SEATTLE SUMMER WITH THE SUMMERS
Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975. Today, Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Washington and is the world’s largest software company.
In 1954, I attended an Alpha Delta Phi Convention, representing Bowdoin, at the University of Washington.
Approximately six years ago, our youngest daughter Tina’s husband, Ben Summers, was recruited by Microsoft. Together with their son, Noah, daughter, Lisi, and dog, Maddie. The Summers moved from Providence, R.I. to Redmond.
Last week, we visited Tina and her family in Redmond and what a wonderful week it was!
Tina met us early Sat. morning and we got adjusted to the jet lag, caught up on the Summer’s busy schedule, and took a walk with their nifty new dog, Ninji. That evening, Lisi and Ben showed off Lisi’s skills learned at a cooking camp and served us a delicious spaghetti and meatball dinner. Ben learned how to cook from his mother and is passing his skills along.
Tina has always been well-organized and scheduled a brunch Sunday morning at Salty’s on Alki n West Seattle. She added Pat and my nephew, Ben Haskell (my late brother Peter’s son) and his partner, Becky Braniff to our group. Ben was recently promoted to Battalion Chief for the Seattle Fire Department and Becky works for Amazon.
Monday, August 29 was Elise (Lisi’s) ninth birthday and we celebrated the big day of this beautiful and talented girl with a delicious meal at one of their favorite Chinese restaurants in downtown Seattle.
Throughout the week, Pat and I learned what a busy time Tina has keeping up with the well-organized extra curricular activities of Lisi and Noah.
On Wednesday, we all witnessed thirteen-year old Noah’s earning a Brown Belt in his Karate class—which he has participated in since moving to Redmond. With about 20 karate men, boys and girls, Noah showed his great skills with his outstanding performance—video-taped by Pat; the only one to advance to brown belt this evening.
I won’t attempt to recreate every event and meal of our splendid week. We saw Lisi practice her tennis at a neat tennis club. We listened to Noah sing and play the guitar. Later Noah and Ben, a concert pianist, practiced together. Noah plays with his band and has a concert coming up this fall.
Ben is pleased with his challenges and progress at Microsoft and we were amazed at the growth of Microsoft and the other technology companies located in and/or moving to the Seattle area. Amazon, Google and Facebook are expanding rapidly in downtown Seattle. This has resulted in rapidly rising real estate prices throughout the area, making it difficult for Tina and Ben to find a place that suits them and is affordable.
One day we joined Ben for lunch at one of the Microsoft corporate dining complexes. Their campus-like atmosphere obviously works wonders as this hugely profitable firm keeps growing.
The diversity of families is obvious in Lisi and Noah’s schools in Redmond and we participated in some school opening activities with Tina, Ben, Noah and Lisi. We also met quite a few of Tina’s friends from Ireland, England, Mongolia, India, China, and Germany.
Wow, Tina has come a long way since growing up in Pickens, South Carolina. Tina is a busy, happy, mother and wife and Pat and I are exceedingly proud of her!
The photos above show some of what we saw and did in our Seattle Summer with the Summers. Oh, by the way, Pat taught Lisi how to knit in between all the other things we did.