LIFE CHANGES Kate’s Journal


Episode 30 1969–1974

Moving can enable the powers of uncertainty. The act of transporting oneself from one place to another is exciting because you don’t know what awaits on the other side. It’s like going through a door, or climbing a stairway you hadn’t noticed before.

stairase“Ascent” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

Once we had decided to make the move to Seattle, the job of making it happen began. We were both active in the community, my display business had to be disposed of and I needed to quit my teaching job. And we needed to find a place to live. My partner Joan, wanted no part of JoKay Display, so we simply went out of business, the City shed no tears at my departure which left a quick visit to the Northwest to househunt.

Dr. Advice was in the best shape. The Company was moving us, he would take over the Seattle office plus have as his territory all of Alaska, and all of the northern states. Fish and the Great Outdoors were calling and he was ecstatic. Though he had traveled to the Pacific, to China and to the Philippines during the War, he had gone to very few other places, and I think he rather imagined himself as a self-sufficient Mountain Man.

Though moving from Oakland to Fremont had been tinged with regret, the death of the son of our close friends by suicide and the poison pen letters I had received plus the presence of a perverted flasher made it easier.

Our oldest daughter was living in the Sorority house at San Jose and engaged to be married, our youngest would join us at the end of summer before the start of the Fall session.

We had lost Hilda, the dachshund with abnormally long legs, at a ripe old age, and Mrs. Emma Peel came to live with us. Mrs. Peel was a sweet cuddly brown dachshund who spent a lot of time being groomed by Rudy, an independent grey and white cat who had arrived in my Christmas stocking. The small tan chihuahua with the unlikely name of Tuffy, made up the menagerie we would be transporting with us.

In clearing out one bedroom, I discovered all sorts of junk still under the bed of Janet, the friend who had lived with us during her last year of high school, when her parents moved to Jacksonville, Oregon. Janet had come equipped with a large Mercedes Benz and a flute, and a penchant for living in her coat. Now in my later years, I can see with more compassion how lonely she must have been. Janet stuffed all sorts of stuff under her bed including candy with wrappers, Coke cans, etc. I had respected her privacy and had never looked. As for the coat, I can understand that it was for protection from outside interference rather than from the cold. Much like me having changed my name at each school I went to. Taking yourself away from an unwanted situation.

In January, 1969, knowing absolutely nothing about the area, we drove to Seattle looking for a place to live. For those who are unfamiliar with the area it can be confusing, because there are so many wonderful choices other than the city itself and they are all beautiful and green. We eliminated Seattle as a possibility and decided a semi-rural location would be best. Someone from the Company kindly drove us around for a look-see. He lived on Mercer Island, which as it turned out, would have been perfect, but for some reason, he never showed it to us. Our youngest daughter after her marriage lived and raised her family there.

We drove through Kirkland, which is a small and delightful town on Lake Washington. I could see lots of small shops, a couple of galleries and restaurants though not as many as now that the town has become yuppie/gourmet. It is just across the bridge from Seattle giving us the feeling of the Bay Area only smaller.

Driving down the road we spotted a FOR SALE sign by a small red and white farmhouse with a white fence around it. It was located on a small lane and had trees–lots of them. It seemed perfect and they were willing to wait until June till we could move in. In fact, the realtors were glad it would be awhile because they were busy harvesting the raspberries and other fruit coming into season! As we flew home I felt that we too, were coming into a new season.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

13 thoughts on “LIFE CHANGES Kate’s Journal”

  1. With each successive episode, I learn more things about your life that I never knew. With the price of real estate now on Mercer Island, don’t you wish you’d bought? Will you post some photos of your life in Kirkland?

    How did Jan react to your leaving the Bay Area? (Maybe Jan can comment here)

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  2. Don’t you know I laughed and laughed when I read this: “The act of transporting oneself from one place to another is exciting because you don’t know what awaits on the other side.” The first thing I thought of was Mary’s house getting picked up by those angels and being moved hither and yon. Just think — she had to make do with the same old house. You got to pick out a fresh, new one!

    I’ve been to Washington state, and the Columbia River Gorge, but onlly briefly. I’ve never been to Seattle, or the San Juans, or any of that. I hear it’s gorgeous, and the photos I see are spectacular. I think I remember you writing about that farmhouse before. I don’t remember the details, but I remember thinking it sounded like you were having wonderful fun. I’m anxious for the next chapter.

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  3. I never heard about Mary’s move. Where did they take her? I have been lucky to find places to park my stuff. During my childhood my mom just packed our clothes and gassed up the car.

    There are so many beautiful places in Washington State. i hope you do go to Seattle sometime as well. Yes, you have read about the farmhouse, and you will have to suffer through it again so I can keep all this in sequence.

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    1. Thank you Janet. We really DID begin a new life too when my phone was not ringing off the hook. With two girls at home, my own activities and Dr. A’s calls, and no personal cell phones in those days, I realized the reason for the silence was that I didn’t know anybody up there, and nobody knew me. It was strangely satisfying.

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