Saturday the weather was better. Mike continued to get the dogs out for exercise. Seattle has dog lovers everywhere, but a strict leash law is enforced, and Hallie and Nick’s yard, though fenced, is not yet gated. The dogs had to be inside or watched.
In these yard pictures, you can see the sliding door that Hallie detests and the pile of old bricks they have collected toward restoration of the back of the house. The cobbled up balcony and stairs have to go.
I was surprised to learn that they have ticks in Seattle. At first I thought the dogs must have brought a few ticks from home, but with every walk, we pulled more ticks out of their fur.
Hallie and Nick treated us to lunch in the “historic and hip little town of Ballard,” which was established as a Scandinavian community. We parked near Swedish Hospital, read about Ballard and its sister city in Sweden in a little park, and toured little art shops. Fun!
Back at the house, Mike discovered Hallie and Nick’s push mower and had a “retro moment” mowing the lawn. I had taken garden gloves and spent a few minutes pulling weeds. I might have done more, but the focus of activity was really the chairs.
At 4:30 Hallie announced that it was time for our walk to the water. It would be a mile and a quarter one way, she said. So, the dogs were leashed and the six of us set out. After taking in the view at a park above the water, we skirted the brow of the hill to a set of stairs that took us down to the beach. Once there, we sat on a bench for a few minutes to take in the sights and sounds of people enjoying a warm day on the water. A booming voice called out, “Dogs are ready,” and I wondered if I could adopt that family.
Well, what goes down must go up, and I set out ahead of my group in order to take my time with that climb. As it was, they insisted on pursuing and passing me and I was the last one to reach the top. But – they didn’t have to wait long. If I lived there, I would climb those stairs most every day.
Somehow by suppertime one chair seat was mostly finished, and I was allowed to sit on it while I ate my lentil chili. It didn’t occur to me that the old upholstery was uncomfortable, but the new bottom was a noticeable improvement.
Saturday night found Nick and Hallie working on the chairs. “Good!” I thought to myself; “they’re taking advantage of their momentum.”
Sunday morning came all too soon, and after breakfast we loaded the car for return to our valley. Fond farewells were said all around – not quite tearful. Nellie doesn’t like good-byes (and neither do I), so we didn’t linger over it. Two and a half hours over I90 -- three hours over country roads – and we were back at the town house by 2:00.
A message from Hallie that afternoon read as follows: “We haven't gotten dressed. We've been working on the chairs and are excited that we're going to have a project 100% complete from start to finish.”
And then on Monday she wrote: “We're now buying screws for the chair supports and then that project is done. That feels amazing! We needed an accomplishment.”