Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Our Leavenworth Tradition

We were in Wenatchee on Saturday, looking at the sky change from bright sunshine to threatening black clouds faster than I've ever seen. The wind was picking up. We were on our way to Leavenworth to meet our friends Judi and Arlin for our annual Oktoberfest afternoon. During our 30 minute drive to Leavenworth we were in such a downpour that we passed up the fruit stand we'd waited all year to visit. We pulled into a parking space (probably vacated by fleeing tourists who decided to sit out the storm in their hotel room!) and found our friends, then trudged up the street to Gustav's, joining dozens of folks seeking shelter and food, and settled in for a good long chat.

Judi and I met when we were teenagers. I started noticing her and her twin brother at youth events and just knew that if we ever met we'd be good friends. It turns out my hunch was right. We ended up as college roommates through our entire four years at Seattle Pacific University, and our friendship has only grown sweeter over the years.

As we ate and talked and laughed Arlin said, "That bug has circled the top of the glass many, many times!" We looked to see a fruit fly speeding around the top of my drinking glass, making the full circle in just two or three seconds. He skillfully raced around the edge of the glass without falling off, and then we noticed him trying to climb my straw! Though he tried and tried to find his footing on the straw, he just couldn't seem to do it. He would slide back down to the glass' edge then make another trip around, stopping once more to attempt climbing the straw.

See the bug on the right edge of the glass?

This went on for several minutes. The next thing we knew, he had turned around and was racing back around the glass in the opposite direction. Was he dizzy, needing to get his balance, or was he obsessive compulsive, planning to take as many trips the new way as he had the old way?

It turned out that he was persistent. His goal was to conquer the straw, and that's just what he planned to do. After a mad dash in his new direction he mounted the straw and run up it, all the way to the top! Success!

"Oh, boy, oh, boy, there's the straw!"

Down the straw, around the glass again, up the straw, down the straw... This little guy had known what he wanted and he wasn't satisfied until he'd figured out how to make it happen. I marvel at his determination as well as his logic. It seems to me a rather complex problem he was tackling (at least for a bug), but he stuck with it until he had worked it through.

When the sun came out we joined the press of people on the streets and in the shops. We got our picture taken under a gargantuan maple tree and saw the fire breather performing. 

Rain notwithstanding, it was a wonderful day. It's a bit of a rush trip for a one day outing, but it's a tradition I hope we keep up for a good long time.

Do you want to know more about Leavenworth's events and places to stay, shop, and eat? Check it out here.

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