Sweet Baby Explores The Bluff

A week ago Sweet Baby and her family came to visit from Saturday to the next Sunday – a luxury of time. As she came in the door from the Buffalo each morning, we heard a hearty: “Hi Granny Katee, Hi Papa Jim!”

She switches readily between Thai and English depending on her interlocutor – and uses some endearing turns of phrase, “thank you my dada” being one of my favorites. Seated next to me during a discussion about hair color, “my daddy has brown hair, my mommy’s is black,” she then patted my head and said: “cloud.”

Recently a person unknown drove into the fence at the head of our driveway and knocked two posts and the boards asunder. Having lately helped her dad build a pergola in their California backyard, Sweet Baby carried a mallet and trowel and put them to use in the repair. One day we talked to a contractor friend at a building site, and she piped up, communicating urgency with hand gestures while holding a tape measure, saying: “I need a ladder to measure up high.”

The weather was changeable, but we walked many short loops through the nearby woods, where Sweet Baby climbed over mossy windfalls, negotiated tree roots, and initiated game after game of slightly confusing hide-and-seek, “I count, you hide-and-seek!”

Low, low tides meant great beach walking on hard sand. Sweet Baby filled her yogurt container bucket with stones and shells. She slowly overcame her reluctance to touch the giant snakes of kelp her dad waved, and began to carry along a short stub – with bulbous head and topknot fringe of roots – named “Kelpy.”

At Wilderbee Farm we walked a trail behind its cultivated acres, wild roses gone to rose hips, dry mown grass underfoot, and hiding places aplenty. Sweet Baby fed the sheep and, happy to find a friendly animal after the bad attitude of our Frances, petted the huge sheep dog.

She was excited when deer wandered by our windows, and she crouched over slugs to locate their tiny horns. Rabbits, camouflaged against our brindled lawn, froze long enough for Sweet Baby to see their noses and whiskers twitch. From the house I watched her stop with her dad and gently tap the green plastic watering can on the garden steps, to glimpse a frog’s head emerge from the spout.

The final Sunday, a warm and blue-sky day, we spent on Bainbridge Island, walking the trail at Bloedel, eating lunch outside at the bakery, and playing at the Tot Lot. Then, too soon, we headed for the ferry.

Rain returned the next day, and the house seemed quiet and scattered with lonely stuffed animals and toys – but I’m grateful for a grand week!



7 thoughts on “Sweet Baby Explores The Bluff

  1. Hi Katy,

    You have a rich and rare life. It is so good to read about its sweetness in the madness that surrounds us. I was so sorry to read that you got so sick but glad to know you are better now. I look forward to your art and writing every time.

    All good things,


    P.S. there was a comment that started “mysteries are not my thing but you got me interested” I don’t think I wrote that since mysteries are definitely my thing but it appeared on my page and I want to disavow it.

    • Thank you so much Jacquie! I think of you often and am so glad to hear from you. I am lucky in my life and know that with much gratitude. If I can figure out where that comment appeared I will delete. BTW if mysteries your thing, do you love “Vera”? I want to write about her. Thanks again so much!

    • Jacquie I think I’ve deleted that comment. Have no idea where that came from but must be about Tana French. Thanks again for your comment, I am committed in my way to this endeavor – but so good to hear you look forward to and enjoy! Xo

  2. It does sound like a grand week. It’s such a treat to be able to see “the littles” (as my daughter calls them) for whole days at a time. I love hearing about her language. Especially the “cloud” description. I am very cloudy ON the head, and I often feel a bit cloudy IN the head these days. Grandchildren are so observant. My youngest grandson told me he would never drink tea, because he didn’t want to have yellow teeth like his Gramie.

  3. Oh my goodness, you must burst at the seams with happiness when your Sweet Baby visits. Thanks for reminding me of sweet memories with little ones 😘

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