August 25, 2013
What can you say when you lose a good friend way too early? My friend, Etta, had battled cancer successfully -- wasn't that just enough for now? I left WA last Wednesday to fly to California. At that time, she was lying in a Seattle hospital bed seemingly coming slowly out of the devastating effects of an sudden aneurism. I visited her before I left and was thrilled to see her smile and try to speak. Every day I religiously followed the hospital blog as she continued to improve -- until she took a few steps backward. Then, three days of no response. Then, no hope. She died yesterday.
Etta was a marvelously talented woman. She was in my dinner group, my birthday group, my church circle, and just a very special person. She was a retired Home Ec teacher, so when I remodeled my kitchen, she sat with me and gave me sage advice about storage ideas. She and our friend, Barb, were the chief organizers of an extremely successful rummage sale at church that made many thousands of dollars because of their talents in setting up the environment and nudging the rest of us into some great marketing ideas. With her husband, Mike, she organized and led tours to various countries. She helped orchestrate a yearly concert with our singing pastor that made a great deal of money for charity. She was instrumental in redecorating and upgrading the condos where she and Mike have a membership in Port Townsend. She dearly loved her children and grandchildren and spent quality time with them.
Nothing will ever be the same again without Etta. It's as if the lights have dimmed. A huge creative and talented presence has left our life. We will no longer sit at her impeccable table graced with fruits of the season. We will no longer share our favorite foods. We will no longer appreciate her unique talents that she shared so freely. We will no longer be recipients of her generous and amazing organizational abilities. We will miss her at church and every place she graced with her presence. My body might be in California at this time, but my heart is with Mike, his family, and all our friends who loved Etta so dearly.
Rest in Peace, Etta -- and get it all in order before we follow you!
August 4, 2013
I was talking to a visitor the other day about pet peeves. She and her husband and child are Hong Kong friends of Dani and Charles and have been staying at my house during their time in Bellingham. I was saying that the shortening of all words because of the use of media drives me crazy. I know it is easier to write San Fran and Cali than the full words, but if you came from there, you would know that it is totally unacceptable. One never shortened San Francisco in front of a native -- or California either. You would be shunned if you did. Now, because of Twitter and Facebook and texting, we speak in a brand new shortened language -- and sometimes it takes me awhile to understand what the writer is saying. I finally, after much pondering, got DIY -- and I'm glad I did because it is not only a shortened sentence, but an adjective for projects needed to be done.
My house has been full of people -- Dani's friends just left for Vancouver. Kevin works for CNN in Hong Kong and Corinna is a correspondent turned educator and about to get a master's in counseling which gave us some common ground. Their child is not quite Nico's age and they had a great couple of days together. This is also the weekend of Jeni and Ron's 30th high school reunion so they have been around with Nicole -- but mostly going to parties and bringing over some friends to say hi. At least my reconditioned guest bath has a new toilet and sink. Even the bathtub works, but no shower curtain yet -- so people still have to traipse downstairs or take a shower in my bathroom. I'm soooo close to finishing that project -- so exciting.
Back to pet peeves -- my other pet peeve this week has to do with mops. When you spend time getting ready for company, you clean and mop. I have a habit of buying the mop but no refills sponges -- and when I need refills, I cannot find the same mop I bought originally and other sponges don't fit. This is not the first time this has happened. To make it harder, the mop has absolutely no brand name on it. And, I never remember where I bought the mop in the first place. So, I now need a new sponge -- and I have looked everywhere in town from Lowe's, Home Depot, Hardware Sales, Haggens to Fred Meyer -- everywhere! And, I cannot find the same mop. And, I cannot find a refill that fits. Grrr. So, once again, I have to buy another new mop and put the old sponge-less mop in the basement with all the other old ones. I always hope that I will find a refill for one of them. I know this sounds crazy, but it's simply what it is.
Having guests visit and refinishing a bathroom also reminds me that I'm also a terrible towel buyer. Either the towels are too cheap and flimsy or expensive but not very absorbent. I just wrote Charles' mother, Margaret, who is a great shopper for towel ideas - because I seem always to make the wrong choices. She tells me to go to Penny's for good towels. Sounds like a great plan to me since the ones at Restoration Hardware that looked fantastic, are not. Once I bought Jacquard towels from the old Bon and brought them home. I washed them and then put them in my bathroom. After drying with them, your body was still dripping wet. They simply did not absorb any water. So, I took them back. The sales person didn't know what to do. She had never taken back a towel -- I told her that they did not work so she had to take them back. She finally did, but was unhappy about it. Margaret says never buy anything that it not 100% cotton. So, once again I'm going to try to buy new towels.
I think I'm tired and cranky from all the company -- and I'm making plans to fly to California the last few weeks of the month to go to a dear friend's memorial service -- a sad time. I'm taking more time so I can visit with my sister, sister-in-law, aunt and other friends -- even though it is hard to leave Bellingham during the beautiful month of August. But, if I'm going to fly to California, I also want to take advantage of the trip to see people.
That's what is on my mind today besides enjoying this fabulous weather and a quiet house.