Friday, October 7, 2016

The Path Taken

I was thinking recently about all the pretty places I've lived along with an even longer list of pretty places I've visited, and concluded they're too numerous to count. I will say without hesitation the Pacific Northwest is one of the prettiest.

I lived more than half a century without ever giving that part of the country too much thought. I never had any burning desire to visit Seattle or take in the view from the Space Needle while drinking coffee, because that's what you do in Seattle, right?

It was a part of America on my list of maybe one day on my way to Alaska or Vancouver we'll plan a layover there and watch fish fly while sipping Starbucks, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near the top of my list.

Yes I have a list.

Also, Starbucks isn't really even my thing so nope, never had a burning desire to explore the PNW.

Except now my daughter lives there.

Having a child (okay she's a grown married woman, but still she's my girl) live on the west coast was never on my radar. Not even a little bit. But she does, so I've made three trips to the area in the past eighteen months, and y'all I'm completely in awe of the beauty. It's so green and I kind of want to break into song when I'm there '...and the hills the greenest green in Seattle...' Raise your hand if you grew up watching Here Come The Brides?

My daughter doesn't technically live in Seattle, a bit south of there actually but close enough. The geography might even be prettier where she lives because Mt. Rainer can be seen in all it's snow capped glory from the walking paths in her very own neighborhood. When I'm visiting I'm like that ridiculous tourist who walks around with her jaw hanging open while looking up, snapping a bajillion pictures as I go.

But y'all!

Mt. Rainer is just crazy big and beautiful.

And the trees! They're so tall and so green and so tall. I leave there with a crick in my neck, and don't even get me started on the water. I've made it clear on my blog how I feel about water, but every body of water is just a little bit different, and Puget Sound is one of the loveliest.

Now I have a child who lives there, and while it's beautiful it's also a long, long way from here to there.

When you're a young mom assuring your kindergartner she can indeed go into the birthday party room/Sunday School class/ballet lesson while you wait just outside the door, you do not for one minute imagine there will come a day that same child will live thousands of miles away and love it. LOVE it! 

And when you do you'll flash back to the small girl child who needed time to size up every situation before jumping in. You'll scroll through a mental timeline of the seasons you've walked together, and will note how each one made her ready to embrace the right now.

You'll feel waves of gratitude for the way God fits our lives so perfectly into place. At the way He orders our steps and prepares us for what's next before we even have an inkling of what's next.

On my recent impromptu trip west my daughter and I were walking and I was blabbering on about how lucky she is to live in a place filled with so much natural beauty, and she declared that God poured on the pretty in The Evergreen State.

We decided maybe God created from east to west and when it came time for Washington He had a lot of green paint left and some extra mountains too. We like to say He made it extra pretty there because it is. Extra extra pretty.

So when the day comes and roles are reversed, and you're the one who doesn't want to let go of the hand holding yours, and your once upon a time hesitant kindergartner reassures you life is an adventure and right now hers is Washington, well...

Knowing she's landed in the middle of extra extra pretty helps a lot.


  1. We've lived just outside of Seattle since 1988 and we are happy to have moved here from Southern California. So glad you have enjoyed the beauty of our area. Our youngest daughter moved to the East Coast in North Carolina with her Marine hubby and it wasn't easy to get to her from here. She and hubby are back here in the northwest now. I hope you have many trips to Seattle in your future and for the record I'm not a Starbucks groupie...

  2. All you wrote, so true. It's the knowing that the place they live is nice, pretty and fun and that they are happy there, that makes it a little (just a little) easier :-)

  3. I sure is extra, extra pretty there and was never on my radar either. So very pretty and I like your thought on God having some extra paint left when he got that far west!

  4. My college friend Phi Mu sister roommate lives on Whidbey Island, and I just have to get out there to visit her sometime soon. The bluest skies you've ever seen...
    Glad you could spend some time with D1 and your mom.

  5. Yes, you are so right!! The PNW is just gorgeous, but a very long ways away. Hubby's sister lives in Tacoma. And, when these little girls grow up and move far away, it is tough but a whole easier when they do it with such style and grace. Happy weekend!

  6. I love what you have written here. And oh how I can identify. With the daughter living so far away part that is. My daughters is not the breath taking beauty you have described, but rather on a farm 20 minutes from the nearest small town. Never EVER thought I'd see that day. But your right ALL those experiences and lessons that lead her to be to able to live such a different life from the one she knew were all soo necessary. Not long ago she and I were talking about that on the phone on a day I was particularly missing her and she said, "there's such peace in the knowing though that I am right where God planned for me to be. Such comfort in the knowing the different life my kids will know is also what He planned. I am grateful that you raised me to be ready for it all. I truly am blessed." I hung up knowing that God knew I needed to hear that. Meanwhile I am getting to know New Mexico and Texas. Wish I could rave about its physical beauty, lol, but not so much. But the people, the way of life, the fascination for me for farm activities and life? Well, I could go on and on. Great post! Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Looking forward to experiencing myself when we go visit our "kids"! I also wish it wasn't so far, but God knows what He is doing.
    So glad you had a lovely visit!

  8. I live in Boise, which is an easy 1-hour flight from Seattle. My son works for Alaska Airlines, and they have maybe a dozen daily flights between Boise and Seattle, so with my son's travel benefits, we are able to go there on a fairly regular basis. We love visiting the Pike Place market!

    And, yes, Here Come the Brides---Bobby Sherman!!!


  9. She has indeed landed in an 'extra pretty' place. We lived in Renton, WA for 2 1/2 years when my children were very young. Loved it. You are so right about the size and beauty of Mt. Rainier. It is stunning.

  10. Joyce,
    This post hits my heart today! I appreciate our blog friendship as I walk the My Boys are Growing Up!
    Thank you!

  11. Very touching post Joyce. I went through Adam moving away and now our Amber may be moving away. These are times that I am not as equipped to handle like you are. God made us a beautiful country to live in!!

  12. Such beautiful pictures. I've never been that far west. We may need to go sometime.

  13. My daughter and grandchildren live in the Seattle area also. I go there 3 times a year.