A quick visit to the motherland

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life42 Comments



Many of you may already know this but I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest in a now not-so-small town north of Seattle called Everett. I lived there until I was 19 and I’m sure if the events of my life hadn’t unfolded in the way they have (move to Texas, meet a boy from Minnesota, have babies and start scrapbooking), you wouldn’t be reading this blog today.

And while I wouldn’t change a thing (okay, not totally true because there was this one boy in Texas I would have taken a hard pass on, in hindsight), I definitely love any chance I get to go back to my hometown where my best friend and her family still live.


That’s Molly. She always thinks she looks terrible in selfies. I know, right? What the hell is she seeing that I’m not seeing? Girl is flat out gorgeous.

She has two of the coolest kids. Anne (freshman in high school) and Aida (rocking fourth grade).



And a hubby, Gordie, who seems to really like it when I crash their house. (Oh, and he builds homes for a living and I have decided that I want to buy his newest one on the bluffs of Mukilteo and have it be our summer home!)

That gray though, right?

Mostly what I love about going there is just sliding right into whatever their day-to-day activities are. Basketball games (for both girls), family dinners or any other family things. Molly’s older brother, Sean, broke his ankle while I was there, so a ferry ride to see him in the hospital down in Bremerton was in order.

It doesn’t really matter to me. I just like being around their family. And breathing in that Pacific Northwest air.


I will tell you that I didn’t appreciate where I grew up while I was in the thick of it. Maybe few of us do in our childhoods.


But I make a point to soak it all in when I do find myself back in Washington. (And yes, there are no better fish and chips in all the land than at Ivars!)


It was also nice to a bit of time off from working. I don’t take a lot of time off. I need to do that more often.


Until next time, Seattle.

XO, Cathy.












Cathy ZielskeA quick visit to the motherland

42 Comments on “A quick visit to the motherland”

  1. #1

    The PNW is my home area, too πŸ™‚ Lived in Bremerton, went to high school in Silverdale. Graduated from UW. I’ve been living in Texas for the last two decades and I MISS the Pacific Northwest something fierce. Ahhh, Ivar’s. The BEST.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. I hear you. I lived in Grapevine for four years before I my my hubby. I really liked Texas a lot. But it’s never the same as home.

      1. #1.1.1

        You wouldn’t even recognize Grapevine now – it has been developed so much. Heck, *I* I scarcely recognize it and I watched it happen! I swear, every time I’m there, there are 10 new businesses and 1000 new homes. It’s nuts.

        (I’m still waiting to meet my future hubby. Two decades here and still waiting. Yeah, might be time to let that dream go *LOL* )

  2. #2
    Leanne in Cali

    Nice! We took the kids up there last year and enjoyed Boeing, the market and fish and chips at Ivar’s! Thanks for the memories. (still need to get that scrapbook done) Have a fabulous rest of your week!!

  3. #3
    Virginia Palmer

    Another PNW native checking in! I was born in Portland, Oregon, but my dad was transferred to Detroit before my 3rd birthday. That makes me a card-carrying SNOB – Society of Native Oregon Born. Loved seeing your photos and following you around Puget Sound!

  4. #4

    my son and his husband live in Tacoma .. I love it up there .. I have never seen such beautifulness in my life .. once the grand babies come I may just have to move up there too .. seeing mt ranier everyday would be beyond awesome

  5. #5

    And if you were here this last weekend you had perfect weather! The mountain was out and everything. Glad you were able to enjoy your hometown and good friends. As a Washington native it doesn’t get much better than this last weekend.

  6. #7

    I live in Bothell and was secretly hoping I would run into you! FAN GIRL!! Glad you had a wonderful trip!

  7. #8

    I used to travel to Seattle for work and always loved approaching Seattle and looking out of the plane at the mountains and the ocean, just a big relaxing breath on the sight of them. I did manage a few side trips while I was out there – one down the coast to Oregon. Been way too long – need a trip back!

  8. #9
    Kathy Leicht-Gregg

    I live in the Seattle area and moved up here from many years in Texas. I’ve been here 30 years now and there is no other place like it. You mentioned breathing in the air…so true! I only have a few states left to visit and one of them is Minnesota. Maybe you will do a blog on the best places to visit there?
    P.S. Tell your friend she is beautiful. You, too. Great selfie!

  9. #10

    I live in the Seattle area and moved up here from many years in Texas. I’ve been here 30 years now and there is no other place like it. You mentioned breathing in the air…so true! I only have a few states left to visit and one of them is Minnesota. Maybe you will do a blog on the best places to visit there?
    P.S. Tell your friend she is beautiful. You, too. Great selfie!

  10. #11

    Lucky you. I went to UW for college and if not for my military husband I would have called the PNW my new forever home too. I miss living there very much. I am craving some Ivars now!

  11. #12

    We {heart} the PNW! We have taken our boys there a couple of times and loved it. We road tripped from Central California to Seattle on an 11 day adventure. SO BEAUTIFUL! We would love to move there someday (just like every other person from CA!)

    It’s been a few years and Ivar’s still has my heart. Oh yum! You can’t get any better.

  12. #13

    I always think of ‘Here Come the Brides’ when I hear about Seattle. (That will age me – I’m 541) Would love to visit it one day. I love your -from the heart-writing Cathy, so real and lovely.

  13. #15
    Carol A Labuski

    I miss the PacNW! Although we only lived out there for 2 1/2 years, first in Seattle for 3 months then up to Marysville for the duration, while working in Everett, we loved it there! Still keep in touch with so many nice friends we made in that short period of time. Have only been back once since we left though but still think about it often. Miss the lovely scenery!!

  14. #16
    Amy W.

    I just spent the weekend at my hometown of Chicago this weekend – just me, no kiddo or husband, who is also from the Chi-burbs – and it was really different to be there without them! I got to just soak up the people i grew up with, my family and my old friends, as we celebrated the life of a childhood friend. It was so good and so sad. I looked for the beauty and I found it, and for that I am grateful.

  15. #17
    Amy W.

    And I should clarify, I am from the actual Chicago, but my husband is from the Chicago suburbs. I correct him every time he says he is from Chicago, as that is not actually true. It doesn’t usually matter to the person we are talking to, but it still matters to me! Anyway, I was glad to experience it on my own terms this past weekend.

    1. #17.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Lol. I was technically only BORN in Seattle. I grew up in Everett. But it’s still Pac NW.

  16. #18

    I grew up in the PNW too…right on the border on the Canadian side πŸ˜‰ I can smell your post. LOVE Washington, miss the weekend trips (back when you didn’t have to give even a driver’s licence at the border, you just said, “going to get gas!” and through you went). Miss the mountains. Sigh, you are right, never appreciated it enough and can’t afford to live there now!!! (Is Seattle as expensive as Vancouver area?)

  17. #19

    I am a born and raised Puget Sounder. When I was a small child Mount Rainier filled up our living room window and I used to think it was a large ice cream cone. As an adult I have lived in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Hawaii with my military husband. While I liked certain aspects of each of these states, I wouldn’t live anywhere expect here in the PNW.

  18. #20

    I miss the PNW… I also grew up there, and have been in ND for 20 (!!!) years. This winter, I swear I would give my left arm for a rainy winter. Your post is a relaxing break from this ridiculous cold. Thanks for bringing me home for a minute. ❀?

    1. #20.1
      Cathy Zielske

      It was so nice to have sun on a few of the days I was there. It was just so lovely. πŸ™‚

  19. #21

    My son lived and worked in Seattle for almost a decade and I loved visiting. Yes, it’s overcast at times but as he said almost every day had some sun. The flights were long from MD but I do miss those trips and oh the seafood. He’s a Fairmont chef so boy did we eat well!

    Now I eat well when I visit him in Boston. I just had a short week up there and yes, every woman needs this kinda thing now and then. Change of scene, change of air and change of attitude.

  20. #22

    PNW is such a beautiful area. Have made several trips there and brother is seriously considering retiring there from Texas. I love Sequim and Port Townsend. Have visited the Canadian side many times. Attended the World’s Fair in 1986. It was so cold. Spent one July 4th in Seattle and it was freezing-had to go buy some warmer clothing. Enjoy your trip.

  21. #24

    We moved to the San Juan Islands from NC, BECAUSE of the air. The smell of the air. After being an East coaster for 52 years, now I proudly call the PNW home❀️. SO lucky to live here!!

  22. #26

    I would have been really confused if I’d somehow seen you while you were here in Bremerton! We don’t see a lot of scrapbooking celebrities here πŸ˜‰

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