my affinity towards the tri-cities…

this trip? i feel guilty saying things like, “i needed this family-reunion-vacation” knowing traveling is a luxury, but i’m still going to say it. since we’ve returned to our home {almost five weeks ago} i am more relaxed than i’ve been in a long time, in sync with my husband, nature, my own mind and spirit. like my soul has found a peace it needed. why? i believe it was because i reconnected with so many of my kinfolk.

i believe, we each need those connections to stay balanced.

{Pasco farmer’s market | my sister-in-law Janice, moi, niece Marisa | fresh flowers for my dad’s grave}

visiting my Dad’s grave in Kennewick…

visiting husbands nephew Jonathan & family in Richland…

a perfect evening on the columbia river with Danyelle and her family

while in the tri-cities we stayed with my uncle bob, my dad’s brother, who is one of my few remaining Beckner relatives. i never lived in the tri-cities area while i was growing-up, but i visited the area consistently 3-4 times a year throughout all of my childhood. my dad grew-up ranching in richland, and his kids {from his first marriage} all remained there with their families.

my uncle bob is very dear to my heart, a salt of the earth kind of man. he hosted a Beckner barbecue for our family so we could visit with as many family members as possible.

it was definitely one of those wow, this is really happening moments. people who love each other and talk about being together more often — here we were, at the end of August, in the middle of the tri-cities — together.

{my brother Jim | moi | sister Linda | sister Donna}

a sparkling end to our evening —

{how do you take a photo like this? each person lines up, holds one sparkler and repeatedly makes the shape of the letter – backwards. you then set your camera on a night setting allowing the lens to stay open longer. experiment! it’s fun.}

cousins, and 2nd cousins

Taylor | Paula | KJ | myla | sela | moi | shannon | kiana

husband & uncle bob | myla convinced her cousin Taylor to try one of myla’s “ideas” {so happy no one was hurt!} | paula, moi, shannon

our ten days in washington state were so beautifully woven together, that as we left town and drove through yakima – the fresh fruit & antiques sign was spotted – i was taken back by my memories one more time…

when my dad and i would make the drive from western washington to eastern washington, we routinely would stop at fresh fruit stands, stock-up on tomatoes and other fresh goodies, then stop along a waterfront to enjoy our goods. we always salted our tomatoes and ate them just like apples. my heart aches a bit thinking about it, and yet, i cherish the memory more now the i’ve shared this tradition with my kids.

on our last night in seattle, we ventured out to the piers one more time.

and if fresh tomatoes weren’t the perfect way to end our stay in the northwest, riding the new great wheel was.

{photos by me, Jane Beckner Rhodes}

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