On Portage Bay, houseboat life has been a good life

May 2009 News Rebecca Teagarden

Forty years living on the water in Portage Bay. The lake rocking them to sleep, UW 4s and 8s calling them awake.

Know anybody who's done it longer?


Gary and Linda are 60-somethings, tan and fit. Yes, shipshape. Retired teachers. They're not rich.

But seems like all their neighbors are now. Houseboat neighborhood has changed over the years.

They're looking for sun. Mexico, maybe. See here on the computer? Isn't it lovely?

Sometimes they would lie in bed and watch eagles through the skylight over their pillows.

"We had a great blue heron that liked to walk around on our roof."

Raised their daughter here. The pajama parties kept them up all night. She's 45 now.

There's a box filled with books and magazines featuring their red, angular home afloat. Houseboats are the stuff of fact and fiction and fantasy. Even LIFE, Sports Illustrated.

Cubbies and kayaks and a garden in pots on the deck.

Forty Opening Days and two major remodels.

Lookie loos, when the houseboat was for sale, paddled right up to the place and hollered into the sliding-glass door, "WHAT YOU SELLIN' IT FOR?"

It's been a long time since 1968.

Time to set sail.

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