The best thing in Juri’s and my relationship was our love life.  The second was dancing and the third was his house.

He had a 3600 square foot house, including a basement under its older half. It was set on an acre of land within the Seattle city limits.  There was a separate four car garage in back accessed by a driveway that ran past the house on the south side. Plus there was a chicken house (with chickens) and an orchard.  The rest was in lawn.  The original part of the house was a 24 x 48 foot east-west rectangle with the street at its west end.  As afore mentioned, that part had a basement and contained a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath.  One end of the dining room, plus a porch and an entry hall had been added to the original rectangle and projected to the south. The entry hall was at the extreme southwest corner of the house and had a fish pond! No one ever used it, but the pond, four steps down, was an interesting addition to the living room.

A 24 x 48 foot addition with three bedrooms plus a party room, had been built at a right angle on to the north side of the original house.  Each of the four rooms was 12 feet wide.  There was a hallway along the east side of the bedrooms with the party room across the far end.  The party room had a fireplace in the middle of the north wall and its own outside entry.   It was a lot of house for a bachelor.

Due to his hardship childhood, Juri was a do-it-yourself extravaganza.  He could fix or make anything.  When I met him, he was just starting to remodel his house.  He wanted to put a new basement stairway in the space of an existing walk-in closet.  He wondered if it could be done.  He asked my advice.  I took measurements.  The next weekend I delivered working drawings, including isometrics, showing every piece of wood in the stair so he could see exactly how to build it.  During the following week he roughed in the stairs.  He was excessively pleased.  He thought I might be worth keeping, even if I wasn’t Estonian.  In fact, he wanted to hire me to re-design his whole house.  I did it for nothing.