Thursday, October 13, 2011


October 13, 2011

Good Morning Andrea,

          The weather report last night predicted “Mostly sunny after widespread morning fog.”  I woke up this morning expecting to be wrapped in a gauzy world.  Instead, the sun’s fingers reached through the window and laid across my cheek like a warm caress. 
          The trees are still this morning.  Or so it seems.  Watching closely I catch a lone leaf move gracefully.  As if choreographed, other leaves join its movement, each in their own time.  This green leaf dance is as elegant as any ballet as I have ever seen.
          Low tide is at 11:26 a.m.  I looked it up on NOAA.  Just Googled “Langley, WA low tide.”  It amazes me how I can look up anything on the internet. 
          Like the red jellyfish I found stuck in a puddle at high tide last night.  Googling “red jellyfish” I found it was a Lion’s Mane.  They are native to Puget Sound’s inland waters.  They grow through summer eating other jellyfish and assorted crustaceans.  In late summer they spawn for weeks.  Having lived out a life cycle in a year, they die in late September, early October and wash up along the shore big as basketballs.   There sting is like a bees.
          Sadie loves the beach as much as I do.  She chases the tide out and then back in again.  She doesn’t bark when she is excited.  She  “woo woo woos”.  Sometimes, I wonder how much she remembers.  She cannot talk to me.  I have to read her eyes. 
          When Dean brought your Volkswagon to me, Sadie jumped in.  She looked at me and began sniffing the seats, the stuffed yellow flower in the vase.  She climbed in the back seat and laid on the bed you had for her there.  Everything in the car was as you’d left it.  I let Sadie have her moment in the backseat.  I could not join her, overwhelmed with my own memories.
          Taken back to Norfolk, Virginia. 
          In October, 2003 you became an able bodied sea woman with Military Sea Lift Command.  Your home base was Norfolk.  I flew out to see you that spring, when you came back from your first months at sea.  It was late when I arrived. 
          In the darkness, I was not able to fully appreciate the seediness of the motel you were housed at.  This was MSC’s official motel for all personnel that did not have a home in Norfolk.  All night long my sleep was interrupted by the click clacking of  hooker’s high heels as they strutted up and down the concrete walk way in front of your room.  I could hear them knocking on doors, the sounds of negotiation, and then furtive rumblings and drunken laughter in the rooms on either side of us.  Shore leave.
          At breakfast the next morning, I announced we were getting you a car.  We spent the day on auto row test driving Jetta’s.  Until the last lot we went we went to.  There sat a silver slug bug.  We both looked at each other. 
“Oh my God mom.  What do you think?” 
The price was right. Two hours later you got behind the wheel, your name on the registration, and drove it back to the motel.  The next time you came to port, you would have options where you lived.
          Slugbugsilver was your email name after that. 
          Sadie went with you everywhere in that car. 
          Does she remember?  I was certain, as I watched her sitting in the back seat she is remembering something.  I left her to her memories for awhile, but then it was time to move on. 
          I coaxed her out of the back seat, she looked at me with sad round brown eyes. 
          “I know.”  I told her scratching behind her ears.
          “I know.”
                                      Love you-