at his artwork (and maybe to support a working artist) please visit A link is also provided on the blog link list.

We took the ferry to Seattle and our first visit after the aquarium was the world famous Pike Market. It was not a disappointment, although I was not able to grab a picture of the famous flying salmon from the display to the counter where they are wrapped and made ready to go. They were too fast. I was too slow. Next time. Back at his studio, Derek put some finishing touches on a painting of two subjects close to my heart- his character , Albert, who has appeared in many paintings and in his story boards, and salmon, the story of which is as old and as timeless as life itself.
In the "Kitchen Italiano", Karin prepared the non-Dungeness portion of our meal- a tomato, cheese, basil tart- that was superb. I can count on one hand the number of recipes that Marilyn has ever asked anyone for- and this was one for sure. Our first order of business the following day was to go to Central Market (an amazing market place in Poulsbo) to buy a tart tin required to make this particular item. Hats off to the chef- deliciousa.
The last caption was about the kitchen and the chef. But to make matters even better, the fine dinner was served on my grandmother's mahogany dining set. This set has traveled from Reading, PA, where thousands of delightful family meals were served, to Maine where it was my dining set for many years, to Seattle where Derek and Karin have made wonderful and impressive use of it. Imagine fine dining, overlooking the Sound- nuclear subs passing through the straights from time to time, shrouded in fog and adding the joy of the image and the meal and the time spent with friends and family. My grandmother, my son's great grandmother, would be so proud to have her precious dining room set serving the family and traveling the country as well.
From Poulsbo, we traveled to see the coast. I had NO IDEA the coast was so far away from where Derek was living. Which is probably why, although I was dog tired from driving for 10 straight days, that I decided to drive the distance to the coast. I wanted to see the "sea stacks" that Derek has used repeatedly in his paintings. I have learned over the years, that if he thinks a subject is worthy of repetitive painting- IT IS. We were not disappointed in what we found on the Washington coast at Rialto Beach. Huge sea stacks and huge timber drift wood on the beach as well. Simply breathtakingly beautiful.

One old guy was fishing. His posture made me thing of "Albert." You can decide for yourself.
From the beach, we continued on to the rain forest. This is one of the largest Sitka Spruce in the world. We saw some mighty good ones in Alaska as well, but this one takes the cake.
We came across a herd of Elk- one bull and perhaps 20 girlfriends- crossing the stream in the park. By now, you know you need to click on the photo to blow it up and see the detail.
Sluggo. We saw a bunch of them in the rainforest.
Moss is one of the most beautiful elements of the rain forest...
And my candidate for sign of the times- Seattle- it will speak for itself.

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