Monday, February 25, 2008

**As we have tried to do for forty-four years, Betty and I did a "get-away" for our anniversary. This time our honeymoon was blended with a writers conference in Ocean Park, Washington, where a select group of authors have gathered to polish their craft and share encouragement in the tough world of writing and publishing. As a first timer to this event, Betty held her own and was much appreciated by the group.
**Thanks to the generosity of friends, we had the use of a small house as a base of activities. We spent some of our Thursday becoming oriented to the narrow Long Beach pennisula which begins near the mouth of the Columbia River and stretches north for some fifteen miles or more ending in a bird refuge just above historic Oysterville. It is indeed a lovely coastal string of communities and geographic features, including the fascinating cranberry fields where your juice and berries may have been grown.
**Our goal of a relaxing holiday included several traditional favorites: good clam chowder - twice, scenic drives on both sides of the penninsula from end to end, leisurely visits to several antique emporiums, a stroll along the line of shops in the little fishing town of Illwaco, ice cream, salt-water taffy (and licorice too), bookstores, and for me at least, a stroll through Washington State's oldest store, an enormous, wood-floored, hardware/grocery with the philosophy that a successful peddler needs a well stocked wagon. Maybe best of all was being able to purchase oysters harvested at dawn, a dozen in the shell and a quart newly shucked, to bring home as a perfect finish for the weekend.
**The conference dinner and keynote session Saturday night became our anniversary meal and entertainment this year, and while it was a bit unusual for us to eat with others, they were quite appreciative of our attendance, even serenading us with congratulations. Sunday morning we joined a small, family oriented house church group for worship, and among the few assembled there, found a couple I first knew twenty years ago when their daughter was in my English class at Columbia Christian High School.
**It's always a joy to vacation with one's best friend and favorite companion, sharing precious moments, reminiscing, searching for treats, and finding ways to please one another. Getting away always has benefits, but doing so to celebrate and recommit to our marriage and mutual caregiving makes our annual weekend special to both of us. Thanks also to those of you who offered notes and calls and kind words on this occasion. That thoughtfulness was precious to us and added a nice touch to the whole holiday.
**While we visited the lighthouse just before heading home, it occurred to me that it would be nice to remain at the coast enjoying the leisure with my lady. It's time to wake up the camper so we can find another opportunity to "get-away" together soon.
PS Thanks, Betty, for a wonderful time.



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