Ironically, after a lifetime career that involved major travel and public speaking to sizeable audiences, I find that now I’m not well suited to being in large groups. Go figure. So, since I won’t be at the 50th reunion, I thought I’d take a little extra space, with the hope that it might convince some folks to drop by our place near Sequim, when they’re in the area. I guess this is mostly in response to Judy’s question about my most favorite place in the whole world – which we’ve built in rural Clallam County.
I’ve always considered myself a designer, more than an analytical engineer, and had that reinforced in the 1990s when I was lucky to be part of a team that earned a National Endowment for the Arts award for a robotic humanoid we built at Battelle, with “imagineering” support from Disney. (I actually got paid to go to Disneyland during this period). That started a goal of working more on the right side of the brain, pushing creativity. With retirement in 1999, the emphasis increased, and I began by helping/training local artists with their web presence. It was a task they mostly avoided like the plague, but something I could have fun doing. The result has been a fifteen year association with many very interesting and creative folks first in the tri-cities, and now on the Olympic Peninsula.
Starting in 2000, I spent a few years learning to carve glass, and relearned old skills in woodworking, then digital photography. We moved to Sequim in 2004, and I continued the web work, finding that it was a quick way to get folks to talk about what inspires them.
But, art and engineering come together in other ways, too. In 2004 I had great fun designing our home in Sequim. We love this area, we were just not so fond of the golfers who traveled back and forth across our view of the mountains. So in 2009, we did a do-over, purchased about five acres of gorgeous, remote land with a beautiful pond, and designed/built a craftsman style home.
Construction was complete in 2010, and though it seems overwhelming at times, landscaping is well underway. Mary Anne and I are both Master Gardeners, but are managing restraint, as tough as that is.
The area here is wonderful, with a “rain shadow” effect that reduces yearly rainfall to about 14 inches – a bit less than, say, Walla Walla. We’ve got the Olympic National Park to the South about 10 miles away, and Victoria British Columbia to the North, roughly 22 miles across the Strait. Ferries separate us from Seattle (and the tourists). An hour away, at 6000+ feet, Hurricane Ridge keeps its snow well into the summer.
So very much gratitude to so many people (and not a few dogs and ducks) and wonderful events in my life. Great friends, creative environment, Zen space, pretty much good health. What could be better?