May 2007

By Paul

Originally posted: Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Modfied: Sunday, July 29, 2007

On Sunday May 13 Gregg, Buzz and I went up to Stanwood for a Mother's Day family reunion.  My mother's sister Donna hosted a dinner in the party room of her apartment building.  Donna was assisted by her daughter Irene who lives in the same building.  As an added bonus her son Mel and his wife Barb were visiting from southern California... it is rare that I get to see Mel and Barb, but I did see them just lasts summer.  Some of Mel's kids and grand kids (none of whose names I can remember as I'm writing this) were there too.

My mother's younger brother, my Uncle Jack, and his wife Betty were there.  It was good to see Uncle Jack in good spirits and improved health.  He has had a rough time since his lung cancer surgery in December.  He still has some issues with his medical recovery but his appetite is finally back, he is up and alert, talking and smiling.  He is looking well. Also there was my cousin John, son of my mother's oldest sister Mollyo.

Here are a few pictures.  All the pictures can be see on the Flickr.

Uncle Jack, Me, Mel

Betty, Me, Mel

Me, Mel, Irene

Irene, Mel's daughter-in-law, Buzz

Betty, Donna, Jack

Buzz, Jon, Uncle Jack

Betty & Jack

Mel, Donna & Me trying to figure out Donna's new camera.

On May 18th I took a break from work to meet Jack at Carkeek Park where we waited to watch a steam train come by.  Karl was the pilot for the engine crew which is based in Wyoming.  I was amazed how many people knew about this special train -- there was no place to park at Carkeek.   To see all the pictures I took of this, see the whole set on Flickr.


Over Memerial Day weekend Gregg and I went to Denver to attend a square dance convention.  Gregg took a day off from school so we had a 4-day weekend.  Unlike previous conventions, we didn't have much extra time so we didn't do any sight seeing around town.  We did have a good time:  danced a lot, saw some old friends, made some new friends and ate hotel banquet food.  All the pictures can be seen on Flickr, but here are a few select ones.

Our club in Seattle, Puddletown Dancers getting ready for the Grand March.  That is the official opening of the convention.  All the clubs put on their uniforms or fancy clothes.  Puddletown's uniform is a simple white shirt with a logo -- but many people, such as Ruby and Lyle wear other things.  Once all the clubs (about 100 or so) are organized, we march from one ball room to another on a different floor.  It is quite silly because no one is watching this parade.

Gregg doing a twirl during a "kilt tip".  A tip is a set of dances.  This set is for anyone wearing a kilt.


Me at at out door restaruant on the 16th Street Mall.

We didn't take any pictures of me dancing.

We returned from Denver on Monday May 28th.  The house was put on the market on Tuesday.  The two months before had been very hectic with Jack remodeling the kitchen and dining room, Gregg & I packing up 4 bins for Door to Door storage to declutter the house and get it ready for "staging", painting all but 3 rooms, new carpet in 2 bedrooms and then the final glitz of decorating it just so for open houses.  All the hard work paid off.  The house sold after just 5 days on the market.  There was a small bidding war and were offered $5,000 over our asking price. 

There is some sadness in selling the house.  It truly means I'm letting go of my "investment" in Seattle as well as any formal arrangments between Jack and myself (we co-owners of the house).  Obviously, if you've seen pictures of all the work he has done on the house and the time he and I spent together over the past years, you know that he and I are not bitter ex-partners.  It is a little sad to see the end of that, plus knowing I'm leaving my home town, family and walking away from a successful high-tech career to retire in Palm Springs... the excitement of the new adventure is muted a bit by everything else that is going on.

The house deal is scheduled to close on Monday July 9th.  Gregg and I should be driving to Palm Springs that afternoon -- stopping along the way at places like Mount Saint Helens, Crater Lake and Yosemite.