Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vacation into Retreat

We had a lovely week, my sister Kathy and I, driving down and up the west coast with Robert Caro's Passage to Power on the iPod, visiting cousins, and revisiting our childhood days at the Hahn family vacation home in Dutch Flat, California (it's on the road to Lake Tahoe).  Our cousins Margie and Mike Jager and Dowrene Hahn welcomed us to a home that looked very much as it had when we were all young, right down to the exact shade of dark green paint.  The town hasn't changed much either: the store is still where it's always been, the old hotel, now restored, looks ready for visitors, and the swimming hole, which was really a hole in our days, is now properly concreted and tiled and chlorinated, but it still keeps the old irregular shape.  What a rare satisfaction!  I'm far more used to trying to remember what used to be on a familiar corner that's suddenly sprouted a 10-story building.
Dutch Flat is an old mining town set into a dry Sierra forest of Ponderosa pine, western red cedar and fir, a spare and beautiful landscape that in summer is reliably sunny - a pleasure for northwesterners who'd been going through the usual Seattle soggy June.  Here we are in the forest, visiting the grave of my uncle and aunt, George and Dot Hahn.

We managed to visit other cousins, Margaret Rooker and Emilie Sturges Hance, along the way, and we had a grand family time.

Tomorrow I begin the other much-anticipated week of my U.S. time, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace community retreat here at St. Mary-on-the-Lake.  A week without all my electronic toys will be very good for me, and a week of silence even better.  Even the weather is cooperating, as a sunny wave began on the 4th and will - in theory - last through the retreat week.  I'll be back to blogging afterwards.

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