Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An Old Romance, A City and Roots

Our weekend in Seattle was such a treat. It was everything I had hoped for. And there is so much more we didn't have time to do so we know we will go back again. And again. I'm a very sentimental person and it seems the older I get, the more precious things are to me. The first place I wanted to visit was the old Union Train Station. It has been there for years. Many years. This place has a special part in my life. You see, it's where my dear mother and father met! The exact place they first saw each other and spoke. The story is humorous and sweet. My mother's father was not real thrilled when his young daughter decided to travel from Southern California to Seattle by train to attend a small Bible Institute there. Especially not during World War II. He urged her to stay close to home but when he saw how committed she was to attend school in Seattle he knew that was were she would go. She was a short, tiny girl. He lovingly nicknamed her 'Shorty'. One day my grandpa jokingly said, 'Shorty, the only reason you're going to a Bible Institute is to find yourself a preacher!' Not to be outdone she immediately responded, 'You're right - I'm going to marry the first one I see.' After many long hours on the train she arrived at Union Station in Seattle. Her belongings were packed in a steamer trunk and she needed assistance with them. Following the instructions given to her by the school she called the school office, told them of her arrival and requested that someone be sent to transport her and her luggage to the school. She was told someone would be there soon. A certain tall, young man who was a second year student worked for the school to help pay his tuition. He drove for the school and was sent all over the Seattle area to do school errands and to pick up and deliver people when needed. So that day long ago the tall, young man arrived at Union Station in the school vehicle. His assignment? To pick up a newly arrived first year student - a certain short, tiny young lady with a steamer trunk. He was a very outgoing, joyful person. The young lady looked at him and noticed how confident and self-assured he appeared to be. Now remember, she had declared that she would marry the first young man from the school that she saw. Could it be that through the next year or two a friendship developed? Could it be that one June day just over two years later they became husband and wife? Could it be that he became a preacher? Could it be that they lived happily ever after? Yes. Yes. Yes. It's true. The short, tiny young lady was my mother. The tall, young man was my father. They spent nearly sixty wonderful years together. Not because he was the first young man she met from the school. But because God had planned all along that they would meet, fall in love and spend the rest of their lives together. And have a daughter who loved them deeply. A daughter who last weekend wanted so much to see the place again where romance began and where her roots were planted. Union Station. My sweetheart knew exactly how to get there.Last time I was there the station was no longer used for train passengers. It had been leased and and turned into an antique mall! How appropriate. And exciting. What would I find there now? Surrounded by Amtrak trains and signs it didn't take long to find out. It is once again used as a train depot. With a new name.Now part of the Seattle Amtrak community, the building is a bit 'used'. I was disappointed to see how run-down it looked. But enchanted to see that it still stood. Many of the wonderful old buildings that once served Seattle well are gone. This one still stood. High above, the old clock tower stood as a sentinel. Tall and straight. And proud.Since I couldn't go inside the building and stand where my mother and father may have stood I savored every bit of design detail I saw. High overhead.And over the doors. As I wandered around the old building with my camera - shooting many photos - I was approached by a man who asked if I had photographed the old clock tower. Yes, I replied. And much more. He told me that plans are in the works to restore the old building. Oh, it did my heart good! Restoration to its original condition would be wonderful! Good news as I walked down memory lane a bit. Not my memories but those of my precious mother and father. So long ago. Such a fairy tale story that I loved to hear as a child. And even now!

The old train station is surrounded by other old buildings with such character. Some are in a bit of disrepair.
Others have been lovingly cared for. And one nearby building even has flowers on the fire escape!Nearby, another old building captured my attention. I loved the sign on the big pillar. Seattle Hardware Company. So definitive. No doubt what they do there.The amazing thing about cities today is that the old is mixed with the new. And so it is in Seattle. Just across from the old train station sits a new sports arena - the home of the Seattle Seahawks. Quest Field replaced the Kingdome not long ago.The front entrance was impressive. But when I walked around the corner I could see inside. Wow! Two new Seattle stadiums were designed with retractable roofs. To be closed on rainy days. And opened on sunny days. No games at Quest Field today but it was open. It was an amazing sight. If you look beyond the center left in the photo below, just back of Quest Field, you can see the roofline of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. They were scheduled to play that day - at home - in Seattle. Before we left the old town area we turned onto a quaint-looking, tree-lined street just below the skyscrapers that give the Seattle skyline such distinct character.As I stood in the street beside our car to get the best photo my sweetheart told me to look to the right just beyond the car parked in front of ours (in the lower right corner of the photo above). What I saw there was. . .a wedding party. Being photographed. Surrounded by the character of old Seattle.A new romance. Just around the corner from the place where a dear, old romance began so long ago. So right to add to the memories of our day in this special place. A place where I could recall and imagine the beginning of a wonderful story. Part of my story now. Precious. And dear to my heart.

12 comments:

  1. What a sweet and beautiful love story Adrienne! Thank you for sharing some of your family history with us:>)

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  2. Adrienne I absolutely loved this sweet story about your parents! I'm so glad you've written it down here for us to enjoy. I can picture them in that train station - priceless. blessings, marlene

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  3. Oh what a sweet story! I remember a deacon in our church once saying that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. And it is so obvious from your story that your parents love for each other is still a source of joy for you so many years later! Thank you for sharing it with us, :)
    xoxo,
    Mary

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  4. What a sweet sweet story! Reminds me of an Anne of Green Gable book for some reason.
    Love your pictures as well. Glad you had such a wonderful time!

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  5. Sweet story!!!
    I enjoyed your photos too
    Diane

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  6. Such a LOVELY story and I am just thrilled that you shared it with all of us.
    love, bj

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  7. I loved this story! I could just picture your mom standing in the station as your dad walked up! How romantic. It looks like a lovely city and I hope I can visit it one day.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  8. Such a sweet, wonderful story! It's the kind of story you read about in novels! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I'm glad to hear that you sweet, little mama is getting better and stronger. A yard sale expedition is a true sign that a body is on the mend! ;)

    Blessings and hugs from the creek!

    P.S. Stop by and meet the newest members of our little family.

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  9. Ahhhhh, a beautiful, romantic story for your parents, I love to hear about those happy ever afters :)
    I see a Starbucks there in your photos, could go for a coffee right now. Looks like you had a great time.

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  10. AWWWWWW, that was so sweet!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  11. That is a precious story about how your folks met.

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  12. What a delightful love story. I'm glad you were able to revisit the station. It looks like you had a wonderful trip to Seattle. I enjoyed seeing all the pictures.

    Love your yellow teapot! It was waiting for you ;-)

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