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Out of Town



Helen Cooke is 60; Julian Cooke is 55; Juliana Cooke is 21: Charlie Cooke is 16.
Jami Jakobsens is 66; Jason Larson is 19; Joanne Fleig is 16.

July 2025


Helen Cooke wandered away from the dinner table, to gaze out the window at the sea.


She'd lived here for over a year now, and she never got tired of the view.  So Bluewater Village was a lot smaller than what she'd been used to for most of her life, but she still found it hard to believe now, that there was a time when she hadn't liked the idea of moving out of town.


She loved that she could just step out of her back door and sit on the beach, or relax on their back deck, which extended out over the sea.



From the deck, they could see down the Bluewater shore to the old pier and the lighthouse


To say that people were surprised when Helen and Julian bought the old, derelict lighthouse was an understatement, but they'd seen the potential in the building.


The repairs and renovations were completed just in time for the summer, and it was rapidly gaining reputation as a first-class cafe and restaurant.


They'd made the most of the building's history, and its unusual architecture, with a nautical theme and tables on several levels...


... and outdoor dining in the summer.

The restaurant was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Helen and Julian, and they were doing all they could to build on their early success and turn it into the top eating place in Bluewater village.

"So, do you have any plans for tonight?"  Helen heard Julian ask their son.
"I'm going to bed," Charlie said.  "It's not like there's actually anything to do here in the evenings."

"It's your own fault you're grounded," Julian reminded him.
"You didn't have to ground me for the whole summer, though!"
"You're only grounded in the evening," Helen said, sitting down again.  "You can do whatever you want during the day."


"Joanne works during the day."
"Well, you should have thought about that before you decided to try to get into that bar in Richmond... ".  Helen had thought that underage drinking was only a problem in the city, but obviously she was wrong.  She hadn't been pleased at all when her son and his girlfriend were bought back home in a police car.
Charlie got up without responding.  "Tell Juliana and Jason I'll see them tomorrow," he yelled back, as he ran up the stairs.


"What time are they getting back?" Helen asked Julian, more to break the awkward silence after Charlie left than anything else.
"Late," Julian said.   "They've gone up to see friends in Richmond, and that's all Jason said about it."


Juliana and her fiance were staying with them, while university was out for the summer.


Helen and Julian had both been pleased when their daughter told them that she had proposed to Jason, last winter.


They hadn't even known him that well back then, but he seemed like a nice enough young man, and they had got on well in the times he had come home from the city with Juliana.


In the past couple of weeks, Jason had fit into the family so well, it almost felt like he'd always been there, and Helen was really enjoying the chance to get to know her future son in law better.


----

Jason wasn't the only new addition to the family this summer.  Over the past few weeks, Helen had befriended a small stray dog.



It was Juliana who finally decided that they should keep him, though.  She bought a collar and named him Pepper.


She would have taken him herself, if she could have kept pets in the university dorm.  Julian might have preferred that, too, at least at first.


Fortunately, he did eventually learn to get along with their new pet.



A dog needed more than a collar, of course, so the morning after his 'official' welcome into the family, Helen made a trip to the pet shop in Richmond.


She hadn't realised just how many different kinds of dog food there were!


And then there were dishes...


... and toys...


She was going to need some advice on this dog business.  When she got home, she made an appointment to visit her elder sister.  She realised that most people don't have to book appointments to see their sister, but then most people don't have sisters like Jami Jakobsens, dancer, actress, Broadway star, movie director, and overwhelming success at pretty much everything she ever tried.  Including breeding show dogs.  Well, Pepper wasn't exactly a pedigree like Jami was used to, but a dog is a dog, isn't it?

---

The following morning, Helen turned her car in one of the most exclusive suburbs of Redwood City.


The butler was expecting Helen when she buzzed the intercom.


With security matters properly attended to, she walked down the maze of steps and bridges that lead to the front door.


The butler directed her to the back of the house, and she found Jami standing on one leg in front of a hot tub that hadn't been there, the last time Helen visited.


Jami looked up when the door shut behind Helen, then made a series of broad gestures, before hurrying to hug her sister in greeting.


"What was that all about?" Helen asked, flailing her arms in imitation.
"Yoga," Jami said, slightly out of breath.  "Healthy living.  You should try it, darling, it'd take ten years off you, and it'd do wonders for those extra pounds you're carrying around, too."


Helen looked uncomfortably down at her waistline, and at Jami's.  It was true, her sister barely even looked 50, but Helen suspected that had more to do with an excellent choice of cosmetic surgeon, than it did with any amount of healthy living.

"This looks great," Helen said, as much to change the subject as to acknowledge the changes to Jami's back yard.
"Isn't it wonderful?" Jami said.  "It'd be perfect if I could just get that silly little man from the town council off my back."
"What man?" Helen asked.

'This awful man who seems to think I can't put a hot tub in my own back yard."
"Why - what did he say?"



"Oh, I don't know," Jami said, waving a hand dismissively.  "Something about the deck roof being too close to the boundary.  Isn't that silly?  I paid for my whole property, I can build a deck wherever I want."
"Now that you mention it, I do remember some bylaw about - "
"Don't tell me you agree with him?!"
"Well, no, but - "


'Well, that's good, then," Jami said, with an exaggerated sigh.  "Now, then, I'm sure you didn't come here to talk about that.  Let the lawyers sort it out... come and have a coffee and tell me all about why you're here... "

---

"You mean you just found it?" Jami said.
"Well, yes... he just turned up at the house one day... and he kind of stayed."
"But... you don't know where it's been!" 


"He seems healthy enough... and friendly, too." Helen added, deciding quickly not to mention Pepper's initial dislike of Julian.
"But, darling, you should have told me you wanted a dog!  I still have connections, you know... you could have done so much better."
"Well, I've got Pepper now, and I'm very happy with him," Helen said firmly.  "I didn't come to discuss my choice of dog, but I do need some advice on how to care for him."
"Oh, of course," Jami said, apologetically, crossing the room to the book case.


 After a moment, she pulled out a volume and handed it to Helen.  "I thought I still had a copy of this!  It's a beginner's book, I used to recommend it to all the people who bought my pups... I imagine it's much the same to care for your kind of dog, too."
"Um... yeah, I imagine it is," Helen said, taking the book.

They said goodbye at the front door a short while later. "Now, you be careful with that dog of yours," Jami said.  "You need to get it checked for diseases, and... I know you probably don't want to hear this, but remember it really is only one step up from a wild animal.  You never know what it might be capable of."
"Don't worry, the dog's fine," Helen said. "We'll be fine."


 Thanking Jami for the book, she waved and started up the path to the road.  She hadn't stayed for long, but she never did.  It wasn't so much Jami's busy life that prevented longer visits, as it was the fact that Helen could never spend time in her sister's presence without feeling like she'd been hit by a tornado.

----

When she got home, Charlie was taking a nap.  He seemed to do that a lot lately, take long sleeps in the afternoon.  Often, it was well after dinner before he emerged from his room.


Helen worried about him, being so tired.  She'd tried talking to him about it, but he'd brushed her off.  He shouldn't be sleepy all the time, though.


True, he was often the last person in the house to go to bed, but she'd hear him coming up the stairs as she fell asleep, so she knew he didn't go too late.

----












What was it Jami said about not knowing what the dog was capable of?  Who would have thought that something that small would turn out to be an excellent guard dog?


No one could ever sneak in the house after dark any more.


Not even the people who lived there.

Well, at least Helen didn't have to worry about why Charlie was tired any more...

---

Returning to our regularly scheduled updates... 

Jami is Ashley Pitts' twin - first grandchildren of my original couple, and first twins born in my game, conceived in the hot tub that Becky Pitts' parents gave her and the first Ashley as a wedding gift... and all that in an un-modded game, back then :) .  Helen is their younger sister.  There's only one Pitts sibling to meet now, Allie Phoenix, April's daughter with the first Ashley.

I know Jami looks way too young to be 66, but when you look a pictures of someone like Bernadette Peters at 62, you get the idea of where I'm coming from... I always imagined Jami as someone who would do all she could to ward off any signs of aging for as long as possible.

Jason and Jodie Larson are YA's in my hood... I needed some more playable students for my base hood uni, and their bio implies they're in young adulthood, so they aged down.  Jason and Juliana will be part of my regular uni updates from now on.

6 comments:

  1. I love that lighthouse! I've been playing with the idea of putting it in SimsVille somewhere but eventually didn't, because I didn't fount a nice place.

    I think Charlie has gotting himself into even more trouble now, with the sneaking out. I don't think he's happy that his parents kept the dog.
    I loved the place he went. It really looks great, and it give some nice shots :)

    I think it's good you gave Jami the look she has. It's natuaral that not every elder really wants to look like one!

    If you don't mind I have 2 WCIF's...
    I love those hanging chairs they have on their deck ...
    And I've come across the petshop you used, and I know I said I was going to bookmark it, but I forgot and I can't find it anymore. Do you remember where you got all the pet stuff/pet shop?

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  2. The lighthouse is wonderful, have you used it on your blog beside this post? I would love to see it in use.

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  3. Thanks for reading!

    Tanja, Charlie's going to be in a lot more trouble now! In-game it really was the dog's fault he was caught, but because Helen was up in the middle of the night playing with it... this way seeemed a bit more realistic :)

    The pet store building is the Maxis one that came with the Pets EP - I think its called Pepe's Pets or somethings (I've long ago changed its name in my hood). I redecorated it with stuff from here - the sets I used were Cat stuff, Dog stuff and Sim City Pets. I used this set for the counters and other decorations and clutter.

    The hanging chairs are from here, although I'ved used a recolour from somewhere else and I can't figure out where I found it. If anyone out there recognises it...

    Apple Valley, I haven't used the lighthouse on the blog before, but you will see more of it in use, in the future, as it's my only playable resturant at the moment and I plan to send my other sims to eat there whenever I can.

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  4. Fabulous views!

    Charlie so got busted. I though he was sick at first but then started laughing when he snuck out the house.

    Oh Jami. Tornado is the least of it.

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  5. Absolutely LOVE the lighthouse and your pet shop is really cute! I'm going to add a pet shop now because yours is adorable, love all the clutter you have in it.

    I like how you've done Jami's looks, and her apartment and personality too. Ouch on the waistline remark. As for Charlie, so funny that it was the dog that ratted him out. At least no more concerns about him being tired!

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  6. HeredonCove, thanks - I love playing my Bluewater Village because it's so thinly populated, I can turn all the settings up high and really enjoy the scenery :)

    I've always imagined Jami with this particular over the top personality... you'll see more of her in the near future, when I play/blog her household.

    maisie, thanks, looking forward to seeing your pet shop! There is so much great stuff out there, my downloads folder is groaning but I can't stop adding stuff.

    Yeah, Jami kind is kind of lacking in the tact department :) All of my sims in the culniary career have ended up overweight, and so have their families... lol... all the serve food wants!

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Thanks for reading and commenting!