Way up here in Seattle we thought
We would cook Dave’s red beans in a pot
All the chickens are glad
And the cows are not mad
Now we hope our friends come eat a lot!
Read all about Dave’s New Orleans Red Beans tradition.
I’m sitting in a cozy warm house on Camano Island, a cup of tea beside me. To my right, the view is blue, looking across the shallow misty waters of Port Susan to the distant Cascade Mountains. To my left, the view is green, a broad expanse of lawn leading to woods, framed by towering evergreens.
This scenery is the best of the Puget Sound area, and one reason why we returned home.
In a little while, we’ll be meeting a very good friend for lunch. The whole year we were traveling, I missed our friends, people we met sailing or dancing or working. Last night, at a meeting of the Puget Sound Cruising Club, I collected hugs from many friends who welcomed us back to the area.
That’s another key reason why we returned.
I’m looking forward to Tuesday, when Barry’s parents, who own this delightful Eden where we are housesitting, return from Hawaii. Their home, where we have stored most of our worldly goods, is full of photos of Barry’s nephews, family artwork, cozy furniture, and support for this crazy lifestyle we’ve chosen. We love hanging out with Sharon and Dave, talking and taking walks in the woods.
Living near them is another reason to come back.
When we arrived a couple of weeks ago, we were bone-weary, exhausted from the long drive across the northern part of the country. We had been moving too fast, trying to see too much, having a hard time staying ahead of the cold weather. We also wanted to make it back in time to celebrate Barry’s Dad’s birthday.
A couple of days after our return, Dave called us all out on the front deck. It was late, and very dark. But the sky was lit with the most amazing thing I’d ever seen: Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Since the four of us had moved to the Northwest, we’d never seen it; I’d never seen it in my life. Barry wisely suggested that we watch it from the hot tub.
We laid our heads back and watched the beautiful moving light show. Soft white streaks, sometimes with a hint of color, appearing and disappearing, with a strange ghostly rhythm. I was reminded of the name the native people gave the phenomenon: Ghost Dancers. It was silent, and then a shiver went down my spine as an owl hooted in the woods.
This was our reward. A true welcome home, from the Ghost Dancers.
There once was a fellow in red
“Do you have a computer?” we said
“Let me look in my sack —
Here’s a cute Power Mac
To replace the SE that went dead!”
(With much gratitude to Bill Brown for Meps’ little writing computer. )
Do you enjoy reading our adventures, but don’t always remember to check our site? Do you like receiving interesting e-mails to brighten your day?
Meps ‘n’ Barry have an email list where we send out stuff we put on the website. Just click on the link and follow the instructions to subscribe to the NewStuff mailing list.
The wonderful thing about the Internet is that those of us who are addicted find ourselves looking for a hit in the oddest places. This morning found us checking the Wi-Fi signal at a grungie truckstop, then driving through a small town looking for the public library. We found the latter, complete with Dell workstations, in a town called Rock Spring, Wyoming.
Once we logged on, we discovered Murphy is alive and well and haunting our communications. First, I accidentally sent my latest limerick to all of you, instead of the select few who are regularly subjected to such torment. Hope you liked it.
From New Orleans, we drove to Florida for the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s annual meeting. We got our fill of speakers and exhibitors and hanging around with sailors. There were many sessions on HF radio communications that we hope to use when we’re at sea or in remote places. Nearly everything we might want is available on both SSB Marine band (not free, but can be used for business purposes) and HAM (free, but does not permit commercial use) radio channels. Fortunately, there are now good radios that can operate on both types.
The good part is that once it all works, we should be able to get information about weather and destinations, and, even more importantly, should be able to get email at sea. The bad part is that the email will be painfully slow�maybe a half hour for sending/receiving email, and that doesn�t include big attachments…OK, I’m really not sure exactly how slow it will be, but I’m sure it will be way slower than dial-up internet at its worst. The other bad(?) good(?) part is that all three of us now have to study for HAM licenses.
We also learned about sailing with cats and dogs, how to keep your boat smelling nice, cruising the Caribbean, French and Spanish for cruisers, and snorkeling or scuba for fun and food. Diana Jessie, who writes for 48 North, was great in person, and we enjoyed a refresher course on weather with our NOAA guru, Lee Chesneau.
One real highlight was a chance to visit with Meps� Dad and hang out in Florida. He hosted us in his tiny rental apartment, which seemed like a palace to us. We saw his new townhouse (under construction), swam, went to the beach, and even took a short hike.
Best of all was that Meps and her Dad used the recently unearthed recipe for the late Esther’s Turkey Cheese Pie. It was wonderful, and well worth the effort. I cannot say for myself, but those who had eaten the original claimed this was just as good.
TURKEY CHEESE PIE (including the original typos and comments)
3 medium onions
1-1/2 cup buttery cracker crumbs
1-1/4 cup cooked turkey pieces
1/3 cup butter
1-1/2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups grated chedder cheese
Set oven 350 degrees. Cut onions to thin slices to make 2 cups. Roll about 44 but. tas. crackeres into crumbs to make 1-1/2 cups crumbs. Cut turkey into small pieces. Melt butter. Add to cracker crumbs stirring until all dry pieces are moist. Pat crumbs firmly onto sides of a 9 inch pie plate with spoon. Chill for 30 min. Melt shortening. Add onions and cook until tender but not browned. Heat milk until a film forms across the top. Beat eggs until bubbly. Stir milk salt, pepper and cheese into eggs. Put turkey over bottom of cracker crumbs crust. Top with onion rings. Pour over egg cheese mixture. Bake for 30 minutes and garnish with pinsheel made of halved crackers and pimento slices. This pie will serve 6. Which is not enough.
Less than two weeks after we arrived in New Orleans on Cayenne we�re off for another road trip. This time it is a bit different�now there are three of us (Brian joined us), and we�re in Brian�s van, which is far more comfortable than peepcar, and since we�re in a hurry and have three people to drive, we�re making a 13-hour drive in one day. We�re driving to Melbourne, Florida for the Seven Seas Cruising Association annual meeting (or was that party?)
So since we aren�t yet ready to go sailing (See the latest on the Log of Cayenne) we�re off to a sailing club meeting where we get to hang out with sailors and talk about cruising and communications and all sorts of stuff. Of course some of the folks at the meeting will be here on their boats and dinghy ashore for the meeting instead of this driving stuff. We’re at least enjoying a brief vacation from scrambling into and out of small grungy parts of Cayenne, with the wonderful bonus of staying with Meps’ Dad in Vero Beach!