Have you visited Millers on Hwy. 203?

A look at life in Carnation.

I think of myself as a practical person, so while I am remodeling

during the mildest winter … OOPS, I mean the wettest summer in memory, I

am facing up to the truth. I have accepted the fact that I may not have

windows or doors for quite some time to come. My life has become some

twisted “back to nature” nightmare. I am

living with nature because nature has moved into my house.

Birds are now nesting in my cupboards and the local raccoons are

having a dog food party every night in my living room. The mosquitoes are

so thick that in order to balance the ecosystem, I have had to install

“bat boxes” over the fridge.

I have decided to face this challenge head on. I fully intend to

pretend I planned for my house to look this way. I am going to furnish my

living room with patio furniture. Luckily there is a remarkable place to

furnish my new “no boundaries” home and that is Millers on Highway

203 between Fay Road and 124th (Novelty flats).

What most people notice is the barn with the big sign “propane

for sale.” It’s kind of an odd place for a propane seller, what with being

ten miles from anywhere (lowest price in the Valley, I might add). You may

notice the occasional piece of deck furniture out front, but to really see

how good it is, you have to stop by. As it is a Snoqualmie Valley business, it

has to be a little different. Attached to the side of the barn is a combination

bird sanctuary and outdoor furniture store. I know. Only in the Valley could

you find this distinctive combination.

The Millers, Marge and Neil, are not only the nicest two people you

will ever meet, but they build and sell custom cedar furniture and folk art

items from the barn. They also care for and feed an ever growing population

of birds. Under one roof you have Cockatoo’s and Adirondack

chairs, parakeets and picnic tables, doves and dog houses.

The birds are cool, but the big draw is for the great prices and the

high quality of the custom-made cedar products. It is not just furniture.

I bought my ever lovin’ husband his own light house. Standing about

three feet tall, it has its own light that blinks to warn mariners on our lake that

the bar is open.

The really special birds are in the back, and if you are lucky, you

may get to meet “Angel,” the umbrella- crested cockatoo. She is as big as

a house cat and could probably show Fluffy a thing or two about

harassing birds. She adores Neil.

Cocky, on the other hand, is a sulfur-crested cockatoo and is much

more temperamental. Cocky will not abide bratty kids. I use her as an excuse

not to take my kids with me when I shop there, even though my little

darlings are perfect and would never, ever act up. I have taken it so far as to

use Cocky as the 1990’s version of the boogie man. “Now kids, if you

don’t go to bed when you are supposed to, Cocky’s gonna get you.”

The Miller’s close at noon on Sunday and are closed all day

Monday. Other days they are open until 6 p.m. I think I will go with his and her

glider chairs with matching end tables. The kids can have a yard swing in

the house and dinner will be served on an eight-foot picnic table with

matching benches. I can’t forget a love seat for me and my ever lovin’ to smooch

on, after the kids go to bed.

Kate Russell lives in the netherworld between Carnation

and Duvall. You can reach her at Katemo1@msn.com.