Yesterday, our granddaughter, Maya, graduated from Ingraham High School in Seattle. We are so very proud of her!   So…mid morning, John and I loaded 4 year old Ingrid into my Mercedes, dropped the puppy off with my son-in-law, and headed for the Emerald City.

Ingrid and I play a game when we go on long car trips.  It involves looking out the window for an imaginary white deer.  Both of us have embellished this story into a fanciful fairy tale that says whoever lays eyes on the white deer first will have 5 days of good luck.  Ingrid always adds, “And we have to look for forsythia, because that’s what he loves to eat!”  She spends a lot of time watching for the deer, and it’s really cute when she excitedly chimes something like, “I think I saw a hoof sticking out of the woods!”  This is what we did on our trip yesterday.

white deer

The drive between Portland and Seattle is such a gorgeous journey.  Trees and water everywhere.  Lovely.   We arrived in Seattle with about an hour to spare, so stopped  by Cafe Darté for lunch before heading over to Maya’s house.  When we arrived, she was getting ready with two friends.  It was fun to watch them run all over the house doing the things that teenage girls do just before they graduate from high school. Of course, Ingrid had to try on her big cousin’s cap!

ingrid cap

She is in love with Louise, Maya’s English bullie, and played with her while we hung out with Jason.

ingrid and Louise

When Letty arrived home with Mele, my husband snapped some shots of the grad girls and the little girls and of the rest of us.  I love how the little girls have their eyes cut to the side. Wonder what they’re thinking?

grads girls

Ingrid and Stacy

After that, the grad girls piled into a car and drove away as the rest of us walked down the street to the graduation itself.  It was held on the Ingram High School football field.  Rainclouds threatened us with a downpour, but it didn’t happen, thankfully.

Ingrid was beside herself with excitement.  She had so much fun with Mele and with an older East Indian woman who chatted with her during the ceremony.  The woman walked up to me after it was all over and said, “You have a remarkable kid!  I’ve never seen a four year old that smart!”  That made me smile.  Ingrid, who sat behind us with Mele, kept coming down to hug me or to tell me something exciting, such as, “Did you SEE those balloons!?”  I love her exuberance about life.  I felt equally as enthusiastic.  This was a big deal!

  ingrid excited

At nearly 6′ tall, Maya was easily recognizable in the sea of blue caps and gown, even from way up in the bleachers.

maya marching

Jason and Letty (Maya’s mom and stepdad) beamed with pride.

jason and letty

The ceremony was really nice, and uniquely Seattle, of course.  The whole class was beautiful.  We are so thankful that we were able to be there for Maya.


 After it was all over, we hopped into the car and drove the brief drive through Seattle to Tukwilla to stay at the home of our dear friends, Sheryl and Dylan.  Sheryl is such a wonderful and supportive friend.  She had cooked a delicious meal for us with things from the garden. Had the best Swiss chard I’ve ever had!  Yum! But best of all, we had a great visit, as always.

This morning, we drove, in the rain, back to Portland.  I felt so happy about the whole trip.  John said that he felt the same way. We  went out to dinner this evening  at Mezza with my daughter, Sarah,  and Ingrid. Then, John and I came home and watched a documentary about Bobbie McFerrin and spent a quiet evening reflecting on the last few days, and Maya’s graduation, and made some plans for the future.  Things are good here.  I feel at peace.  Maya’s graduation was a milestone.  We are so proud of her.  Soon, she will be off to Scotland for a year before college.  I plan to go there to visit her, once she gets settled.

maya stacy ingrid

  Life, now,  is good.  Life is busy.  Life is on track.   I feel happy.   This is right.