My cousin, Debbie

Yesterday, Mom and I drove up to Kalama to visit my cousin, Debbie, the oldest child of my mother’s brother, Gordon. Debbie and her husband, Ken, built their home on a hill with a great view!

The view when I first got out of the car. That’s the Columbia River below.

Unfortunately, I tried juggling my water cup and my purse as I was trying to take this picture with my phone, and I dropped my phone and cracked the face of it. This is the first time I have ever cracked a phone screen. However, the camera still works and I’m able to do everything I could before, so it’s not too bad.

Debbie came out to meet us. I had gotten a little lost and called her, so as she gave us directions, she watched us make our way up the hill to her house.
This is the grand entryway!
They built a special nook for this taxidermied pheasant that had gotten hit on their road. It’s almost museum-worthy!
This is the living room…
…the kitchen and dining area…
…and the master bedroom with Debbie’s husband, Ken. He designed the house and did a lot of the work on it!
And this is the view from the master bathroom.

After giving us a tour of the house, Debbie and Mom and I visited for a while. Debbie has only been in touch with Mom since this last summer, and she has been asking a lot of questions about when Mom and her sister and brother were growing up. I took a box with my genealogical family records up and showed it to her. I also showed her some pictures of some of our ancestors and letters written by our great-grandfather and his daughter who died young. On the paternal side of the family we share, I have only been able to go back a few generations, but on the maternal side, I have records dating back to the 1100s. I am kind of the keeper of the family history!

Debbie knows I’m on a plant-based diet, so she went online to look for a recipe that I could eat. She came up with a salad made with quinoa, black beans, avocado, cilantro, pico de gallo, and a sauce made of hummus and lime. It was delicious! Even the carnivores liked it! We all had seconds.

Just before Mom and I left for home, Ken gave us a couple of packages of smoked salmon that he had caught and prepared himself. He loves to fish, and fortunately, it only takes him 15 minutes to get down to the river where he can fish along the beach. The smoked salmon was so good that Mom and Mark and I have already eaten both packages of it, the first last night and the rest tonight!

I want to give a shout-out to Debbie and Ken for your hospitality. Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and the opportunity to get to know you both a little better. Thank you so much!

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