Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

Sly Andrew Nelson sneaked away from the valley for his 50th birthday on Saturday. Instead of having a cadre of local friends make jokes about aging at a traditional birthday party, Andrew chose to spend his half-century birthday running a half marathon near Bellingham.

Sponsored by the Bellingham Trail Running Series, the Alger Alp half marathon climbs up Alger Alp (aka Little Baldy), which is a roughly 1,300-foot peak that has a pretty incredible view of nearby Mt. Baker (nearly 10,800 feet). In fact, the view is allegedly so great that the race course takes you up the mountain twice, with about 2,900 feet of climbing in total! I’m guessing that the runners are less entranced by the view on the second ascent.

Proving that age is no barrier to athletic accomplishment, Andrew came in 14th overall and second in his age group. He celebrated his victory and the rest of his birthday by going bowling and then out to dinner with his family in the Seattle area. Happy 50th, Andrew!

All who have supported Peniel House (the school and orphanage in the Democratic Republic of Congo championed by Wayne and Linda Mendro) and all who are interested in joining the ranks of supporters are invited to an African dinner at the Twisp Valley Grange on May 4 at 2pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids, and all proceeds will benefit Mama Chansa’s work at Peniel House. Call Linda at 997-6070 or Charlotte Nelson at 996-3640 for more information.

As in places everywhere, kids in Winthrop continue to say the darndest things. This week’s gem comes from 8-year-old Hawke Huff, who was examining the Huff family’s new kitchen cabinets. A little bit of history here — the Huffs have been living in the house they’ve been building for the past year, and for one summer and wet, cold fall they lived in a tent on the property. Tanara has been cooking meals on camp stoves, dealing with appliances in various locations and stages of functionality, and moving furniture to and fro as they work on different rooms of the house. It’s been a lot of work. But yet the kids have always had clean clothes, healthy meals, and a robust schedule of extracurricular activities.

So it was nothing short of ironic this morning when Tanara finally got her kitchen cabinets installed and Hawke, discovering the rotating turntable shelf in the corner cabinet, called out, “Look! We have a Lazy Woman!”