Ahhh, Seattle, WA – the city I traveled to when I went to Alaska by myself in 1982, the first place I lived after I was married, the place where 5 of my children were born, the place where I began my homesteading adventure, the place I left 10 years ago…

This July, Catherine and I flew back to Seattle to celebrate the conclusion of my father’s year as International President for the Lion’s Club.

We stayed at the Westin, on the 47th floor, in the Presidential Suite.  I joined my sister and 2 brothers, their spouses and ALL the nieces and nephews.

We took up all the rooms on the top floor.  We had to arrive at the elevators 10 minutes early to get us all down the 47 floors and make it to the events on time.

Catherine with my folks.  I have to tell – my mom recently turned 71!  I hope I look that good when I’m her age.

Each night was a dress up occasion for either a formal sit down dinner or a reception.

L-R:  Cora (sil), Lee (brother), me, Sid Scruggs (Dad), Judy (Mom), Monica (sil), Kevin (brother), Debbie (sister), Russ (bil)

Mt. Ranier at sunset as seen from one of the rooms we stayed in…

One of the many ferries that take people and cars to various islands in the Puget Sound.

My folks have traveled 321 days around the world this last year as ambassadors for the International Lion’s Club.

The Lion’s are the largest volunteer organization in the world.

My dad gave his final charge to the 20,000 members who attended this year’s International Convention.

They showed a slide presentation of some of what he and mom had done over Dad’s presidency and it was awe-inspiring.  I was so proud of the both of them for the work and all the lives they were able to touch and help during Dad’s office as President.

Dad was in charge of this year’s convention and he requested to have Condoleeza Rice speak as part of his closing ceremony.

I have a great respect for her and what she’s accomplished as a woman…. and what a phenomenal speaker!  It was a privilege to meet her – one of the perks of being the daughter of Sid Scruggs!

Dad presented her with the crystal lion statue as thanks for her humanitarian work.

After Dad conlcuded, it was time to pass the gavel and the ring to the incoming president for 2011 – 2012.

Dad with Tam, the next President from Hong Kong, China.

There was a huge celebration and more dress up events.

I love this picture.  These are my nieces and nephew and Catherine – the blonds, with Tam’s children.

It just goes to show that silly faces for photo ops are universal and understood no matter what the language!

Catherine with Tiffany – Tam’s daughter.  They both were about the same age.  Tiffany spoke beautiful English.  She had just finished studying design in France.

Another night of celebration was about to begin….

I swear – I blinked and my baby has grown into this beautiful woman!

Catherine admitted that she liked all the glitz and dressing up – but the favorite for both of us was meeting and talking with people from all over the world.  An incredible opportunity.

My sister’s older 4 girls with Catherine.

And without us 4, my folks would not have the 16 grandchildren who call them “grandma” and “papa.”

L-R:  Cyndi, Lee, Debbie, Kevin

Seattle at night…the Space Needle and…

Pike Place Market.  Both pictures taken from our room windows.

I have the most wonderful sister in the world.  My only wish is that we lived closer.  She’s in NH with her 6 kids and husband.

The oldest and youngest grandchild – Catherine and Liam.

Truly – this was the only time I was able to hold him.  With all the older girl cousins, you had to wait in line to get time with him!

How wonderful to be so loved.

We awoke to a gorgeous morning on our last day in downtown Seattle.

The Olympics to the west…

In April, I took my younger 3 to an International Board meeting in Raleigh NC.  Michael, Megan, and Alexandra loved meeting all the people.

It was there I met Gowrie and we hit it off.  I was able to spend some time with her in Seattle.  Wonderful lady doing some incredible humanitarian work in her native land, India.

The convention was held in Key Arena – it was packed with people from all over the world.  Lion’s Club is represented by 206 countries and lots and lots of people who do an amazing amount of work helping others.  It’s an incredible organization that touches many, many lives.  If you want to know more about the Lions, check out their website:

http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/index.php

And while we were all celebrating a year’s worth of accomplishment and the hope for a new year,

the sun rose on Seattle.