Posted by: Janet | December 26, 2007

Christmas in Seattle 1959-2007

A long time ago I celebrated Christmas time in Seattle and Centralia.  I was single but was invited to share the warmth and love of 2 extended families.  It was a happy celebration with a lovely Christmas eve dinner given by one sister and then Christmas day dinner itself with another sister – who in turn had come to Washington State years before from Kansas.  Western pioneers in my eyes.  Especially the father/grandfather who had come to America from Russia in the early 1900’s and established the farm in Kansas. 

I was only a recent and temporary visitor to Seattle from the East Coast.  But this extended family certainly made me feel welcome and one of them.  I did not have a crystal ball to see that almost 50 years later I would be back in Seattle celebrating Christmas with one of my own sons and his wife and 2 granddaughters.  And this Christmas was even more special than that Christmas long ago.                    christmas-dinner-2007.gif  Christmas dinner 2007

Life has taken me far and wide since those few short months in Seattle working for an urban planning consultant and then the Boeing giant.  Now I am an even briefer visitor – only a week or so at a time – but we do try to come often, far as it is from our home base in Dublin Ireland.  Seattle has changed so much since 1959- 1960.  It has certainly grown and grown and grown but it still feels rural in many  ways and one feels in touch with the rich history of the settlement of the American West.  I am in such awe of the pioneers.  When I visit here I try to read something related to this aspect of American history – my current choice is Ivan Doig’s book Prairie Nocturne.  Ivan Doig is one of my favourite authors.  And  of course I visit all my favourite book stores to boost my collection of western frontier novels and diaries and journals.  I’m expanding my collection of the Wagons West series by Dana Fuller Ross and I’ve found a very interesting looking book about the history of Seattle itself.  A big plus about that find was that I found it in a book store that I was about to dismiss for its unfriendly atmosphere – a wonderful selection of books but an attendant on duty who didn’t seem to care about her books at all.  This time the attendant (a new one) couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful.  So Ophelia’s bookshop in Fremont is back in favour.  Ophelia, by the way, was a cat who chewed on her tail (cat and tail no longer with us) but her memory lives on. 

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