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BC: A Fable of How I Met Your Father The best decision I ever made: marrying the mystery man and having him be your Pops With all my love, on your Twenty-fourth birthday Mom

1: 19It | Once upon a time, as all good classic fairy tales begin, I ventured to a sleepy, maritime town in the Pacific Northwest. Quiet and peaceful, protected by the water that surrounds it and the mountain that watches over it, the valley is rich in fertile farms, snow geese, blue heron, and eagles; in the spring, ribbons of glorious tulips

2: My silver "starship" topped with a roof rack holding a chicken wire, burlap covered booth, easily found its destination. The Anacortes Street Fair would provide me with a one hundred square foot piece of Commerical Avenue to show my collection of hundreds of calligraphied quotations. | In the early morning, damp, dewy mist, I began hanging each of my works, reflections of my inner self. Intent on my task, I was unaware that someone was carefully stepping over each whiskey box, reading what the 'quote lady' shared in words of Thoreau, Muir and Chief Sealth. The deep, soothing and confident voice intruded my space with a greeting, "You look like a lady who would like to build a log house."

3: I had to give it to him, THIS was a creative, unique opening line- not one I had heard before. Curious, but cautious, I had two thoughts. One more universal: 'It's too early in the day for my first crazy customer.' The second, more specific: 'Abe Lincoln, dirt floor, I don't think so.' | Neither deterred by my hesitation, nor by my puzzled expression, he continued, "Why don't you come with me across the channel to see some log houses my friends are building? It won't take long. It's just a six minute ferry ride.

4: More thoughts... Can't he see I have a job to do? What if he is Ted Bundy and cuts me up into a thousand pieces. No one will know where I've gone. | But politely, I explained that hundreds of people would be streaming by in a short while and if he wanted to come back later, that would be fine.

5: As the afternoon sun warmed me, watching the crowds from my low slung lawn chair, the mystery man returned. Relaxed, it was my turn, "Sit down, have some wine" as I poured the sweetness into a dixie cup from the milk carton. I was intrigued by the paradox of my perceptions. What I saw was a logger from La Push. Plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans, red suspenders, well worn baseball cap, and a scruffy beard. Yet he wore a college ring, embedded with an eagle design. He picked the most conservative quote, "Build Me a Son" by General Douglas MacArthur as his favorite, and he listened intently, commenting in ways that kept the conversation moving and evolving. The honest blue eyes fit and were reassuring that he was sincere.

6: I ventured more deeply, more directly... "So, what's important to you in your life? I didn't expect an answer. I didn't think I would be able to come up with an answer to a question of such magnitude and vulnerability to a perfect stranger, with little time for thought or preparation.

7: Four things: Having an intimate, meaningful relationship with a woman Living close to the land Having my work be of value and service to others My faith.

8: So easy. The bells and whistles sounded in my head... Now THIS is an answer I could live with forever. | The interview was a success. He got the girl. He got the six minute ferry ride across the channel to the idyllic island.

9: And so Frog and Toad, set out together to build their little log cabin in the woods

10: Now mind you, Frog had taken a weekend class with Skip, to learn the skills for building using the "butt and pass method", with mortar chinking... He assured Toad that he had learned everything they needed to know. | They bought five acres on Guemes Island and with their trusty Datsun and chainsaw felled 60 foot trees pulled them off the hill using a mini-winch, dragged them around to the top of the property whooping and a hollering when each reached the staging area...

11: Sometimes it took a whole weekend just to cut and move a couple of logs, but finally, they were all assembled where they were cut into 20 foot sections, cataloged and numbered by size and then peeled using a "draw knife".

12: the courses went up one by one, | the holes were drilled one by one, | at last, it was time to set the ridge pole

13: We lived for awhile in a 12 foot trailer, we put up a 16 x 16 Army surplus tent, it burned down the first night; we put up a 16 x 32 Army surplus tent; it caved in under the snow; we showered for a dollar at the swimming pool; we watched Johnny Carson under the stars on a T.V. balanced on the hood of the truck, plugged into the cigarette lighter; we cooked on open campfires and were lulled to sleep listening to wind through cedar boughs

14: We spoke in a new vocabulary -

15: gable ends loft poles peevees come alongs swede hooks spuds . . . "my kindgom for a log dog"

16: More peeling. Car decking for the inside roof. Where do you want your windows ? Measure twice, cut once !

18: Our first "house guests..." came just in time to figure out where to cut openings for the upstairs windows... of course they were impressed with their son's workmanship... | and didn't mind the draft between the logs which were later chinked with mortar | to keep us warm and cozy on winter days

19: After working two years of weekends, Frog and Toad moved into their little log cabin in the woods with their new family member, Log Dog

20: And as all good, classic fairy tales end, they lived happily ever after . . . especially since they welcomed their son James Bernard Casey May 8, 1991 who has given them the greatest joy in their lives.

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