Oregon countryside near a lake up in the mountains.

Memories of Living in a Real House
The Sole Proprietor is sitting now at the kitchen table in Bear in the corner. his sister and brother-in-laws' house, they've moved into a new one since his last visit and this is the first time that he's had a chance to see it. In the Bay Area where he lives, this house in a halfway decent neighborhood would cost, well, way too much, high six figures. The kitchen-family room breakfast nook where he's sitting is as large as his whole apartment and much nicer than his whole apartment as well. This is one of the depressing little numbers about living in the Bay Area, there are so many people that the existing housing stock isn't nearly adequate to house them and they won't let anyone build new ones to accommodate the overflow.

That means the house he's staying in here in Oregon, Police photo of the Sole Proprietor's nephew. Police photo of the Sole Proprietor's sister. Police photo of the Sole Proprietor's mother. if it were located in the Bay area, would only be for the very rich, 3500 square feet, five bedrooms, the usual amenities like hot tubs, tiled island in the kitchen with four miles of cabinets, multiple car garage, nice office area, dining room, living room and family room - kitchen table area - kitchen area that is, again, as large as his apartment.

Ah well, life. Nice house, but lots of rain. The rain started as the train descended from the mountains down into the Willamette river valley. The mountains had been cloudy, but the sun had broken through on occasion and the trees and ground were covered with snow. Kind of nice, although the Sole Proprietor rather likes snow from the comfort of a sleeping car with the heat on full blast, the idea of snow, in other words, rather than the subject itself up close and in his face.

And that's the trade off. Nice houses that people can Sister on phone. buy or rent, but in a weather environment that drives a certain percentage of the population to suicide. Seattle is the same way. The Sole Proprietor grew up north of Seattle and remembers playing outside in the rain. You played outside in the rain or you didn't play outside for whole months at a time, so you learned about rain gear and keeping under the trees and coming back inside when you got wet and cold. Nothing like wet and cold in the rain to make you think of places that need irrigation systems in the summer, make you willingly put bricks in your toilet tank and take showers out of a bucket in the bath.

So tomorrow we drive to Seattle up highway 5. Should be nice. Cute vampire dog photograph. He'll shoot what pictures he can, of course. In the small chance the sun will be out tomorrow or Sunday, he'll try to get out and shoot some film in Ballard down by the docks, get some shots of the fishing boats. He knew this area well when he was in school and, from a distance at least, it hasn't changed. Sole Proprietors like that, floating through old haunts with a camera recording the old places and nodding at all the expatriate Californians as they pass by looking lost and frazzled without a sun.

The banner photograph was taken with the Nikon CoolPix 900s digital camera through the parlor car window on December 10th, facing east somewhere in Oregon south of Salem. The rest were shot with the CoolPix as the Sole Proprietor found targets of opportunity as he bounced along the road.