I’m writing this missive from Mount Vernon, Washington, where I’ve been spending my weekend since Rich and the "children’ arrived in late August. I LOVE spending time with Rich, especially in Mount Vernon, which in spite of my earlier disdain, is more akin to heaven. From Rich’s office, where I’m writing, I can look out over the wetlands and see numerous shades of green and a handful of trees that are starting to turn color.
While it’s still steamy hot in Austin, it’s the start of fall in the Pacific Northwest. Mornings tend to be overcast and afternoons are cool in the ’70’s. While today is drizzly, yesterday, we did gardening in short-sleeves. We’re ripping out years of overgrown ivy so we can plant attractive bushes and a couple of birch trees to commemorate Rich’s mother, Donna.
Two weeks before we moved from Texas, Donna celebrated her 75th birthday with friends and family in Anaheim, California. After returning to Bullhead City, Arizona, her primary residence, her health rapidly worsened. Two weeks later, the day after we arrived in Washington, she passed away from renal failure, the result of a four year battle with ovarian cancer.
Donna’s determination and spirit will be sadly missed. We were glad that we were able to spend four days with her and Ted, her husband, in early June.
On a more upbeat note, our cats, birds, and all of our furnishings are now in Washington, most of which are crammed in our Mount Vernon house. Microsoft had professional movers pack what was left of our house. True to form, they used an extraordinary amount of packing paper and put the minimal in each box. As a result, we ended up with over 100 boxes… along with the 125+ boxes we’d previously packed and moved to Washington last December!
I’m not looking forward to unpacking and sorting through the boxes!
Happily, we’re not unpacking any boxes until early November when we moved into a house that we purchased in Kirkland (west of Redmond on Lake Washington). The house should close in a few weeks, but we won’t move in until we replace much of the carpeting with bamboo flooring and paint the walls, which range in color from pink to pale blue.
This was the second house that we made an offer on. The first house, in unincorporated Kirkland, and had a dramatic family room with a built-in entertainment center. However, the inspection report uncovered numerous problems including a badly patched roof, water damage, bad siding, and poorly maintained systems.
The house that we settled on has significantly fewer problems and is in a better area (see pictures below). It features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a newly remodeled kitchen, a huge two-level deck, fabulous landscaping, and a quirky sauna in the laundry room. While I would have liked a newer house with a view this house was reasonably priced and very well maintained. Plus, it’s less than 10 miles from Microsoft and only 4-5 miles to fabulous, downtown Kirkland and Lake Washington.
Because we’re kinda’ in limbo between moving, Rich and I have been enjoying lazy weekends together in Mount Vernon. It’s wonderful waking up in our cozy bed with flannel sheets, thick feather quilt and Pu’Yi, my giant male Siamese, snuggled against my body. I miss waking up with the cats!
For the past few weekends, we’ve walked on the country roads around our house – this past weekend, we road our bikes – feed the neighborhood horse apples from our trees, watched colorful sunsets from our living room window, picked and ate lots of blackberries, chatted with the cows at a dairy up the street from our house, and purchased lots of local produce and fruit from the Mount Vernon Farmers’ Market and local grocery stores.
It’s also been nice to do "normal" married stuff like cook dinner, eat together, discuss home improvement plans, watch DVDs, and communicate face-to-face as opposed to over cell phones! The pictures below are of our first home-cooked meal together in Washington. It was frozen food from Umajimaya, a large Oriental market with locations in Portland and Washington. I concocted a dipping sauce using peanut butter, ponzu (citrus seasoned soy sauce), olive oil, and hot sauce (spooky).