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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News in Blues: moussaka and mice

"Blues" aren't always songs, or even sad. Consider, for instance, the blue in the flag of Greece. It's the blue of the sea and sunny skies. Think of sitting at an outdoor table above the Mediterranean, with the person you love, enjoying great food,wine, and music.

I've never been in such a place, so far, but pretending is easy this weekend. About three years ago I first went to the annual Greek Festival at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tacoma, and I've wanted to go back ever since. This year nothing can stop me. It won't have the ocean, but will have everything else. Who knows? You could even fall in love. I'm bringing my own love, from home.

Come for the tastes and aromas of amazing foods (more than just moussaka), traditional music, folk dancing, costumes, shopping, and blues everywhere. Leave with a new appreciation for life. Click on the link to get all the details, but don't be late. The baked goods sell out quickly.

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Some of my favorite "blues" in Tacoma can be seen frolicking in neon across the marquee of the Blue Mouse Theater on Proctor. Talk about the "Big Cheese..." This irreplaceable 1923 theater has operated continuously for over 85 years because of a group of investors who saved it. When so many historic buildings have already been lost, this is something to celebrate.

You can read my recently published article called "The Blue Mouse" on Neighborhood Life It's a great website that comes out of San Francisco, full of ideas, stories, solutions and inspiration for improving neighborhoods all over America. My article is at the top of the "Features" page, but is also shown when the site opens. Please check it out. And for those who love and value old theaters, be sure to also go to Cinema Treasures.

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As for the other "blues..."

If you happen to have a case of those I hope they're the kind of blues you can lose by going out and having some fun this weekend. Remember: Northwest life is good on Good Life Northwest. Please come back soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebrate Fall with a Closer Look

It's true. Some things are just too good to last, like this week's warm weather here in Tacoma. But that reminds us to savor every day and every little thing in it, especially now when the landscape blazes with color.

Enjoy the magical transition of seasons. With most summer flowers still in bloom, and the maple leaves already turning, on stage come the stars of the autumn garden: glorious purple asters, chrysanthemums in deep red, burnished gold and lavender, and fall-blooming bulbs. The hardy cyclamens, rise up from the drab soil with an elegance of posture, petals swept back, like a troupe of petite ballerinas among the ferns. It's easy to miss them when they're only three inches high.

Get out of the house before the dark days of wind and rain and take a walk, even if it's just around your yard. Notice the subtle changes. Do the squirrels seem busier? The spider spins his web between the porch and perennials. Hydrangeas once so blue, age gracefully into surprising shades of plum, cream, and aqua green. The seeds of the sunflower ripen. Fuchsias still hang heavy with pendulous blooms.

Soon it will all change. Everything does. Then you'll look back and remember. The kids that I sent off to school on September mornings, that seem not so long ago, are grown men. I still get excited about blank paper, and sharpened pencils, but these days I sit at a laptop. Where I used to daydream, now I write as fast, as much, and as well as I can. My life, like the year, is already into its second half. I think of the time I've wasted on meaningless things, and say to myself, "Let all my days be full of meaning."

So I'm enjoying this fall and hope to enjoy many, many more. I hope you do too. Remember to slow down, breathe deep, and delight in details. If you don't you'll miss the tiny cyclamens dancing among the ferns, and that would be a shame.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm Back . . . Memories and a fresh start

Hello Dear Readers,

I did so well for so long. Remember how it used to be? You could count on me. Every Wednesday meant something new to read on Good Life Northwest, about my experience of living here in Tacoma, my childhood on Vashon Island, and appreciation of this region. Our mutual enthusiasm for Good Life Northwest kept it going.

Then one Wednesday came along and I let you down. There was nothing new. It happened the next week too, and the next, until you might have given up. You see, back in mid-July, the thing I'd focused on, visualized, put out into the universe, and prepared for, came true; I suddenly had much more work in freelance writing.

I didn't forget you though. At first I thought I'd only be a few days late. As it turned out, those deadlines, along with music gigs, family, and everyday life, kept me far busier than usual. But I MISSED YOU. Apparently some of you missed me too because many have asked why I haven't written in so long. Can we start over? As a peace offering I'm bringing flowers. I took these photos in my own yard and offer them with all my best wishes for a beautiful autumn.

I planned on Good Life Northwest being a blog about interesting people, places, and events. Then it became more. It connected us not only to life here in the Northwest, but to life itself, and to each other. It has been a year this month since I wrote about the tragic death of our young friend, Luke Rogers, and through this blog, people from all over the country connected bonded by our memories of him and our grief. Tonight, a year later, someone who still thinks of Luke all the time, just like my husband and I do, left a new comment on that original post. You can go to it by clicking here.

I'm sending you these flowers as a reminder of all the beauty in the world. And I'll think of all the people I love today or have ever loved, including those who are gone. I don't know whether or not they still sense the glory of September, the cool mist at dawn that yields to the sun, or the scent of fresh chrysanthemums, but I hope so.

Thank you for reading. Please come back for more. I'll be here.

All the best,