More Pictures of the Lakewood House

Kathy is in Texas, and wanted to show off a few more pictures of the house we are renting. Since I’m just lolling around the house eating meatloaf (Rachel says it is the best meatloaf ever, thank you, Kathy!), I don’t mind posting a few more. Sorry to those of you who are bored with it.

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The stairs & entry-way

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The living room, just to the right as you enter the house.

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More of the living room, looking toward the back of the house.

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The den — a dark sort of room at the back of the house, behind the kitchen, with a fireplace & half-bathroom.

There is a three-car garage and a hot tub, which sweeten the deal a little. This house is $100/month more than a comparable house in the area, but the yard makes a big difference (the other house had only about 1/3 of the yard space).

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A New Home

We’ve decided to rent a house in Lakewood for the next year or so.

Here are a few pictures of the house we’ve selected:

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The front of the house (picture cleverly doesn’t show how close the neighboring houses are).

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The fenced backyard was a major selling point, with a basketball court and lots of room to run around.

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The kitchen is always an important part of any house — this one seems roomy enough.

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With a three-car garage and square footage around 2400 sq. ft., this four-bedroom house should be a similar fit to our existing space.

We’re both relieved and scared about making this change … it will certainly be a much shorter commute for me, and I seem to want to hang onto this job for a while. But moving (even locally) will be non-trivial.

When we talked on the phone this morning, Kathy said to me, “Do you think maybe this time we could actually declutter?” We both had a good laugh at that.

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A New Look

I just noticed a man across the aisle from me, sporting a Mohawk haircut … I can’t remember the last time I saw someone making that definitive personal statement. It is frequently interesting to see the different ways that people express their individuality. Most people nail down who they are by the time they are in their 30s, though … this guy looks to be in his late 40s. He is wearing a T-shirt from the Seattle Children’s Theater … perhaps the cut is a part of a role he is playing.

When I was in college, a friend decided to shave his head for his 20th birthday. I walked down to the barber shop with him for a good laugh. The barber, an older man well-versed in the ways of college students, gave my friend lots of chances to back out, removing his hair in uniform layers until only an eighth of an inch stubble remained. Somehow I found myself in the chair, with a grinning barber asking, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Sure!” squeaked a voice that I still can’t believe was mine. No baby-step approach for me … in a single swoop, he cut a reverse Mohawk from the front of my head to the base of my neck. I walked out of the shop looking like a skinhead, and (I hope) a little wiser.

Would you buy a used car from this man? (This picture was actually taken much later, when I had quite the ‘head of hair’ in comparison to the original near-billiard shave.)

We had been enjoying a prolonged Indian Summer, with temperatures in the low 70′s. The next day (November 2, 1984) we skipped right past Fall and into Winter, with temperatures below freezing at night. My friend and I bought matching pea-green coats and walked around town like a couple of idiots, shivering miserably. I never realized just how much heat can be lost from the top of the head, when denuded of hair.

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The other day, one of our neighbors came by to show off her new hair color … she is starting high school in a few weeks and wants to change her look as much as she can. Hard to imagine anyone choosing to go brown when they are naturally blond, but she seems to have selected an attractive shade … it looks good. I think that I am going to need to be very flexible as my children move into the teen years … most parents really seem to struggle with their reaction to matters of aesthetics and in differentiating those from moral principles. It is also hard to see your child as a potential grown-up, when you remember (seems like yesterday!) changing their diapers and snuggling them in your arms.

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One of my favorite scenes from “Father of the Bride” is when Steve Martin’s character’s daughter announces her intention to get married. In the film, they swap out the daughter in mid-conversation and replace her with a six-year-old girl in pigtails, who announces in a little-girl voice, “Daddy, I met a boy and I’m going to get married!” Then Martin shakes his head, his vision clears, and he sees his 20-year-old daughter again, looking at him strangely. I suspect parents go through that kind of thing frequently.

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Star Status

This week a visiting dignitary graced us with her presence. Rebecca Anne from Leavenworth flew into Sea-Tac Monday morning. Her arrival was greeted with great flourish and fanfare: fans screamed her name in delight while carrying large banners welcoming her to Washington. Her motorcade caused traffic snarls for hours as it made its way south of Seattle. Thankfully security was tight and everything proceeded smoothly.

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Here Rebecca poses with a member of her welcoming committee

RA, or Becca as some family members call her, was escorted to her exclusive lodgings. As is expected for such a high ranking visitor, her accommodations were decorated in bright colors and strewn with luxuries. The air was filled with the fragrance of fresh flowers hand-picked from a nearby garden.

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While she has not yet granted any interviews, it is rumored Becca is here to celebrate her birthday. She is apparently spending part of her time in the city, enjoying the cultural delights, and the remainder at a fashionable bed and breakfast at the edge of the Olympic National Forest. The staff at both locations are attentively waiting on her every whim as she relaxes from a strenuous year of school and work.

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RA resting on some of the landscaped grounds near her room

Becca’s first several days were spent opening presents from family members far and wide. Many packages were mailed directly to her vacation spot. She even received gifts from overseas. This one here arrived on her birthday all the way from Korea.

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Among the crowd was a young onlooker. Rebecca graciously welcomed him to her side as she opened gifts from grandparents.

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Included in this gift box was a special letter that Becca read with careful detail causing much speculation on its form and content. Rebecca was careful to keep the personal letter confidential although there were many attempts to see it.

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It’s obvious by this picture that onlookers even attempted to sneak into Rebecca’s private gift opening time. The life of a celebrity is difficult and taxing. Privacy is a rare and precious thing. Thankfully Becca shows grace and charm at all times, acting as if she doesn’t notice the interloper.

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After the birthday celebration, Rebecca was hurried out to the country for the next part of her visit. Traveling incognito with a caravan of mini vans, she made it safely to the Olympic Peninsula. Fans have since spotted her playing games, going on hikes and even mingling with some of the locals during her time in the Duckabush. One fortunate person was treated to special attention as Becca worked with him on a piece of creative writing. As part of the spa accommodations there have been many gourmet meals. It is whispered that Becca has even deigned to spend time in the kitchen herself. Her skills as a cake decorator and chef are widely known. The paparazzi managed to get some pictures of birthday cake.

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Star-struck fans gather around the famed visitor as she poses near her cake.

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Today Becca was invited on a private picnic soiree down at the water. The sights were breathtaking and the company delightful. This evening several select friends and family gathered for an entertainment extravaganza featuring a movie presentation of The Mouse that Roared.

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Photo by Rachel

Becca is certainly in high demand here in the country but the duties of her public life call to her and I fear she must leave us tomorrow. She heads back into the city first thing in the afternoon for a performance of the Jesus of Nazareth Passion Play. There is some hope that she will be signing autographs along with the cast after the event.

Further reports forthcoming.
Staff Reporter
The Celebrity Gazette

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A Quiet Weekend

My folks took the older three kids to Lakewood for a couple of days … Kathy and I spent the time with only two little ones. It is very strange, remembering how life was, six or seven years ago when Joshua and Rachel were small. Of course, two children can suck up all your available time and attention just as well as five, except that nap time is a little quieter. After church I spent some time working on the Wilderness Northwest video, and then we went for a walk together in the late afternoon. We had a lovely visit with one of our neighbors; when we refused their invitation to come into the house (we were, after all, enjoying the outside) they all came out & sat on lawn chairs. We sat and talked for almost an hour … I was worried that we might have outstayed our welcome, dropping by unannounced as we did.

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These two hardened criminals are frequently featured in the Police Blotter section of local newspapers.

One of the many things I like about living on the Duckabush is that most people have time for each other. Even a group of local teenagers (who could, in all courtesy, have simply made an appearance and then gone back to whatever they were doing) sat outside on the porch with us and talked. Of course, it didn’t hurt that David and Sarah were playing to the crowd, providing substantial entertainment by running around and making strange noises. There was a fierce kitten present, who kept stalking and pouncing on the kids, which was pretty funny. I think the kitten has some self-perception issues … she acts as though she were a 150-pound mountain lion.

Eventually we went home, and I made my rounds in my local garbageman role, gathering trash from a few neighboring homes (to help defray the cost of our dumpster). I wrestled with David and Sarah for a good long time, and somehow no one was injured (possibly a first), although David laughed so hysterically I thought he might faint. There is something very satisfying about the unbridled laugh of a little boy … it warms a very deep part of the soul that doesn’t get much sunlight.

You may have noticed that Sunday’s blog entry was written by Kathy … for some reason, it pleases me greatly. I guess it is fun to have her join me in building something that I enjoy and value … “fellow workers in the vineyard” and all that (a quotation from one of our favorite holiday videos, Christmas in Connecticut).

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