Skagit River I-5 Bridge Collapse

It hit me yesterday that the last time I drove over the I-5 Skagit River bridge really WAS the last time I drove over the I-5 Skagit River bridge.  I’ve crossed that bridge twice a day since September – commuting to and from work – and never really gave much thought to it when I was passing over it. The bridge was just a part of my day, with no special significance to me – something I took for granted.

I was in Bellingham when I got the phone call from my husband – wondering where I was and if I was alright – telling me the I-5 bridge had collapsed into the river.  At first I couldn’t really take in what he was telling me. “Wha…t?” It was too big. Too crazy. Too unthinkable. I remembered crossing over the bridge just a couple hours before and it had been jam-packed with commuter traffic then.  How many cars, I wondered, had ended up in the river. And how many people…

When I got home the TV was turned to the news – and there it was – my commuting bridge  – its wings all broken and askew – two battered-looking cars resting on its remains. And on top of one of the cars sat a young man, calmly gazing off into the water, waiting for rescue.  I wondered about him – who he was, where he’d been going, how he’d managed to get himself out of his car, how he’d managed to survive that fall into the river.

Later a good friend called to tell me she knew that young man – he was one of her former students at the local high school – and he was “an exceptional young man.”

I watched the barge carrying the crane to the I-5 bridge move under the Mount Vernon bridge last night. From where I stood, it looked like a pretty tight fit – the fellow standing on the top part of the barge had to hold down the two poles that were sticking out the back of it, so that they didn’t scrape the bridge. It would have really been a bummer to lose the Mount Vernon bridge, too. But these men were professionals – they all knew what they were doing – and I’m happy to say we still have our Mount Vernon bridge across the Skagit. 🙂

Tonight I had the opportunity to meet Bryce Kenning in the person. My friend was right about him.  He IS an exceptional young man. 🙂

(For more on Bryce’s story, go to http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/bridge-collapse-survivor-tells-his-story/article_1b029f0d-4b0c-542c-81ea-8fee830e3b9c.html .)

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Bellingham Bay in May

Quinceanera, a walk to support American Sign Language, blossoms, reflections, puppies, and sea…

“begin and end your day with a smile”

The Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers sponsored the first-ever Bellingham Bay Classic today.  It was most excellent. 🙂 http://bboutrigger.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bellingham-Bay-Classic-Race-Flyer-2013.pdf

And let us consider, for a moment, the power in a smile… 🙂 I was waxing philosophical about smiles today – thinking about the power of them – how, when we smile at a stranger, we”re not bringing any kind of agenda or obligation with our smiles – we can’t be sure, in fact, that a smile will be offered in return – but when it is – there’s something magic in it…  and just then – whoah – I happened to glance over at a bench in the park – and there was a note that said, and I quote: “begin and end your day with a smile”… I know… cool, right? Needless-to-say the boardwalk was brimming with smiles today… 🙂

 

 

It’s May! It’s May! On Bellingham Bay!

Western Washington University will host its “Once Upon a Dance” at 7:00 pm on June 6th and 7th, and 2:00 pm on June 8th. I was privileged to stumble upon Amanda, one of the performers, practicing her moves at Boulevard Park today.  I also was gifted to meet Amber Darling’s new baby,  a cairn-maker, a fairy named Clover, a needle-point artist, and a little scooter-talent weaving his way through the crowds at the Bellingham Farmer’s market…

Oh! And vote for the cow!!!

“My camera’s been getting stuck and taking random pictures…”

…one of the random pictures turned out pretty cool, though. 🙂

Et voila! The week in pictures – last day of the Tulip Festival, doings on the Bay, and an eagle looking at his little dive-bomber with a sort of bemused “What the heck do you think you’re doing?” expression on his noble face…