Posted by Tegan on Dec 11, 2012 in brave things
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I don’t know why, but phone calls are brave things for me. Maybe it’s something about not being able to see someone’s face as I talk to them? Maybe because it feels like improv? Maybe it’s that I don’t like the awkwardness of those little delays and sometimes talking over someone? Whatever the reason, I always get that butterfly feeling in my gut before I make phone calls.
Nine times out of ten, I’m even calling someone I really like and really want to talk to. But actually dialing to make a phone call still feels like a brave thing.
Is there such a thing as phone phobia?
Whatever the reason, I won’t beat myself up over the fear. Today I’ll choose to pat myself on the back for making three brave phone calls before lunch.
What can we pat you on the back for today?
Posted by Tegan on Nov 6, 2012 in brave things
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My husband ran a marathon in southern France last weekend. The finish line was in Cannes, right where the stars come out for the annual film festival in May, and the course went along the coast. I wasn’t sure what to expect as a spectator.
I thought there were would be bigger crowds by the finish. I also thought the crowd would be louder. No cowbells for the French. Not even any whooping or hollering. But two gentlemen in sporty clothes nearby did delight me with their hearty clapping and resonant calls of, ‘BRAVO!” and “Bon courage!”
With few barricades and a nice sightline down the straightaway leading up to the finish line, not to mention a wide pedestrian area by the water and designated runner meeting spots, the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes was great for this fan.
Not a bad place for the after-race tents, right? It finished up by the water and grand hotels of Cannes. Mild weather and palm trees are pretty spectacular, and the water behind me was gorgeous, too.
Congratulations, Jordan and the other marathoners!
Posted by Linda on Oct 26, 2012 in family
, life at home
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Most people I have talked to are comforted by the fact that Seattle Children’s Hospital exists. They have heard of or experienced top notch quality care for one of their family members or friends.
We have a more intimate connection with the place. For half of Heather’s first year of her life she lived there off and on. And as each year has gone by she spent less and less time there. Now she is down to 2.5 hours in Day Surgery sessions four times a year for hip injections for pain management.
Actually we are on our way out the door. We are in “transition.” ( Que the music from the graduation scene of “To Sir with Love” playing softly in the background.) Heather is over 21 and we need to find another place that will meet her needs. We all have been walking slowly toward this goal. Her doctors haven’t liked the rules any more than we have. But there is only so much bed space. So Heather and her 22-year-old self need to find other care providers.
We are working on this final medication switch before we go. It seems that one of Heather’s medications that we have been using for the past 17 years will be discontinued from the factory is just a few months. We have 5 months to switch her over to a new medication. It will be delicate and slow, to do it fast might cause seizures. We are 10 days in and so far so good. December will be the rough time when her brain lets go of the last little bit of this medication that has put her to sleep for 17 years, sigh.
I connected with a grandmother last Sunday whose grandson’s life was saved at Children’s Hospital a few years ago. ”What are you going to do without Children’s Hospital?” was what she said as we cried together. (Turn the music up louder.) These tears have been several years in the making for me. The deep, almost wailing kind of tears. Simply there is no other place like Children’s for us. Will Heather be O.K.? I think so…
Heather has a very strong spirit and deep soul and tends to rise to the occasion better than her mother. As we leave Children’s we have done one thing that is sane for us and that is our Family Doctor is the same. He has been Heather’s Doc since she was 8 months old and will continue to be that first line of defense for the regular things like colds, flu, and infections. It’s just, where do we go for the big things? We have a few ideas and we will be passed off to a clinic of some kind in the city in a few months.
Fade music and wipe tears for now…
When I think of Children’s Hospital, I see special people. I see Vic in Radiology, and Linda our favorite nurse. I see Kit Song who did three surgeries and has now moved to L.A. to be the Chief of Staff and surgeon of Shriners Hospital because he wants to serve a needier population.(That man is solid gold.) I see many nurses, always kind and generous when asking questions about Heather, rarely judgmental. I see an ever-changing place of hope, and state-of-the-art care. We are thankful you have been such a big part of our life, Children’s Hospital. Not sure how we are going to move on, just that I know that we will.
One final word for this post…THANK-YOU!
Last weekend I attended the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show. It was an extravaganza of ideas, authors, and book lovers.
The highlight of the show for me was introducing authors at Sunday morning’s Books and Authors Breakfast. What a line up! I had Jon Klassen, the author and illustrator of clever and funny I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, Eowyn Ivey, the author of the gorgeous novel The Snow Child, Karen Cushman, the author of a Newbery Award winner and honor book for kids and the upcoming Elizabethan adventure Will Sparrow’s Road, and Sherman Alexie, author, poet, National Book Award Winner, and all-around amazing guy who has a new collection of classic and new short stories, Blasphemy.
Here are photos of me with Jon Klassen and Sherman Alexie after the breakfast:
Introducing such amazing people in front of a room of 200 was my brave way to start the day. In his presentation, Sherman referenced the public speaking strategy of ”be prepared, not scared;” I managed to be both. But I am so glad I volunteered to emcee the breakfast!
What brave thing are you proud of?
I was thinking in my living room about many things the other morning while scrolling through FB, and ran across this challenge from a photographer, MeRa Koh: “Make today all about capture images that speak to you about ‘cozy.’” I looked up and this is what I saw:
Heather’s UGG’s ready to go for a nice fall day of coziness. All day I was thinking about cozy. I will spare you the photos of dinner and what I wore to work that evening, although both qualify.
I know this is one of the reason I enjoy fall so much. I love cozy. I especially love cozy after wet. And we are getting some wet now aren’t we? I keep saying to myself, “You can get all warm and dry and cozy after you brave the weather for that walk or run or drive to the gym” (in my case pool).
And yes, I have a pair of UGGs my size I wear after swimming in the mornings. A true cozy reward.
Where do you find cozy?
Posted by Linda on Oct 11, 2012 in community
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I had a small town experience the other day, within this big city. Heather and I were going to buy me a new pair of running shoes at my favorite running store, Super Jock ‘n Jill’s at Greenlake. We parked up the hill and as we came around the corner the window display was so simply gorgeous, BAM! It stopped me in my tracks, and we just looked at it for a minute. And now since Heather is a greeter at the Zoo it has even more meaning. We were surprised and happy to see such a strong display. It’s so simple! It made me want to do the race too.
A close up of the words on the sign below…
As we were viewing, Ty, one of the owners popped his head out the door, and we started our conversation with my rave about the window display. He told me to be sure to tell the person responsible, next time I see him. Ty is a good natured friend that I got to know back in the days when I was coaching for Team Danskin. He would run my running clinics for me. I always enjoy seeing him.
Then I went inside to buy shoes. I bought what I came in for and more. As we were wrapping up Ty cleared his throat and looked over at his partner who was now standing close by. I caught the clue and told his partner how much I enjoyed the window display, and he answered back how hard they are to put up sometimes. This time the Zoo gave him a beautiful piece to work with, often times he just gets small posters. And I thought: “Who knew displays are hard for someone?” ”And who knew they need to be appreciated?”
I learned a lot that day about my favorite store and the window displays of all the races they do every year. It felt small town because I was in on the behind the scenes of my favorite store as they were promoting an innaugural race of a place where Heather volunteers. I know these two men have give a lot to make this shoe store viable over the years. I am so glad they are there.
In closing, I always hope the brick and mortar independent merchant makes it. I plan to shop there and send everyone I know there for as long as I know I will need running shoes, and great running gear, delivered with excellent service. I figure until I’m 80.
Posted by Tegan on Oct 9, 2012 in book world
, brave things
At the end of September, I went to an incredible book signing.
Hundreds of people lined up on a Tuesday night to get a chance to meet the debut author, Stephanie Trimberger, and get an autographed copy of her book. Stephanie is 15. The book signing was her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She wrote the manuscript for a fantasy novel, The Ruby Heart, while she underwent treatment for brain cancer, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, together with Scholastic and all those fans helped make her dream come true.
What an incredible wish! Stephanie didn’t want to just show up and be treated like an author; she wanted to be a published author. She knew that in order to do that, she had to write a book. A whole book! While she was undergoing treatment for cancer! I am so impressed that she had the dedication and discipline (and imagination) to write an entire manuscript at age 15, even if she hadn’t been going through all the medical hardship she faced.
Once Stephanie completed her manuscript, more people got to be creatively involved in this spectacular wish. Arthur A. Levine and Cheryl Klein, editors from Scholastic (THE HARRY POTTER PEOPLE!), edited the book, got it designed, and sent it to press.
The Make-A-Wish volunteers worked with Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle to secure a place for the signing. They spread the word through facebook and emails, inviting people to come celebrate Stephanie and her accomplishment. Word got to me through a mom I know who knows someone who volunteers. When I got there an hour into the event (I zoomed down after work), the line was still long, and Stephanie was signing like a champ: with a smile and autograph for everyone.
I spotted the sales rep for Scholastic for the region, Chris, in line. Chris carried a backpack full of fun things to give to Stephanie. We stood in line together, and got this picture taken by the Make-A-Wish volunteers when Stephanie signed our books.
Now I’ve been getting phone calls at the bookstore and emails on a story I wrote about Stephanie, asking how to get a copy of The Ruby Heart. Because it was a special production of Scholastic, it was published without intention to sell– no ISBN, no price, no bar code. But news has gotten out about Stephanie and her incredible stories– the one she wrote, and the one she’s living– and now people want to read her book. She is inspiring people around the country.
If you want to help support the Make-A-Wish Foundation, you can donate online. You can thank Scholastic by leaving a comment on their blog. (Buying a Scholastic book is always a nice way to show your support, too. Might I recommend Stealing Air and Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy, an author who came to Stephanie’s signing, or Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough, who helped spread the word?)
I’ve been feeling more than a little overwhelmed. So today I applied Linda’s strategy of breaking things down into manageable pieces to finally check things off my to-do list. (I have a separate to-do list for work, but let’s not even go there.)
Here’s my list. It’s actually the second version. I already broke “clean house” down into laundry, bathrooms, sweep & vacuum, and dishes before I started accomplishing anything. I was too overwhelmed by thinking about cleaning the whole dirty house. I don’t have time for that!
I broke it down, but I still felt too overwhelmed. All that laundry? ACK, that would take all day. Instead, I gave myself an out. Something’s better than nothing, so I modified my goal– towels. And while I was at it, some underwear and socks filled out the load. Bam! One thing done.
Then bathrooms. If I had to clean both bathrooms completely, it would take at least an hour. So I told myself if we just have clean sinks and counters today, I can do the tub and the toilets later in the week.
Sweeping but not vacuuming seemed like a reasonable compromise because it only meant one set of cleaning equipment (broom and dustpan) and one round through the house. I included the bathroom floors on this and felt like a champ because now the bathrooms really are clean enough to go a few more days.
I had too many dishes to fit in the dishwasher, so I didn’t even want to start. I told myself I just had to get one load in the dishwasher and rinse everything that wouldn’t fit. Once I lowered the bar, I just did it.
Finally, the workout. I’ve been feeling guilty for not getting my usual 45 minutes to an hour in regularly. Since something is better than nothing, I did 15 minutes of cardio and told myself I’d do more later if I had the time. (Surely that scurrying around with the broom and dustpan had to help my health a little, right?)
Now I’m on to the blog post, and I’m almost done with the list. Sure, my post isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Say it with me: “Something’s better than nothing!”
Have you felt paralyzed by perfection? What pass will you give yourself to enjoy the truth of today’s mantra?
Posted by Linda on Sep 26, 2012 in community
, Linda's posts
You were a quiet guy. Your friends called you loyal. I heard you had a wonderful playful sense of humor, but I didn’t see that side of you. I was your mother’s friend, one who would call the family phone back in the day when there was just one phone per household. You would answer, and we talked I could hear you think, as you called your mom to the phone, “I wonder if this will be a long phone call or a short one.” You were in junior high, and you wanted the phone back as soon as possible.
As I view you now on this billboard, you are the second from the left, a handsome 19-year-old. I want to scream, “Franklin, what are you doing there?” I want to say out loud, “I wish that was not you.” And mostly, “I wish in some way we could have changed the events of the day or that past year and somehow the bullet would have missed you.”
They are looking for enough evidence to convict the person who did this. We are hoping this billboard helps keep the conversations going and people break their silence.
Franklin, where should they look?
Posted by Tegan on Sep 20, 2012 in community
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Last night I attended a political fundraising party– another first for me. I didn’t know many people in the room, so it felt like a brave thing to attend. Making the effort was definitely rewarding; not only did I meet some amazing people and connect better with the ones I had known before, but I felt a sense of citizenship that I’ve been missing lately.
As election day approaches, politics seem to be everywhere. But last night, instead of just feeling fired up about a particular candidate, I remembered the Three C’s from my elementary school: Citizenship, Courtesy, and Co-operation. Every year, Groveton Elementary had an award ceremony. Students were called up to the stage to receive certificates or small trophies for accomplishments like perfect attendance. I never had a shot at perfect attendance, but I loved the Three C’s recognition. Even as a kindergartner, I was delighted by the idea that someone noticed the kids who behaved, who watched out for one another, and who tried to make the school a friendlier place. In December, Santa Claus rewarded you for being on the Nice list, and in June, Principal Zepka celebrated you for exemplifying Citizenship, Courtesy, and Co-Operation.
Principal Zepka, Mrs. Feely, and the caring eyes of faculty at Groveton Elementary aren’t watching me anymore, but I hope that I live in keeping with their Three C’s. Today, I’m inspired by a renewed sense of Citizenship, Courtesy, and Co-Operation. I celebrate all the dedicated, kind people in our community who make it a better place.
To everyone who demonstrates Citizenship, Courtesy, and Co-Operation, especially during the election season, I salute you! I wish I could give you a real trophy, but at least here are some pictures.