Three Things Thursday

Another week, another Thursday: Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”

Rain, Much-Needed Rain

It hasn’t rained significantly here in our patch of the Pacific Northwest for something like five months. But of course the one day rain chose to come along was last Friday, the long-scheduled date for our annual picnic here at Franke Tobey Jones. The event was to have been held outdoors, under the big tent pictured above, but the rain and lightning, unusual here, forced its relocation to three separate indoor venues. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all, at least all of those where we partied.

I’m sure the staff had to scramble to relocate the festivities, and we appreciated their efforts. The chef had to set up the barbecue grill under a small tent right outside the building, so we had hamburgers and hotdogs authentically cooked outdoors, a necessary item for a picnic.

1. Hawaiian Table Decorations

The picnic has a Hawaiian theme. When we arrived we received paper leis and were seated at tables with theme-appropriate decorations.

Hawaiian table decorations
Hawaiian table decorations

The menu featured Hawaiian foods: pork, sweet and sour chicken, baked beans, hotdogs and hamburgers—those necessary staples of American picnic fare—ambrosia, pineapple upside down cake, mango ice cream.

2. Hawaiian Dancers

In keeping with the Hawaiian theme, a local group of Hawaiian dancers entertained us.

Hawaiian Dancers
Hawaiian Dancers

Had the picnic been held outdoors, as scheduled, they would have provided one long performance. Instead, they had to adapt by giving three shortened performances at the three indoor locations. Between numbers they conferred about which song/dance to perform next. We appreciated their willingness to cope with the changed circumstances.

3. Water-Conserving Efforts

It rained most of Friday afternoon and overnight Friday/Saturday. It was a gentle rain, not a deluge, and the grass gratefully drank it in. Our lawns are still amazingly green, even almost a week later.

But the lawns may not remain nicely green for much longer. Because our area is experiencing one of the driest, hottest summers on record, the City of Tacoma has moved to Stage 2 (voluntary reduction) of their Water Shortage Response Plan.

Our retirement community, Franke Tobey Jones, has agreed to cooperate in this effort, euphemistically known as “going golden.” That means we will not be watering lawns and will have reduced watering of plants and shrubs. Our two outdoor fountains have also been drained and shut off.

The aim is to reduce our water consumption by at least 10%. This voluntary water reduction is a joint effort of the Washington cities of Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett. A 10% reduction in water usage across the area could save 1 billion gallons of water by the end of the year.

One of the features that makes Franke Tobey Jones so visually appealing is its large swatches of beautiful green lawn. But no one is complaining about the lawns in light of the drought conditions. We are proud to pitch in.

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