Waaaaa! We were leaving our little rental house in Seattle where I had made some good friends (Seattle, Here We Come!), and now we had to move so far away (in a young girl’s mind, 15 miles might as well have been another country!). The city we were moving to was called Bellevue, which later in life I called YuppieVille (and not in endearing terms). It just didn’t seem like we fit in there, and I really missed my new friends.
But mom and dad seemed really happy and excited to be in their brand new home. They gave me permission to paint my bedroom lavender, which was my favorite color back then – maybe as a peace offering? And the best thing for mom? We had a view of beautiful Lake Washington as we were set on a hill. Plus we were walking distance to the beach, which we ended up walking to often.
At my new elementary school I just couldn’t seem to make friends. Part of it was probably because mother never wanted me to get involved in sports or anything – I always had to come straight home because there were chores that needed to be done.
And there were definitely a lot of chores to do in our new home. We had a decent piece of property, and I remember it seemed as though dad was always working on something around the house. I thought it was amazing that he could fix or put together anything! I remember him designing a great big fish pond in our backyard which had lily pads and a couple frogs. He even made a little waterfall which ran into the pond.
And dad built my sister and I a playhouse! I used to go down into it often and pretend I was somewhere else – perhaps having a make-believe tea party with my friends in Seattle?
As far as making new friends in our new neighborhood? Zilcho, nada, no way. At that time we only had neighbors right next to us on one side of the house, and they seemed to always be glaring out the window at us. They had 4 kids (I think) – all different ages – but they wanted nothing to do with my sister or I. There was another girl about my age a couple blocks away that I would visit with occasionally, but her family life seemed very odd to me so I didn’t really like going over there.
As time went on, things seemed to get less rosy around home. It seemed like mom and dad started to argue more often (or ignore each other completely), and when we weren’t out swimming at the beach or picnicking somewhere, mom and dad would stay in separate areas of the house. Mom seemed to always sit in the living room by the fireplace where she could look out the window down to the lake, and dad would usually be in the family room area where he would sit in his recliner and watch TV.
Since my sister and I really didn’t have friends at our new home, when we weren’t fighting with each other (as only siblings can do!), we would go in each others room and sometimes build huge playing card villages, or play games between the 2 of us. Sometimes dad would come in and join us in building our card villages (wow, he could build some great ones!), but usually what would happen is that mom would eventually come in and think it was funny by blowing them all down. However she was the only one laughing…
I don’t remember dad really ever standing up to her, because every time he would try to she would shut him down. It broke my heart because I loved my dad and I knew that he didn’t like it when she did that, but he felt there was nothing he could do – at least if he wanted to keep peace in the house!
Things were just different now. Why didn’t dad smile very much anymore? Why did mom harp at him all the time? Why did we have to move from our home in Seattle?
Then one day excitement seemed to come to our home – at least for a short while. We were going to buy a ski boat!