Grandpa Mustache and Grandma White Wine

Today wrapped up another great visit from Carl and Kaye, who braved some of the most extreme weather Lopez has to offer – wind, rain and bitter cold. We had several feasts throughout the week – from Thursday’s turkey to Grandpa’s oysters to, of course, Mud Bay’s Dungeness crab. And, between meals, we got a chance to decorate for the holidays. Thanks to Grandma, Fry Lodge now has a wreath! Kristine and I even got a date night at the Galley out of the deal. Thank you for being wonderful parents and grandparents, Mom and Dad. We’re all sad to see you go. Come back soon so we can get to work on that guest house.

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Fry Lodge Gives Thanks

Any Thanksgiving that ends with Wip hits is a good Thanksgiving in our book.

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Grandma and Grandpa Fry were our guests this year, which made our first Thanksgiving as permanent Lopezians extra special.

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Kristine took the lead on the menu and worked tirelessly for two days preparing an amazing meal, which included some traditional favorites from both sides of the family: my mom’s rutabagas, Ruby’s famous carrots, and Kristine’s Uncle Howie’s “don’t push the jello salad” jello salad.

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Henry and Ruby created the menus/place cards. Grandpa and I did dishes.

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We have lots for which to be thankful this year, not least of which is living in such a special place as Lopez. It was a beautiful day on the island. We woke up to the scene of an otter flopping in and out of our boat, which was pretty exciting. We then spent the day alternating between stoking the fire and flipping over Christmas albums on the turntable. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Fry Lodge Faithful.

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The Biker and the Storyteller

I’ve always wanted to make a business trip where I could completely rely on my bike for transportation. But it’s always been too convenient to take a car – either my own or somebody else’s, whether that be hitching a ride with a friend, catching a cab, or taking a car service. Necessity is the mother of invention. Now that we’re a one-car lodge, taking the van on my business trips isn’t a popular option. Neither is the cost of a float plane ticket. So, I started taking the shuttle to Seattle this fall. But that left me with costly cab rides or inefficient bus routes to get around in the Emerald City. So, this week I decided to pack light and take my folding bike instead of a suitcase on my business trip. I combined the Washington State Ferry, Bellair Shuttle, Seattle Light Rail and my Brompton folding bike to make the 250-mile round trip. All it required was a little planning, some light packing (thank goodness for Seattle’s casual business attire) and not being afraid of a few rain sprinkles during my rides between meetings. There were so many positive aspects of this trip that outweighed the above, very minor inconveniences. For starters, it was probably the cheapest business trip I’ve ever taken. It also meant that I could build exercise into my schedule. No traffic to slow me down, getting from point A to point B was stress free and predictable from a timing perspective. And, walking into any place carrying a folding bike is a great conversation starter. If you’re into that kind of thing.

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I’m reporting this because it’s an exciting Fry Lodge development. Even more exciting, though, is the fact that Ruby TOTALLY nailed her Thanksgiving play narrator role at school today. I’d post the video, but it has others’ kids in it. Ruby read with authority, clarity and poise – like it was no big deal. We couldn’t be more proud of – and thankful for – our little storyteller.

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Serializing Fry Lodge

It all started 8 weeks ago. Henry and I, kind of bored on a Saturday afternoon, listened to This American Life on the Internet/radio. The episode was called “Alibi.” As the rest of the world now knows, that was the beginning of a new weekly podcast called Serial, a story told week by week, produced by WBEZ Chicago. It’s a true story about Adnan Sayed, who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999. He was sentenced to life in prison, and maintains his innocence to this day. You can learn more about it by listening to the podcasts. Well, Henry and I are totally addicted to this story. Every Thursday, we listen to the latest episode before reading other bedtime stories that are probably more appropriate for a seven-year-old. To be honest, I did consider a few times that this material might be too mature for Henry. But his reaction to it tells me that it’s OK. Sure, there is the occasional f-bomb dropped. But it’s nothing he hasn’t (very rarely!) heard come out of his parents’ mouths. Henry of course knows that murder is wrong. And he asks really good questions, including the meaning of words like “innocuous” or “nonchalant.” I’ve even caught him using those words in a sentence later. He also has me pause the episode periodically to discuss his own thoughts about who actually committed this murder. And his theories are pretty good. Tonight, when the host, Sarah Koenig, asked for Season 2 donations, Henry said he wants to donate $2.50. I’m not sure who is enjoying this weekly ritual more, Henry or me. It’s quality time, for sure.  Can’t wait ’til next Thursday. On Serial.

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Ruby Gets Her First Phone Call

The phone rang tonight. Our phone never rings. It was a 468 number, so I answered. The girl on the other end of the line asked to speak with Ruby. It was her friend Thea from school. It took me a few seconds to process this information. You see, this just hasn’t happened before. I finally snapped out of it and handed the phone to Ruby. I think she was as shocked as I was. To-date, the only people Ruby has ever spoken to on the phone have been her grandparents, or me – when I’m calling in from an out-of-town work trip. I know, it was only a phone call – people have been doing such things for about 100 years. I still felt compelled to hover in the room, eavesdropping – What could they possibly be talking about? Kristine and I hung on every “yeah” and “ok,” making up our own stories of where this conversation could be going. A play date? Planning tomorrow’s outfits? At one point, it was obvious that Thea had asked Ruby what she was doing (Thea must be an old pro at this). Ruby’s response was, “I’m walking around the room.” Which she was. I know that there will be many more rites of passage for Ruby that I’ll witness over the next few years, yet the realization that our little girl is growing up just came crashing down on me.

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Kites

Henry, thanks to his teacher, Mr. B, is obsessed with kites these days. In class, Mr B likes to make learning as fun and active as possible. For the past month, he’s been teaching concepts like measurement, division and area to the kids by constructing kites. Henry loves it, and he has begun applying those concepts to his Fry Lodge routines. With today being a day off in observance of Veterans Day, Kristine took the kids kite flying. They couldn’t have asked for better weather for this activity. Thanks, Mr. B.

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A visit from Mike and Alicia

Brother Mike and sister-in-law Alicia (and their dog, Boo) arrived today, mid-way through their first official retirement road trip. We love having visitors to Fry Lodge, especially family visitors. This evening Mike and I rowed out to drop the crab pot in the bay while Alicia spent some quality auntie time with Ruby and Henry. Then we all stayed up past our bedtime reminiscing about and embellishing childhood memories. Good times.

Mike Alicia Henry Ruby
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