The Places Among Us

This weekend we spent closer to home, exploring the areas among us that we so often times overlook. First, we explored Bridle Trails, which is just about a stone's throw from where Dane grew up and where we are currently living. For me, it's ever intriguing that is there is so much nature around us, for being so close to a city. We wandered aimlessly, just really needing a quiet weekend after so many busy ones. Plus, it gives us an excuse to field test our Octopus bag in the forest. The version Dane is wearing is likely where the rest of them will be heading soon enough: more diamonds, more backpack, more tote-back. 

Today we needed vegetables, and since our garden this year isn't producing the way we had hoped, we've been having to rely more on other sources. So, we decided to head down to Snoqualmie Valley to see if we could find a farm stand. Local roots had just what we needed. The honor system of buying fresh food and cutting your own flowers is as good as it gets, if you don't grow your own that is. I think this may just be our main source of fruit and vegetables for the rest of the season. Plus, you can cut your own flower stems for $.50/stem.  We got three of the brightest zinnias I could find, and they made beautiful company for the rest of our adventure through Duvall, Carnation, and Tolt.  

After leaving the vegetable stand, we followed the road to where it would lead us: estate sales. Who can resist? We can't. The first was in an old yellow building that was built in the early 1900s and housed the Oddfellows and later Eagles Fraternity Clubs. I inquired about it since I had never seen such a building: both a store front, barber shop, and living space/former fraternity hall. So the owner insisted we tour the whole space. Why not? So we did, and we got a tour of lifetime. Let's just say one doesn't usually get to tour the inner workings of these sorts of places. We bought a little basket as our token of thanks, and graciously headed to the next stop on the road: the barn sale. 

The barn sale, Grandpa's Barn, as they called it was probably exactly what you're thinking. Generations of salvaged farm materials that are finally being liquidated to make room and space for newer generations. There were plenty of gems, unfortunately, there is just not much we need right now. After searching high and low for our treasure (because Grandpa's Barn was too good leave empty handed), we finally inquired about materials, explaining that we make things. So, they showed us an old army tent, and it was just the thing we could use. The man who sold it to us said he was tickled pink we would use it to make something. He told us he knows we will make something wonderful, and he asked for us to send us an image of what we make with it. So we will. Dane shook it out, and so it was. 

Our final destination was the "estate sale" that lured us along this whole time. It was, simultaneously, the best and worst estate sale I've ever seen. It was truly an estate in every sense of the word with private entrance, winery, and beautifully simple white wooden estates scattered around a serene meadow. Perhaps we missed the goods by getting there so late in the day, because the only remnants to be found were free books and tapes. But, what beats that? For Dane, a book on the Pacific Crest Trail, and for me, a complete set of Barron's French tapes. For us, the "First Hits of the 1950s," which made the road back home all the more scenic. Guess living on the east side ain't so bad. My zinnia's will surely remind me this week that exactly what we need is so often right among us, if we can let ourselves discover it.