This morning, I took a walk down a country road…. that’s sort of all they have up here in Castle Rock, WA.  For 30 minutes I didn’t see another soul, except for the neighbor’s black lab who joined me for my walk.  The surrounding mountains were thick with pines and clouds – a kind of beauty I don’t see much in Southern California.  And the smell… the smell reminded me of summers on my Grandma Sterling’s farm back in Wisconsin – fresh, clean, misty, and green.  For the most part, I don’t think of myself as a Northwest girl – not enough sun, too much rain.  But this morning, I was grateful to be in the Northwest and to enjoy the peacefulness of walking alone, the beauty of the mountains through the mist, and the companionship of a borrowed black lab.