Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
It’s December 28, 2009 and I am sitting cozy at the kitchen table at the Mazama Cabin. We came over on the 26th and have been relaxing and eating every since. Tomorrow we swear we will get out side and enjoy this beautiful place, early. Actually it’s not entirely true that we haven’t been outside. We went sledding yesterday and made an attempt at skiing with the dogs today. Skiing was unsuccessful as the trail we decided to ski was technically closed and completely crusty and hard with no grooming what so ever. We chose this trail because we wanted to take the dogs. All four of them with us! We actually would have been out early in the day if we weren’t engrossed in an epic game of Monopoly. It usually takes us several sittings to finish a game. Today it was over late this afternoon with Lindsay as the victor. She smoked us.
What this cabin does for our family is such a gift. We sleep. And when we say sleep, we mean the 10 plus hour kind of sleep. After that, we nap. We read books from start to finish. We play board games, hike, ski, sled, drink cocoa, play in the river and drink ice cold beer. We visit with wonderful friends and explore this amazing part of our country. The dogs play until they can’t move and then they too sleep. We dry clothes on the clothes- line and build fires in the stove inside, as well as the fire pit outside. We eat truck-loads of smores and watch movies on DVD. We also have great disco dance parties in the kitchen. We wear pajamas more than street clothes and we shower only when it’s dire. We are so grateful to be here from the second we arrive and are always so sad to leave. This cabin is our biggest news to report and our greatest family joy. We sure hope that never changes.
We are dog sitting this holiday season in a very large way. We have Lucy’s littler mate Carly (yellow lab) as well as their cousin (mom’s are litter mates) Sammy (yellow lab, 2 weeks younger than the girls). Then we have our beloved Cooper (3 yr. old Havanese) of course and another small dog, Arielle (9 yr. old poodle). The labs are great and are having a ball. They might seem like a handful when you read this (3 one year old labs, are we crazy? Yes.) But at the cabin they play so hard and run around outside all day. When they come inside they just want to eat and sleep. There is a lot of dog hair from those 3 but other than that, they are lovely and they often try to curl up in one bed, just like they did when they were babies. We don’t know who loves it more out here, the big dogs, or us
This whole last year has been great for all of us! We added our lab Lucy (black lab) to our family, and we have been able to spend a lot of time out here in Mazama. We took a trip to Mexico, PV over spring break this last year, made a couple of trips to Santa Cruz and Michelle went to Hawaii with a couple girl friends to attend Jacqui & Greg Pfiffer’s wedding, but, we otherwise stayed pretty close to home and enjoyed the city and east of the mountains. We had a few visitors this year; the Dossett family from Portland, Scott’s dad, Carl from Houston, and Scott’s mom’s BFF Adrianne from Houston and our friend Stewart Dietz with her BFF Tracey, from the Methow Valley, on their way to France, oh la la!
Jackson is in the 2nd grade at West Woodland Elementary. Last spring he played baseball and Scott coached his team again. This is the 3rd year he has been with these players and they have all improved so much. Jackson played soccer this fall with his great buddies and even though they played up in their age bracket, they played extremely well. These guys are going to be serious contenders! This last winter just before the break, Jackson played basketball for the first time. He really liked it. In between sports he does Martial Arts and enjoys that as well. His other activities include participating on the West Woodland Chess team and playing the piano (his least favorite unfortunately).
Lindsay is in the 7th grade at Seattle Girls School. She is doing very well academically and socially. She has a much lighter homework load from last year and that makes for a very happy girl. She keeps in shape by swimming on the Cascade Swim Team 3 days a week. This is her first year and she is improving all the time (this is a very hard sport to learn!). She has not participated in any of the competitions yet. Maybe, she will consider it in the spring. She has also discovered a love of rock climbing (in a gym) and hopes to try a big rock outside this spring and summer. Lindsay is also learning piano and this winter is playing girls basketball with Ballard Community Center. When she has time she is also babysitting and has proved to be very good at it. She sure loves having her own spending money!
Scott has been hard at work at his new company Optify (www.optify.net) which he is really enjoying. The economy and lack of funding really hit his last startup so he’s excited to have solid backing from Madrona Ventures here in Seattle. He’s also been playing a lot of tennis, some time fishing (not much catching), coaching Jackson’s baseball team, beating his friends in poker games, teaching Lindsay the subtleties of cribbage and generally enjoying life while keeping our head above water during a rocky 2009.
Michelle has stayed busy this year trying to keep up with the kids. She planned her last auction for West Woodland Elementary last March, which brought in over 125K for the school. After 3 auctions she is ready to focus her volunteer hours volunteering in Jackson’s classroom, going on all of the class field trips and in the lunchroom (a total riot!).
This last fall she volunteered for two local political campaigns. One was for mayor candidate Michael McGinn (Lindsay’s basket ball coach) and Seattle City Council Candidate, Mike O’Brien. Both candidates won their bids and it was so much fun to play a very small part in it all. She is also staying busy but thoroughly enjoying decorating the cabin and even planted flowers over there this last spring. Gardening in the mountains offers it’s own set of challenges, which are totally different from those posed by gardening in the city so it should all be interesting to see what actually comes up this year. Most of Michelle’s time mid-week is spent shuttling kids from their various activities and participating in the car pool for Lindsay’s school. She has also completely enjoyed having Lindsay’s new puppy in the family and makes a point to get her some daily exercise at the local dog parks. Unfortunately the dog has not been great on a leash and therefore has not become much of a running partner but we are hoping to turn that around this year.
It has been wonderful hearing from all of you this holiday season. We love all of the letters and cards that you send. Thank you for checking out the website. We welcome all visitors and have plenty of room so if you think you can swing a visit our way, please don’t hesitate to crash with us!