Ballard

Oct 7, 2010

This morning I made a trip up to the Ballard area of the city to drop off a batch of DVDs at Rain City Video. I’ve been a loyal customer there ever since I purchased my first VCR way back in the fall of 1996. I would stop in on Thursdays after work (half price days) to load up for the week-end. It was an inexpensive form of entertainment with a wide variety of movies to choose from. I would always take home four: a foreign flick, horror, drama and maybe a few shows from a TV series. That pleasant tradition has been revived this past summer and in the past few weeks I’ve begun splurging to use up my remaining credits. Today was the final time I would be stopping by so I decided to commemorate the occasion afterwards with a sentimental stroll through one of my old neighborhoods just a few blocks away.

The first stop was at the Nordic Heritage Museum. I’d last been inside three years ago — October 11 — which would had been my Norwegian grandmother’s 100th birthday. A kind of tribute to her. The next day I left for my Round The World expedition. I view the museum as the starting point for that ambitious, historic trip. Already, I have trouble imagining myself doing it. How did I ever muster up the energy?

I was not interested in going through the exhibits again, so I spent some time in a playground area adjacent to the parking lot, taking advantage of yet another nice day by learning to read the sundial there. 

The apartment on 24th and 67th where I resided from 2000-2002 was a two bedroom affair on the top (fourth) floor with a killer view. There I played my guitar and piano, prepared delectable meals in my crockpot, rode my bike to work, and was active in the church. I had no car. With most of my needs just down the street (a QFC grocery store, the Ballard Branch of the Seattle Public Library), I could easily get around on foot. Those were what I consider my Seattle Renaissance Years, a time when I came the closest to actually putting down roots.

Why, one might wonder, did I not stay in that pleasant habitat a year or two longer and enjoy the agreeable lifestyle I had built? Because there were other adventures I wanted to embark upon. It was not yet time to kick back and relax. Maybe it will never be that way for me.

The apartment building still looks the same, eight years after I moved out and cycled off to Iowa (see America Bike Ride). No wave of nostalgia hit me as I gazed at up at my bedroom windows. Too many years have snuck by. I caught the #18 bus back to my hotel.

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