PNW CCU Gathering
August 2003

Dianne (daylily), Mary (bye for now) P., & Valerie (AKA Mary Kay)

Notice the presence of PINK STUFF!

Dove chocolates, milk and dark; Hershey's nuggets, Cookies & Cream and Dark Choc with almonds and raisins; Hershey's kisses with almonds; Hershey's assorted minis; Chocolate covered orange and raspberry sticks; Dutch Dark chocolate capaccino sticks; Lindt truffles, Dark chocolate and dark chocolate with mint; Assorted Lindt Swiss chocolates; Ghiradelli chocolate mint squares; Chocolate Raspberry "oranges" Milk and Dark; Gourmet Chocolate cookies.

On the left is Dianne's family. Mary and Mark in the center. Valerie
seated next to Mark. Valerie's girls and Mary's Ben seated at the table.


(As told by Valerie)

291 miles roundtrip. Would have been slightly less but I accidentally got into the wrong lane from I-5 to 405 instead of the commuter lane on the return trip. Oh well. Still took less time than I had envisioned. Only two emergency potty stops, both for Linnea, as

The weather was perfect. It's been hot and dry here but it rained over the weekend and cooled down besides. Very pretty drive once past Everett. Cristina read the latest chapter of Harry Potter 5 on the way. I can't so much as read a note while driving; I'm lucky Cristina isn't bothered by motion. We did the same thing on the way back: ate
lunch and Cristina read aloud. Coming back we crawled thru Seattle, but since my poor deprived children have never been there, it was very interesting to them. ("Look--the Space Needle!" Uh, yeah. It's been there since 1962. I decided then and there we have to spend a day at Seattle Center.)

Mary and Dianne were there on the front porch to greet us. I recognized Mary from photos and recognized Dianne because she looked like she belonged there and was not Mary. We were made to feel at home instantly. My kids don't have a hard time getting comfy. They just moved right in. The trampoline, the dogs, the creek, and the candy were all much enjoyed. Cristina mainly stayed with me but the others played for hours on end.

The adults chatted. We confirmed that Mary has green, not hazel, eyes. I think. We regaled Mark and Don with infomation about geoducks. We even talked about unschooling. As someone here said, "We're just old friends who've never met before." Mary and Mark and Dianne and Don were good sports and had a MK foot spa, couples style. (Mary's son says her red painted toes are "nasty" looking, but I thought they were pretty.) We ate until we were unable to move and then had dessert.

The boys (Nick, Adam, Matt, and Ben...not Mark and Don) are all great kids. Linnea really took a shine to Ben and I think she wants us to start adoption proceedings. Already has plans to invite him to her next birthday. In April. It was so relaxing to be around people who can all talk to each other and like being with each other. Not women
in one room, men in another, teens in yet another, etc, etc. And hey, Don even did the kids' laundry after they soaked and muddied their clothes. These are wonderful people!

Here are Diana's observations:

"I had a great time. I loved jumping on the trampoline with Ben. And I liked the high-up bed and the yummy hamburgers that we got to make ourselves. I got to feed the doggies good doggie treats and I ate lots of candy. The end."

Ah yes, the candy. As you saw in the photos it was a spectacular spread. Hardly knew what to devour first. (I'm currently working on left-over dark chocolate dove pieces.) All in all, a lovely time. Thanks so much Dianne.

Valerie in Tacoma


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