grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Sunday, August 31, 2014

04-31AUG14 - Sultan, WA

Wednesday, 06AUG, as part of Dan’s birthday (which is on the 7th) gift we headed into Seattle to an area north of the U-W university district where several hi-end “stereo” shops have been located for decades.  In fact Dan still has some of the hi-end components that he bought there back in the 70s.  First thing was to drop of his Technics turntable for repair.  Finding someone who repairs turntables today is not easy.  Dan could only locate two businesses that still repair turntables in all of Seattle.  The Technics was direct drive & state of the art back in the day; now direct drive is passĂ© & turntables have gone back to belt drive.  Also you can spend several thousand dollars & up on something that looks like it was made out of fancy tinker toy pieces to play vinyl on?

Next Dan wanted to find a new stereo receiver with sound surround compatible with our newer HDTV & BlueRay player.  The one we have from the 90s is ok but is very difficult to reset when we lose power.  Dan wanted one that would set itself automatically when turned on.  Turns out one shop was moving & many items were marked down – like $14K speakers for $9K!  Dan passed on the speakers; but did pick up a new surround sound receiver that was $540 for $320.  Now his plan is to move the old receiver out to the shop so he can share his music with the neighbors.  Happy Birthday!
On Dan’s birthday, Thursday, we headed into Everett for dinner at Anthony’s Homeport.  Anthony’s started as a steakhouse in Bellevue, WA, in 1969; but quickly morphed into excellent seafood restaurant chain in Washington & Oregon.  Very good!
Sunday, 10AUG, it was off to the 25th annual Stillaguamish Festival of the River & Pow Wow.  This is a free festival where they usually charge for parking.  This year being the 25th, parking was free.  It was a very good event that also had excellent free music.  In fact on Saturday night the headliner was Jacob Dylan (aka Bob’s son) & the Wallflowers who have had many hits.  And if we had known, we could have brought the RV, stayed all day, & not had to drive home late at night.  Since this is festival based on the River & Native American culture, they also had an excellent $5 salmon dinner; one meal was enough for the two of us.  There was an excellent Pow Wow that started at 1PM – with much drumming & circle dances.  Sadly much of the booths for Native American programs dealt with health issues (diabetes, obesity, heart disease) & substance abuse.

Tuesday, 19AUG, we unplugged the RV & headed north to Angel of the Winds Casino (a casino we have visited many times).  It was $16 for RV spot but they give $15 in coupons to gamble with, plus discounts for food.  After setting up camp we headed to Dan’s cousin Rob’s & wife Pattie for a very nice visit (our last visit to their place was back in Sept 2010!).  Turns out Pattie is a big time gardener & Corrie immediately made plans to return before end of month to pick up some “clippings” for our garden.  Then it was back to the RV for a little gambling, where one of us won, & one lost.

The next morning, Wednesday, it was a short drive to Bellingham, WA, to visit Sandy & Paulette Petersen; who we haven’t seen since living next door together at Hamilton AFB Housing, Novato, CA, when Dan & Sandy worked at Coast Guard Island, Alameda, CA, in 1994.  Turns out the RV park was a three minute walk to their house!  It was great to reconnect after two decades & we reminisced long into the night.  Now that we know how close we are to each other, hopefully we will visit more often & longer when we are in WA state!

Tuesday, 26AUG, it was back into Seattle to pick up Dan’s turntable.  After that we met an old friend of ours, Gary Boyer, on his boat the BANANA WIND for dinner.  Gary was on the USCGC MUNRO back in 1974 when Dan was a brand new Ensign.  During Dan’s Coast Guard career our paths have crossed now & then.  Anyway rather than meeting at Gary’s house (which Dan rented a room at back in the day – but that’s another story for another day!), we decided to meet at Gary’s retirement reward/toy – his boat.  It was another great time with an old friend we haven’t seen in a long time; but the time since last together makes no difference because they are a good friend!

The rest of August was spent preparing the RV, house, & garage/shop for our departure.  Along with:
---Corrie making a couple of visits to Dan’s cousin Sheila in Cashmere, WA
---never ending gardening/landscaping, battling blackberries, mowing, bush hogging, etc
---Dan discovers holly trees/shrubs are starting to sprout everywhere & they are just as invasive as the blackberries; & sets out to remove all them from the property
---garbage & recycling runs
---Dan volunteering at Habitat for Humanity
---we notice a few bats at night, so Dan installed a bat house on the barn to encourage more of them to take up residence

---Corrie decided to take up “canning” & starts making many jars of preserves & jellies
---etc, etc, etc

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

01-03AUG14 - Sultan, WA (a family loss & gathering)

Early Friday morning, 01AUG, brother Shawn Ryan & fiancĂ© Cindie came by; & then we all rode together in Cindie’s truck to Tahoma National Cemetery for youngest brother Gary James Ryan’s interment.  Burial at any of the National Cemeteries is a benefit available to anyone who served honorably in the nation’s military (Gary served in the US Air Force).  If you have followed our BLOG, you may remember that Dan Ryan Sr was interred at Tahoma National Cemetery in August of 2009.  We did not know it, but on the first Friday of each month the ceremonies at Tahoma are conducted by Native American Veterans of the Inter Tribal Warriors Society; in this case members of the local Muckleshoot Tribe.  We all agreed that their presence & moving words brought peace & comfort to all of us.
A few hours after the interment we all came back together again at Sharon’s daughter Marisa & husband Dave’s house for a crab boil & BBQ.  Sharon’s other daughter Aimee & husband Ben, plus kids, were also there for a relaxing & enjoyable time.  Early that evening we returned home, hardly comprehending so much had occurred in less than 24hrs since Dan’s sister Sharon had landed last night at SeaTac airport!

Saturday was the big prep day for Gary’s Family Remembrance.  Corrie concentrated on food preparation& Dan focused on getting our two decks ready; along with outdoor furniture & a large “tent” for shade since Seattle is still experiencing record heat.  Everything was accomplished even though we kept dodging rain & lightning caused by the record heat.
Sunday, 03AUG, was the Remembrance for Gary with a very large gathering of relatives.  It was a sad event; but still a great family gathering.  Once again Dan couldn’t read his final words for the departed & had to be rescued by sister Sharon.  As usual there was way too much food.  And what almost took two days of preparation, only took four hours of clean-up.  As we had inscribed on Gary’s monument – ALWAYS LOVED, GONE TOO SOON!