Gen had a lead on a subdivision called Hideaway Park, about a mile northeast of Fairfax Circle. We poked around there and the following Sunday returned with Doug to talk to the developer, a guy named Tyson who lived in the house next door to the one Gen had her eye on.

2804 Albany CourtMr. Tyson showed us the house, which we loved, and then showed us the neighborhood, which we also loved, and took us out to Tysons Corner, the area's first shopping mall and an up-scale big deal for us. That did it. Doug and Gen signed the deal right on the spot.

It wasn't necessarily a big step up for Gen, though. Throughout her life, she had known prosperity and a degree of wealth that combined with her innate good luck and resourcefulness such that she always had enough money to cultivate a sense and aspiration to the finer things in life. For Gen, this house put her back where she should have been all the long, although she never expressed that sentiment herself. We moved in as soon as the van arrived with our stuff.It would have been economical if Gen still had all the furnishings she dropped along her path back and forth across the country. When she and Dick left Minnesota, Gen auctioned off most of her belongings--they wouldn't have fit in the trailer they took to Kansas. She dumped belongings again when she moved from Kansas to Colorado and then dumped more property as we moved into ever-smaller digs in Colorado. By the time we got to Utah, there wasn't much left of her original treasures, which would have helped fill the Fairfax house.

Gen's not one for regrets over lost furniture, though, and anyway, she and Doug were now flush with the income that accompanies a national office in the business of organized labor. Our Utah holdings were pathetic in that big Fairfax, Virginia house, and Gen plunged with gusto into the task of buying new furniture.

We trekked over to a furniture store on Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church and procured:

  • A color TV (our first one) in a walnut veneer cabinet equipped with AM/FM radio and a turntable

  • A seven-foot sofa in a fabric print of harvest gold and hunter green

  • Two matching velvet wing chairs, one harvest gold and the other hunter green

  • A four-foot long coffee table

  • Two matching end tables and table lamps

  • A hunter green dining table with six matching chairs for the big eat-in kitchen

  • Mattresses and box springs for Becky's and my beds, with spreads, blankets, and sheets

  • Mattress and box spring for Doug's and Gen's bed

  • Two night stands and table lamps for the master bedroom

  • Shower curtain for the huge walk-in shower in the master bathroom

Everything from Ogden, with the exception of Doug's mother's big oak dining table and its chairs, disappeared into the cavernous basement and Gen began her newest life--this time as a stay-at-home mom, married to a Washington Somebody, with the intention of putting on lavish dinner parties for Washington Somebody Else's.

First, though, she enrolled Becky, then just 14 years old, at the nearby Oakton High School.