We heard sad news from Seattle over the summer: Lindsay, Sarah's sister-in-law, was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma. She passed away peacefully at home about two months after the diagnosis. She, David Z. and Ian had time to plan how she wanted her passing to be acknowledged. They planned to wait a couple of months after her passing and then bring family and friends together for a memorial celebration of her life.
We flew out very early on Friday and were surprised, after rushing to make our connection in Atlanta, to be offered the chance to let Robert (little terrorist that he is) have a look around the cockpit. He was a little too much in awe of the buttons, dials and switches to take the captain's seat. Posing in the cockpit doorway, however, was fine with him.
With the early departure from DC and flying west, we got into Seattle in the early afternoon. So we headed for the mother store (REI's headquarters) to poke around before heading to David and Ian's house. Robert discovered the soft kayak in the play space upstairs in REI and enjoyed jumping off of it -- it was nice to be able to jump after 6 hours on planes. At David and Ian's, he was fascinated by the piano. Ian was very nice to give him some pointers -- though Robert really liked "playing" the low notes.
|We were still mostly on DC time Saturday morning, so Robert had a chance to play Pajama Sam before any of the museums opened up. At a more decent hour, we walked up the hill in typical Seattle rainy weather to the Seattle Center and the Children's museum. That was lots of fun.|
|Some of the most fun was the quarry or coal mine. Robert really liked loading the rocks into buckets and running them up the conveyor belt. After we dragged him away from the coal mine for lunch, the weather had turned into a glorious sunny afternoon. We took a ride on the monorail and then went up the space needle.|
|We headed over to David and Ian's after running around a bit and Robert had a chance to meet his cousins from the Brown side of the family. Lachlan, Gannon and Charlotte were really great to Robert and Ian was an excellent host to his extended family.|
|Gannon was happy to chase Robert around the backyard (he, Robert, really does seem to have a huge reserve of energy when fun things are afoot). Then the kids retired to the den for some Guitar Hero and cat tricks. Pearl is clearly a lot younger and more social than our cat Zip Drive.|
Robert was starting to fade as the evening wore on...
The next day we walked back up the hill, this time going to the Pacific Science Center; it was calling to us from the Space Needle when we looked down at the deluges folks were playing with.
|Inside the Science Center, we were greeted by a Harmonograph; it takes a little more practice and patience than we had to get really, really cool drawings; but Robert's was pretty fun. Then there was all sorts of stuff: puzzles, insects, dinosaurs, toilets, tidal pools, and medical manikins.|
|After meeting Harry and Elle in Seattle Center for lunch, we headed back down to the hotel -- stopping by the cotton candy cart on the way. Robert really was being very good on this trip.|
|The memorial celebration was all that Lindsay could have hoped for. Lots of family and friends came together to remember all the ways she had impacted their lives, learn a bit more about her life, catch up with folks they had not seen in years and meet new friends.|
|Afterwards, the family retired to David and Ian's for a few more stories before most of the out-of-town visitors headed back to Montana, Texas, DC and points in between.|
|Though very sorry for the occasion, we felt lucky to get a chance to visit with family and celebrate knowing such a wonderful person. She will be missed. Finally, thanks to all of Robert's cousins for taking such good care of him.|