15 minutes: Spaghetti Sunset


I eat pretty late at night. These days, it’s around 9 p.m. I know it’s not good and I can’t help it but on Thursdays, it’s farmers market night and I’m busy trying to figure out what to do with last week’s produce while working in this week’s produce. What to cook, what to save, what will go in breakfast tomorrow, what I need to freeze.

But nights like these, I’m glad I waited until late. Just as I was rinsing the last of my strawberries, I looked behind me over at my cooling dinner. But the sunset in my picture window above the counter where my dinner sat caught my eye. There was a magnificent orange horizon with tinges of blues and purples in the clouds above it.

“That’s it,” I thought. “It’s time for dinner … on the porch.”

So no phone, no anything, just my bowl of farmers market veggies and tomato sauce spooned over a heaping pile of spaghetti squash, a glass of white wine and my latest favorite fleece (It IS summer in the Pacific Northwest. It wouldn’t be a summer evening without a fleece.)

And so I dragged my chair to the western most corner of my front porch so I could see the partial mountaintop view that comes out when the clouds are high or, for once, have disappeared.

The hues turned fast as they always do, but still slow enough to enjoy. At one point, the layer of clouds perfectly hovered above the mountains, leaving just enough sky to be filled in with purple and pinks. If I stretched my neck enough, I could see a layer of clouds in the foothills, just below the mountain peaks.

But the sunset has calmed down now, with the clouds simply turning a blueish grey. A thin line of pink sits just above the jagged peaks of the Olympics. Yet the pink makes a bigger impact with its reflection hitting the high level of clouds that are starting to overtake the skies above Bremerton.

My street is a main thoroughfare but not too busy. It’s four lanes wide but the city recently reduced it to two lanes with parallel parking replacing the outside lanes. People are slowly adjusting to parking on the busy street. We’re so used to the comforts of our side streets and parking permits.

It’s a decent summer evening in the PNW. Actually, it’s pretty typical for June. It’s been raining for a week straight, the type of rain we get typically in the winter, except it’s 35 degrees warmer, thankfully. It gives the allergies a break as well as our water bills. Affectionally referred to as “Juneuary.”

I sit on my front porch – it’s a long front porch probably nearly 30 feet long. It needs a party at some point this summer. A few walkers go by. Typically teens or 20-somethings. A few cars with loud music go by. Big engines roar. I recognize a few cars. There goes the lady who owns the shop down the street. There goes the little black car that lives three houses down from me. I can see the hospital in the distance; quiet, no emergency airlifts tonight.

I wonder where these people are going, driving by my house. Headed home. Headed to work. Headed to a friend’s house. Not very creative tonight with those thoughts.

My 15 minutes are almost up. The high clouds are still reflecting the thin pink line, which has disappeared now behind the mountains. The general color is still the bluish grey, with silhouettes of trees, power lines, houses, clouds and those jagged ridges of the Olympics on the horizon.

And look – Venus has risen above Mt. Jupiter.