Disaster Restorations


May 2004

My Stories

Mother of all Road Trips-1

Mother of all Road Trips-2

Mother of all Road Trips-3

Mother of all Road Trips-4

Containing Jim in Paris

Ranging the Yellowstone

Lisbon Portugal- Part 1

Lisbon and Sintra- Part 2

Evora Portugal- Part 3

Coimbra Portugal- Part 4

Porto Portugal- Part 5

At the Mammogram Office

Carmel Art Gallery

Venice- Part I

Veneto- Part II

Ravenna- Part III

Cinque Terre- Part IV

Vernazza Bonus- Part V


Crunch Time

Putting on the Ritz

Granada and Sevilla


Tuscany and Umbria - 1

Tuscany and Umbria - 2

Driving in England

Dwelling in England

A Dozens Reasons

In the Hamam

Istanbul Greece Diary

Pearl Harbor Team

Old Girl



Grandpa's Cabin

Pay-It-Forward Latte

England and France

N. Italy - 1

N. Italy - 2

N. Italy - 3

N. Italy - 4

Lessons from 4 Corners


Going to the Dogs

Don't Embarrass Me!

Letter from Siena

Arrivederci Roma

Joining the Matriarchs

Living History

Newlywed Game

Chaos Theory

Zach on the Road

Huckleberry Season

Stanley & the Sunbeam

I Dare Say


Middle School Relay

Grad Party


Moving On

Radio Shack

Newlywed Couches


Old Faithful Inn


Sweet Potato

Mother Bear

Two Blondes in Iberia

Revisiting Spain

Four Seasons Camping

Curly's Truck.

Disaster Restorations

Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Ducks and Beavers

Wearing Red

Photo Boxes

Las Vegas Soufflé

40th Birthday Party

The Heart Tickler

Wonderful Little Things

Heritage Tour

Erickson Era

Old Buildings


Split Seams

All Nighter

Talent Show

A Look Back

You should see our garage. It looks like some groovy Arabian Nights playroom. The walls-- adorned with purple sheets, on clearance from Fred Meyer. The floor-- covered with remnant carpet samples of varying sizes. At the far end sits my little blue tent, once used during Zach's away-track meets to entertain Taylor, more recently a bedroom for Taylor during our latest remodel.

We don't seem to do remodels the normal way around here. They generally follow some sort of catastrophe: a dairy truck accident, a flood. (I'm keeping particular eye on matches these days.) Our latest mishap occurred this winter when someone forgot about a filling bathtub, apparently distracted by American Idol and that red-headed kid who sounds like Sinatra. Did you know that after a tub fills past the faucet level, it doesn't make that water-rushing sound anymore?

Anyway, when I first walked into the wet, I guessed nobody had let the dog out for a very, very long time. Then I noticed the stream flowing down the hall and the deep pool in the bathroom. Toy boats would have floated in there.

The next morning our insurance company sent up a yellow truck from Albany with "Disaster Restorations" on the side. Our neighbors, recalling our peculiar history, loved it.

Up popped the Pergo, pieced down the hall to the entry and kitchen. Out with the bathroom vinyl! Enter Larry, "the Sandman," the Hardwood King of Oregon, the perfectionist who makes clients move out of their own houses. We retreated downstairs, happy for our day-light basement.

I told Annie that Daddy and I would be taking her queen bed. She cried. Jim took the couch. Taylor slept in the tent on a low cot with a camping lantern for light, not far from the displaced kitchen table and refrigerator. The dog was so confused. Our laundry room served as a make-shift kitchen with microwave and toaster, stocked with every carbohydrate imaginable. (We aren't Atkins people.)

Larry the Sandman made us leave the house entirely during the chemical sealant portion of his magic. Fortunately, my parents took us in. We had a sweet time with my folks; it was the best part of this ordeal. My old bedroom has the nicest guest bed in the house now and I got to sleep in that room for the first time since December 17, 1982, the night before our wedding. I slept much better there than that night.