theTravelsketcher this week – April 29, 2021

Le Confinement is easing, we are vaccinated, the CDC says we can even go without masks in public, there is an air of anticipation and relief in the people I meet. Tomorrow Tricia (Travels Through My Lens) and I take a small step toward normal, a road trip to Prosser and wine country – travel sketches sur place.

This week was eclectic, a sign of my growing restlessness – OK, my forbearance is straining to stay intact.

We have cautiously visited restaurants during Le Confinement, more than some people did, yet we always took the recommended precautions. Dining is our main hobby, even when traveling, thus it is integral in maintaining our sanity through all of this, whether at home or going out. So we once again visited The Oyster Bar, easily on the list of the best places we have ever been. The service is amazing, the gnocchi appetizer is worth the drive, and the daily specials are spot on – the setting alone and the view are the pièce de résistance – Samish Bay, San Juan Islands, and Taylor’s Oyster Farm right at your feet.

But then of course one must savour simple daily pleasures. For me it is mornings, which usually begin at about 5:00am. For many years I rarely drank coffee, except when we stayed at the Airbnb of Pete and Krista in Newberg, Oregon. Pete is the founder of Caravan Coffee, in the morning he would brew me a coffee and I loved it. At his recommendation I ordered his Sidecar Blend, brewing it in my three-cup (six ounce) Moka pot. I am now an avid coffee drinker, sorry Starbucks. So a morning of coffee, a bit of news, tempered by a bit of meditation is the perfect start to the day.

The intrinsic value of friends, connected with through Zoom, Skype, Face Time, email, or texts, grew more precious and they cushioned the isolation of these last months. Another glimmer of the imminent emancipation is that we had appetizers with friends from down the street, they came bearing tulips, c’est parfait.

We Skype with our friends in Portland most every week. They, non-pet folks for the most part, were dog sitting for a friend. A sketch of Louie seemed fitting.

Of course there will always be a sketch of France. The EU is talking of opening a bit in the next few months so we are encouraged that we may still make the move.

Yet I never forget that the walk right outside our door is quite nice. Spring is bursting out in shades of green.

This has been a year we will never forget, we all have experienced frustration, disapointment, sadness, and pain to one degree or another. I am reading The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World – a dialogue between the dear friends Desmond Tutu and The Dali Lama. They say that we cannot know true joy unless we have trials and even suffering to measure it against, that is good lesson for me today.

I pray that you are feeling a bit of encouragement that there is light on the horizon, less restriction, more harmony and cooperation between factions, AND travel. So get out there as you can, and sketch along the way. If you are on FB visit my page and post your sketches for us all to enjoy.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shirley says:

    Beautifully written. Thanks for taking us along with you on the slow journey out of this past crazy year. Yes—it is the simple pleasures and contacts with friends (electronic or otherwise) that have eased us all toward normalcy (getting there!) We thank you for so eloquently putting words to paper and putting pencil to sketching pad on our behalf. (And by the way—nice tulips!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mandy says:

    It’s good to read something positive to start the day. The hope of a better year comes through loud and clear. I particularly like your lavender fields of France sketch.


    1. Thank you Mandy, your thoughts are so appreciated.


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