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Sky High

It has been one hell of a summer in North America, hasn't it? Earthquakes, hurricanes, torrential rain, and if you live in this part of the country, wildfires burning out of control. I suppose it boils down to one part of our continent has too much water, and one doesn't have enough.

If you live on the twentieth floor of a high rise, you tend to notice the sky. Or, at least I do. I marvel at the changes on a daily basis. Smoke from wildfires in both Oregon and Washington State traveled north and once again have blanketed the city, turning the sun an eerie shade of reddish orange.
Every now and again, the sun would peep from behind the haze and clouds, shimmering orange on the water.
Thinking of my favorite color, many of the high rises use orange as an accent color and rightly so. It adds pizazz!
Not only was the dreariness from the smoke, but a little rain has fallen. Still not enough to wash away that pee smell, but it sure emptied out the park. The tiniest bit of sun shimmers on half of the fountain water.
Closer to the ground, I've been either shopping or cooking. Products in the stores often have a different name than we are accustomed to, made by the same manufacturer though. In this instance, neither of us even noticed that Ritz are not a Nabisco product here. And then we did.
One day I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of groceries at once; if you can imagine, all of this fit into my rolling cart. Thank God for that.
Along Seymour, the street I travel to get to Nesters, the grocery store, I've seen the marquee for this nightclub on numerous occasions, however, it wasn't until this week that I stopped and read the sign which proved very interesting indeed.
I'm sure you can't read it if you are reading this on a phone, but it details how the likes of all kinds of celebrities, including one of my Dad's favorites, Ella Fitzgerald, frequented the club. Count me super surprised that they haven't torn it down yet like so much of the past.

One day it was so smoky even I did not want to roam around. Instead, the sewing machine emerged from the closet and in this makeshift fashion, I finished the quilting on the scrappy quilt I'd brought with us.
The binding went on and I'm about half way through doing the hand sewing. I'm thinking I wish I had more hand sewing to do as I have no doubt there will be upcoming days that I won't want to roam around and I'll need something to keep me occupied.

Thursday I decided to head back to the fabric store, taking a circuitous route down Burrard to West Hastings, and I'm delighted I did. Bruce brought me home some new walking shoes from REI in Seattle which are going to make it easier in the future for me to walk so far. My legs never tire, but the bottoms of my feet sure do hurt. Anyway, wearing the new shoes, I saw this adorable shop, cheery enough to brighten any gray day!
Further, nearly all of the flowers in the community garden are spent, or nearly so, except this gigantic dahlia. So big, I thought I'd show my hand next to it for context. Gorgeous color too.
At some point I ended up on Butte Street, one I'd never been on before, coming across this pretty.
Water feature and Chihuly? What's not to like? Apparently it is lit up at night which sounds very appealing indeed.

Not far from there, a little more of the past.
And then this lovely building..
Turning right onto West Hastings, that is one street that changes as you go East, and do I mean change. W. Hastings is filled with spiffy buildings, but when you get to the Eastside, watch out! There are nearly 3,000 homeless people here and a good many of them are on E. Hastings. I, however, did not go that far, and don't intend to in the future.

So, I'm walking along, noticing everything, when I see a sign for Vancouver Pen Shop. So what? Here's what...Mr. Bruce uses a Rotring mechanical pencil, in fact, he rarely uses a pen. Go on Gail.....well, he discovered he did not bring any erasers with him from Florida so we did all kinds of internet sleuthing last weekend in search of that type of eraser with no luck. Amazingly, the woman said she had some if I knew his model type. My call went unanswered as he was in a meeting. I got the store hours and went on my way, spending about an hour at the fabric store with some of that time spent talking with a Canadian woman about my age. Bruce returned my call while I was in the store, and I gave him the details of the shop location.

Making my way home, via Richards, who should I run into on the street but Bruce! Unplanned for sure! He'd misunderstood my directions and thought it was past Richards when in fact it was before Richards on W. Hastings. His route would have been Seymour Street had I made myself clear enough. Crazy, right? I walked him back to the store, and while he and the proprietor were conducting their business, I walked through an open door onto this beautiful scene.
Lest you think someone threw a bunch of paper down on the ground, those are white tiles. The above photograph does not do the former bank building justice. I must return for better shots, if only for myself.

The sky yesterday was gloomy and smoky. Think back to those beautiful views, with the blue, sparkly water; quite the unwelcome contrast!
We are both anxiously awaiting any news from Florida where the sky probably looks very similar. I can't tell you how hard it is being away from everyone at times like these. I'm not worried about our condo, however, the same cannot be said for my better half. David secured everything and now the MINI is under cover, with hopefully no trees above it. Unfortunately, we cannot find any world news channels here, so the little snippets from the Seattle station have had to suffice. Of course there is the internet, but in words I thought I would never utter, I miss the Orlando local news, at least in this instance. Are they still saying "hunker down" in every other sentence? It is the waiting that is so hard, isn't it? Back in 2004 when Hurricane Charley came to town, we barely knew it was coming, which may have been better. Whether we knew it was on the way or not, the tree would have still fallen on our house and the debris cover our yard. Sometimes we know too much for our own good.

yours truly,

Gail

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