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Washington photos and family houses

Oregon Ice

Some parts of Oregon have experienced freezing rain recently. It made the trees stunningly beautiful for a bit, and also made me glad that someone else was doing the driving for us while we were on the train heading up to Seattle.

Not Mt. Fuji

From the bike ride up to the old Weston family homestead on the Enumclaw Plateau. It was chilly, but it neither rained nor snowed on us, and we got to see a wonderful view after we crested the hill from the Green River Valley. I somehow managed to forget that the bike ride takes a good 4 hours, so we accidentally missed the extended family gathering. But we did have a chance to hang out and catch up with a couple of aunts and an uncle. About a year ago or so my aunt and uncle D&D bought the farmhouse that my great-grandpa rebuilt (? I believe). Apparently, when my grandpa was 4 years old, it burned down to the foundation, and was then rebuilt in 1929 on the original foundation. For about the past 20 years, it was out of the family, and in that time it underwent some remodeling to where it now has an extremely ridiculous bathroom and a fabulous modern kitchen. We can't really complain about the bathroom - it has a huge shower with two shower heads, a nice big bathtub, and heated flooring.

But my favorite part is the basement, where you can see the old stone foundation (not concrete!) and the massive beams that support the upstairs. There's also a small, dark, terrifying room down there that used to be where my mom's cousins took their showers. The basement makes it clear that this building has history.

The family farmhouse is strikingly different from my grandpa's house, which was finally sold this past spring. If you look out of a certain window in the farmhouse, you can see my grandpa's barn, but not the house behind it.

I think the clearest way to describe the distinctions and relations between the two houses is to point out a couple of features. The farmhouse still has the original beautiful oak wood floors from when it was built - my uncle had them refurbished when they moved in. My grandpa's house doesn't have a basement, and is all utilitarian carpet and linoleum. My grandpa remodeled his house to add in a cramped second story to make enough space for my mom and her siblings, so all the rooms on the second floor are cramped attic rooms with barely enough space to stand up. In contrast, the farmhouse has a proper second floor with three big bedrooms. It does have a couple of "bonus room" spaces under the eaves, which remind me of some of the strange closet spaces and L's bedroom in my grandpa's house.

The farmhouse is the kind of house where there's ample and comfortable room for visitors. I think I'd find it too big if I lived there just by myself or with one other person. But I'm really glad it's in the family now and that I had a chance to see it so I can have a more grounded sense of the Weston family history.



( 2 remarks — Remark )
Dec. 21st, 2016 05:26 am (UTC)
I've been driving in a couple of those ice storms. Hoo boy.
The bonus rooms under the eaves sound particularly cool. I love architecture like that.
Dec. 23rd, 2016 05:55 am (UTC)
Hoo boy is right! I've tried walking in a couple of those ice storms, and that's no fun, either!

And, YES - the bonus rooms under the eaves were not as well thermoregulated as the rest of the house, but one of them featured these fun funky paintings made to look like windows of what the view would be if there were windows. If I were a young child I would fall in love with that room.
( 2 remarks — Remark )

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