Pennies are worth something in Olympia. If you stick one in a meter, you get 15 minutes worth of parking. Some meters will even give you the first 16 minutes free. Not 15, but *16*. I thought it might feel weird to walk around downtown Olympia, but it wasn’t weird at all. I didn’t time trip or get stupidly nostalgic like I normally do. It was rather refreshing to just walk around without feeling sentimental, like I had just walked down that street last week. I wonder what this means.
So when we got off the plane yesterday early evening it was quite warm. We had caught the tail end of that heatwave and the weather felt just like it did coming from New York, which was a bit disorienting for some reason. We woke up this morning to 60 degree temps, though. I was freezing. I had long sleeves and a hoodie on and I was still freezing. I don’t think I’ve felt this cold in about 4 months. I lamented over the fact that I didn’t throw in that cashmere sweater that was in the “maybe” pile when packing. Gah.
We spent the day acclimating ourselves to the time change and making plans for the day. We made a visit to one of our old college music teacher’s house in the woods near campus. Peter teaches electronic music and audio engineering. His house is full of craziness: a mess of guitars, amps, cables, keyboards, mixers, and usually a poodle -this time a spunky poodle puppy. Mia remembered that he had a full drum kit up in the music studio so she headed up there as soon as she got in through the door (by the way, it’s so funny that the first thing the girls will do when entering any house is take off their shoes, even if the house is not shoe-free). The girls weren’t shy about banging away at the drums, like super loud. He also has really random things laying around his house, like slingshots (which he taught the girls how to use), weird stuffed animal toys that fart when you squeeze them, a 5 ft rubber snake, and this bucket air puff maker. It’s a total fun house for kids. In his yard are these wild, rambling alpine strawberry bushes. You pick the tiny berries right off the plants and pop them in your mouth. Among many things in his vegetable garden, the girls picked swiss chard leaves and asparagus. And just as we do at every visit, we talked about how old we’d gotten and how long ago it was when he was our teacher, showing us how to use Arps and Buchlas and sequence tracks.
Our first day in Washington ended with a walk in the port at dusk. The whole town, located right on Puget Sound, smells of saltwater. Seagulls overhead signal that you’re right on the water. Whether it is Pacific or Atlantic, it reminded me of how important it was that I live near water. I’ll always want to live near the ocean.