Kent & Danielle Lawson (kids Emily 27, & Nicholas 23) and Merlyn & Peggy Kammer (daughter Kristin, 45) make up a pretty unconventional family, but they love it! They are, in the truest sense, an example that families do come in all different configurations. Merlyn and Peggy are what Danielle calls "bonus parents", and Kristin is her "frister" (friend/sister). “We've been part of each other's families for so long that we didn't think twice about being "attached" neighbors. Prior to moving into BP Kent and Danielle have lived in Madison for about 27 years. They grew up in Middleton (we met in high school!). Merlyn and Peggy lived in the same house in Middleton for 45 years
You CAN choose your family! Merlyn and Peggy were ready for an easier-to-maintain home and yard, and to be on a single level. Kent and Danielle had already downsized to a condo downtown, but were ready to "upsize", and have room for their expanding family. It was icing on the cake that they could be neighbors, ready to be there to help each other as they move through life's next stages.
“We love the walkability of the neighborhood, with nice wide sidewalks and grassy areas. We love seeing people out walking dogs, kids playing games in their driveway, and the sense of community.”
Our families' favorite thing to do together is watch college basketball on TV! We also really enjoy cooking and eating together, and traveling/exploring new places. We love going to two of our favorite places: Charleston, SC, and to our cabin near Minocqua, WI (see photo!).
Our favorite days off usually involve a leisurely breakfast, being outside (especially if there's fishing involved), and soaking up the sun. If there's a little time for home organization or improvement projects, that's a bonus.”
Kristin works at Agrace, passionate about helping people age comfortably. Danielle works at Feeding America, passionate about fighting hunger and poverty. Merlyn was a regular donor to the Red Cross, giving platelets and blood for several years, changing one girl's life, who needed treatment once a week.
They have all been on a cruise to Alaska, and loved the scenery and the adventure of it all. Definitely something for everyone, whether you're 10 or 80!
Thanks to the Alwson’s and Kammer’s for showing us another way that our little community supports families of all kinds to find a place to live, laugh, and learn. What a great example on how to build family in the neighborhood and let’s all find that “framily” group to take their lead and stay together and bring smiles when maybe still apart.
“We text each other, in a group text, ALL the time! It's almost a game as to who can send the best gifs, bitmojis, pictures, and even basketball schedules! It's our way of staying in touch, even when we're not all together.”