September 29, 2017: Clouds, wind, and rain-tears

Walt read his morning e-mail and when I made my way from the aft cabin into the saloon to have a little breakfast before Morning Prayer, he told me that he thought we should abandon our recently-made plans to explore the Hood Canal and return to Everett on Saturday morning. The sewer problems that had manifested themselves when I was washing clothes in the basement of our condo building on Wednesday were appearing to be serious enough to warrant the attention of the Clough Condo Association’s president, namely, Walt. We therefore agreed to spend the day at the Port Ludlow Yacht Club’s guest dock and start motoring back to our “home port” a little earlier than planned.

After Thursday’s unusual heat, the weather DID change radically; the forecast clouds, rain, and wind did materialize, the day’s high temperature was about 65 (as opposed to Thursday’s high of 85), and we spent a somewhat bleak, cool, wet, blustery day revising our travel plans, reading, dealing with e-mail, and writing. In mid-afternoon, while the rain was taking a breather, I walked along the docks in a mild breeze, across the bridge over a placid pond to the yacht club’s multi-story building, followed the road behind it through a neighborhood of brightly-painted condos and then through the breezeway of the inn I could see from the boat, took the path leading to the restroom and shower facilities, and decided to investigate the small but well-stocked marina store. I bought a waffle cone filled with wonderful “huckleberry heaven” ice cream and paid for another night’s moorage using my credit card, because I was suddenly unable to find the three five-dollar bills that I thought I’d tucked into the pocket of my foul-weather jacket. I enjoyed chatting with the lady behind the counter and two of the dock workers, and we stood outside the store in a covered area watching down drafts strike the surface of the water near several boats and send fascinating web-like patterns whirling in every direction. I decided to return to the ladies’ washroom to see if my bills had somehow fallen out of my jacket pocket, and, sure enough, there they were on the floor of the stall I had used; I was quite happy to see them!

I had several people to whom I wanted to write when I returned to the boat, and Walt was working on an article peer review he’d been asked to provide for a journal, so we decided to skip “happy hour” (we weren’t feeling especially happy at that point anyway!).  I climbed back onto the dock and took another short walk before dark, this time following the path that led to the front of the inn and on past a meadow of marsh grass to the totem pole and its surrounding rose garden. Here I read that the pole had been carved from the trunk of a 720-year-old western red cedar that had blown over just south of the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula, and it depicted the history of Port Ludlow from earliest times to the present. I saw a path leading to the seashore that promised a half-mile loop-walk along the beach, but I’d promised to be back by about 7:15 pm and so satisfied myself with an appreciative look at a long sweep of sand below the marsh grass, and a heron standing statue-like in the still water not far from shore.

As I was walking back past the inn, I caught sight of a familiar face: a fellow alto from the choir of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina (where I was a chorister for a few years while Walt was earning his Ph.D. in Berkeley) and her husband were dining on the elegant terrace of the inn’s restaurant. She recognized me also, and we had a lovely catch-up chat before I made my way back to Braesail where Walt was preparing a supper of tasty Indian dishes. Galley-tidying completed, I continued work on blog posts over cookies and tea, and let the returning raindrops take the place of the farewell-to-our-summer tears that I wasn’t ready to release.

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