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One step closer to publishing “I Remember Fishing with Dad”

I’m one step closer to publishing the children’s book I wrote and illustrated with my dad called “I Remember Fishing with Dad”.

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of getting the illustrations completed. I need to give a special shout out to my dad who has worked hard at this. He painted a few new paintings, and tweaked a number of old ones. I’m including one illustration he did just today of seagulls feeding on herring.

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It has been really fun to work with dad, now over many years, on this project.

There have been others who have helped. Among them, Matt Hale who helped design the original cover and layout. My friend, Paul Baumgarten, took all the photos. Over the last couple of weeks he’s worked with my mom, who has been taking photographs of the updated paintings and new paintings and sending them to Paul.

We are shooting to have all the text, bio material, illustrations, in to the publisher before the end of September. The publisher thinks that we should be able to have the books completed by December 1st, just before Christmas and the holidays.

Here is a little preview of the story from the introduction.

My hope in I Remember Fishing with Dad is to show how important sacred memories are in the forming of children. Fyodor Dostoyevsky once wrote this about good memories in his classic The Brothers Karamazov,

“My dear children, perhaps you will not understand what I’m going to say to you now, for I often speak very incomprehensibly, but, I’m sure, you will remember that there’s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life than some good memory, especially when it goes back to the days of your childhood, to the days of your life at home. You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since, is perhaps the best education of all.”

Through story and art I weave together the memories of a boy who grew up on an Island in the Pacific Northwest; whose memories form him as the man he is today. I hope many parents will be inspired to also make such sacred memories with their children.

Sunnyshore Studio Project Update…watching and waiting

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People have asked me what is the status on building Sunnyshore Studio?

My answer is as follows…

All the paperwork has been submitted to my banker at Heritage Bank, Rich Olsen. He has asked for an appraisal. Now we are waiting for the appraisal on the land and future building. The amount of mortgage I can get on the project, of course, depends on how high the appraisal comes in compared to the cost of building the studio.  So the appraisal is the big “If” in the equation, the variable, upon which so much hinges. If the appraisal comes in low, then we will need to bring some cash to the deal; if the appraisal comes in high, the mortgage may be able to cover the whole project.

Our cash flow situation is dependent on the sale of our home in Indianapolis. This is in God’s hands, and so all we can now do is wait and watch, pray, and wait.

As this is my first building project, I did not anticipate all the delays that have come along as I wait for my banker to have time to get to this project. But in the end I’m trusting that the Big Picture and Timing of all of this is in God’s hands.

We expect an answer on the appraisal in about 2 weeks. So, more waiting, watching and praying.

And meanwhile, life on the Island goes on as it always does, in its casual, meandering, rhythmic way…

Old dreams can come true

Old dreams can come true.

I shared in an earlier blog that for over a decade I have dreamed of building an art studio on Camano Island to showcase my family’s artistic legacy and support my dad and mom in their later years.

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This week I came across a 2008 notebook our family made on our summer vacation. I discovered in it some sketches I had made of my dream studio, sketches that are eerily like the Studio that Jim Spane is going to build.

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Presently I am finishing getting paperwork to our mortgage banker. Then we will see what the assessed value of the proposed building and property is, and, based on that, the size of mortgage we can get.

I’m definitely on new ground here. I have never had anything this scale built. But I am undaunted. This dream has burned in my heart for over a decade, and, by God’s grace, I will see it through to the end.

After all, old dreams burn deep in the heart, smoldering there unto the appointed time has come.

Our New Home, Riverpark Apartments, Redmond, just a hop, skip and throw from Sunnyshore Studio

Today we heard that our application has been accepted at Riverpark in Redmond. We will be apartment dwellers, at least for the first year, in Redmond.

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We choose Riverpark for its location. It is right next to the Hyatt Hotel where Redeemer Redmond worships. Besides living and worshipping in the same place, we can’t wait to have our first visitors from Indy stay at the Hyatt next door to us.

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Riverpark is also next to the Sammamish River, and a great biking and walking trail called the Sammamish River Trail. I’ve even heard that salmon spawn up this river. And I’m looking forward to that glorious sight.

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Just a few minutes walk from Riverpark is Marymore Park which is King County’s most popular park. More than 3 million people visit annually “to explore Marymoor’s 640 acres of recreational amenities”.

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Of course, moving from a 3 floor Victorian home with a full basement to a 1,485 sq. foot, 2 bedroom + loft apartment means significant downsizing.

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Jenny reminds me that each of the floors of our current home is the same size as our entire Redmond apartment! But we are willing, even excited, to do this because of the strategic opportunity to be in an apartment complex with over 300 other apartments and apartment dwellers. We are excited to be part of the weaving of community in Riverpark.Plus what we give up in home size, we gain in fun amenities which we intend to make the most of including large community room, movie room, rec center, and hot tub (just outside our apartment!).

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And, last but not least, Riverpark is just a hop, skip and throw, a mere hours drive, from my beloved Camano Island, the home of my childhood,and the future home of Sunnyshore Studio.

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Tis the Season for picking wild blackberries on Camano

July is the season for picking wild blackberries on Camano Island.

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July 2014 was an excellent year for wild blackberries on the south end of Camano. Dad stumbled upon the mother lode of wild blackberries on some land south of their house that had been logged a few years ago. He picked 20 gallons.  Mom and dad froze them. They will make their way into about 40 delicious blackberry pies.

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My dad is a master blackberry picker. When I was a boy he taught me the art of blackberry picking, which can be summed up as follows.

First, you must have the right tools.

The most important tool is a gallon pail with a home made wire handle that swings back and forth. This is important because blackberries grow best on terrain that has been logged, rugged terrain, with thickets, nettles, and hidden logs and holes to stumble over. In attempting to get to the best patches the blackberry picker will often have to leap from logs into thickets and brambles not knowing what danger below awaits him. This inevitably results in a good blackberry picker taking one or two stumbles, even falls. The swinging blackberry pail handle allows a picker to fall and yet keep the pale full of blackberries from spilling. I have fallen face first and even rolled, all the while keeping the precious pail of blackberries securely guarded. They are, of course, much more precious than the blackberry picker.

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(My blackberry pail I used this summer was not quite a gallon pail because I was working back to my old form and wanted to start small)

A second important tool is a machete or stick by which to whack nettles out of a way, to make a path through brambles, and to push aside the blackberry vines itself so that you can reach in and pick the ripe blackberries. It is important to point out that one should not expect to pick blackberries all day and not be covered with cuts, scratches, bruises, stings and embedded thorns.

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Second, you must be silent when you are picking blackberries

Blackberry pickers are more fiercely secretive than even fisherman. If you find a good patch of blackberries it is imperative that you keep this patch to yourself. It must be guarded, just like a fisherman guards his secret fishing hole. This requires great discipline. A young boy who has just leapt off a log into a thicket and tumbled face first into nettles must never let out a yell, or shriek, or even a sound of dismay. The only allowance to this rule is if you happen to smash into a hornets nest, then you are allowed to may a small yelp as you run, mainly to warn one’s dad of the impending danger.

Another time that a youngster is allowed to make some noise is if he discovers a specially abundant patch of blackberries, blackberries big and ripe and falling into the hands. Even then the boy or girl is not allowed to yell “Dad, come here, hurry”. Instead, he or she is to make a sound like an eagle cry, which for whatever reason is better than a human voice, and which hopefully the father will recognize as his own child’s. Picking blackberries with dad empowered me to develop a rich vocabulary of eagle and other bird cries which I expect will come in handy some day.

Last July I had a reunion of sorts picking blackberries with Dad

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I spent last July on Camano Island and one day I picked blackberries with dad at his secret mother lode. I found that I had not lost any of my old form, the artistry of blackberry picking. I stumbled but kept every precious blackberry in my bucket. I only let out one whoop and holler to call dad, and hearing his growl “be quiet” quickly reverted back to my eagle cries. But I must confess that I only picked one bucket compared to the two dad picked, and I only picked for one day, while dad went back day after day. But that one day of picking blackberries with dad was special, a day I will never forget, ushering me back into days long ago.

As an emerging expert blackberry picker myself, I would be happy to share my artistry with any friends who are crazy enough to try.

Big News: We are moving to Redmond, WA

This Sunday I shared with my beloved congregation that I had accepted the call to be the pastor of a presbyterian church in Redmond, WA, also named Redeemer.

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My dad grew up on a farm about three miles from Redmond. The fifty acre farm he grew up on is now part of the Microsoft complex.

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Dad went thru Redmond Elementary (grades 1-6) and Jr. High School (grades 7-9), and then attended Lake Washington High School for the 10th and 11th grade. He remembers walking the seven miles home from school after baseball practice in Kirkland. He remembers his Dad taking him fishing on Lake Sammamish.

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They would dock on the west side of the lake, then row to the east side to fish. Dad shot his first duck on Lake Sammamish and he remembers a annual bicycle race around the lake, and how little hydroplanes used to race up the curvy Sammamish slough.

So in a way, I am coming home, back to my roots. My aunt Joann and cousin Beckie live in Kirkland, just down the road from Redmond. When I visited them in January I took this picture from their condo and admired their marvelous collection of my dad’s artwork.

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At the same time we’re leaving home. Indy has become home to us.

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It hurts so bad to say goodbye to our spiritual family here, to our dear friends in the city and in the Indianapolis Public Schools.

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Here is a letter that I wrote to my Redeemer Indy family that shares more of the story.

Dear Redeemer Spiritual Family,

As I write this letter my eyes overflow with tears, tears that flow from my heart that loves you deeply. Over the past 13 years I have never wavered in my commitment to you, to the oaths I took to be your shepherd, nor doubted my call to be your pastor. By God’s grace our lives have been interwoven in community and in service to the city we love. And I have been powerfully shaped by the impact of your lives on mine.

In this letter I want to share with you about the tectonic plates that have shifted in my life.  I find myself surprised, and incredibly sad, to share the news with you that over the last couple of weeks God has been moving, changing and shaping my call in ways I find hard to understand.  In short, I have accepted a call to be pastor of Redeemer Church, Redmond, WA. I am convinced this is God’s calling. I also want to encourage you on a path to process this. Finally, I want to lay out a timetable for our family’s move.

Tectonic Plates and God’s Calling

In February 2002, when I accepted the call to be pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian church, Jenny and I, and our family were clear that God was calling us to Redeemer and Indianapolis, to put our shoulder to the plow with our brothers and sisters in Indy. Even though our families live on the west coast, we burned our bridges. We had no plan to return, and we assumed that we would live the rest of our lives and die in Indy. From the beginning, this put our ministry on the edge; we were going for it, we were all in.

And from the time I accepted the call to Redeemer Indy I never looked up from the plow. There hasn’t been a day that I did not find great joy in my work of sharing the gospel of God’s grace, raising up leaders, forming a community of the gospel, and participating in the suffering and healing of our city. Serving as the lead pastor at Redeemer has been one of the greatest honors and joys of my life. It has been made sweeter to serve alongside the other leaders shoulder to shoulder, my brothers and sisters, who have walked with me, worked alongside of me, borne with my brokenness, and rejoiced in my strengths.

Then on January 8thof this year, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This rocked my world. Immediately I thought “I might need to get close to Mom and Dad so that I can help them in their hour of need.” That same day I called my brother Jed, who many of you know is a Staff Leader with Young Life at Arsenal Tech. He said to me, “Jay, I have had just the opposite thought: that mom has prayed for me to be settled in my calling, and I believe my calling is here with the kids at Tech. I know the right thing for me is to be here in Indy, here at Tech.”

For me, my mom’s diagnosis was the first time that I lifted up my eyes from the plow. The first time that I even considered being open to another call that God might have for me.

In December of 2014, I learned that my mentor in Seattle, Rev. Michael Kelly, was filling the pulpit of a church in Redmond, WA, also called Redeemer, whose pastor had taken another call.  At the time I didn’t think anything of it.

After my mom’s diagnosis, it struck me that this might be a potential pastoral position that would be close to my parents (1 ½ hours). But I didn’t follow up with it. In April, I received an e-mail from another pastor from Florida. In it, among other things, he mentioned the pastoral opening in Seattle. I thought to myself, I at least need to look into this. So I called the chair of the pulpit committee and found out that there was just one more week in which they were taking applications. I quickly put my paperwork together and sent it in. At the end of April I was told that the search committee wanted to interview me via skype. A week or so after that interview, I was informed that I was their top candidate and arrangements were made for Jenny and I to visit. On June 18th – 22nd Jenny, Jackie and I flew to Seattle, met with the congregation, and got a feel for Redmond.

Redeemer Redmond was planted about ten years ago, and has been a particular congregation (with its own elders) for 6 years. It had grown to about 125 people, but currently has about 70 people in the congregation. They do not have a building and are currently leasing space in a hotel conference room.  They have one part time staff who is the worship leader.

On Sunday, June 28th, Redeemer Redmond’s congregation voted to extend a call to me, and I’ve accepted that call. My heart and my eyes overflow with tears at the thought of saying goodbye, of the thought on no longer walking and working with you as I have been privileged to do these past 13 years.

Processing together

Let me walk you through some thoughts on how to process with us.

First, I would encourage you to be confident in God’s call. I believe God’s hand is in this, that God is calling us. This gives me a great sense of courage and confidence, in spite of the fact that I am leaving some of my dearest friends, and my life-work behind. I also believe that God will call to Redeemer Presbyterian in Indy the pastor he wants to lead you in this new chapter.

Second, I want you to be absolutely clear that our brothers and sisters, the leaders at Redeemer Indy, have clearly and unanimously said to us that they do not want us to go, that they desire for us to stay. On June 2nd I shared with the elders the process that Jenny and I were in and asked them for their counsel. Over the next couple of days Jenny talked personally to their wives. They have asked hard questions, communicated their strong desire for us to stay, but also released us if this is God’s call on our life.

Third, I want you to mourn and grieve with me. The tears I feel, my heart being ripped out at the thought of not being with you for decades to come is real. I don’t know why God’s call has come at this time in this way. But I know that His call has a cost. It hurts, at the deepest level. And it helps me to know your heart as well, to hold you and cry with you. This communicates to me that our love is real, that the bond we have in Christ has impacted our lives. So I encourage you to feel free to grieve, to mourn, to ask hard questions, to even flail around a bit. I will not hold that against you. I’ve done a good share of weeping, flailing myself. By God’s grace, I will receive it as part of our journey together.

Timeline

Our timeline looks like this. I will be working and preaching the first two Sunday of July. The last two weeks of July I will take vacation to oversee the logistics of selling our house, moving, etc.

I look forward to preaching each week in August. I view these five sermons as something like my last “five words” to my spiritual family in Indianapolis.

On August 20th we will drop Jacob off at Purdue. On August 25th we will drop Julian off at George Mason. School starts in the Redmond School District on September 1st, so somehow Jenny, Judah and Jackie will be in Redmond for the start of school.

I expect that there will times for us to get together to grieve, mourn and celebrate.  I’ll let you know the details of that as they get nailed down.

Conclusion

My Heavenly Father has used you in my life to powerfully shape me. I owe a debt to the Redeemer congregation, Indianapolis, and IPS that I will never be able to repay. Thank you for your presence in my life. I love you. I look forward to the Heavenly Jerusalem where there will be no death, and where God will wipe away all of our tears.

Grace, Jason

 

 

 

My trip to the T.C. Steele Studio-Gallery with Gary Boring

This February during a break at our elder’s retreat in Brown County, Gary Boring and I got away to visit the T.C. Steel home and studio.

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I wanted to visit this famous Hoosier artist’s studio-gallery for two reasons. First, to enjoy his art and be immersed in this part of Indiana’s cultural history. Second, I hoped that Steele’s studio-gallery would be an inspiration for Sunnyshore Studio that I was planning to build. I was not disappointed on either front.

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Thedore Clement Steele (September 11, 1847-July 24, 1926) was “an American Impressionistic painter known for his Indiana landscapes. Steele was an innovator and leader in American Midwest painting and is considered to be the most important of Indiana’s Hoosier Group painters.” (Wikipedia)

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Steele was an Indiana boy, born near Gosport in Owen County. His family moved to Waveland, in Montgomery County where Steele “developed an interest in art and learned to draw.” (Wikipedia) As a boy, Steele was formally trained in art at the Waveland Collegiate Institute; at the age of 16 he continued his art training at Asbury College (now DePauw University).

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I first encountered Steele’s art in the halls of Indianapolis Public School #14. It turned out that many of this famous Indiana artist’s works graced the halls of many IPS schools. Back then, even before I knew of his fame, I was struck by what an amazing opportunity it was for urban kids to be walking by, day in and day out, his beautiful artwork.

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Steele married Mary Elizabeth Lakin in 1870, and they moved to Indianapolis a few years later where Steele supported the family through commissioned portraits and commercial signs. After a period of training in art in Munich, Germany, Steele returned to Indianapolis, to a home just a few blocks from where we live, the Tinker mansion on 16th and Pennsylvania street (which was eventually torn down and became the Herron Art Institue, which is now Herron High School). In 1898 the Steeles bought a home in Brookville, Indiana, which they named The Hermitage. Steele developed an extraordinary gift in painting landscapes, though he made his living painting portraits. Unfortunately, Mary died in November 1899 at the young age of forty-nine.

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In August, 1907 Steel married Selma Neubacher, “and brought her to their new summer home in Brown County. Inspired by the breezes blowing through the cottage’s screened porches, they named it the ‘House of the Singing Winds’. There Steele continued to paint his stunning landscapes, inspired by the “beautiful picturesque woods and hills and valleys.” Over time “Steel was financially able to develop the property and eventually made it a full-time residence. The property, built on 211 acres, grew to include an enlarged home surrounded by beautiful gardens, a barn-sized studio-gallery, and several other outbuildings.” (Wikipedia)

This is the home and studio-gallery that Gary and I visited.

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It was a wet, misty day. On the way to Steele’s gallery, Gary and I came across a tree that had fallen across the road. We were able to push it off the road, and felt very manly in doing so.

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The grounds of the T.C. Steele historic site were breathtaking.

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His art even more stunning.

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I was overwhelmed by the huge barn like Gallery in which Steele worked and his beautiful paintings,

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fascinated by the Arts and Crafts styled home filled with his books and art,

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and inspired by the little store/office that sells books, posters, prints and other Brown County treasures.

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I hope someday that Sunnyshore Studio will be an art destination that people will visit too.

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But by far the best part of the day was being with Gary. Driving. Talking. Laughing. Remembering. It was one of those holy moments of friendship where no matter what life brings, nothing can take that away from you.

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Celebrating Camano

The mission of Sunnyshore Studio is to share the beauty of Camano Island with the world.  So where in the world is Camano Island? And why share its beauty with the world?

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According to Wkipedia,  “Camano Island /kəˈmn/ is a large island in the Possession Sound portion of Puget Sound, located in Island County, Washington, between Whidbey Island and the mainland. The body of water separating Whidbey Island and Camano Island is called Saratoga Passage. Camano Island is separated from mainland Snohomish County by Davis Slough near the city of Stanwood. The island is reached via State Route 532 over the Camano Gateway Bridge in the northeast of the island. There were 13,358 residents on the island as of the 2000 census, but the population peaks at 17,000 during the summer months with retired “snowbirds.” The island has a total land area of 39.77 sq mi, though it was larger before the Great Slide of 1825.Camano Island is named for the Spanish explorer Jacinto CaamañoCharles Wilkes, during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838–1842, named it MacDonough Island in honor of Thomas MacDonough for his victory of the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. Following this theme, Wilkes named the body of water between Camano and Whidbey Island after MacDonough’s flagship the Saratoga. When Henry Kellett reorganized the official British Admiralty charts in 1847, he removed Wilkes’ name MacDonough and bestowed the name Camano, which the Spanish had originally given to Admiralty Inlet in 1790. Wilkes’ name Saratoga Passage was retained.”

That is the Wikipedia definition: Geographically, historically, and demographically based.

But for me, Camano is the place of my childhood memories.

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In 1970, when I was less than a year old, my parents moved to the south end of Camano Island. My mom’s dad, Dr. Dodgson, had given them 10 acres with the shell of an old house on it. The house didn’t have indoor plumbing, but it was free, and it did have a roof! The gift enabled my parents to live their dream: dad would be a full-time, professional artist.

For a little boy, growing up on Camano was magical.

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There were forests to explore, forts to build. Imaginations to be mined. A whole world to be reveled in.

I could run through the woods to my uncle and aunt’s farm to play with cousins.

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And beaches with their treasures. Well I remember long hours at Mabana beach, building sand castles and swimming.

My sister, April, and I were companions and best friends in these dreamy days.

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I’m sure things weren’t so magical for my parents. But slowly and surely they fixed up the old house. I remember using the outhouse for many years, but finally we got indoor plumbing. And no matter how little we had, mom was always able to make our home beautiful, placing little bouquets of flowers in the nooks and crannies of the house.

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And there it was, in that little house on the south end of Camano Island, tucked among the towering fir and cedar trees, that I grew up. Learned to pick blackberries and to jam my mouth full of ripe huckleberries for that sumptuous bite; learned to fill up the long summer days playing imaginary games with my cousins; learned  to swim and build rafts, and to fish for the flounder and sole and perch at the point below our house.

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This magical Camano, this place of my youth, is the place that I am inspired to celebrate and to share with others.

Mom’s cancer: the game changer that helped me pull the trigger on building Sunnyshore Studio

I have shared in previous blogs how I dreamed of building an art studio on Camano Island that would be a place where I could showcase my family’s legacy of art and support my dad and mom in their golden years by selling their art.

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My value of caring for and supporting my parents came, I am sure, from watching mom and dad care for their parents and other friends in need. I’d watched dad be a support to his parents, seen my mom serve as one of the chief caregivers for her mother for over 15 years. Caring for my parents is deeply ingrained in me.

Thus a big part of vision for Sunnyshore Studio was to help my parents out financially through providing a venue to show and sell their art. I had a plan for the Studio. In July of 2014 I had even met with a bank lender and worked on a preliminary mortgage. But I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger to build the studio.

And then on January 8th, 2015, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

That was a game changer for me.

Besides crying a lot, the first thing I did was to buy tickets to be with mom and dad as they walked through the fears and stresses of the diagnosis. I flew to Seattle on January 10th and spent a long weekend with mom and dad.

It was so good to be with them. To talk. To cry. To walk on the beach.

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Before I left for Seattle, I had talked to my wife Jenny about my desire to make the studio happen. She had been super supportive. So when I was on Camano mom and I took a trip to County offices and filed the Water Availability Verification form.

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Mom’s cancer diagnosis helped me pull the trigger on my dream of an art studio that would be a support and celebration of mom and dad’s art. I am expecting that we will break ground on the Studio in July of 2015, have it completed for a Christmas show, and have it open on the Camano Island “Mother’s Day Art Tour” in 2016.

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To be able to support mom through showing and celebrating her art would be a dream come true!

The Gathering of Stanwood High School Class of 1987

The first party held on my Sunnyshore Studio property was in July 2014. I hosted a gathering of classmates from Stanwood High School’s class of 1987, the greatest class who ever walked the halls of SHS.

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My elders at Redeemer Presbyterian in Indy, had given me a month sabbatical to work on my writing project on Christian identity. I spent the month at my parent’s home on Camano. I spent about 6-8 hours a day writing, usually in the early morning to noon, and then again in the evening. But I did have time for some fun. One of the highlights was hosting a gathering of my classmates.

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I began planning this gathering in the spring, contacting old friends via facebook. It would stretch over two days: a BBQ on my Sunnyshore property on Friday, July 19th. Then on Saturday, 20th, dinner at a Amigos restaurant in Stanwood.

I found a lot of joy preparing the Sunnyshore Studio property for the party.

I made a sign, ordered a porta-potty,

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piled wood for the fireside,

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set up tables and a canopy,

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and bought a grill, my first Sunnyshore Studio purchase.

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Mom picked flowers from her place and brought them over to make a bouquet for each table. Heather B. was the first friend to show up and right away she went to work helping mom.

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Other friends arrived.

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It was so fun to see them after all those years, and so rich to be known and to know each other over the decade, and from the bright days of our youth.

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As we sat around the fire and talked I was struck by how much about of the lives of my friends and classmates I hadn’t known. I had only scratched the surface of knowing them during those many years of growing up together, going to class, playing on sport teams, dancing and fighting and laughing and crying together. It was sweet to catch up after all those years, getting to know each other at a deeper level.

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A special treat for me was that one of my best friends from high school, Harry Baird, and his lovely wife Maria parked their travel trailer on the property and spent the night next to my tent. Harry, Maria and I sat around the fire until the early hours of the morning talking, laughing, remembering.

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Dinner at Amigos on Saturday was great too.

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The gathering of my SHS friends was the perfect way to break in my Sunnyshore Studio property. Many more parties and gatherings will follow, but nothing will beat having old friends from olden days there to christen it.

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