Friday, July 3—Seattle Area
Tom had a project that needed to be finished. So we headed out to Tacoma to pick up a fire table for their patio that he had commissioned from a Craig’s List provider. The table was made to fit the sitting area, had all the features he wanted, and was a fraction of the “retail” cost of such a table.
Once the table was installed and operable, the Tom, Tori, Lisa and I headed north. Our first stop was B&E Meats & Seafood in Newcastle. This may be the best butcher and fresh fish store I’ve ever walked in to. Lisa and Tori, both marriage and family therapists, gravitated quickly to the “Group Therapy” section of the store. (Look closely at the sign on the shelf between them.)
After selecting a few snacks like smoked tri tip and sausage we went to the famous Pike Place Market. It was the place Lisa wanted to visit while here in Seattle. It is a farmers market like no other I’ve seen. You can buy most any type of fresh produce, meat, fish, flowers, and trinkets you can imagine…and dine at a vey wide variety of small restaurants. People stand in line for hours to get in to the rumored original Starbucks. It’s “rumored” because there doesn’t seem to be any official claim from Starbucks that this particular location is, in fact, the original. But people don’t seem to care. We passed.
After a lunch break and quick stop for foot massages, we boated on Lake Washington with Tom and Tori’s friends John and Lisa, and their two daughters, Katie and Sarah. The lake is a beautiful place to boat, sail, swim, ski, or just drop anchor and hang out.
As Tom and Tori predicted, Lisa and I really enjoyed meeting John and Lisa. They are warm, compassionate people of like faith with whom we related instantly. And their daughters are wonderful young people. John and I shared stories about our respective business careers and found many common threads. He is well on his way to accomplishing some difficult but worthy challenges.
Even though the weather has been unusually hot, after we returned home we sat out by the fire table and enjoyed a renewal of fellowship as the cool evening breeze finally crossed our faces.
Saturday, July 4—Seattle Area
Happy Fourth of July, America!
We relaxed throughout the day. I had no idea how much I needed rest, so it was good to take a long nap. We went to John and Lisa’s for dinner, and met several of their friends with whom they share Bellevue Christian School as the center of their mutual relationships. At the last minute, John decided we should all go back out on Lake Washington to watch the fireworks of several cities. It was the most spectacular fireworks display I’ve ever seen. We were in the center of the cities of Kenmore, Kirkland, Yarrow Point, Hunts Point, and Seattle surrounding us. It was a fierce competition. In the end, Steve Ballmer’s private fireworks show one first prize as far as our crew was concerned.
Sunday, July 5—Renton to Tumwater, WA
Lisa and I both needed a break, and spending this relaxing time with Tom and Tori was just what we needed. The four of us have worked in ministry together, shared a home together for several months, celebrated many Christmases together, prayed together, and quickly learned to speak the truth to each other with grace. I give Tom, Tori, and Lisa most of the credit for creating what many might consider to be a model friendship.
Tom is a pastor at Highlands Community Church in Renton, so we went there for worship this morning. It was a great service that both Lisa and I enjoyed. We met Tom for lunch after he finished up his Sunday duties. When lunch was over it was time to say goodbye to our friends and each other as Lisa was flying back to the Bay Area, and I was headed south to position myself for a ride through Olympic National Park tomorrow and the final, home stretch of my ride!