Alaska
Chronicles
:Northwest U.S. Þ
Date City Miles
May 29 Seattle to St. Helen's to Vantage, WA 452

Memorial Day AM in Everett, WA

Ted, sitting on the dock by the bay.

This morning we head for St. Helen's, and then make the turn for home. Both of us--I think--feel very ready to complete the journey. Yesterday, we went to an ELCA church. It was an interesting service. I now understand Erica's comfort with the Episcopal service. We then went to the Boeing Museum of Flight. It was a fine museum with many excellent aircraft, but we had a terrifyingly dull tour guide who seemed unaware that most folks are ignorant of the numerical designations of historical planes. We then went downtown and ate lunch @ The Fisherman. I had a superb sturgeon w/blueberry chutney. We wanted to go to the Aquarium, but the Memorial Day crowd made the prospect unattractive. Instead we viewed an Imax film on the Mt. St. Helen's eruption. After supper at McD's, we went back to the room to play cards.

PM: En route

Today is Memorial Day-the day we honor those who served our country in the military. This is good and right and proper. And plenty of persons will and have made numerous speeches all validating the honor due these men and women. For the sake of brevity, allow me to agree with these honoring speeches. However, two thoughts are w/ me today--the second developed from the first.

  1. Why do we only acknowledge "service to your country" as military service. NPR just had a story on Ali. Some want him to get the Congressional Gold Medal. Others object, because he didn't "serve". Yet most of the medal winners seem to be entertainers....At any rate, I wonder at the mentality that says service is only a military thing.
  2. I look at my two grandfathers. One served in the Army during WWII. The other was unable to serve due to a vision problem. The grandfather that "served" left behind a legacy of alcoholism and bigotry. 2 of his 3 children have suffered divorce, smoking, alcohol. He always argued with his wife. His grandkids, while loving him and valuing him, feared him. The grandfather that did not "serve" left behind a legacy of devoted family, Christian truth, love, stability, and continuing improvement and education. Which one served his country better?

Todd looking at Mt. St. Helens.

We stopped for the night in Vantage, WA. The country looks nothing like my preconceived notions of WA led me to expect. It's much more like "The West" of the movies. The drive from St. Helen's on route 12 was wondiferous. Plunging gorges, waterfalls, twisting mountain roads. Wow.