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friends at the fort

The old military batteries at Fort Worden are super fun; the kids love running through the dark blind tunnels, finding passages and secret rooms, and starting at one end and seeing where they’ll come out.  We’ve gone back several times, and each time I’ve thought that we really needed to bring the Burton kids there to run around with us.  So we finally got them to go with us, and it was EXACTLY what I thought it would be— kids running, playing, and having a great time in a cool place.  The Burton kids are VERY fun, willing to take risks and have adventures, to get wet and get dirty.  We feel a sense of connection with their parents, too– it might be because they are from Montana (close to Kalispell), were raised doing the same things and going to the same places Matt did as a kid, and are still connected with Matt’s family–and they have been stationed here in Bremerton with us.  They love being outside, going to beaches, and living the simple kind of life we do.  Now they are busting out of the Navy and moving back to Montana.

I’ve learned a lot from them about the kind of parent and person I want to be, and about the possibilities for how people can be in the world.  It’s a pretty sad and strange feeling to know that after developing a relationship with a friend, you most likely won’t ever see them again.  It’s the kind of thing we try not to dwell much on in the military, in order to survive having to do this so often.  We will sure miss you guys and always remember you and your influence on us.

mount townsend

Being in decent shape right now for walking up a mountain, we decided to go ahead and make the (4 miles straight up) trip up Mount Townsend.  It was hard, but, as usual on long hikes, something happened along the trail where we all let go of being grouchy and started opening up to the present moment.  At the top, we were literally walking on clouds, surrounded by their moving mist.  It was pretty neat.

montana vacation, part three: alan and sarah

We’ve been visiting with our ultra-creative-nudist-artist-gardener-musician-traveler-hippie friends for a long time now, and the more we get to know them, the more thankful we are for them.  Their awesomeness can only be experienced, not described.  Usually we gather for an afternoon or dinner date, but this time we spent a couple of nights at their house… and we are hooked.  Now all we want to do is stay there more often and for longer stretches.  We really appreciate you guys in so many ways, both for the kindness and teaching you offer Matt and I, and for the way we see you creating with and supporting our children.  I love the way my kids are when they are with you.  We hope to see you in Italy, and to come back and stay with you again soon.

montana vacation, part two: camping

After our teepee adventure with the Joneses, we headed up into the mountains for our fourth annual camping trip at Ten Lakes Basin.  The weather was gorgeous, the lakes were cold, the fishing was good, the guitar was lovely, the hiking was hard and beautiful, the relaxing-in-the-sun-next-to-a-mountain-lake was so nice, and the family fun and togetherness grew more and more with each day.   There’s just something about being in the quiet of nature that is so good for our family.  This might be our last time out here for awhile, sadly, and I can’t say more about that without crying.

montana vacation, part one: jones time!

Our annual Montana vacation started with a weekend with the Joneses extended crew.  Jean found us a sweet spot to “camp” with teepees, a grill, electric coffee, and all the amenities we could ask for.  The days were scorchers, so we cooled off at the lake nearby.  We long now for that clear, warm lake, we miss our clan, and we are grateful for those memories.

off to camp

For the first time ever, we spent a week away from our kids.  Ash went to visit family in Kalispell, Cedar went to summer camp in Washington, and Matt and I stayed home without kiddos.  I’ve got a mish-mash of photos from our different experiences, and hope to get more from Cedar’s disposable camera soon.  It was an amazing opportunity for each one of us in so many different ways– we all had a great time, learned, grew, and got to know ourselves (and one another) better.