Helen Ayres

Helen was an incredible lady who lived a life that represented her Swedish and Greek heritage. What a combination and what an outcome in this lady we so loved.
            Her Swedish side showed itself in her strong independence and pride in her ability to care for herself, her house and her personal matters. That was so evident in these past few months in all that she did to have her affairs in order, never wanting to create a burden to anyone.
            Helen was extremely organized and precise in details. Her work at Standard Oil was met with praise and accolades. Her perfect handwriting was as precise as the other facets of her life.
            Helen’s appearance was impeccable. She was a blond, Swedish beauty but shied away from attention and compliments.
            Now, looking at the Greek side: Helen could have fun, laugh, and joke. That twinkle in her eye gave her away many times. She had a feistiness and a great sense of humor that kept us entertained and laughing. 
            Helen loved to dance! She talked about how she and Sam became dance partners and partners in life. She said Sam had two left feet, but his smile is what made her twirl on the dance floor. They made a happy couple, both fun loving, and joyous.
            One story we asked her to tell us numerous times happened after Doug had passed away and Helen found herself alone.  She decided to test herself.  She packed her little dog in the car, bought a big box of donuts and headed south on the highway to California. Stopping at rest stops, she made friends with the truckers who had passed her on the road. This blond bombshell had created quite a stir among those gentlemen.  Apparently, the truckers used their CBs to alert others along the route. Soon she was passing out donuts, along with laughter and smiles, enjoying the camaraderie.
            We’ll miss this lady who was quite the combo! We’ll miss sitting on her couch sharing family stories, photos, and peppermint patties. We’ll miss going out to lunch together and having her navigate us around those crazy mixed-up streets in her neighborhood. We’ll miss her Christmas cards with that beautiful handwriting. We are grateful for the times we had with her, we feel blessed to call her family as well as a friend.  I’m certain we all can agree, what a gal!
Posted in Outdoor Recreation

I Am – Violet E.

I am adventurous and friendly.
I wonder how the people back 3,000 years ago felt when they were in the solar eclipse
I hear the sound of my dog sprinting across the fresh grass
I see the tree outside our classroom window waving in the breeze
I want to be running throughout the forest with my friends on a bright, sunny day
I am adventurous and friendly.
I pre tend that everything I do and wish for will be real
I feel sad when one of my family members pass away
I touch the sand and rocks while I’m playing on the beach
I worry when something happens in my family that freaks everyone out and I don’t know about
I cry when someone I know gets hurt or killed by something terrible
I am adventurous and friendly.
I understand how the sun come to be
I say thank you when I appreciate something that is given to me
I dream about traveling all over the land and sea
I try to be the best of me I could ever be
I hope that someday if I work hard enough I can achieve anything
I am adventurous friendly Violet.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

My writing gig – part three

As 2017 comes to a close, here’s the list of stories I enjoyed writing for playing in Whatcom County. 

My writing gig – part two

My writing gig – take one

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

German student looking for a Host in Bellingham

Dear Bellinghamsters (or other Washingtonians that live in a place as cool as the Ham),

Let’s give a kid from Germany a warm welcome to America, through the lens of our Bellingham bubble!

Caspar M. lives in Odenthal, Germany and would like to be a high school student in America this fall. His dad thinks that Bellingham would be a great place for him to have an international exchange experience.

Caspar’s dad, Stephan, is a friend of mine from high school. Stephan participated in a student exchange with my close friend, James Hanusa, in high school and visited me and Violet with his family four years ago.

The family is coordinating this through the International Student Exchange program. Here’s a page with FAQ’s for host families:https://www.efexchangeyear.org/host-a-student#how

If I had the space in our house, I’d do it!

We hope you can find the space in your home and hearts to welcome Caspar into your ‘Hamster home this coming fall.

Please email me at Todd@Elsworth.com if you are interested, have questions or you’d like to connect with the family to get this going!

Thank you,


ps- Here’s the bio that Caspar wrote:

Caspar M. Odenthal, Germany

I want to spend one semester at an American High-School, to experience the lifestyle and the culture. I would like to see if it really is like in those movies to go on an American High School and I would love to try out leisure and sports activities that you cannot easily do in Germany. Another reason to spend one semester in America is to make new friendships and experiences that I would not be making in my every day surrounding living in small village near Cologne. I am also really looking forward to spend time with my host family. My father did an exchange during his High School too and he is still in contact with his friends and host family from that time. I would love to make the same type of friendship during my time there. This is also an opportunity to enhance my English vocabulary to potentially study in an English speaking country later. I am learning English since I am 4 years old and made vacation in America twice. In that time my English made good progress and I hope for a similar progress during my High School semester. I also want to get more independent from my parents during the time without them.

Description of myself and my Hobbies
I am a silent person but still very thoughtfully and inquisitive, I am open for many things and very enthusiastic. My Hobbies are motorsports (especially kartracing), athletics, skiing and reading books. Next to these interests I am open to try typical American activities in my time there.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Bellebrity for 15

Marla Bronstein dubbed the name, Bellebrity- aka, local Bellingham celebrity. We’re a relatively small town, when you get at the heart of it and I’ve had my hand (and mouth) in enough projects that it caught the eye of a student from WWU, Yvonne Worden. It also helped that we were named the Grand Marshal and (first ever) Marshalette of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

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Posted in Reflections

You Heard it Here First, Folks!

Here’s some early Violet TV. We had gone up to “Mountain Baker” for some backcountry sledding (full story). When we got back, the hot chocolate was, well, NOT. To the ski area we went! Violet was warming up to the camera and getting her lines down.

“You heard it here first, folks!”

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Chummin’ up Chuckanut Creek

Laid to rest
atop a rock
last words
cycle continues

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Posted in Reflections

Life in the Slow Lane

Slug cruising along in the slow lane on Highway 20 Westbound.


Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Ladder Creek Falls Colors


Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Potty Mouth

Daddy’s Girl. We (Me & V) are constantly evaluating the language we use to communicate with one another (and the rest of the world).  I encourage Violet to embrace the nuances of writing, reading and speaking. And swearing. There’s a time and a place for everything. I’m currently working on explaining the power of the “F word”. If you don’t know what the “F word stands” for it’s FUCK.The nice thing about he “F word” is that it doesn’t really attack anybody like the “N word” and other “inappropriate” references. 

Enough about ME & V. This is about GIRL POWER. Equality YO!

Girls Just Wanna Have FUNdamental Rights.

Go Girls!

BTW- My favorite polite swear word currently is Shuksan. It merges two of the best into one, while also calling out a cool peak.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation