Posted by: hannah jo | August 7, 2009

Welcome back, clouds, my long-lost friends

Now if it would just rain. I miss you, rain. Please return. I live here in Seattle because I like the rain. I like the grey. I like misty, marine air. The recent stretch of sunshine has been so monotonous. It’s like LA. Ugh. Now, though, I see the Seattle I remember, and I got to wear tights to work yesterday, so I’m happy.

Somehow, our summer became crazy busy. Our calendar is ridiculous — full of days with multiple events and parties and visits and happenings. The logistics of getting Lily to her many social obligations on time are comical. So, when Andy and Lily went to Alaska last week for a 5-day visit with Andy’s mom, I kind of shut down. First, I was pretty sick from not sleeping thanks to the heat and intense allergies, so I had to miss a day of work and live in that in-between state where I was completely out of touch with what time it was and what day it was. But, I got to putter around the house with the dog, when I wasn’t trying to sleep, and enjoy the very rare opportunity to have some time by myself. Then, I finally got some sleep and was able to function in the world again, but in a limited way. I’m much better now and mostly ready for the very full month ahead.

One thing I did while Andy and Lily were away was prepare for our annual Neighborhood Night Out block party, which is a pot-luck event that we host every year. In theory, it should be simple because it’s a pot-luck, right? Seriously, though, it’s a lot of work. The good thing is that it’s completely worth it. To see these neighbors meet each other and connect is priceless. The food is always great — this year’s standout (for me) was blueberry pie, made with fresh blueberries from our neighbor’s back yard. The best part, though, is seeing all the kids. Oh my goodness. To think we used to have one kid on the block when we started this about ten years ago (Lily!) and soon there will be 17 (when our next-door neighbor has her baby, which was actually due on the day of our party, and when a new family moves in across the street in two weeks with two small children).

This year, the kids did this amazing thing — they used sidewalk chalk to draw a huge cross-section outline of a house out in the middle of the street (which we block off from traffic for about 3 hours) and then played in it like it was a real house. The house had an elevator and a tube that takes you up to the roof. And dolphins. Each kid played a role in the family, including pets, and then pretended to sleep in the bedrooms, and so on. We provided them with towels and blankets and they did the rest.

For part of the day, I was worried that Andy and Lily were going to miss the event. They called early in the morning telling me that their flight was cancelled thanks to fog. Fog! Remember fog? Lily was in tears and I almost was myself. Finally, though, the fog lifted and they were able to fly out at a later time and then arrive exactly when the party started. Whew! If they had missed the party, I’m sure I would still be consoling Lily now, three days later.

Here are a few photos. Thank you to all the neighbors who showed up, helped, brought food, and make this a great place to live. 

Busy block party!

Busy block party.

Sleeping in the "house" on the road!

Sleeping in the "house" on the road!

More sleeping in the road.

More sleeping in the road.



  1. I soooo admire that you and your neighbors do this! On the other end of the spectrum, we went to a surprise birthday party for my adult niece this weekend, where the guests were asked to bring a salad or a side dish, and my sister and I were the only ones who brought ANYTHING! Can you believe that? My sister brought some gooey cheese crock thing with chips and I brought a big Asian Coleslaw salad, and other than that and the BBQ hamburgers and another bag of chips, that was it. I even skipped taking any of my salad so there would be more to spread out. Plus, no one brought any extra beverages, except for one bottle of wine, and Joe brought a bunch of home brews that were guzzled down, and then everyone had to resort to some skanky beer. (snobsnobsnob) I’ve just been floored by this since Saturday, so had to share. Your neighbors are lucky lucky lucky to have you as a neighbor.

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