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Busy Sunny Saturday

The weather in Seattle today was just gorgeous. In the low 80s, sunny and breezy.

This morning was the awards ceremony for the Seattle Reading Award for Highest Improvement in Reading. Katherine was one of 234 fifth graders from 58 schools across the school district to get the award. Considering Kate’s struggles with reading we’re very proud that she received this distinction. She received an autographed book, a personalized certificate and a handshake from former mayor Norm Rice. It was quite interesting to see how different families approached the award. Some kids were dressed to the nines in suit coats or sparkling gowns and matching heels. Some kids came wearing track suits and t-shirts. Some families arrived in large, proud, rowdy groups, other kids came with just one parent or grandparent. Norm Rice’s address to the kids had the well-worn cadence of an oft-told tale and was particularly funny as he was trying to explain to the kids about his experience as a kid being quarantined after exposure to polio and how books became so important to him because those were the days “before television, before computers, before Pac-Man…” and, as the parents in the audience began to chuckle and the kids looked confused someone helped him out and he added, “…before iPods.” The days before Pac-Man! It was just so adorably quaint.

After the awards ceremony we were feeling good and the weather was so delightful, we decided to walk from the awards location up to the Beacon Hill Festival at the Jefferson Community Center. We bought some hamburgers, watched some folksy entertainment, and Kate won some cheap trinkets by playing games like bean bag toss. We exhausted our tolerance for community fairs in less than an hour but undaunted, I suggested that we continue to spend the day outdoors, doing stuff.

After a brief stop at home to pack up a picnic dinner (cold fried chicken, watermelon, assorted vegetables and dip) we made our way up to Discovery Park. On our way we were pulled over by a procession of motorcycle cops on an official escort of some sort. Finally it was revealed to be a small funeral procession of some sort. “Maybe it was Norm Maleng,” I suggested. Rounding the corner, once we were allowed to go on our way, we saw a sign at a local gas station had been changed to read “In Honor of Norm Maleng”.

We had a lovely picnic dinner at Discovery Park and walked the trails, looked out over the Puget Sound and generally wore ourselves out. Home now to cocoon for the rest of the evening, maybe read, maybe catch up on TiVo. I may even flirt with danger and treat myself to some coffee and a piece of the strawberry rhubarb tart I baked yesterday.

This is what summer weekends should be like!

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