We’ve bought an electric car! It’s a Hyundai Kona SE. It’s efficient and fun to drive, and we’ve already outfitted it to carry our bicycles and we hope to train it to carry a kayak as well. We’re still waiting for our condo association to get our charging station wired up, but, on the other hand, after a month and a half, we still haven’t needed to plug our car in. Sadly, this acquisition meant parting with our 13-year-old Escape hybrid. The Snowball Diaries, which began with our move to Mexico in 2009, have seen their final entry.
Last year we reported on the purchase of Alex’s e-bike. This year brought a new bicycle for Scott, as the old one threatened to fail catastrophically. The new bike promises to be a little more versatile, with fatter tires to handle woodsier parts of the state’s trail system.
Another new thing is the weather. Used to be, western Washington seemed practically immune from forest fires. We would sometimes get smoke from across the mountains or from British Columbia, but only if the wind blew just wrong. With hotter and drier summers, Washingtonians are now producing our own smoke. I made the mistake this year of bragging about how we’d been spared, and then October kept us indoors most of the time. There was one day when Seattle had the worst air quality of all the world’s major cities. Then the smoke was followed by weather that was both cooler and wetter than usual, again casting a pall over outdoor activities.
Still, there were plenty of times during the year when we ventured into the real world. Some earlier forays include an exploration of one of our neighborhood thoroughfares — Broad Street — and an introduction to some local wildlife — Our Crows. Here’s some holiday cheer from Westlake Park: