Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Flophouse in Seattle: Welcome to America

The Flophouse is on the road again.  This time our destination was North America and our first stop was my hometown, Seattle.  We'll be spending a few days here recovering from jet lag and then we'll be heading down to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to work on the family farm.

The trip over was uneventful The fun only began when we got off the Air France flight and went through immigration.  It's always interesting to watch the elder Frenchling's reactions to things because very often what I consider 'normal' can be quite strange and exotic to her.  As we stood in line waiting for our passports to be checked my daughter called my attention to a video that was playing on screens placed strategically around the immigration area.   In the video were Americans of all shapes, sizes, colors and creeds, families and individuals, saying, "Welcome to America."  And to her surprise, one showed a North African family with a woman in a headscarf.  "This is a great country," she said to which I replied, "Yes, baby, it surely is." :-)

We are now happily recovering from our jet lag in a house in the north of Seattle that belongs to the family.  The house is on a ridge overlooking what was (and perhaps still is) the Scandinavian part of town.  In my youth I remember that you were just as likely to hear Swedish or Norwegian as English when you strolled down the main streets.  The house also has a truly spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains.

But the very best thing about this house is the library,  After all the children had left, the family decided to turn the ground floor into a library and reading room complete with wall to wall bookcases, comfortable chairs, a couch and a small fireplace.  Here are a few photos:


















There is a truly extraordinary variety of literature in the library and scattered around the house:  books, magazines, newspapers. It is impossible to be bored with such bounty everywhere you look.

I'm basically going to hibernate here until my body remembers that it's supposed to be sleeping at 2AM.  More later after I've had my coffee and finished the latest Malcolm Gladwell book.

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