Kniffin Men Hike (brother Eric- you were missed!)

For Opas 77th birthday, we went on a short hike together. These are the days you remember… 🙂

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Memorial Day Road Trip

This weekend, we took a 3 day trip exploring the state in our car. This route was filled with sites that we are quite familiar with and have visited several times (North Cascades, Leavenworth, Chelan), along with a few items we’ve never seen (Winthrop, and finishing the North Cascades highway). It was, like the many other road trips we’ve taken (both the long-term ones, and the short ones), wonderful.

But more important than the trip itself, I think we developed a real sense of “our road trip style” this weekend. You know how you can do something with a group of people a few times and enjoy it… but only after a few more times of meeting, you really get a sense of “us as a team”? Well, that type of “team sense” really grows on a trip like this. Apart from that, there are several things that happen on a Kniffin Road Trip, that I think will become something we think of as “our thing”:

  • conversations that I didn’t expect: you ever notice that good conversations tend to happen when you’re not looking at each other? Like on a walk, or while you’re doing a separate activity? they just tend to “bubble up”- feelings you have, or thoughts you’ve been dwelling on, or just something that’s been inside for a while, but took a while for you to articulate it.
  • cool things to see: this happens especially when you are around natural beauty.
  • opening your eyes to the wider world: I suppose this is one of the key beauties of travel, but when you see something different: a different accent, a different landscape, a different attitude, a different culture… it widens your perspective and you cultivate a sense of how wide and wonderful the world can actually be
  • a ‘Team Spirit‘: this goes back to the beginning of this post, but the fact that you experience these things together is really quite special. I think that ‘Team Spirit’ extends two ways:
    • First, it’s really cool that we experience these amazing things (parks, parties, family reunions, roller coasters, etc) together, so that particular experience become something we can recall together. In other words, it becomes the type of thing you say, “hey, remember when _______ happened?”, and you laugh about it.
    • But there is a second, more important effect to the ‘Team Spirit’ that is affected: you start to think of yourselves as ‘the type of people who do this sort of thing’… you think, ‘yeah, we’ve gone to _________, and seen ___________, and even braved ________’… which means that we’re the type of people who also __________. When your self-concept is affected like that, it affects how you see yourself, and how you imagine the possibilities for life going forward.
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My shawl

I made my first shawl today. I got the fabric from Oma’s fabric box, in the play room. I sewed it together on the weekend, I put a button on it the next day, and hemmed it today. Altogether, it took me ~5 days when I was in the work-process, to make (but I didn’t make it in 5 days total; some days, I didn’t work). I really like it, and am enclosing a photo of it.

I like it a lot. Probably because me and my friend like playing “the olden days” together, and they used shawls a lot then, and not coats. I need to hem the ends where I sewed the fabric together (I used two bits of fabric)

What inspired me to make the shawl is probably that all of my sisters were playing a game in my tree-house, and all of them had shawls in the game. So I decided to get out my safety-pin shawl (it was safety-pinned at the time), and then I decided I would take out the safety pins in the back, and I would sew it together. It worked: I had a shawl.

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Twelve years in…

On a hot (still record breaking for may in Seattle- we hit 94 degrees!) May Day, 12 years ago, we got married. Today, we remember that lovely day by taking a hike up Poo Poo point on a lovely (albeit rainy) day

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Leavenworth trip, COVID life: some sort of equilbrium

Today we took an 8-hour, scenic road trip, complete with little walks, scenic vistas, ‘going out to eat,’ car-games and lots of reading. It was relatively unplanned; Cyn came up with the idea yesterday. But it was one of those ideas that immediately sounded right, so we just went with it. Boy, did it “hit the spot”! The truth of the matter is, we hadn’t something like this since “quarantine-ing” began.

And with that, I think for me (if not for the whole family), I hit a new level of adaptation to our “new normal” in relation to the virus. And that’s a very good thing. It’s funny- while stopping for lunch, we encountered another family doing something similar. The Dad is a dentist, and was talking about life now, and all the steps it will take to “get back to normal”. ‘It’s going to take a long time,’ he said. ‘First off, it will only be emergencies. Then our business has to figure out how we did stuff we used to do, but in a different way. We have to buy new equipment to minimize the aerosols going around in the air that could potentially affect each other. I am in a group of other dentists, from around the country, and we’re all trying to figure out how we are going to emerge from this okay. It’ll take a while, but we’ll get there. We have to!’ He said the last part with a smile… a weary smile, but a sincere one, nonetheless.

It occurred to me, his story is all of our story. We don’t know when “all of this will be over”… and I’m sure there will be many levels of “getting back to normal.” But it’s good to go out and do something fun, and remember to enjoy each other.

(For the record, this is the first time we’ve left our home in this manner and we essentially only came in close contact with other people once, when we stopped to buy lunch. We sanitized well anytime we got out of the car. We don’t want to give the impression we are not taking physical distancing seriously.)

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Holy Saturday, Easter prep

We have transitioned into COVID/ quarantine mode over the last few weeks. Certainly, having routine/schedule/structure has been an enormous help (more on this, later).

Prepping for Easter is a good example of what has given us structure. Our church has done a good job of giving us regular challenges, including Easter devotions and an “Easter Challenge” for decorating and prepping for the Holiday.

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Spring Day Party

The girls planned a “first day of spring” party today. All day, they prepared: They cooked special food, they decorated their room, and counted down the minutes until spring actually began. (Cyn told them that spring officially began at 9pm; I’m not sure if there’s any truth to this at all)

Well, this marks 4 days in a row of posts. I’m not sure the last time we posted 4 days in a row on this blog, but it’s really fun to record stuff going on here. You know, aunt Colleen posted in their own family blog, a few days ago, how much they were enjoying this isolation in the house. I guess I would say something similar. In fact, if it weren’t for this scary disease out there, I would say this whole “isolation thing” is exactly what we needed right now.

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