Lake Odin: What’s in a name?


We, his parents, reconnected at Newman Lake, and got engaged at Gem Lake. He was preconceived at Alaska Lake. I, his mummy, grew up enjoying summers at Newman Lake in Eastern Washington under the care of my grandparents. It’s my happy place, and my family has held this summer cabin since the depression era. My grandmother had grown up enjoying summers with her family at the same cabin. Now my parents own it and are renovating it, ready to hold boat and swimming camp for the grandchildren and grandnephews. Lake will be the fifth generation of the Thomson lineage to spend summers there at “the lake” as we call it.

Point Petite and Diana Bay at Newman Lake, Washington


Norse god, directly translated as Master of Ecstasy. Chief of deities, god of war and poetry, seeker and dispenser of wisdom. Upholds a sense of mirth and marches to the beat of his own drummer. One of the degrees his father holds from the University of Washington is in Scandinavian Studies.

Original spelling translation with special character; illustrated by Michael VanLaanen


Flemish adj. of the lane. This is his paternal grandmother’s maiden name his parents took as their family name when they married in 2015. It is a rare name in the United States with an approximate five families on the west coast, mostly in California. There were no more VanLaanens in our family lineage as it had recently ended with girls who became married women who changed their last names. Lake will have the opportunity to keep it alive in the 21st century.

Painting by Grandma Julie when she was a girl