Today we decided to go to Staples to take advantage of their one-cent loss-leader sale. Amazingly I did not get sucked into buying all the other luscious things they had available (an office supply store is usually as tempting as pizza to me), but we did spend about 6.00. Shameful. Nikirj got out of there for .39, I think.
Upon leaving the parking lot, we decided to go awaaaaaaaaay from home. It was one of theose beautiful fog-on-the-mountains days, so we decided to go towards them instead of away. The children and I were of one accord and wound up in Poulsbo for lunch, eating pizza at Central Market. So close to Bainbridge Island, we (ok this was *I*) decided I must have a latte on Bainbridge Island. I'd never been, and that's just a necessary part of the northwest experience, n'est ce pas? Of all the days NOT to remember the camera.
On the way there, however, we passed through the Res, and that always gets the babies in a lather. We stopped at the Suquamish Indian Tribe Center and Museum, which is excellent. What impressed me immediately was that unlike all the other reservation centers I have seen out here, this tribe actually USES their space.... they still behave as a tribe. This place was THRIVING. In the one complex, they had the geoduck seafood company, the tribal elders lodge, the rec center, the day care and the museum. They had some kind of something going on because we had to circle several times before finally inventing a parking space. The kids' heads kept bobbing as we passed the gigantic totem pole again and again.
N & G loved the museum but the baby of course, just enjoyed being able to flap around on his little bare feet. As he ran back and forth slapslapslapslap on the hardwood floors, G learned about Old Man House and Chief Seattle. She LOVED the exhibits and recognized many of her own beach treasures in the dioramas. She learned how they lived, what they ate, the whole nine. She especially loved seeing the basket of little dolls the children played with. When we left, she wanted to go see the Old Man House, so we went to the site (where D again ran about, this time stripping to the t shirt as he went giggle-shrieking in circles) and watched someone flying a kite on the Agate passage. This site was occupied as the heart of their community for over two thousand years. From there we went to Chief Sealth's grave.
That was an amazing moment for me, personally. G marveled over being in "an indian graveyard" while I freaked inside about finally seeing Chief Sealth's grave. In college, my minor concentration was Native American studies, but never did I think I'd actually be able to be there and it was powerful for me. I loved especially how well the tribe today has kept the grave as native as possible. In a Christian burial ground, Chief Sealth's headstone is a white headstone with a cross on it. The tribe has built a large structure over it, resembling the frame of a long house painted with black and red designs reminiscent of their canoes. It's freshly painted, which I think is wonderful. They're keeping hold of their heritage, which is hard to do in a culture like ours.
On the way home G drew a picture of the Old Man Long House, taken from her memory of studying the line drawings in the museum. I need to scan it so it looks better but here is a snapshot:
PS.... We never crossed the bridge. So we still haven't been to Bainbridge Island!