Thursday, July 24, 2008


Care to take the house tour?

Here's the spot where we ate our first dinner at our new house tonight. There are other, more picturesque built-in benches in our deck, but this was the only shady one at dinner time.

Our house has four bedrooms and two baths. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a bathroom, the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Downstairs we have a family room, one bedroom (which we'll use as an office), a bathroom, and a laundry room. When you come for an overnight visit, we'll throw a mattress on the floor in the family room, and you'll have an entire downstairs suite to yourself.

Here's what you see when you walk in the front door:

And now the...

Living Room

Dining Room


Willem's Room

Nels's Room

Our Room

Upstairs bathroom

Entryway, headed downstairs

Groovy Family Room

Laundry Room

Two Car Garage!

Back Deck

View of the house from the back yard. Yes, that is a HOT TUB!

(The obsessively observant among you might notice that I'm missing photos of the downstairs bedroom and bathroom. This is due to my difficulty posting lots of photos in order on Blogger. I'm grateful I got as many photos in the desired order as I did on this "tour". Rest assured, the missing rooms are quite similar in character [small, clean; outdated, but inoffensive] to the rest of the rooms.)

Phew. What an emotional day it's been. Tomorrow the work of moving begins in earnest. Onward! Upward!

Good BYE!

Goodbye, house stink.
Goodbye, train whistles interrupting our sleep, television viewing, and telephone conversations.
Goodbye, landlords.
Goodbye, sketchy characters hanging out down by the river.
Goodbye, splinters in our feet from the wrecked wood floors.
Goodbye, needing my keys to do laundry in the basement.
Goodbye, toilet that usually needs to be flushed twice.
Goodbye, bathroom in the kitchen without a mirror.
Goodbye, heat that doesn't warm the upstairs where the bedrooms are.
Goodbye, nasty-looking opossum who lives in our "garden."
Goodbye, mama cat and four kittens loitering in our yard.
Goodbye, drag racers in the wee hours.
Goodbye, pot-smoking neighbors in the single-wide.
Goodbye, neighborhood-wide eau de sewer.

Goodbye, and good riddance.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moving A Sofa Is Different In The Country

Most of us would just ask a buddy to grab the other end.

Let's Roll Up Our Sleeves and Get Caught Up. Sorta.

I can't believe it's been almost a month since our Big Week. That's how I think of it, anyway. Our Big Week.

First, our Hamiltons came to visit. Dear people that they are, they stayed with us in the torpor-inducing heat at the end of a long road trip with their teething toddler daughter. They could have moseyed on home and enjoyed the air-conditioned splendor of their Boise abode. But they stuck it out. And that, my friends, is friendship. Here we are making the best of a sorry situation, with margaritas to cool and cheer us:

On Friday, June 27, our Boise house closed without a hitch. Cue the angel choirs. We'd had to sign the papers over here, cross our fingers and say a prayer that we'd done everything correctly before we had the documents notarized and Fedexed back to Boise. Phew.

That alone would have qualified for Big Week status, but, just to spice it up a little, we also made an offer on a house and spent the week negotiating... ourselves a house! As the house is a split level from 1971, I figured it would be prudent to keep this happy news to ourselves until after the inspection. Which went swimmingly well. And, since we signed all the documents today, I feel quite comfortable making an official announcement. Here's a peek at the front:

And guess what? We didn't go city OR suburbs! We went small town. Yep, our new home is Camas, WA, which borders the eastern end of Vancouver. Camas is known for its excellent schools. Our neighborhood is known as Mountain View, due to its spectacular views of Mt. Hood. I'll tell you more when I post some photos after we take possession of the house this Thursday. We are thrilled to be moving INTO this house and OUT of the (still) stinky, noisy rental.

After the Big Week came the Slightly Less Big But Only In Terms of Numbers of Events, Not Their Magnitude Week. Shaun's sister Kim came out from California with her family to spend the 4th of July with Oregon folks and to be sure to get in a visit with Grandpa Jensen (that's Chick), as his health was so poor. We went out and stayed with the Grandmartins to all be together. Here are the boys watching the fireworks:

They had a grand time.

That day Chick's dialysis failed, and we spent a lot of time with family over the next few days as his health declined rapidly. That brings us up to my previous post. On July 10 we had a graveside service and a wonderful church celebration of Chick's life. His three sons-in-law were the speakers, per Chick's request. They all did a great job, but the very best part of the service was hearing Chick's own words, in anecdotes told by his sons-in-law and quoted from his autobiography. I can't wait to get my hands on that.

Well, we've made significant progress here. There's more to show and tell, but it will keep. Let's end with a smile.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rest at Last

Chick and great-grandson Henry

You can't pick your family--or can you? Joining God's family was the best thing that ever happened to me. Joining Shaun's family was the next best.

Shaun's grandpa Chick died yesterday, after a long fight against kidney failure. Even though I'm a relative newcomer to the family, knowing Chick and Laurel has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. Chick's steadfast faith in God and his expression of that faith--direct and uncomplicated--were an encouragement and an admonishment to me.

All one had to do to know Chick was to read something he wrote. While many writers (ahem) struggle to find their true voice, Chick was 100% himself. Whether it was in a Christmas letter, an article for the small woodlands newsletter, or a letter to the editor, he was who he was: engaging, blunt, smart, and funny as all get-out.

Today is Chick's birthday, and his pain is finally gone. Of course we wish we were celebrating WITH him, but I suspect that Somone is throwing Chick one doozy of a party.

Happy Birthday, Chick. We love you.