Happy Valentine's Day!I hope the day brings awareness of much love and light in your life - all kinds of love, not just the romantic kind.
Last week, a leak appeared in our basement. It was coming from the water intake pipe, which leads to our house from a four-party well. Living in Western Washington, having a leaky basement isn't all that odd...but it wasn't a particularly rainy week, so we wondered...and put a bucket underneath the pipe, to catch the drips. Then, we added rags, then realized (as the floor filled with water) that this leak was growing. So I called our niece, Robin, who owns an earth-moving business with her husband, Brant (Aspen LLC). Brant came over with his colleague, and they found and repaired the leak in one day! That is cause for gratitude. Now we are drying out the basement area that was affected.
I delivered 20 more quilts to a friend who works at Seattle Children's Hospital - she is going to deliver them to the Volunteer Office for us on her way to work. Thank you, Tracie!
A quickie visit from my precious Maribeth - in and out in 24 hours, but how wonderful to hug her, eat our favorite Thai take-out dishes with Gregg, drink wine and talk late into the night. The fun of getting up in the morning, having coffee together and talking more before she left...it felt like Christmas to me!
On Friday night, we watched "The Big Lebowski" - yes, we are that far behind on movies. Oh my goodness, it was funny! "The Dude Abides" - my new favorite line.
Saturday brought us to Seattle to dine with Allegra and her B.Loved. Yes, she is well enough to make a drive up here with her B.Loved (and their adorable puppies)! She has thanked all of you for your prayers for her. She amazes me with her energy and joie de vivre, particularly so soon after such a debilitating illness. We also met their friends, Pauline and Richard, who joined us for dinner. Since Allegra trained at Cordon Bleu and used to own a restaurant, sharing a meal with her is great fun, and an education at the same time. She is a gifted storyteller, and her B.Loved is a most chivalrous and tender partner. Thank you, B.Loved & Allegra!
Yesterday, we slept in, took a beautiful walk on the island, pruned grasses and rosa rugosa in our garden, and relaxed in the evening. Today, the Valentine's celebrations will be low-key: a delicious meal and a loving card is our tradition, and our delicious meal will take place later this week at Paella Bar's Spanish Wine and Food Pairing dinner (look on the right-hand side of the page for the evening's menu and wines). I can hardly wait...but, for today, it will be enough to welcome my love home from work, and spend the evening with him. We might even take a romantic trip to Costco!
The biggest news is that I am about to embark on a new project.
For some time now, I have wanted to use what we learned during Katie's treatment for cancer, in some way that would bless others. The idea came to me to make a seminar of sorts, for medical students and hospital staff - a video, telling the story from the patient's and family's perspective, as it weaves across medical disciplines and many months. One reason that I want to do this is to spare myself from telling the story over and over again, when I am asked to share in front of groups. Another reason is that, having seen the tears on the faces of those to whom I've spoken, I believe that medical students would benefit from "losing" a patient in practice, before it happens to them in real life. If they can watch and hear our story, they might fall in love with Katie, and care about her...and then, learning that she is going to die - "experiencing" that, through my words and photographs - they might be able to face their feelings in a safe, academic environment, before they ever face a family going through it in "real time." My hope is that this experience will better prepare them for their own sake, as well as for their patients' sake.
Last summer, Gregg & I met a lovely man, Dr. S., at two charity functions. He is the Chief Academic Officer of Seattle Children's Hospital and the Chairman of the department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. After the video idea formed in my mind, it occurred to me that he would know if this were a good idea or not, because of the nature of his work and experience. I contacted him, and asked if he thought the idea had merit; he was enthusiastic, and full of encouragement. A week and a half ago, I presented the idea to the appropriate department of the hospital (with Dr. S.'s blessing), and last week, I was given the green light to begin - and a committment for the funding of the (modest) budget proposed. Our friend, Paul Dudley is going to film it and edit it with me. I pray that this project will bless the staff who see it, as well as their patients and families. If you are a praying person, I invite you to pray with me that this project will fulfill Love's purpose for it, and will be a blessing.