Fiction/ Family relationships- Shelly Stern an attractive, divorced single mother is living and working in Washington D.C. during the tumultuous 1960s. While other young women are burning bras, heading for Woodstock, or marching for civil rights, Shelly is working in a drab green government office in the Department of Education and trying to make a difference by establishing an on site childcare center so mothers can work without worrying. Her job and three-year-old daughter, Alison, give her little time for a social life. But a stroke of fate introduces Shelly to handsome, charismatic Dr. Doug Fine, a pediatrician in from California for a meeting on health care for Head Start. Their instant attraction leads to a long distance romance between Washington D.C. and San Francisco. When President Nixon vetoes the congressional childcare bill that Shelly poured her heart into bringing to fruition she heads to California to begin work on her PhD and be closer to Doug. Upon arrival, a miscommunication at the apartment she rented forces her to stay with Doug for a few days. Before long, the unplanned household of his and hers begins what Shelly calls a perfect blendship. After two years of living together and hiring an array of lovable, crazy helpers and meeting interesting colleagues, friends, pets, and colorful neighbors Doug and Shelly win a unique contest and marry. The marriage begins a rollercoaster ride that has more inclines and dips than the hilly streets of San Francisco. Come with Shelly as she remembers her story that, like the burning sun that rose in the east and set in the west, culminates in The Contest.