‘You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.’
We parked near the wood-carving lot when we got to Sedro-Woolley for the Fourth of July footrace. I wandered through the lot, looking at the art, and when I came out the other side of the lot I was facing the Woolley Market. I’d never been in there before, but I hadn’t had breakfast, yet, and this seemed like a good time to check it out and try to rustle myself up something to eat.
When I walked in I glanced up at the wall and saw one of Dad’s paintings hanging in there! Then I knew I was in the place that a former colleague had been telling me about – I could smell mountain climbing gear and clothing in there (I’m thinking my fellow mountain people will understand what I mean by that). Above Dad’s painting, I could see a loft of some kind. I went up there to investigate and found three or four folks getting ready for a climb of Mount Baker. I managed to track down Craig, the man who runs the guiding operation out of the loft, and… long story a little shorter – it turns out Craig and my dad are old friends! Craig hails from Gig Harbor – near where my parents USED to live – but now they both live in Skagit County – about two and half hours to the north. Craig has been in Skagit County awhile, but Dad and Mom just moved here two months ago. I told Craig that I thought my Dad would really like to see him, and I’d try to bring him over before the day was out.
Later, when I asked Dad (who just turned 98) if he remembered Craig, his whole face lit up. Yes, he said, he would really like to see Craig again.
And so he did.
It was an AWESOME Fourth of July.