Giddy with Forest Magic

I have been in the thick of tree pheromones today. I am feeling a little giddy.

Lake Padden, Bellingham, WA. 10-15-17
(photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell)


Bellingham 9-28

I was feeling overwhelmed today. Depressed.

So I drove up to Bellingham after work for a walk on the boardwalk. I felt my body craving sunshine and fresh air and movement. And it was so lovely up there – seagulls flying, children laughing, the leaves just starting to change color, friendly smiles, families spending time together, jaunty little sailboats skimming across the bay. The youngest son was going to meet me for dinner in a little while, and I’d just gotten off the phone with the oldest son. I knew I’d see my husband soon. And I had one of those perfect, complete, love-filled moments – one of those moments when I KNEW everything was right with the world – a moment when I felt wealthy with love and peace. A moment when all the worries and fears about our planet just melted away and all that was real – the only thing that mattered, really – was love. I wish I could explain this better. But… it was really beautiful. It brought me peace.

I’m going to try to hang onto my memory of that moment in the weeks ahead…

(Photos by Karen Molenaar Teerrell)

Stephen’s New Hair-Do and Flipped Reflections

Spent some time in Bellingham this weekend – both on the boardwalk and at Lake Padden. As always, I felt uplifted and refreshed by my time there.

In Boulevard Park I met a man with a beautiful smile and his “first ever hair-do” – he let me take a picture of him with the new ‘do he’d given himself –
Stephen and his new hair-doAnd this morning at Lake Padden, the water was a perfect mirror…


First day back at school – no students, yet – just a day to get ready for the new year – a day I spend inside doing inside-stuff. And at the end of the day the blue sky calls to me and I head for the sunshine and fresh air in Bellingham to soak up the peace and joy…

I saw a woman sitting on the grass at the edge of the bay – she had a fabulous hat shielding her face – and her whole posture said “peace” to me. I had to take a photo. Later I ran into her on the trail and showed her the picture I’d taken of her. I told her how much I enjoyed her hat. I learned Christen is a blogger, too! Her blog can be found here.


cool hat

Christen Mattix and Her Fabulous Hat

The bay sparkled, the sun dazzled, and the boardwalk gave me gifts…

Visitors from White Rock

I was waving to an Amtrak train as it sped past, and the lady next to me on the boardwalk saw what I was doing and started waving to the train, too. I knew, immediately, that she was a kindred spirit. 🙂  I chatted with Josephine for awhile then, and learned she and her companions were visiting from White Rock, Canada.

You meet the nicest people on the boardwalk…

Tweet’s in Edison: Where Magic Happens

In the little town of Edison, Washington, there is a place where magic happens. It is called Tweet’s, and I never fail to find friendship and laughter there. Also, really good food.

A couple years ago I wrote a post about running unexpectedly into the daughter of the Methodist minister who had married my husband and I three decades before in a town three hours away, on the other side of the Puget Sound.  I’d never met the minister’s daughter before and wouldn’t have known that we had any connection to each other if we’d just passed on the street. But we began chatting at Tweet’s as we ate our breakfasts, and discovered that her father had been the minister who had married Scott and me.

That same day I ran into some of my former students – and it was so good to see them again and to learn about the wonderful lives they were making for themselves. And it was that day, too, that I met WWU students Hannah and Marlo – and they later ended up being in the same classes as my youngest son.

Another morning at Tweet’s I discovered a table of young artists talking about their art – and, being who I am, I, of course, had to listen in to what they were saying from my little table in the corner of the deck. They were funny and bright and had me cracking up to myself in my corner. Soon a young man joined them – his hair was sticking up and he was kind of bleary-eyed and he announced to his friends that he’d just had an all-nighter watching an entire Zombie series on television. His humor and description of the TV show and his aura of good will completely won me over. As I left I stopped by their table and admitted I’d been listening in to their conversation and really enjoyed it. They all started laughing, and we chatted a bit before I left. A week or two later I ran in to the zombie-watcher at an espresso stand, recognized him, and introduced myself. He said, “You’re Karen?! My friends have been telling me I needed to meet you and your husband!” And he introduced himself as Benjamin Swatez – an artist who has worked with Syrian refugee children and other young people, doing art projects with them. He is an amazing human being. And I first met him at Tweet’s.

And yesterday I found more magic at Tweet’s. I found another old student there, Austin, who recently discovered his gift for photography. And I met some visitors from Vancouver, Canada, who’d passed me on their motorcycles as I pedaled my bike to Edison. They were friendly and kind and funny – and I had such fun chatting with them. And there was Charles – the owner of Tweet’s – coming over to greet me and give me a hug.

And, just now as I was typing this, I realized what’s so magical about Tweet’s: It is a place filled to brimming with love.