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July 20, 2015

Lazy Morning

I am sitting in the big lounge chair drinking a cup of tea and eating a one day old chocolate croissant that is slightly stale but still tastes good when you hit the chocolate! It has been quite a week and this is the first time I've had more than a few minutes to simply be.

Lots of fun times and company last week beginning with the arrival of Katy Caliendo from Texas. Katy is a horn player who just left the Houston Symphony and had a three week gig at the Festival of Music here in Bellingham. My neighbor was housing the musicians and asked me to help. During Katy's final few days, my friend, Hope Newcomer, came from England to visit. She arrived on Monday, just in time for my dinner group here. I overcooked and had lots of taco makings so we put together another taco spread on Wednesday night for some friends who wanted to see Hope. Both women left on Thursday. Katy was headed to Texas to pack up her earthly goods and move home to New Jersey while she goes around the country for auditions for her next symphony job. Hope is traveling to Idaho and Montana for family reunions. She'll be back the end of the month for another few days in Bellingham.

Just as they walked out the door, Martin and Lionel came for a very fruitful visit. I have been going through hundreds of slides that have taken up five shelves in my basement -- slides from my father, from Don's parents, and from our own archives. I've thrown away many hundreds of slides from trips, zoos, and flowers! If there was no significance to a picture without people, it was tossed. I gave away dozens of slide carousels and other paraphernalia. I kept Larry Green's projector so long that I thought he might send a collection agency around to seize it. I winnowed the pile of slides down to a mere few hundred or so. Then I put them in order of year.

A few weeks ago, my nieces visited from California and Texas. Thanks again to Larry's generosity, we had a slide show from my dad's collection when those nieces were little children. It was so much fun. So, this weekend my lovely son, Martin, came up with grandson, Lionel, and we spent the entire weekend finishing (mostly) the BIG MCCLELLAN SLIDE PROJECT! While I sorted for him, Martin put all the slides on his computer and then we began tagging the people. That project needs to be finished, but what Martin can't figure out, he assures me that we can finish between us by talking on our computers. Once the project is completely done and there are names to the photos, we'll make the slides available to our whole family including the nieces, nephews, and anyone featured in the pictures.

It is one more of those burdensome projects off of my list, and I am delighted. There are just so many things around that need to be distributed and/or tossed in order to simplify my life. Along those lines, I put out an old barbecue and a stationary bike on my curb and they were both gone within a few hours. I had called You Got Junk but they lost their franchise in my zip code.

Next on my list is a continuation of the painting we (or mostly Jeni) has done. The entry hall is next! And then one of the bedrooms upstairs. And, the garden, and, and, and, and! But, I'm not going to let what hasn't done dampen my spirits because I am so impressed by what HAS been done in this past month. And, I am very grateful to my children for helping me keep the momentum. They are awesome!

Posted by Marilyn at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2015

Computer Problems!

I have had trouble getting into this blog. Also, I found that others had similar problems. At one time you had to go to marilynmcclellan.com/blog - but my son, Martin, changed it just to marilynmcclellan.com. I had trouble with this for a short while, but it seems to be working now. Maybe I was entering it in wrong because I kept getting a whole list of things to click on.

Martin had to cut out the comments section quite awhile ago because I was getting 40 or 50 spam a day. Since he cut it out, the spam have vanished. We may try to put it in again. Of course, you could always email me at marilyn@donel.net.

Sorry to have so many problems. I might have had a virus. Martin has been generous in housing the blog on his own computer.

Thanks for your patience.

Posted by Marilyn at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2015


A few days ago, I went to Costco at 9:50 a.m. arriving ten minutes before it opened. Listening to a podcast as I waited in the car, I looked up to see the doors being slowly raised. I got out of the car and approached the store realizing that there must have been 50 people in a line that stretched to the right reaching almost to the gas station. Some folks were milling around in front of the doors, but not very many. Most of the customers and their carts were patiently waiting in this very long, quiet, and orderly queue. I thought, "Why do people wait in long lines to get into Costco before it opens?" It is not the first time I've experienced this phenomena, and I still fail to understand it.

Nothing is on sale. I see no reason to line up in your order of arrival although it may be a polite thing to do. Since more than one person can enter the store at the same time, why weren't they forming two lines? Or they could all be mingling around the entrance. They could have sat in their car until the doors opened. But, hordes of people arrive early and get into a long line before the store opens its doors. I was there because I couldn't remember if it opened at 9:30 or 10:00. Was that the case with the others?

Every time I've arrived early at Costco, I've seen the same large number of people standing in the same orderly single file lineup. Earlier, I thought it was a Canadian thing, but with the difference in the exchange these days, I doubt I could blame this behavior on the politeness or mores of our northern neighbors.

On a lark, I decided to ask some of the people why they were standing in line. The first time I said, "Why are so many people standing in line to get into Costco?" A woman looked at me as if I was crazy. Then, I asked another. "Why are we standing in line?" Maybe the "we" pronoun would not be so threatening. Again I got a weird stare. What seemed obvious to them escaped me. Or, maybe they just were following the crowd and thought I shouldn't question the majority decision. In any case, I felt like a crazy outsider who just didn't understand.

The doors were finally raised all the way. At this point, I had been waiting by the carts for the people in line to finish entering the store in their orderly fashion. God forbid that I should break in when it wasn't my turn. But, a lovely young woman stopped and invited me to go in front of her. I declined, but she insisted. So, much to the chagrin of the elderly man behind her, I stepped into that line at the midway point and entered Costco. I grabbed the few things I wanted and found the checkout quite reasonable at that time of day. Do you suppose that the people who stand in line expect to avoid the long checkout lines at the other end of their shopping experience?

I continue to search for understanding!

Posted by Marilyn at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)