When the Alaska Ferry brought me to the Port of Bellingham, Washington, I was just 18 miles south of the Canadian border — pretty darn close to the northwest corner of the lower 48. While I was reluctant to leave my new friends on the ship, I had old friends to see in the Seattle area, about 90 miles south.
First, was Melissa, the daughter of my late wife Catherine. Melissa is a project chemist at EcoChem Inc., a Seattle company that provides environmental chemistry consulting services. I hadn’t seen her since Catherine’s funeral in March 2007, and it was good to see Melissa again. We met for lunch in Redmond, an upscale suburb of Seattle, where my other friends, Tom and Martha, live.
While Redmond is most famous as the headquarters of Microsoft, Tom is an independent inventor and entrepreneur who I got to know well many years ago when he was a vice-president of an important diabetes company. Martha is a charming homemaker, wonderful cook, and fantastic gardener, all attributes that I took full advantage of. They are such a relaxed couple as well as being so intelligent and wide ranging in their interest that I wished I could have spent several days with them. But even before planning my Alaska trip, I had signed up for a meditation retreat that started just as soon as I was able to get back home to Boulder.
Nevertheless, I was able to have a whole afternoon and evening with the great pleasure of their company, except for an hour or so that I used to capture some of the beauty of Martha’s garden. These are my favorite shots of her flowers, which Martha later identified for me.