Tag Archives: Bellingham

the second week

Jeremy and Ashley had rented a nice house in North Bend months ago as a place to land in Washington. It was there for them when they flew out on June 20th and they were still there on Thursday afternoon the 29th when I pulled that ungainly rig up in front of it. Jane had flown up earlier in the week and Joe and the boys had driven up. They were all there. Before long, Rosalie had me out across the street to the little park there. Actually, it wasn’t so little. It had a group picnic area and two play areas next to a rather large pond surrounded by trees. Here’s Rosalie beseeching the ducks to come back and play:

Here’s the merry-go-round:

Jane and her family left Friday for points south and home. We got in the car and headed north to Duvall, where we met with the landlord at the new house. They signed a two year lease. The neighborhood was very nice. The houses were newish, about 1980’s vintage, but many of the (presumably) original trees had been saved so there were tall firs and cedars all around. All the houses were well kept up.

Saturday was moving day. Jeremy took the truck, I took the Forester, still loaded with things from Georgia, and Ashley followed in the Murano after doing last minute clean up at the rental house in North Bend.

We got the truck situated in front of the house with the trailer off by around 10:30. Most of the unloading was done by 1:30 and the truck was off the lawn by 2:30. Rosalie had had a chance the day before to select which bedroom would be hers. It didn’t take long on Saturday for her to establish herself there.

Her new bed came not long after I took this picture. It went where the yellow bear is sitting.

Here are some earlier and later pictures of the inside of the truck:

That evening we went out to dinner in Carnation, which is the next town south of Duvall.

The next day, Sunday, I had volunteered to take the truck back to Yakima. Jeremy had done this as it was about $1,000 cheaper than dropping it somewhere closer in the Seattle area. That was another 145 miles in the truck and the same in the Forester coming home. 7:15 am to 2 pm.

Here’s a last look at the combo at the rest stop outside of Yakima. Mt Rainier is in the background. I thought I had Mt. Adams too but I couldn’t see the phone viewfinder very well in the bright sun light. It’s either just out of the frame or behind the sign, honest!

Jeremy and Ashley had lots of shopping to do so I said I would stay with Rosalie after I got back until they were done. They had to go to Monroe and Redmond and some other places with big box stores. After a nap and a snack with Rosalie, I got to play tea party and dress up for about three hours. They finally got home about 7:30!

Monday we didn’t do much except work on putting the house in order. I got in touch with my friends from Bellingham, Teresa and Susan. I wasn’t willing to go that far, but Susan had a spot in Oso, only about an hour from Duvall, that she went to on weekends in the summer. It floods every winter but there’s a spot for her Airstream 100 feet or so from the Stillaguamish River. In the end, Teresa couldn’t make it so I sat with Susan by the river for a couple of hours in the afternoon and chatted while the dogs occasionally chased toys into the river. Before going to Susan’s place, I had gone up to the site of the mountain collapse and paid my respects to the lost lives. The county has purchased the land and will eventually make a memorial park there. Now there are just 43 newly planted trees in rows by the road.

When I returned, much had been done in contacting the neighbors. We got invited to a 4th of July barbeque. Rosalie had discovered that the girl next door was just a few months older than her. They weren’t instant pals but it didn’t take long before they were chasing around together.

Tuesday all Rosalie could talk about was wearing her new swimsuit to the party and going in the pool. Finally the hour arrived and we went over. It was very nice and we met lots of new neighbors. Jeremy had to leave early as he was going to Portland for a basketball referees workshop. Before he left, we went home and lit a couple of sparklers. Rosalie wasn’t sure about them at first.

That night the explosions started well before dark, around 9:30, and continued without letup – literally with out so much as 15 or 20 seconds silence – until at least 11 pm, when my sleeping pills took hold. At least two different skyrocket shows could be seen out the back window of the house that were no more than a couple of hundred yards away.

Wednesday I went into Carnation to do laundry. The washer and dryer that Ashley and Jeremy had bought on Sunday wasn’t going to be delivered until the following Sunday and I was out of clean underwear. (It did come today and Ashley was on her 4th load when I talked to them earlier tonight.) Rosalie played a lot with Emma, the girl next door.

Thursday, Ashley took me to Snoqualmie Falls, about a half hour up the valley from Duvall. It’s a pretty falls but also a hydroelectric power generating facility. We waked the trail to the bottom and checked it out from there as well.

Friday we went to McCormick Park, which is a little city park right off the main drag in Duvall and right on the river. This was maybe ten minutes from their house. There was a nice sandy beach to play on. Rosalie made mud pies (or something) and dabbled in the water looking at the little marine animals. Afterward we had lunch in a little cafe and got a library card at the library across the street. Rosalie took out three books.

Saturday morning, Ashley took me to Sea-Tac and I came home. I had originally intended to come home on Amtrak or a bus but it would have been 24 to 26 hours en route vs 2 1/2 and the cost was comparable. In the end, it was about 12 hours short of two weeks. It was great!

weekend in Portland

Now it can be told . . .

Actually, I was laughing about it yesterday. I love Mike, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read this blog. Nevertheless, I was studiously avoiding saying anything about going to Portland because it was to be for a surprise retirement party for him.

It all worked out fine. Mike was surprised and everyone had a good time. I did allow that restriction get me somewhat twisted about writing posts over the last couple of weeks. I hope to catch up this week.

So, Rose’s brother Mike retired. Friday was his last day. He’s the same age as me so I hate him. No, not really, but nowadays I’m a bit jealous of people my age who are retired. I’ve started using the term ‘semi-retired’ to describe myself but it seems that it is more ‘semi’ than ‘retired’.

Well, that’s a post for another day. Rose and I left early Saturday. We had a 6:30 am flight so we were up and left the apartments at 4. Once in Portland, breakfast was a high priority. Rose suggested the biscuit place where we had eaten with Zach and his friend Chris B in 2014. Google eventually revealed that it was Pine State Biscuits so we went there.

The food was fine but being there brought back a flood of memories of Zach. He had come out to California in December then came up to Portland a few days after Christmas to visit Chris. He stayed with us and Mike’s family for a couple of days before going off with Chris. Actually, the breakfast at Pine State Biscuits was the transfer point.

It was my first time back in Portland since that visit so seemingly everything was fraught with memories of Zach. Sitting at those picnic style tables, I actually broke down for a minute. It was at the end of our meal and we shortly after that got up to leave. It wasn’t until I got to the car that I realized I had left my backpack in the restaurant net to the table. Kinda scattered, I was . . .

The back pack was still there and after retrieving it we headed out to visit Mike’s daughter Sarah. She lives on 5 acres just outside of Oregon City with her husband Mike C and their two lovely daughters. Also pigs, chickens, ducks and goats which we all went out to see. Sarah made us deviled eggs from her stock of literally dozens of fresh eggs. Mike and Sarah are not quite self sufficient but they’re close.

Soon other visitors arrived. Sarah’s aunts, Jean and Elaine, had driven down from Bellingham and came over. Then we heard that Mike H was coming. Rose and I hid in a bedroom until he got in the house, then stepped out to greet him. Somehow this was distinct from the surprise party. At this point I was just doing what I was told. Mike had done quite a bit of drinking the night before so he was hungover. He was glad to see us but not trying to hard to connect the dots. Mike and Rose’s brother Steve had come up the night before so I think the story was that there would be a family dinner that night.

After lunch, Rose and I left to check into our hotel and get some rest. The surprise party was at 7 and we were there on time. The bar was open and there was food – what could be better? There were about 40 people there when Mike was brought in by Steve on the pretext of the family dinner. He was gobsmacked so that was good. There were lots of Mike’s work friends there besides family.

The next morning, Rose and I breakfasted at the hotel then went to Mike’s club – he’s an avid golfer – for brunch. His other daughters Caitlyn and Keriann were there along with Caitlyn’s daughter Elliot. Also Sarah with Josephine and Devin so we had the kids corner. I was originally not intending to eat much but changed my mind. It was kind of a lunch. In fact, I didn’t have to eat again until we got to the airport.

Anyway, good food and good conversation. Afterwards we went back to Mike’s house where we mostly just sat around and watched the kids play in the front yard. Josephine set up an imaginary restaurant and went around taking orders from everyone then bringing them their gravel ‘food’. Just like Rosalie!

A good day but eventually it was 4 o’clock and we had to leave for the flight home. There was some problem at SFO so Alaska had to fly us to the San Jose airport then bus us to SFO. There were some silly moments but we got back to SFO about 9:30, about an hour and a half later than it would have been.

I was able to talk to some of the family members about Zach, which was good. I told the Bellingham people about Jeremy’s moving to Washington and promised I would try to get up to see them in July. My angst of the previous week was gone, which was best of all.