Our exit from Olywa

Our exit from Olywa was appropriately damp. It gave us a chance to give the new windshield wipers a good break-in before we hit some blue sky.

And did we! Our late start meant we spent the first night in Ellensburg, Wash., mid-state, “over the mountains,” as they say, where we woke up to a snapping bright blue autumn morning just begging for adventure.

I hadn’t realized how much I had missed seeing the sky, really seeing it, a panorama of it, in a way that was rare for me in Olympia. Maybe it’s just where I lived, but Oly was always rain and gray to me. Now in front of me was a field, an ordinary field, but with a sky so blue they wrote a song about it. You know the song—the one you always hear in your heart when things are going well?

Things were going well. We were moving via U-Haul pack-them-yourself pods, seven of them finally, and they were scheduled to be picked up that morning. The dog had proven that she wasn’t going to be carsick the entire way, and our 18-year-old son had downloaded enough movies to ensure he didn’t have to see one inch of roadside America.

We were, literally and figuratively, over the mountains. The Cascades divide Washington in two, with the western half the soggy portion and the eastern portion ranging from temperate to desert. Crossing the mountains seemed to free us from Olywa and all the struggles we had there. My stroke and long recovery. My heart surgery. My partner’s two broken wrists—different hands, different times. Our son’s intense struggle with his own inner demons from which he was now emerging smiling.

And so forthwith we went. We went well. Went we well. Well, we went. Eastward, directly into the eye of that dazzling sun in the astonishing blue sky.


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