North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

By Katie Bourg
Senior Daze 

Lunch with old friend brings back memories


I had an enjoyable lunch the other day with an old neighbor, Marian. Well, she isn’t so old. She’s still working. But we go way back. She was 13 when I first saw her. I was 23. This past week I turned 88. I won’t mention her age. You figure it out.

Along with my two daughters, we spent about three hours bringing each other up to date on what had happened in the last 30 or 40 years. She grew up, got married, and had four kids. Rick, Cari, Lisa, and Clay. I was already married and was about to produce the first of five. Boots, Karen, Charlie, Betsy, and Tom.

We had just bought property from her parents, Ruth and Clarence. They no longer had a horse for Marian, and decided they didn’t need so much land. I assume at 13 she may have been developing other interests, like boys. The first time I saw her, she was hemming the first dress she ever made, to wear to a birthday party. She was painfully shy, and we didn’t talk much. We made up for it the other day.

The talk started out with the standard “How have you been? How’s the family?” It gradually moved to memories. She married, moved to Moses Lake for some years. Our children got to know each other when visiting the grandparents. We called Ruth’s mother Grandma Moses, and they built her a little house next to ours. She helped raise mine, and on many occasions helped with the others. When things didn’t go well at home, that’s where everyone went to avoid consequences. Grandma Moses was essential to everybody’s well being.

Our boys were good friends, when together. Ruth and Clarence frequently took our Charlie to visit, and Rick was around much of the summer. Our youngest, Betsy and Cari were typical girl friends. It was a nice neighborhood with Thornton Creek running through the backyards, and trees to climb. There was a hill to race a bike down, but I’m just as glad I didn’t always know about that.

Moses Lake lost its appeal, and Marian and husband Don returned to the area. Ruth and Clarence decided to try apartment living for a few years, and the younger family moved into the big house. Grandma Moses kept track of all concerned, including me. She had a big white dog called Fluffy. We had a dumb cocker/Lab combo named Peppy. Across the road the school district built Nathan Hale High School, and someone found a Revolutionary cannon for a mascot. It was named ‘George.’ About once a year during football season they fired off George. Peppy barked for hours afterward. Fluffy went under the bed for lengthy stays. Eventually someone put too large a charge in George. The miniball sailed from 110th up past 105th and landed in someone’s backyard. George was retired with lead in his belly, or whatever cannons have instead. We built a makeshift swimming pool.

Grandma Moses got older, and went to live with her son. Ruth and Clarence moved into the little house. The kids grew up and went away, or came back—off and on.

One day we decided to sell the house. Eventually others did the same. Soon some of the houses were gone, just like the people. It was all such fun. Even when Charlie got his head caught in the gate and Clarence had to rescue him because his parents were laughing too hard to help him. Even when the girls had fights and made up. Even when the Thornton flooded and came in the houses.

And it was such a nice lunch, even if the waiter was waiting for us to leave.


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