Last Tuesday, David & I were interviewed (on video) for Camp Goodtimes' staff training. If you know Gregg at all, you will be able to picture him in the background, listening and avoiding the spotlight at all costs. He made dinner and was on the computer right next to the room where we were filming, but was never once on camera. I had a glass of wine and gave "Mooselips" a tour of the view from our home and Katie's room and so on, so he was able to put some of this into the video for the staff to see her home environment as they remember her from last summer. We spoke about what camp meant to Katie, to David and to us as a family. It was wonderful to reminisce about Katie with someone I have known as long as I have know Paul (I mean, Mooselips) --someone who also knew, admired and loved her.
The next day, Linda arrived from Vienna. She thought she was going to be jet-lagged, so I intended to take her right home from the airport and let her rest, but she had slept on her flight, and was ready to roll. We decided to go to the Pike Place Market, which she loves, and have lunch. One of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Campagne, is there, so we had a leisurely meal and then went to look at a shop which specializes in beautiful Chinese garments (last year, she talked me into purchasing a gorgeous jacket there, which I have enjoyed immensely). Then we were off to buy "Monster Cookies" at a nearby bakery. She wanted to do more browsing, so we went to the art/craft section of the market, and each of us got a rock with a quote sandblasted into it. Mine has one of my favorite sayings: "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning," which is attributed to Catherine Aird. After that, it was time to go back to the car and drive to the ferry. We talked and talked and talked. At home, we had dinner and visited with Gregg and David, and then we went to bed.
On Thursday, after Gregg went to work and David to school, Linda got up and we took a walk; then we met my parents for lunch at the golf club. My parents love Linda as if she were one of the family, and I gather that the feeling is mutual.
After lunch, we went to Winslow and did some browsing and window-shopping. I took Linda to the local ice cream shop, Mora, and we each had a cone of our favorite, Italian Chocolate ice cream. More browsing, and she persuaded me to buy an Asian-inspired satin wrap-around blouse in wild colors and patterns (which I never would have purchased if I had been shopping on my own). She said I needed to buy it and wear it to the party we were hosting the next night (that will be another posting). I bought it, and have had many compliments on it. Good advice, from one who knows how to dress for the stage and for galas; I think I could use the help of a "dresser" more often!
We went home, and after the boys arrived from school/tennis/work, we took Linda to one of our favorite local pubs for dinner. Lots of talking, laughing, story-telling. I loved seeing Linda's rapport with David. They are like old buddies. It's lovely.
On Friday morning, I got up with David to make his lunch & see him off to school and Gregg, who was supposedly taking the day off, got up to work for a few hours from home. The three of us took a walk together, and then we began to prepare for the party...a going-away party for our friends, Maribeth and Alan, who are moving across the country to KANSAS CITY, KS. Yes, Toto, I think we are not going to live in the Emerald City anymore! We arranged chairs, tiki torches, cleaned, hung garlands, made a sign, put out a guest book, set up tables, etc. The cake was delivered, and Linda and I went to the store to buy flowers.
The party went from 7:00 p.m. to about 11:30; the four of us then watched a movie until about 1:30 a.m., and went to bed. I don't know if it was adrenaline from the event, coffee (that was supposed to be decaf), the wine, or what, but I was awake well past 2:00 a.m.
Saturday morning, Gregg and I went for a walk, allowing Linda and David to catch a few extra Zzzs. Then we packed up Linda's bags and drove to the ferry, so that we could meet her friend Heidi at the Pike Place Market for lunch. Heidi is originally from Germany, and is an opera fan. Big-time, as in, she has seen Wagner's Ring cycle 40 times. Yes, that's right; I said 40 TIMES. So one could assume, correctly, that she adores Linda, as Wagner's music is Linda's specialty. Besides that, they like one another. [Linda introduced me to Heidi several years ago, and we met again last spring. Heidi used to volunteer for the SCCA as a translator for German-speaking patients, so you know that I would like her.] Anyway, we had a lovely lunch with Heidi, and I got to introduce her to my guys.
We browsed through the market for a bit after we finished our lunch, and then it was time to go to the airport. We helped Linda with her bags; after she had checked in, we sat in Starbucks for a drink and more chatting, until we needed to head home, and Linda to the gate. It is always hard for me when she leaves; I don't know why, but it makes me want to cry. I love her dearly, and feel so connected to her; we go back about 30 years. We have so many memories and family-background things in common that I don't share with anyone else; our sense of humor is alike; our minds work in a similar way; she is forthright, strong, dignified, hard-working, brilliant, opinionated and unafraid to speak her mind. She is also screamingly funny, insightful, kind and supportive. I am so grateful that we had this time together!