surprise smokey sunset lights autumn birthday festivities

dan, nazy children, grandchildren Sep 26 2021

Does Dan always celebrate his September birthday in autumn? Will the grandchildren agree to let Dan have the biggest piece of birthday cake? (On Dan’s birthday.) Was the sky really filled with cantaloupes? Why was it necessary to ‘make sure that Arrow’s cough’ was not worrisome? Who reads in the dark? (And Why?) How do 2021 car seats compare to 1960 car seats? We all know that grassy knolls are found in Dallas — but what about rocky knolls? Where was the Lucky birthday dinner/? Read More...

kindergarteners walk backwards toward sky scraping nook

nazy at butterfly beach Feb 2 2021

Can you qualify for Kindergarten? Will a prospective teacher be able to read your handwriting? (Bad news, Dan.) Can you stand on one foot and walk backwards? (Not if asked to do it at the same time.) Can you tell the difference between fact and
fiction? Can you ride a bicycle? In Santa Barbara are abnormally dry conditions actually abnormally good? Especially when comparing abnormally dry to severe drought?

Granville Island Marks Shannon Falls’ Costumed Termites

Dan, Nazy, Dar, Christiane and Leandra all at Shannon

Is it true that all Canadians are polite and patient? And, if so, does being patient preclude good driving manners? Or did we misunderstand an inflammatory hand gesture? Is Shannon Falls bigger than we remembered? How did Killer Whales feature in Dan’s decision to take a job in Vancouver? (And, oh how many years ago was that?) What makes Granville Island Grand? Did we see the old house, Gastown or Robson Street? How difficult was the border crossing? Read More...

smashing pumpkin donut festivities while parking with the Queen

Dar, Leandra and Christiane pumpkin standing

Where can you find delicious pumpkin donuts? (Hint: Think Pumpkin Festivals in patchy plowed fields.) Can we find a Washington State grown pumpkin that is suitable — well, not merely suitable, but perfect, for a family Jack-o-Lantern? How far into the patch will we have to stroll, eh, walk, eh, hike to find it? Has Vancouver changed since The Martin Family lived there in the 80’s? Did Queen Elizabeth really park in Vancouver? Read More...

Alleged Giant LAX in pumpkin booking fiasco

Darius and Leandra in greenhouse Oct 2019

Who forgot to paint the pumpkin orange? If the answer is ‘Exit 734’, what is the question? (This is for fans of Jeopardy and for Tiger.) Why did the pumpkin patch roll out a tractor with ‘Big Wheels’ in the front and the back? They did it right after Dan explained that tractors have big wheels in the back. How long did it take to get from the hotel room (1.2 miles from LAX) to the gate? Hint: you won’t believe it. Where did we find (the lovely) Leandra and (the astounding) Auriane? Did we have time to notice their parents?


Marie Antoinette crowns dentist with botanical cowboy hat

Nazy and Auriane May 2019

Who has more problems with a crown than Marie Antoinette? Did a dentist really play ‘kick the crown’ with a hand-crafted dental masterpiece? Who is known in his community as Mr. Grass (cutter)? Which grandchild has determined that anybody wearing a cowboy hat is ‘Dan’? How broadly does she define ‘anybody’? Why didn’t Dan realize that ‘the boys’, who happily walked down a path to Mission Creek would want to be carried back up? Read More...

Auriane Lynn Martin rocks the stars with speedy Mom

The Expanded Bellingham Martin Family April 2019

Can anything make Dan change sequencing practices for The Weekly Letter? Or, more to the point, what can make Dan change sequencing practices? Where has the latest Rock Star been identified? And who made the identification. Where are the physicians (far) too slow? How will (the lovely) little girl respond to family changes? Who helped Nazy celebrate her birthday a few days early and 1200 miles from Dan? And why doesn’t the Santa Barbara Airbus pick up passengers at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal? Read More...

Blue Sky and Pink Pregnancy on Trickle Creek Boulevard

darius family lummi island Oct 2018

Where is Trickle Creek Boulevard? And why is it a (very) BIG deal? Would you travel to a place that historically experiences rain every day from October 1 until May 15? Would it make a difference if your first grand daughter lived there? How about if history was a less than perfect precipitation predictor? Has any home inspector ever failed to find a flaw that cost at least as much as his fee? Where was Mount Baker hiding? Was Mount Shuksan an acceptable alternative? Read More...

TSA loses synaptic challenge as Dan finds yellow (baby) blue jacket

dan and Leandra Kitchen APS June 2018

How much time should a family, a family traveling with a baby, allocate for TSA processing? Hint: Double your initial guess. How are TSA waiting time and FAA slot times coordinated? Hint: How does a colorblind man choose ties and suits? Why would anyone drive to LAX during evening rush hour? How good is the Volvo at reading foreign language text messages? Can Arrow say ‘Leandra’ or ‘Bougainville’ or at least come close? And what would you do if your wife accused you of losing your blue jacket - basing her accusation on the flimsy fact that you can’t find it? Read More...

hummingbird underwears butterfly bricklayer on tulip anniversary

darius, christiane nazy and umbrella April 2018

Who told the local hummingbird colony about The Martin Family Petunia Plantation? Does Tiger want to read ‘The Creepy Pair of Underwear’ book? Would you hire a butterfly as a bricklayer? Are there any flaws in the story about the Dutch Tulip Mania? Hint: Was the story initially touted by a ‘journalist’ in the 18th Century? And, on the subject of Tulips: Have you heard about the Skagit County Tulip Festival? How does it compare to Holland’s Keukenhof? Finally, did The Lovely Leandra get over her fear of grandfatherly beards? Read More...

Leandra’s elevator challenges rainy otter on Apple’s pointless (useless) cloud

mirror all of us again

Where does the grandest daughter in the whole wide world live now? And, did she bring her parents? How did Nazy arrange perfect weather in the Pacific Northwest?When did Apple Computer become vertically challenged? Who, in particular, is responsible for ‘upgrades’ that degrade services? Why are they unaware of a simple concept: airplanes can fly above, below and through the clouds, but that doesn’t mean that Dan can access ‘The Cloud’ from seat 26B? And speaking of vertically challenged — who designed the ‘elevator’ in Darius’ new building? Where can you see sea otters and deer during a mid-afternoon nature walk? Read More...

Boxes assemble size 8 shoes as Arrow flies and Family Lebanon arrives

Dan and Arrow Oct 2016 APS

Who designed the system in which Dan and Tiger have the same size shoes? And would you be happy to be younger than your shoe size? Can you remember how it felt when you walked on grass, in your bare feet, for the first time? Arrow can! (And he found an interesting way to handle this strange situation.) Will young Leandra sleep in the skillfully negotiated Lufthansa bassinet on her long transatlantic journey? How many times do you need to read “Goodnight Moon” before you memorize it?


Siri touts Portuguese Volvo sharing cupcake in Washington DC & State

Darius, Christiane, Leandra Sept 2017

If Siri says: “It’s too early to be up”, would you go back to sleep? How about if Siri is a guy speaking with a South African accent? BTWL ‘you’ are three years old and tasked with waking up Grandpa. Is The Martin Family cable TV system sophisticated enough to resist the probings of 13 month old Arrow? (Hint: at two years old, brother Tiger adjusted the system so that all movies had Portuguese sound tracks.) Did Dan get a new car discount because he has a single digit shoe size? And, finally, who booked Nazy and Darius on the same (United Airlines) flight from Washington DC to Washington State? Hint: Someone looking for material for The Weekly Letter comes to mind.

academic shenanigans and father’s day follies on Tiger’s tricycle

Nazy and Arrow June 2017 at Hendry Beach

Pancakes or granola? Does the spousal mandate change on Father’s Day? What is going on when Nazy expresses concerns about being ‘on-time’? How is young Leandra adjusting to the new world? Or, more importantly, how are Darius and Christiane adjusting to young Leandra? What’s the deal with university politics? Surely it wasn’t that way in the good old days! What happens when Tiger notice that Arrow has been spending a lot of time on Tiger’s tricycle? (We don’t know and please don’t mention it to Tiger. Read More...

understatement of the decade: a little (girl) busy right now

Leandra, Christiane and Darius June 2 2017

Why was Darius “a little busy” on May 31st — and, consequently unable to completely reply to Melika’s text message? Hint: Christiane was even busier. Who has more hair than Dan? (Who doesn’t?) Is it unusual for newborns to mix up day and night, or is that just a strategy for training new parents? How long does it take a Macbook Pro to empty the trash that has more than 5,000,000 files? (And how did that happen?) And, finally, forget about suspense and join me to welcome the arrival of Leandra Kinsley Martin, grandest daughter ever.

Oui! Seamstress cuts talking hair in waterlogged drought

Christiane, Darius and Tiger August 2015

Who plans a proposal the day before his fiancee flies 7000+ miles away? (And is ‘plans’ the right verb?) Who writes a description of said event and forgets to convey the response? Why is Dan wary of haircuts? Who can say ‘bamboo’ while being stumped by ‘Mama’? And why have the water police surrounded The Martin Family estate in Santa Barbara? Read More...