Thursday, September 27, 2012

Art becomes an Intermission

Swedish Hospital has one of the greatest art collections.  I'm guessing it is larger and more diverse than most art museums.  I spend so much time there that the art is like a brief intermission from whatever time I am spent waiting.
I am there not because of my own health issues (though I have had my surgeries and tests there) but because my two friends have cancer.  Elizabeth left in February.  Sam is a miracle woman who is like the Energizer bunny!  The doctors are still mystified how she keeps beating the odds.
Today, I spent about 8 hours with her.  We waited for hours to see her oncologist, then in an appointment for at least 90 minutes, and then waiting for a prescription. 
I love art.  I am fascinated by the eye that different artists have and how they express their emotions using everything from paint, beads, sculpture and mixed media.  This little mosaic is just opposite the front door of the main entrance.  I jumped out of the car to catch a photo as I waited for the prescription.  It is like an intermission.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sharing Index with Devi

When I told Devi about my visit to the Snoqualmie River in Index last week... she just lit up and said she wanted to go!  So off we went today to see the river!  She had wonderful spiritual reading and brought flower tops to symbolize letting the river take our challenges away.  Oh, it just feels so fantastic to be out in the middle of the river feeling the power of the water flow by.  The mountains were surrounding us and the colors were changing with the season. It felt like a period of renewal.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mom, If You Could See Me Now!

Dear Mom,
It was 21 years ago, today, that you were in the car accident that took you away forever.  Every year when this day comes around, it moves slowly for me as I remember how much you meant to me.  In my life, besides my own children, you were the only person that ever loved me unconditionally.  I have never experienced anyone loving me for any length of time.  It was not always easy.  We were very different in that I was so much like Dad. No matter what, you loved me and believed in me.  You gave me the confidence to do whatever I wanted in my life. 
I loved being a mother to two kids who I am so proud of my heart beats faster when I think of them. Being a grandmother is very special.
I now have the fourth boat that you and Dad owned.  If you could only see me behind the helm!  I have a captains license now, also! 
One of my favorite past times is taking photographs!  I have most of your old photos.  Oh, if you could see what a digital photo looks like... You had such an eye.
And then there's art.  I gave you your first Calligraphy pens.  I love playing with paint and crafts and even lettering.  I don't have the talent you had for painting landscapes but I look at your paintings every day.
I miss you still... all the time.  You made the greatest impression on me in my life!
Love, Natalie

Monday, September 17, 2012

You can't hear me!

I lost my voice last week.  My little grandbaby had a runny nose and it could have started there.  They are like a bag of germs!  I never really got sick... just some congestion in my sinus' that dripped in the back of my throat and took out my voice.  Never had a sore throat. 

But, I think that when we get sick it can often point to something in our lives that is manifesting itself through our body.  I lost my voice and had sinus' draining.  I think that reflects inner crying and that I just can't express myself.  I feel very alone sometimes.

I am struggling with my emotions surrounding my friend Sam and the progress of her cancer.  She was supposed to have a surgery to remove a visible tumor from her neck.  But, the surgery itself seems life threatening and will leave her with months of recovery. She will be left with no bone over her heart and a crossing of tendons to cover it.  And, I don't think the removal of the tumor will increase her life span.  It could result in less pain in the long run, but recovery and the threat to her arms and shoulders seems so great.  She decided to postpone or cancel the surgery, so today I am off hospital duty and the worry has blown over for now.  

I get so sad thinking about how seldom I get to see my little grandbaby.  She is so cute and it seems that now she remembers me.  I always thought that I would fill the role as well as my Mom did.  She lived a couple thousand miles away, but was great with my kids.  I also made sure that my kids had a close relationship with Joyce, Allen's mother.  We would take them over to her house all the time for Sunday dinners.  After the divorce, and she moved to Poulsbo, I'd drive the kids there, I'd send her photos, I'd have them call her.  I know I am just the paternal grandmother, but I wish I could babysit, see Riley wear some of the clothes I've bought, read her a book or take her for a walk.  Sometimes I just burst out crying during the day cause it will just hit me unexpectedly.  I understand that everyone is so busy these days and I am very proud and blessed that Colin and Terrah are so happy and loving parents.  I am very grateful. I am so glad that they found each other and are building a life together. What a fabulous little family... how exciting that we are connected forever... even if I don't see them as much as I'd like.

I miss Kyler.  I am proud of her in Law School.  I enjoyed her energy all summer.  It's very quiet here when she is gone.  I know she struggles to do the best in school and has a high level of stress and anxiety.  I wish there was something I could do to reassure her!  But, I know she will excel!

In a few days it will be the anniversary of the passing of my Mom.  It will be 21 years since the car accident and hardly a day goes by that I don't wish for another day with her.  Just writing that brings tears to my eyes.      

 My voice is coming back.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On the road to Index

Usually each fall I head to Index, WA just off Hwy 2 heading towards the pass.  I find a boulder in the river surrounded by towering evergreens and the sight of the mountains off in the distance and sit and take in the spectacular view, the fresh crisp air, and the quiet... except for the rushing river.  I never see anyone else there even though there is parking and park signs.  Being from the Chicago area, the sight of mountains and a rushing river is so captivating for me. 

Where are Riley's Eyes?

Last Sunday, Kyler and I got to meet up with Terrah and play with Riley in Magnolia Park.  It was such a beautiful afternoon.  Riley was full of energy, very curious, and just adorable.  I took these photos as we were leaving and made her a little book very quickly.  I made it all rhyme!  I thought she might get a kick out of seeing herself.  It is what is called an "altered book."  I took a children's board book I got at a thrift store.  It was sanded down to take off the shiny coat.  After a coat of pink paint I glued photos and painted flowers on each page.  Its a little treasure. I hope she likes it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Free at the Fremont Market

The Fremont market is always a bit funky.  Each Sunday you will find everything from fresh fruits and veggies to used shoes, furniture, hot dogs, beautiful jewelry, and odds and ends.  Anything goes at this market!  I like to stop by when I am nearby whenever I can on Sundays.

Playing with Riley in the Park


Kyler and I were anxious to see Riley!  Kyler was on her way back to Eugene, Oregon to start her second year of Law School.  We got to meet up with Terrah and Riley at Magnolia Park.  It was a beautiful day!  Riley was so adorable running around, drawing with markers, reading books, and carrying a bag like a purse!  It was so much fun! 

Sunflowers Capture my Eye

Sunflowers are just one of the most incredible flowers! I took a photo of this one in front of Sam's house when I was going to visit. The sky was blue. The flower just glowed with color. It was so tall I had to work to get a good photo!

The Eiffel Tower and the Boat

It seems that almost every weekend there is some kind of marathon in Seattle.  This weekend was the "Run around the World" event.  This Eiffel Tower was built on the landing of a huge staircase that goes over Westlake Ave and up to the next street.  From here you can see in the background my boat, the Rophy, moored in Lake Union at Marina Mart.  It is just next to the mast of the sailboat you see near the end of the dock. 

Ferris Wheel Graces Seattle Skyline

I like to think of myself as being rather well informed about the city of Seattle. The ferris wheel took me by surprise!  I read that it was going up on the waterfront and in almost no time it was built and ready for riders. It went through all kings of scrutiny but I never realized it was on the drawing table.  I have not had the urge or even the guts to go take a ride but I think it is such a great addition to the skyline!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Oh, How He Can Move that Ivory

Kathleen so graciously invited me to attend the George Winston concert which was a fundraiser in Poulsbo.  I get such a thrill listening to a solo pianist create music.  I am fortunate that we share a love for piano music so we have been to several concerts.  This stood out because each piece he played was so totally different than the previous one.  He also had a talent for the way to played "with" the piano... including the sometimes very light touch of the keys or the way her reached inside the guts of the grand piano to create a different sound. It was fun that Rita and another boating friend, Tom (who took the photo) also joined us!  Oh what a memorable night!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Alone Remembering Summer

My summer has been joyfully filled with family and friends!  I have been surrounded with love. Memories have been collected filling my mind and my camera lens.

Today, it is so quiet.  Tears fill my eyes for no apparent reason.... Summer isn't over, but I wrestle with relief that it is silent along with feeling of missing that energy family and friends bring.

Kyler, my daughter, was home all summer.  She's an impressive young woman studying to be a land use attorney.  Her internship at the King County Prosecutors office went fantastic.  We had so much fun together from just having dinner at a Thai restaurant to traveling out in the northeast for a week!  I learned so much more about her and her dreams and concerns.  She is so much fun to be with!  I love her energy and enthusiasm... Along with her structure, planning, and direction!   She is back at college with three more years to go.  She gets so immersed in her studies that I know I have only small bursts of time to connect.  So I miss her already.

My brother, Glenn, is in the middle of uncoupling from his long marriage including the sale of his home he worked so hard on over the years. But, without those proceeds he is in a kind of limbo.  I have not seen him but in passing for over 20 years except for when our parents died.  He got very ill and I took care of him.  Then he stayed with Kyler and I for about a month.  It was interesting hearing his stories from our early days growing up.  I am seldom around my family, so I find it fascinating how the stories are so varied and we carry and adjust them ourselves over the years though we all shared the same home and parents!  I'd listen to  his voice after so many years and it is so familiar. He is very passionate about his writing and the work he did on his property.  He generously did work on my yard that I so appreciate.  It was hard because he was rather trapped out in the suburbs in my house, was in a kind of limbo without a job or direction, and still carrying anger from the divorce and his past.  That was very difficult for me as in can be of no help. So I paid rent for a room in Olympia where he used to live.  I am still in touch, but I wonder if I will ever be that close again.

My niece got married in New Hampshire.  This gave me a chance to plan a trip with Kyler.  We went to the Maine coast for five days.  I set my sights on taking photos of lighthouses because that would give me direction and reason to drive places on the coast I would not go otherwise.  Kyler loves history so we caught museums and Historical Societies.  The weather was just beautiful!  The views stunning.  My photos are spectacular.  We stayed in two different B&B's, each run by a single woman near my age.  I have no dreams of doing that but so enjoyed learning from them.  Kyler and I just enjoyed the sights and our time together.

Then we were off to New Hampshire to the wedding!  My sister, Andrea, is surrounded by family and friends that are as close as relatives.  She met Sergio at 16 when he moved across the street.  I have not spent time with his relatives, though for 40 years I have seen photos and heard stories.  They are loving and full of that Italian New York energy character that he exudes.  The pouring rain at the moment the bride was to walk down to the lake edge to exchange vows did not dampen the celebration.  It was held in the beautiful working barn that they cleaned and decorated.  It was a fabulous ceremony and party full of laughter, tears of joy, dancing and hugging!  Monday after the relatives and friends left, Kyler and I got to spend a few hours alone with Andrea and Sergio at their lake house on an island.  Plans of swimming and exploring we're instead replaced with engaging conversation that I did not want to end!  But, the plane was not going to wait for us!

I came home to celebrate the birthday and the going away of one of my dear friends, Maureen.  She is to spend the next four months back in her home town and continue her teaching at Indiana University.  I will miss her and look forward to her return in December to her floating home on Lake Union and her time as a professor at our University of Washington!

Then Andy and Sergio were here to visit!  The son of one of their dearest friends was getting married.  They stayed with me along with their daughter, Elena.  I was their chauffeur because I could spend that time chatting with them.  When I was in New Hampshire, they were so busy with the wedding that it was so great catching up in my neck of the woods!  We got to go out boating on the Rophy all together! We also visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at the Seattle Center which was so full of brilliant color and design.

The International Kite Festival in Long Beach is one of my favorite events.  I have tried to get there most of the last 15 years I have owned my cottage.  This summer I went and spent  most of the week with Pam.  The weather was perfect and the colorful kites danced overhead with a backdrop of a brilliant blue sky.  We sat on the beach and watched for three full days!

Seattle still had great warm sunny weather to enjoy on the boat this weekend with Hillary!  She spent the night.  We had dinner with Kathleen.  I had the wind blow my hair as it filled the sails on Neptunes Car, a 70 foot charter sailboat out on Elliott Bay. I hung on tightly as it heeled!  Kathleen set it up and invited Sam, Don, Hillary and me!  We had such a fun time!

I am alone today.  I have one week left of "summer" and I am thinking how I want to spend the time in the sun.  Today, I am off to take photos with my camera.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Walking and Talking

I met Suzanne on one of the Art Walks with Jane.  We really connected. I like her energy and her ADD tendencies that I relate to. She is full of ideas.. they spill out of her, she talks as fast as I do, and she has a heart of gold as she works with children with cancer.  We just went for a walk from the boat to Fremont and had a great cup of tea on the deck.