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Collecting passion, yielding energy

Couple in semi-retirement make interesting home


Bev Bruno, seen with one of her many collections, housed in her rural log home near Grand Coulee. She has scores of collections of unusable objects scattered throughout her home. She and her husband, Bob, built their home here as a semi-retirement location. - Roger S. Lucas photos

There are not enough superlatives to accurately describe Bob and Bev Bruno's rural log home.

You could take the view. Or the careful detail of their home. Or even the house for their five banties.

Nothing by itself will do!

Bob, a log-house builder now semi-retired, has put all the things he has learned about log- house construction into one.

The view is so outstanding that one room is designed for two cushioned chairs, providing comfort, and a place to stare at the view.

The view is not only of Lake Roosevelt, but it looks out over the clever "banty house" for the couple's five chickens.

It truly is a "banty house" fit for kings and queens. At 6 a.m., the doors are opened electronically, and the five residents have the run of the place. At roosting time the doors automatically close, providing safe evening quarters for the banties. Even air conditioning!

At the entrance of their home, another fancy house provides shelter for some wrens.

However, that was not the purpose of the visit. We wanted to look at the scores of collections Bev has accumulated over the years.

First we visit her "favorite" room in the house, the laundry room. It's not that she enjoys doing laundry, but it's where her collection of small African American articles is housed.

She has an early American collection, andanother of canes. Then there's an assortment of original maritime paintings. Still another of flags.

A collection of small children's cups and dishes, beautifully colored, is located in a small spot. "Hard to come by and you can't find them at garage sales," Bev said.

She has a cupboard of containers that once held candy. Unique vessels!

These "coolections" are scattered about in every room.

Think of the dusting.

There's a high level of energy emanating from this couple.

A collection of canes.

Bob is still working, albeit with a builder. And Bev has a business selling on eBay. She had over 480 items for sale. Her record keeping on eBay sales is enough to keep a bookkeeper busy full time. She points to records showing she has sold and sent items to some 15-20 foreign countries - some she had never heard of before.

We were unable to see everything, but quality was the overriding theme of each collection.

Collecting has been a labor of love for Bev for years.

The couple lived on Whidbey Island for a time and a number of log homes on the isle have Bob's stamp on them.

The two are doing what they want to do: stay busy, doing what they enjoy.

They are fenced in to keep the deer out of their plantings area, but overall have 40 acres to enjoy.

There's even a few rattlesnakes, but not in the collections.

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