7800 Miles West

All Hands on Deck
All Hands on Deck

That’s not the distance between NYC and Orcas Island.  Despite bagging the Wall Street gig, I can still reason enough to locate Google Maps on my browser.  7800 miles is the distance between Orcas Island and Sydney, Australia, where I find myself this sunny & warm Fall morning (if you’re confused, pull our your maps, this is the southern hemisphere folks, and much much much further West).  I took an unmerited hiatus from the newly christened blog to tag along on my husband’s business trip to Sydney.  There’s something deeply satisfying about this trip other than it being a welcomed holiday.  There’s a sense of coming full circle --I was last in Sydney in 2004 after prematurely quitting my career for the first time.  As I retrace my steps here, I’m humbled.  Much of what I came here seeking back in 2004, I’ve found.  It took longer than anticipated, but life is about the journey, right?

So, there will be no dirt today, but there may be sand.  Admittedly, the chance to put the rubber boots aside and have someone else make me breakfast got me so excited I packed 6 pairs of high heels -- for 8 days.  Unsurprisingly I’ve spent most the trip in boat shoes and flip flops.  I also brought along a busted up pair of pants in need of patching and another in need of hemming as I haven’t gone country enough to buy myself a sewing machine yet (soon, I promise ;)  Perhaps that sounds desperate ? Well it is.  Don’t be fooled into thinking Orcas has a laundry operation on every corner, or even one for that matter.  I even suggested Gerry bring his dry cleaning to Australia to pick up on his next trip down under.  It would be quicker than taking the ferry to Friday Harbor (on another of the San Juan ar

chipelago’s 172 islands) and waiting the requisite 3 weeks to be summoned to come back and pick it up.  For AUD40 dollars and the cost of airfare you too can have your pants hemmed and the bum sewed up same day... SAME DAY!

Before we left for the land down under, we enjoyed a lovely long weekend with our dear friends the Riolo’s, Tony & Lindsey.  I’m not convinced, however, that Tony would agree with the “lov

ely” part, perhaps only the “long”.  My husband has recently learned to use a power washer, demo walls, and in the process, ruin existing electrical systems.  Enter Tony, Master of Everything Electrical and willing savior.  Gerry had him in the barn two days in a row with a case of beer and all his tools, rewiring our electrical systems.  Needless to say, the Riolo’s are now promised unlimited stays in the future guesthouse that now has spectacular lighting but not much else.  Anyone else interested in goods/vacations in exchange for home repair services please email me personally.

Baby strawberries...mid-transplant
Baby strawberries...mid-transplant

I, on the other hand, rounded off a week of pulling weeds, tilling, hauling compost, and planting peas (onions, shallots, carrots, spinach, chard and fava beans too) by transplanting a bed full of baby strawberries to a new home not jammed into the blueberry bushes.  I also noticed bunches of rhubarb sprouting burgundy stalks over by the dahlias...here’s to a buttery strawberry rhubarb tart in late Spring.  For now, I’m off to enjoy smoothie culture (watermelon, ginger, carrot, & lime) and a bit of salty air -- no shoes at all.

Opera House - behind the scenes
Opera House - behind the scenes
Pausing for a rush hour melody
Pausing for a rush hour melody
Kids. Lovin.
Kids. Lovin.
An adorable Mini (the mum-in-law's first car!)
An adorable Mini (the mum-in-law's first car!)
Iconic Australian Post box
Iconic Australian Post box