2012 News from the Pendletons
Susan, Daniel and David in Maui
Susan and Brian in Tunnel Marathon T-shirt
Our nest was empty again for the first half of this year until David graduated from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma with a degree in studio art and moved back home. We were glad to have him around, especially since we know he'll be moving out again sometime soon. Though he had to lay off the computer for several months due to repetitive strain injuries in his hands, he's recently been resuming his digital art, creating posters for UPS and for a friend's band. He collaborates on those with his girlfriend Katie who lives in the Bay area and also does digital art and web site design. He's looking for work ideally as a concept artist for a movie or game studio, or perhaps
David below Chikamin Peak
alternatively in some other area of graphic arts. Meanwhile he's been doing quite a bit of reading, and keeps me company from time to time on afternoon
David graduating
runs and photo outings. On a backpacking trip in September into the Alpine Lakes wilderness we scrambled up Chikamin Peak. Alpine meadows, deep blue lakes, craggy peaks - Cascades scenery is tough to beat.
Daniel practicing yoga
Daniel completed his studies in religion and Spanish at UPS at the end of 2011 and found enough yardwork and housepainting to keep busy. He bartered some work for two months of yoga classes and packed a couple of years of yoga into those two months, earning a free yoga mat for his efforts. In July he finally heard that his application to teach English in a Spanish grammar school had been approved and in September he left for nine months in northwestern Spain. He chose Galicia in part because it is the only area in Spain which gets more rain than Seattle, but also for the cuisine, reputed to be some of the best in the country. He's living with two Spanish university students and introducing friends and coworkers to American fare, having prepared not one but three Thanksgiving
Daniel and Sarah in the Picos de Europa
dinners last month to various groups of Spanish friends. On long weekends he gets together with his girlfriend Sarah who's teaching English as well, but in north-central Spain some 12 hours away by train. In September they also did a backpacking trip, in the Pico de Europa mountains in northern Spain. The "trails" weren't quite as clearly marked or easy to hike as Daniel expected, which was unfortunate since Sarah had never backpacked before. Guiding her across class IV traverses and down steep talus fields, and then getting lost and spending an unexpected night out with minimal food, tested their relationship but they're still together, and she's even agreed to go hiking with him again.
In January the whole family spent a week in Maui where we snorkeled, hiked, birdwatched and fishwatched and made friends with some of the locals. I rented an underwater camera and
Oval Butterflyfish
Kaupo trail in late afternoon
collectively we photographed 75 different species of reef fish. At farmer's markets we bought pineapple, avacado and papaya and made delicious fruit salads, and breadfruit from which we made pancakes. Butchering a breadfruit is not for the faint of heart but the pancakes were quite tasty.
We arrived back in Washington just in time for a major ice storm which trashed trees throughout the Puget Sound lowlands. The poplars in our back yard lost most of their limbs in one afternoon. The
Back yard after ice storm
Damon Point Snowy Owls
Snowy Owls visiting Washington last winter fared better. Susan and I drove out to the coast to see them once or twice and I was sufficiently inspired by them to do my first bird painting in twenty years. Back home cleaning up from the ice storm I collected more than a cord of firewood, not just poplar, which is pretty much junk, but also some nice ash from the neighbor's woodlot across the street. Chopping wood provided some upper body exercise to balance my marathon running, 20 so far in 2012 with a best marathon time of 3:32. That was at the race Susan and I directed in July - the sixth annual Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon. Possibly the fastest marathon in the country, it's all downhill after a flat first three miles which include a two-mile unlit train tunnel. Susan outdid herself with a finish area feast featuring homemade vegetarian chili along with a variety of fruit, juices and snacks. Runners loved both the course and the food.
Susan setting up for the marathon
In September we hosted a smaller race on the same course, the Tunnel Lite Marathon, in part for runners who couldn't make it in July. I spent the month of October back in New Hampshire visiting my parents, who are in their mid-80's but still very active. We enjoyed the fall foliage on several afternoon hikes and numerous walks on local roads. I photographed sparrows in the weedy cornfield down by the river and got away most weekends to
Running in Central Park
visit old high school friends and run marathons. Susan attended her high school reunion in San Antonio Texas in late October and spent a wonderful week reconnecting with old friends. We met up in New York City the first weekend in November. The official New York City marathon was cancelled due to the devastation wrought by super-storm Sandy so on Sunday morning I jogged up to Central Park to do some birdwatching and ended up running 26 miles with about 10,000 other runners from all over the world, the largest non-marathon I've ever run. That evening, Susan and I bought last minute tickets to The Lion King, an impressive presentation. Saturday we spent the afternoon with my nephew Rowan at the Picasso show at the Guggenheim and ate dinner at a decent Turkish restaurant.
We've drawn closer to one another over the past year in part due to personal growth workshops we've each attended at Soltura. Through the workshops I've found a peace and self-acceptance which has often eluded me over the past 50 years and we've both gained a greater appreciation of God's work in and through us. We hope that you too are blessed by God this holiday season and in the coming year.

Page modified December 4, 2012 at 2:00PM PST