“Well, THAT was magic!”

Something really magical happened in Bellingham this morning – actually, many magical things happened in Bellingham this morning, but let’s start with THIS one:

As I was walking along the shore in Boulevard Park I looked across the green and saw a man on the other side, in the parking lot, moving in a way that made me think he was maybe doing tai chi. I love how people move when they’re doing tai chi and I’d like to learn how to do that myself – so I started trying to follow his movements – I raised my arm when he raised his arm, I turned when he turned – and at some point he recognized what I was doing and we smiled at each other across the park. When I walked around the park to the other side I thanked him and then… I’m not sure how this happened, exactly – but the next thing I knew he’d raised his hand to mine and we were dancing! In the parking lot. At Boulevard Park. That’s what he’d been doing all along – he’d been dancing! I could hear the music then – it sounded like an Asian waltz – I know I’m not explaining this well, but… the notes were D, F, G, B flat, G… for those of you who have a scale in your head. (“A Scale in Your Head” would make a great title for a book, wouldn’t it?)

It was cosmic!. We danced around the parking lot for a few minutes. And then I thanked him – he smiled – I don’t think he spoke English – and let me take a picture of us together.

I was still thinking about my waltz in the park when I got to the parking lot above the boardwalk. And then this deer walked across the road – and a little spotted fawn suddenly appeared, too, skipping along behind her. All of us who were walking along the road just stopped and watched them pass. “Well, THAT was magic,” I said. And this man smiled at me and said, “Isn’t that a great way to start the day?!”

And there was an eagle – soaring right above me! And… and… well, here are some pictures from my morning…
– Karen Molenaar Terrell



Taking a Stand in Bellingham

It was the perfect day to take a stand. Rudy took his stand on the top of the ramp; Evelyn and her father, Keith, took their stand to Boulevard Park…

Magic at Tweets

I’ve posted about Tweets before, but I have to give it another shout out. Every single time I visit Tweet’s in Edison (Washington State) magic happens. I’ve met the most amazing people there: Benjamin Swatez, who travels the world making art with refugee children; Liesl and Joe – I invited them to share my table one afternoon because every table was taken – and in conversation with them I discovered that Liesl was the daughter of the minister who’d married my husband and I more than thirty years ago in a town three hours away!; Han and Marlo, students at WWU who give me hope for the future; and today I met Red and Henry, from Bellingham…

Red and Henry

After I got my breve I sat on the wall next to my bike and smiled at passersby and watched the traffic rolling through town. And then I saw my neighbor, Paul, across the street. He came over and we chatted for a while about friends, and life and death, and my bid for the school board – the usual stuff 🙂 – it was such fun talking with him in the old-fashioned way, face-to-face, rather than through some social media site.

Lines of people seemed to be converging on Tweets today – it reminded me of that final scene in Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”

“Where are your table manners?!”

So many beautiful people in Bellingham yesterday!

I started my walk in Fairhaven, and took the path that would take me to the ramp that goes down to the boardwalk. At the top of the ramp I came upon a sweet-faced orange tabby waiting for her humans – a passerby told me that the cat always follows her owners to the top of the ramp and then picks them up again when they return.  How precious is that?!

As I started down the ramp I heard a commotion in the bay below me. I looked down and saw a little Canada Goose family, and then I saw the source of the commotion – there was one goose who was having issues with his fellow goose creatures. He was squawking at the geese on either side of him and demanding attention, and creating a kerfuffle. He cracked me up, and I snapped a couple quick photos of him.

Moving down the boardwalk I passed a couple seagulls with seastars in their beaks – and one of them had determined to eat the seastar whole.  Another couple of people – a man and a woman – had stopped to watch the seagull, and I noted to them, “He knows we’re watching him. He looks embarrassed.”

The man laughed and asked the seagull, “Where are your table manners?!”

I walked down to Boulevard Park, watching the sailboats on the bay and the families playing together and the people walking their dogs. Everyone was smiling – including the dogs. I looped around, passed a squirrel eating on top of a picnic table, and a Swallowtail butterfly decorating a pine tree. I went back down the boardwalk, and started back up the ramp.

As I was coming up the ramp I saw this family of four – papa, mama, and two sons – sitting next to each other on a bench. They all looked so happy together – and I made mention of that to them. The mama said they were celebrating her husband’s birthday, and he grinned and said he was turning 42. I asked them if I could take their picture for them – if any of them had a camera I could use. The father gave me his cellphone and I snapped a quick photo with it.

I decided to eat lunch at the Colophon. There’s this waitress there who is just a blessing – she’s got this energy that won’t quit – and she’s kind and helpful to everyone who walks in the door.  As I was eating my portobello mushroom sandwich I was watching how she greeted everyone and I was thinking back to the other times I’ve seen her at the Colophon – I realized I’d never seen her be anything but cheerful and positive. At the end of my meal I asked her how long she’d been working there. She said she’d been there 13 years. I told her what I’d been thinking – that she is just a really caring, kind person and that she makes everyone feel acknowledged and important. She started tearing up and thanked me.

It was another lovely day on the bay…

colophon cafe



Walked to the Farmers Market yesterday. Hadn’t been there since before Christmas.

A LOT had changed in just a few months: The street that used to house the Wailing Goat Espresso, the HUB bicycle shop, and an art workshop was in the process of being torn down – I hadn’t seen THAT coming. Another passerby, Joe, and I stood behind the construction fence and stared transfixed at the remains of what had once been. There was an old bike tire on top of the heap in front of the HUB. There was no sign of the larch tree that had once stood in the lot. The rusty old bicycle that had once adorned a tree in front of the art workshop was gone. Casey, the supervisor on the deconstruction, pointed back to the rambling old building that not long ago had housed artists and told us that when they began to tear it apart they found there were no beams in there, at all, and the posts that were supposed to be holding up the building were completely rotted through – it was a miracle that building hadn’t collapsed years ago!

I found my friend, Joan, selling bread at the Bread Farm booth at the Farmers Market – and bought some sweet bread and a blueberry Danish from her.

Dillon was sitting near the Farmers Market holding a sign that said, “Out of work super model.” I told him that was a great sign – and he said he’d been holding that sign all morning, but I was the first person who’d appreciated the humor of it. I didn’t have any cash with me yesterday, but I asked Dillon if I could maybe buy him a coffee or a sandwich or something. He thanked me, but said he ate like a bird and was fine for food.

My favorite living statue was on one of the corners in downtown Bellingham – spreading her magic to the passersby.

I met Flo strumming his dulcimer on the boardwalk – he said you can’t pluck the wrong string on his dulcimer because it’s a diatonic scale and any string you pluck will be in harmony with the other strings. I thought that was pretty cool…

Here are some photos from my walk…

For reference, here are some old photos from my files of the HUB bike shop and The Wailing Goat pre-demolition…

Beautiful People and Way Cool Seagulls

Had a lovely walk in Bellingham today and met some beautiful people and some way cool seagulls…

Here are Manu and Ninder  – they’re getting married in a week…

manu Ninder

The MacPhersons’s came from Scotland to visit their Canadian friends, the Munros – and today they all came down from Canada to Bellingham. I found them sitting on a bench, looking out together towards the bay. I had to snap their picture – and then, of course, I had to TELL them I’d snapped their picture. Fortunately, they were good sports about it. They laughed and chatted with me a bit.

I told them I’m meeting a lot of beautiful people today. Mr. Munro smiled and said that someone he knew once made this observation: “When you want to know how people are going to treat you – look in the mirror. If you’re an a-hole people are going to treat you like an a-hole. If you’re a nice person people are going to treat you like a nice person.” I really liked the idea of that. I smiled and told my new friends that I’ve been both of those things. Mr. Munro said, grinning, that’s he’s never been anything but a perfectly nice person – his wife and friends got a good laugh out of that. 🙂



I saw beautiful babies with their beautiful mothers…



and a couple of fun chaps, Tripp and Nate, who invited me to play bocce with them…

Nate and Tripp

and here are the way cool sailing, soaring seagulls…



It was another lovely day on Bellingham Bay.