MUSEUM, LIBRARY, or ASYLUM? This weekend the Powell family went to Whidbey Island to take advantage of the wonderful yet odd house of my parents. Grandparents’ house is on the north side of Penn Cove and faces the small town of Coupeville. Grandma’s studio, above, and the whole house for that matter, is probably the cleanest and most presentable in years, yet remains a clutterfunk of random bugigangas (a Portuguese word meaning ‘junk’). However, hidden within is an impressive collection of books and art . The “shower” on the left comes from the fact that, sometime around 1979, my parents decided to hook up plumbing. Nothing has been done since, and the shower is now a repository for stuff, including my mother’s ubiquitous artwork.The kitchen, built in 1953, is unchanged, with the exception of a countertop and perhaps a new faucet. Visiting grandparents’ house is somewhat like camping.
BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS EVERYWHERE! Though we have many books, finding a good one within is not as easy as in the past. I would fathom there are over 10,000 in the house, a conservative estimate. My father is a voracious reader of romance novels, however, and my mother has given up the intellectual ghost and now is consumed by tabloid trash. However, growing up with Encylopedias, a National Geographic collection that dates to the 1920’s, and as eclectic a library as can be imagined did have advantages. I am grateful for my parents raising me in such a milieu.
CRABBY NEIGHBORS: My parents are fortunate to have kind and welcoming neighbors, and on the weekend I got my crab license the neighbors happened to have been out on Penn Cove hunting the eight-legged monster. The harvest quite good, with plenty of crab to feed their large family (they have twenty-eight children, and a hundred-and-three grandchildren…slight hyperbole).
THE BROTHERS -IN-LAW ‘J’: That week my wife’s family joined us, including Aunt Tracy and her future man Sanjay, which will give me two brothers-and-law whose name ends with ‘J’. My sister’s husband, Somjait Pongklub (beg as I did, they did not name any of their three children ‘Ping’), will arrive in August w/family. Anyway, San-J and I were good to go! Pops (stepfather-in-law) brought the crab pot, and off we went on the high seas.We let the crabs sit overnight.
Unfortunately, dorks that we are, we forgot to release the doors. And thus had to resort to picking up a token crab. To keep a crab, the shell must have a diameter of at least six and quarter inches. Our crab (in the picture you can’t really see it, but it’s there) is shy about six inches…we had to throw it back.
PHOTO of the MONTH: Grandy! My mother-in-law at the Powell House.