This morning as I write my column, I come to you from the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington. We are spending a few days out here visiting our daughter and enjoying some of the sights and sounds of the great Northwest. Seattle is a beautiful city and Seattlites are very proud of it but for gosh sakes, it rains just about every day. Not really rain, more like drizzle and not all day long either. Just off and on. In fact the natives here get very excited when the sun does shine. They call these uncommon times, "sun-breaks." The temperature is cool, somewhere between the mid-sixties to low seventies, but no one minds here. Everything is green and the flowers just love the weather. Just enough sun to grow and grow.
We took in a Yankee/Mariner baseball game and cheered as my Yankees won. The first night of the three-game series, (Yankees won all three), a tribute was paid to Derek Jeter who is retiring from the New York Yankees after 20 seasons. Every place Jeter plays in his last season, he is given some gifts from the home team and the Seattle Mariners were no different. Why would they do this for Derek Jeter? Because for twenty seasons, even though he was a formidable foe to all opposing teams, he was ONE CLASS GUY, and a great example for all of baseball. He is a sure-in Hall of Famer and has played the game with dignity, character and respect his entire career. Men and ballplayers like him do not come around too often anymore. In every baseball city he goes to for the last time, the home team and its' fans show their love and appreciation to him. It was a great thing to watch that night we were there in Seattle.
We also went on a ferry ride on Lake Washington, which is kind of in the center of Seattle and saw some magnificent homes, including the home of Bill Gates. I guess most of the computer gurus of the world live and thrive in Seattle. Gate's home is just about completely covered by foliage but from the lake one gets a good view of it. It has 24 bathrooms but only half as many bedrooms. Not sure Bill needs that many bathrooms but who am I to question.
Next we went downtown and saw another side of Seattle. Homeless people all over the place. Tons of people selling just about everything. Fresh fish, vegetables, clothes and anything one could think of was being sold on the open market. One guy was walking around with a sign that read, "Need $$ for Weed." I didn't give to his cause but sort of admired his honesty. Seattle is a place where if you have lots of lots of money, it's fairly easy to get rid of it here. At least for me it was.
On Father's Day, we went to the golf driving range and hit bunches of golf balls. It drizzled but like my daughter, Sarah, said, "Dad, if you wait till it stops raining, you'll never do anything."
Boy, was I hitting the ball well. 275 yards right down the middle of the range. Heck, anyone can do that when you don't have to walk to the ball and prove you hit it that straight and far. I felt like Arnold Palmer hitting the ball so well-at least in my own mind.
As I close, let me share one more thing--You couldn't pay me enough to live in a city like Seattle. Everywhere we went, everyone else was going too. Traffic and traffic jams are with you all the time.
Give me good old northeast & central Iowa. Iowa is the best place to live. That's the way I see it. Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319-327-4640.
Be blest and wave to that plane you see in the sky. It might just be the Shedas returning home. Yeaaaaaaaa.