June First- Amy and Elizabeth’s birthday, Roads Scholar report

These reports just in from Dick:
When Nancy and Beah went back to the hospital to get “the second one,” Mike, at age two, couldn’t believe it. Coming to 2011, We enjoyed the birthday a little early, last Saturday, May 29, in the company of the honorees and their next older sibling and his adored spouse, at Lopez. Nancy concocted a delightful chicken dish, Dick the usual humungous salad, and Brent the very acceptable Chardonnay to go with. Amy and Lib bicycled on to the island, made their fist stop at the pasture, where Mike and Julia were exercising Louie and Flash. An alternative home has been found for Chester!

Going backward, we arrived Friday evening, coming from Usk, Washington. Who knows where Usk is? (For a map of places referred to in this post, click here.)We had gone there to a “Roads Scholar” weekend ( formerly Elderhostel, or Exploritas). Going all the way back, we drove to Wenatchee on Sunday, arrived at Clearwater Lodge outside of Usk, along the Pend Orielle River. the program began at 2:00 PM Monday, with an afternoon of delightful entertainment by the only music teacher in the Selkirk School district. The topic was US Popular Music of the Twentieth Century. He was a gritty teacher, brought a quartet of his high school girls to sing great show tunes of the mid century. We got another afternoon of his knowledge the next day and “Music Man” movie on Tuesday evening. The next expert was Jack Nisbet, Naturalist. Journalist, Author (The Source of the River about David Thompson and his exploration of the Columbia- much more extensive than Lewis and Clarke, about 5 years later). His new book, and subject of his program, is about David Douglas, the “collector” of all things botanical and natural. Think douglas fir, douglas maple, etc. We had two sessions with him, one out in the rain along the river, and associated wetlands- truly delightful. The third program was a local geologist, with in-depth information about volcanos, Missoula lake floods, the channelled scablands, and tectonic plate movement. He was a short, overweight droll man with a full beard, a wonderful sense of humor, and an easy delivery that precluded falling asleep. All told a worthwhile interlude.

On our way back to the west coast, of course we had to spend a night at Sun Mountain. From there we hurried directly to Lopez, over the “North Gollydarn” opened for the summer on the day before our travel.

Back in Shoreline, the grass is long, the local politics are percolating, the schedule is full enough, and summer may happen sooner or later. At least, the days are longer! We look forward to the ingathering forecasted.