Which way is north?

I am used to having an inner compass – one that allows me to get around in a new place after a minimum of introspection, orientation and driving around. Maps not necessarily needed. But in Seattle I don’t really know where I am except when I’m in the living room…  So many places look alike. There are a million or so hills covered with buildings that slope down to some water and a lot of boats. There are always islands in the water and mountains on the other side of wherever you are. It’s confusing. I’ve actually taken the interstate highway the opposite of my desired direction for about 20 miles before realizing it was north instead of south. It makes me realize that I live in the right place (Florida) for me. The beach is always on one side of the interstate and the interior is always on the other. All the interstates go north or south, none of this four direction stuff. I am spoiled.
Today we went to Discovery Park and walked. We’ve walked in a different park every day, all interesting places with beautiful old growth forests, water flowing, people jogging with their dogs. It’s been sunny every day and the temps have been mild and if you know Seattle, you know you don’t often get four days in a row of this kind of weather. This is my last day here so maybe it will rain tomorrow – I think I saw it in the forecast.
We have also visited the Ballard market and eaten at a couple nice restaurants. Our evenings have been at home where Es and Jonathan have introduced me to Downton Abbey, a British tv series. In the midst of all these comings and goings we have talked and become reaquainted. It’s been a couple years of limited communication and I knew I needed this.  So many things have changed in their lives and I think if I had waited too much longer they might not have seemed like the same people at all.  Part of being family is the struggle to keep that from happening. Just like with geography, it’s important to know the direction different parts of your family are going in their llives in order to feel oriented in your own world. My connection with my family is kind of like my compass – it tells me which direction to face, what to focus on, where the ground is, where the sky starts, all that stuff.  I’m not saying I can see very far ahead on the road but that’s not really what the purpose of my trip out here was. It was just to see more clearly what the road looked like that we were on, and I feel satisfied I’ve been able to do that.     

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