Now we know SPRING has arrived- finally!

We have the 3 major events of spring this weekend. First is the Beach Cleanup on the Long Beach Peninsula. Volunteers from all over the region and many locals who help organize and do most of the hauling work have arrived in town. They meet at the beach approach roads and scour the beach/dunes for debris clean up. Tons of trash are hauled away.

Beach cleanup is a good activity for young kids- but an even better activity today is the annual Black Lake Derby. The lake has been stocked and the derby is for ages 0-14. I can't wait to bring a grandchild to this! It starts with a pancake breakfast... launch your (non-motorized boat) and catch a big fish. Usually a 5 or 6 year old wins with a fish that weighs about as much as they do. Prizes and tshirts are given out.

We will catch up on some yard work too this weekend. The sun is out for a brief appearance and I have the mosquito spray at the ready. Aura mowed the large lawn and Brett is still working on moving tree stumps and logs from the storm debris. The hot tub needs repairing. I am weeding the flower beds. I have a fantasy Mothers Day planned. My fantasy involves my kids coming to visit every Mothers Day- and doing all sorts of labor around the (mostly outside) house. Preparing it for summer. I make favorite foods and we enjoy being a family together. I am fantasizing this event as a regular happening- even as I reach old age.

Reality- the adult children live across the country. I have grandchildren that I never see and one I have not met. When my kids come to visit- they are exhausted and want to sleep. They work hard and after traveling 'to see Mom'... are even more tired. And did I mention the RAIN and weather the 2nd weekend of May? Expensive travel to enjoy the beach makes more sense in August when we have beach activities and good weather. Brett has a different 'family fantasy'. His involves the end of July Sand Castle contest. He wants to put together a family team and spend the day constructing a huge sand castle.

Back to this weekend. Hooray... the Astoria Crab & Seafood Festival is on. This much anticipated event involves crab, seafood, wine, beer and art & crafts in more than 200 booths. We will take a shuttle bus from just over the Astoria bridge. This is also a must attend event that draws many tourists and locals. We hope to get there in time to see some of the fun bands.... often retired musicians who have moved to the area and found a new life with a new group of other retired muscians. The 'Floating Glass Balls' perform at 1pm this afternoon.

The photos should be credited. From the Garbage Gang website, Damian's Chinook Observer photo of girl in boat...and Don Nisbett's watercolor art.