Sea shells

Sea shells

Islands of Warmth

December 5, 2016


Last month’s full moon

“The cold has the philosophical value of reminding men that the universe does not love us. Cold as absolute as the black tomb rules space; sunshine is a local condition, and the moon hangs in the sky to illustrate that matter is usually inanimate. . . . To return back indoors after exposure to the bitter, inimical, implacable cold is to experience gratitude for the shelters of civilization, for the islands of warmth that life creates.”
— John Updike, “The Cold”

I am getting tired of the dark, the gloom, the clouds, the cold, the dampness, the rain.  I dream of warm sun on my skin.  That local condition is months away.  In the meantime, I will try to be grateful for central heating, electric lights, polar fleece, and mittens!






The World All a-Glow

December 4, 2016

Bedazzled by lights

Bedazzled by lights

“Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas.  All else is outward display — so much tinsel and decorations.  For it isn’t the holly, it isn’t the snow.  It isn’t the tree nor the firelight’s glow.  It’s the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.”
— Author unknown

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
— Ruth Carter Stapleton

I love the lights of Christmas.  I look for their colorful, twinkling cheer to brighten the darkness of this time of year.  The day after Thanksgiving I made myself proud by hanging a paltry, single string of lights over our front door.  Even that small source of color makes me happy once evening comes.  I won’t be putting much effort into Christmas baking or decorating this year, but that single string of lights makes a difference.

This year I found a new way to celebrate the lights of the season — I drove out to the suburbs to see the Christmas Lights show put on by Evergreen Church in Bothell.  The free light show runs very night from November 25th to January 1st.  For about 25 minutes, there is an extravaganza of bedazzling lights blinking on and off in time with piped-in Christmas music.  There is a warming house, cocoa and cookies, warming lamps outside, and on the grounds a tunnel of light and nativity scene.

Just before dusk, ribbons of crows — thousands of them — flew by high over the church to their night roosts.  That was amazing, too.

Evergreen Church in Bothell

Evergreen Church in Bothell

The church itself looks a bit like a suburban motel, but then it is magically transformed under the lights.  In the opening video, the church’s pastor states that there are 70 languages spoken in the city of Bothell, and then we hear individuals send us Christmas greetings in their native tongues.  I appreciated this warm welcome.

Here are some photos:














World of Wearable Art exhibit at Seattle's MoPop

World of Wearable Art exhibit at Seattle’s MoPop

I recently wrote about the Yves St Laurent exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, but there is another fashion exhibit currently showing in the city at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project).  A friend and I went to see the World of Wearable Art show which features winning looks from New Zealand’s international design competition.  The fashions all were constructed using unconventional materials — fiberglass, wood veneer, plastic, old tires, etc.  These artists’ imaginations are off the charts!  I loved the hybrid offerings, a marriage of art and fashion.  Here are a few samples:

Warrior outfit made of tires

Wood veneer



The venue, a building designed by Frank Gehry, is as stunning as the exhibits in the show:






The Museum of Pop Culture is on the grounds of the Seattle Center.  Just look for the Space Needle, which stands as sentry over the grounds.

Space Needle

Space Needle