Taking our camera on the road, we left behind many friends and family. Home for Lorelle is Seattle and Tulsa is home for Brent, though home is wherever we happen to be together right now. We’ve found many more friends on the road as we’ve traveled. We thought we’d share a bit of our scrapbook with you.
Some of the pictures are ones we’ve taken on our travels, but we love getting pictures from our friends and relatives. Since we are so far from home, we love sharing their lives with them through email, letters, and photographs. We hope you enjoy meeting our friends, too.
NOTE: Our scrapbook got so large as we added to it, we decided to break it into two pieces. This page is dedicated to our travels and friends and family. We have another scrapbook for photographs from our life living in Israel. Enjoy both of these!
Opening presents is a time to get goofy. We love covering ourselves with the wrapping, enjoying that as much as the gifts. It’s a part of our traditions in my family, the person the most covered (my mother and I would do this) got the most attention. Brent and I try to carry on the few family traditons we have, especially being so far away from family as we travel.
We share a moment just after Brent’s sister (Lisa) got married in Tulsa. Brent looks so handsome in a tux. I promised him I would only make him wear one for weddings and then never again until his funeral. But I’m sure I’ll come up with another excuse since he looks so sexy in one!
On our wedding day, just after tying the knot in the Heart o’ the Hills Campground at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park, Washington.
Brent’s office near the Tel Aviv Airport in Israel. He wanted to impress people with his two computers, but they were just installing his new computer system. The calendar on the wall is of US National Parks so he could remember all the places we’ve traveled over the past few years.
Brent’s interest in photography started very young, and so did help with his photography from women. His sister, Lisa, is helping him out here. She also helped him get his famous red-legged frog picture
Bruce Groninger has been Brent’s best buddy for years, beginning when the two worked for Boeing in Kansas. Bruce followed Brent, by a fluke, to Boeing in Seattle a year after Brent. He was best man at our wedding and the keeper of our 75 gallon fish tank for several years when we started on the road.
Lorelle’s mother, Ramona, shows off her wild side. Here she poses as a punk rocker mama as the two head to Seattle’s popular Bumbershoot festival. She has a lightning bolt drawn on her check and safety pins in her ears. Shades of Michael Jackson!
Deborah Kirsner risked all to leave Manhattan to come to the unknown wild west. As an incredibly gifted fine art nature photographer, Lorelle and Deborah hit it off well and eventually Deborah replaced Lorelle in producing the Mountaineers photography educational programs in Seattle. One of her beautiful images hangs in a prestigious spot in the VanFossen’s trailer, having covered much of North America with them.
Duane Hansen is one of Lorelle’s dearest buddies, and he quickly became a best buddy of Brent just before Brent and Lorelle met. A more willing and determined nature and adventurer you will rarely meet. All you have to say is “we’re thinking about going to…” and he’s already out the door.
Jo Boyett and Lorelle have been friends for what feels like forever. Jo has helped us get ready for life on the road in more ways than we can count, including hosting two weekends of garage sales of the VanFossen’s stuff in her driveway. She is now the keeper of the fish tank, keeping her granddaughter amused as the thing takes up half their living room. Jo flew up to spend a week with us in Alaska, even braving a huge hike up the Seward Glacier.
A bit of the Pacific Northwest that Brent and Lorelle miss dearly: green, luscious forests. Such forests are not found over much of the world any more. There is very little that is green, or even natural, in Israel, so the greens of the Pacific Northwest seem thousands of miles away. Oh, they are!
Laurie Dahlberg and Lorelle began their friendship when Lorelle moved to Mukilteo, Washington from Lake Stevens, terrified about a new community and new school. Here, they model their “beauty” in rack of scarfs at the local KMart in Everett, Washington. Both graduated from Mariner High School in Mukilteo, Washington.
Not long before graduation, with dreams of traveling to Florida after graduation dancing in their heads, Laurie and Lorelle “dress up” for photo gifts for their parents. Within 6 months of graduation, Lorelle made it to Florida, but Laurie didn’t. A few years later, Lorelle returned home to drag Laurie to Lake Chelan in Eastern Washington for a summer of having too much fun and making too many pizzas.
Lorelle’s first image sold, when she was 15, was this picture of the Materhorn. At this tender age, she had just finished camping across Europe, visiting 11 countries and skiing on the Matternhorn.
Lorelle’s best friend, Susan Siverson, is someone who inspires Lorelle every day. An incredible classically trained concert pianist, she continued to maintain her passion for music with a serious professional career as a bank manager. With a huge gap between the second and third child, with husband, David, playing stay-at-home daddy for the first two, Susan decided to reverse roles with him and now she is the stay-at-home mother home-schooling the now four children in Seattle. Susan, with the incredible support of her family, has been able to find balance in a world that often condemns working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. She’s been both!
No, we don’t live like pigs all the time. Every few months we would pull everything out and give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. As you travel, you just collect things, and we hadn’t left our serious collecting habits behind when we started traveling, so yes, we did have too much stuff. I don’t know how wiser we are, but we’re still learning that you have to work with the space you have. Anway, this is what the trailer looks like when it is truly a mess. Thought you’d be impressed or something.
Lorelle’s mom hosted a unique “party” when Brent’s parents came to see us before we hit the road in Seattle. We all attended “Tony and Tina’s Wedding.” This is part play, part musical, part wedding, part party, part dinner, and a lot of theatre. We all thought it was insane and horrible, but we loved talking about how awful it was afterwards! We all dressed up as if going to a real wedding.
At our wedding, there were more VanFossens than any other group in the audience. Here they all are, including Grandmother Matthews in the middle, having flown across the country to honor us with their presence.