Settling Washington ~ Vintage BNF

Settling Washington happened when we believed we could live here forever ~ kinda like when we moved to Lago Vista out of Austin thinking we’d stay there forever then moved to Washington six months later. Anyway, when we moved to Washington, we kept our Lago house and rented it ’cause we were sure we’d be going back. The crack alley house was rented because we sold it three times and all the buyers backed out.

Washington State

Weekend on the Olympic Peninsula with our friends Shawna and Leland. This was in a cabin on an Indian reservation along the Pacific Ocean. Nowhere else on earth like this (suppose this could also be said for Levelland, TX though…).

More deadly driftwood that we’re hanging out on. Lots of people would pick this stuff off the beaches and carve it, finish it, turn it into something interesting. Suppose it would really take off if it wasn’t so expensive to haul around. Beautiful stuff.

Leland gets high.

When we first moved to Washington, we rented an apartment until we found the rental house on Tiger Mountain (previous page). We decided to stay long term for the reasons that follow below so we first offered to purchase the Tiger Mountain house, then ended up purchasing our favorite house ever in downtown Issaquah (above) that was built in 1900 and needed tons of work we did over the next year. This home was just blocks away from Issaquah’s main street (Front St), a salmon hatchery, the kids public school, a great community center and indoor pool, Front St. Theatre, Cool Beans Coffee (hey Rick!), Jak’s Grill (best steaks ever), a kickin’ library, museum, playground/park, mountain hiking, bike trails to Lake Samamish, Barnes and Noble (with a Starbucks), Red Robin (hey Erin!), and so much more. We absolutely love this house, neighborhood, and town.

When we were relocated, Greg was responsible to start Dell’s engineering labs at Microsoft and was supposed to hire four people immediately. Once we were relocated, the requisitions dried up due to the economy so we were left there alone where Greg had a lab built in Kent and offices in Redmond (on MS campus). He also worked at home a lot, got a lot done, and spent loads of time with Family engaging their help to keep things running smoothly and productively. We spent a lot of time hosting managers and executives which helped Dell’s engineering relationship with Microsoft immensely ~ we’ve got lots of specific bragging rights you can find in Gettin Barenaked babble. Things were beyond great working between two amazing companies running what felt like a Family business. The Family was always at the MS campus enjoying the amenities of a successful company like free drinks, subsidized cafe’s and restaurants, and tons of friends that were mostly content in their line of work.

We also enjoyed our time off. With seniority at Dell, Greg had four weeks vacation time and at this point pretty much set his own hours knowing what needed to be done and when. We spent a lot of time on the waterfront in Seattle (15-20 mins from the house) riding the state ferries to the islands in Puget Sound. We could ride for like $3/person on a ferry that could hold some 250 cars and 1500 passengers with a cafe and several levels. One captain took us to tour the captains quarters where the steering wheel and equipment is. Greg got in trouble for video taping it. Many people use these ferries daily to commute from the islands into the cities on the mainland.

At the community center in Issaquah is the skate park Austin learned to skate well in. Just beyond we could walk to the woods and get lost in the mountains nearby. Blackberries, salmonberries, and raspberries grow wild everywhere and during their ripe season you’d never get hungry or thirsty on a hike filling up on berries.

The above pictures were taken on 12/25/00 which was the third holiday season we spent away from our Texas Family which was hard. We made the most out of it by putting together homeless drives where we rounded up clothing and blankets for the downtown Seattle homeless and delivered it personally. The first year we did it, we learned that they really didn’t want anything extra that they had to carry and did not use ~ so barenaked! So many of them asked for clean socks and underwear. They watched out for each other finding out what we had and hooking up their friends with what they needed. By our second year doing this, we had a large van full of clothes and new socks and underwear donated by so many friends many of them even came along with us. It was so great to experience giving and having the kids be a part of this.

We just owned New Years at home.

Find Austin. Best school ever. Best teacher ever.

Find Kesley. Best school ever. Best teacher ever.

We would walk the kids to and from school often. Jenn spent a lot of time in the classes as a school mom. Greg also got to spend more time there than other fathers because of his free work schedule.

Wren is dead center middle and one of Kesley’s best friends ever.

We met Wren in Kesley’s class and his Mom, Kerrie. Kerrie and Randy (Dad) became good friends in Issaquah. They ended up moving to Alaska with the Coast Guard. We ended up meeting Kerrie’s parents (Debbie and Miguel) in Prescott, AZ years later and spent lots of time there with them. We helped Miguel manufacture and bottle his salsa one year, did a poop tour with one of their friends, and even helped them open their Paradise Cafe.

Sunny was scamming on Wren and also got to spend a lot of time in Kesleys class with Mom. Sunny never went to publick skul.


Sunny can teach us all a little something about fashion.

Daddy’s learning, still.

Kesleys 6th b-day 2/6/01.

From bottom clockwise ~ That’s Savannah and Hannah Bass, Jade (neighborhood friend), Lindsey (friend from Tiger Mtn neighborhood), Wren, and the BNF kids.

Jade is very cool and unique. She spent a lot of time at our house with us. We met Lindsey when we lived on Tiger Mtn. Her Mom and Dad (Andrea and Van) renovated the homestead house on the western slope of Tiger Mtn. They actually lifted the house and created a bottom floor fitting it out with modern amenities and leaving the top floor antique. You can see Mt. Rainier from their deck.

Rick owns and operates Cool Beans Coffee on Front St in the lobby of the old Front St Theatre. We became very close and bought a lot of coffee from him. Best coffee in town. Shawna is with Kesley here ~ she also did a lot of baby sitting for us.

Leland helped teach Austin how to skate and also broke his front permanent tooth by dropping him face first on the ferry (not a good stunt). Leland was also a master Snowboarder and hangs out with Modest Mouse. Shawna and Leland house sat for us when we would go to Texas for about a month. When we lived on Tiger Mtn, there was a large staircase to the front door. After a month on the road to Texas and back, we came home and Timon followed us up these stairs to Lelands shock ~ he had been carrying Timon up the stairs for a month thinking the dog couldn’t make it! Timon enjoys playing games like this.

The kids rooms in the downtown Issaquah home were upstairs ~ kinda creepy (like Austin’s hair). The stairs were very steep and the rooms were very dark with the light switch beyond the top of the stairs. Brave kids.

Or stupid. More scary movies needed.

One happy Family and Greg’s first attempt at chin hair.

Travis (Hannah and Savannah’s Dad) and Randy (Wren’s Dad).

Savannah, Kesley, and Barbie. Or Barbie, Kesley, and Savannah. Not sure.

John Lennon lives on Tiger Mountain as a guy named Van. We ate dinner with them often.

Andrea is Lindsay’s mom and our new friend Shannons Aunt.

Shannon came from Apple Valley, CA to live with Van and Andrea after high school and we became good friends ~ she would baby sit often and is one of the sweetest girls we know.

Her eyes aren’t really red.

But these leaves are.

Nothing to say for those pictures, they’re just really fantastic pictures taken by Kim Bass when she spent the day with the girls at Lake Sammamish in the fall.

Kesley and Wren are very thankful.

That Sunny moved into a cave.

Kesley and Austin would visit her with their friend Hannah Bass.

And they would hang out with peaceful Zebras.

Stupid Zebra should’ve put up a better fight. At least the Grizzly is too full to eat Austin.

When we moved to the Seattle area, being from TX we thought we’d be north enough to have to shovel snow. Turns out everything shuts down when it does snow ~ this is out the front door of our downtown Issaquah home.

Seattle temperatures are relatively mild because of the proximity to the ocean water (Puget Sound is an inlet from the Pacific and keeps temperatures in the winter above freezing). The snow would regularly drop to about 1500-2000 feet which was a short drive (or hike) into the foothills. However, down in metro Seattle, there is no equipment to deal with the snow so they just close the roads like they did in TX a few days later when this system made it there. Weird.

Snow did become more a part of our lives with the mountain pass nearby. We would often go up there to go tubing and sledding and had to purchase some pretty decent winter clothes. Greg and Jenn also learned to snow board while there ~ very painful.

The dentist was able to glue Austin’s front teeth back on and we make him wear caps with bad hair now. Sunny remains a fashion diva (on her b-day, 3/6/01) and BNF started preparing to hit the road by early 2001.

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