How My Folks Met

front yard

My grandparents front yard on Yarrow Point looking across Yarrow Bay to the Lake Washington Shipyards. The Kalakala ferry was being worked on at the time of this photo.

by Debi

My parents married in September (I think), but the anniversary they celebrated was the day they met. Opening Day of boating season. I always thought that was romantic and sweet, which is a bit ironic because “romantic” and “sweet” aren’t words I’d ever use to describe my parents. Or their relationship. I knew them when they were older and settled, however, and no longer the romantics they evidently were in their youth.

Dad’s parents lived on the shores of Lake Washington, directly across Yarrow Bay from the old Houghton Shipyards where Grandma and Grandpa met. Many years before, he’d been the Shipyard Superintendent and she was working in the office, the shipyard’s first female employee. They picked Yarrow Point for building their dream house because the property looked directly at the place where they’d met. I guess romantic notions about first meetings run in our family.

Grandma Dad Mom on Como

Grandma, Mom, Dad, and Buttons the dog on the Como Reto.

So, back to that monumental Opening Day. Mom was on a date with the son of some friends of my grandparents. The young man’s folks had taken them out boating on the lake, and the four of them stopped by to visit my grandparents. My dad was on the dock getting their family’s yacht, Como Reto, ready for the Opening Day festivities, when suddenly off their friends’ boat stepped my mom. I was never told if it was love at first sight, but it certainly sounds like sparks flew. Later that evening, my mom and dad ran into each other again at the Queen City Yacht Club’s annual dance. And the rest, so they say, is history.

According to Grandma, that other young man’s mother bore a grudge against my mom for years. The nerve of my mom dumping that woman’s son on Opening Day. My mom—breaking hearts since 1957.

Life’s what happens
when you make other plans.

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