The minute I saw Jeri I let out a squeal and said: “Wow It’s so good to see you!” The last time I saw her was over seven months ago. We have exchanged a few emails, but I haven’t seen her since our Alcatraz Adventure. We had only a few seconds to talk, and I mean a few seconds; we met up at an Otter work-out just the other morning, and we shared a lane but you don’t get to chat and she needed to leave early. It’s interesting that the one experience we chatted about wasn’t Alcatraz; it was our first open water swim off Richmond Beach.
Jeri swimming in Alcatraz Sharkfest 2011
That night last spring tested our souls. It was a stormy night, and the goal was to move from spring lake swimming to the rougher sea water, and stay in it for 30 minutes. The water was at least 10 degrees colder than what we were used to so far, and with rain on the horizon, in Jeri and I went. The wind was brutal and the chop fierce as we struggled to get used to salt in the water and a whole new feel to this Open Water Adventure. It would be the closest we could get to simulating the conditions of San Francisco Bay.
This is a night when you learn about yourself and the mind game of Open Water Swimming and sea creatures real or imagined. When we got to shore and dried off, we discussed how hard it was just to stay in the water the whole time. I was fighting the cold and Jeri was fighting imaginary creatures– everything she touched gave her the creeps. Most of what we touched was simple sea debris, but that could be turned into eels in her imagination in a flash. We could tell that this night was one for the record books.
We figured from that night on if we could make it through that we could make it through anything, which proved to be true. We call it our bonding work-out.
Me and Jeri Finish line Alcatraz Sharkest 2011
I think that is what is so cool about reunions. You recall what you made it through together. Often it isn’t graduation night people remember but it’s a terribly hard class we all endured together that we focus on.
What do reunions bring to mind?
It’s traditional for Christians to give something up for Lent as a form of penitence. My husband and I were just in New Orleans the weekend before Mardi Gras, where we witnessed the pre-Lent indulgence. (Below is a photo of a souvenir mini King Cake.)
I attended a high school centered around an Episcopal chapel. One Lenten season, our Reverend suggested that instead of giving something up for Lent, we take something on. She challenged the squirming pews of adolescents to make a commitment to do something good for the world during the time before Easter. Skipping dessert for 40 days might be good for our health, but volunteering at a nursing home, collecting clothes for the poor, picking up litter, or choosing to perform an act of kindness or service every day would be good for our emotional well-being and the world around us.
I still love this idea of taking something up for Lent. A healthy new habit or positive action does the trick: regular daily exercise, sending letters of gratitude, volunteering at the local humane society, donating blood, helping out at a food bank, even taking timed showers to save water…
Do you have any ideas you’d like to share?
While other people buy tickets for cruises, or trips to Disneyworld, or trips to Europe, we bought tickets for an adventure that is far-reaching for us. Our plan is to fly down to San Francisco and do the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim and rent a motorcycle and ride home.
Below is our motorcycle adventure map of the past few seasons. It lives in our dining room. The different colored dots are the routes we have taken. So far we have stayed mostly in Washington with one trip into Oregon.
To paint the full picture of this plan for San Francisco: Heather, Toni, Colin and I will fly in to sight see for a day, then the next day I will swim. After the race, Toni and Heather will fly home, thus having their own adventure. Heather hasn’t been on an airplane since she was about 4 years old. Colin and I will ride a rented Harley home. This adventure was dreamt up one January day when we were all feeling fine.
The remarkable part of this story is Colin paid for the motorcycle during the week when Heather and I had huge colds and Heather needed a little oxygen to sleep safely through the night. He is gaining confidence in Heather’s year-round health, so much so that he is pretty sure she will be fine when the time comes. And frankly so do I. That is a big change. We are ultra confident in the care Toni gives Heather, so…
We are excited about riding up Highway 101 and taking back roads. We have planned three days to ride home, which we figure is plenty of time. If you have a must-see destination on the way home from San Francisco to Seattle, please let us know; we are up for suggestions. Colin’s co-worker, who has done the trip many times, said that we will want to do it again the next year. I just want to see the Redwoods and lots of Ocean, and take your suggestions of sweet back roads, and put this adventure on our motorcycle map.
Any must sees between San Francisco and Seattle?
Posted by Tegan on Feb 16, 2012 in healthy tips & tweaks
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I have a new web addiction: Adam Forgie and Jeanne Harr, his 90 year old Grandma.
Jeanne’s sense of rhythm and sense of humor are inspiring! Also admirable: grandson Adam’s clear love for his Grandma. You can see how they both light up when he joins her to dance to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
What’s one song that always gets you moving?
Posted by Linda on Feb 15, 2012 in community
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We carry a tender place in our hearts for Seattle Children’s Hospital for many reasons. The biggest reason is Heather and her family spent a lot of time here in her early years.
Earlier this week our friend, sweet little Kaia, had her turn inside for her first hospitalization for the RSV virus that hits many infants. She is now 6 months old. RSV hit Heather 21 years ago. In fact, January and February are RSV season.
It’s a sticky repertory virus that makes it hard to breathe– a super cough and thick mucus that your body just has to work out. There are nebulizers and oxygen and IV fluids so the little ones don’t get too dehydrated. Then they turn the corner. Kaia turned the corner yesterday afternoon about 5:00. They could all see she was eating better and getting wet diapers, ready to roll. 21 minutes ago we got the shout out we have been waiting for. We are OUT!
Yes, we love and hate Children’s Hospital. Love that it’s there to catch us. Hate being in. Love getting out!
Do you have any experience with hospitals that way?
When I was in third grade, I did the brave thing of singing a solo in a church musical. I was so shy, I almost skipped school to get out of being in spelling bees so singing by myself with a microphone to a roomful of people was a big deal. I still can’t really believe I did it.
But I still remember the lyrics to the song, “Love Is,” from a musical called Down By the Creek Bank. Among them:
Love is never puffed up, never stuffed up,
Never gives up when the going’s rough…
It’s the biggest little word you can say!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Love bravely today and every day.
Posted by Linda on Feb 10, 2012 in friendship
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Sometimes when good things happen, you want to scream: “It’s about time!” and “This is so perfect, it couldn’t happen to a better guy!”
My friend Bruce Babad has been a talented saxophone player since I have known him and that has been more than 30 years. He is an exciting player, from soulful warm tones to crazy fast licks, and everyone has always asked, “Where is your CD, Bruce?” He has played on a list of other people’s CD’s, the list is a mile long, but he never released his own solo CD until last summer. He did a tribute to Paul Desmond.
We were tickled to have one of the first copies that rolled off the press. Bruce and his family also played and sang at Heather’s 21st Birthday party, which made the love in the room even more special.
Bruce and Kelly at Heather Party
Our friendship is one of those friendships that always feels comfortable no matter how much time has passed. Bruce and his family were our house guests the weekend of Heather’s party, and I said, “Well even if you turn into James Taylor of the Jazz world, you will still be just Bruce to us.” And we chuckled…
Well, our Bruce is turning into James because his CD just hit #4 on the Nation’s Jazz charts last week! And this week it hit #TWO!
Yes, I want to scream! I am so happy for them I could do back flips!!! Bruce has persevered, and put his family, career, other musicians first, thus it took a while for his CD to get out there. But now it is here. It’s a beautiful CD for all you music lovers and especially Jazz lovers. Jazz Radio stations are calling for interviews and all I can say is, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!” We are so glad that a wider audience gets to know the Bruce Babad we know. Go Bruce go!
Incase you want his CD (I’m sure you do now) I’ve included a link that takes you to where you can get your copy. Yahoo!
We couldn’t be happier at our house.
Posted by Tegan on Feb 9, 2012 in healthy tips & tweaks
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Here’s my healthy tip for the week:
Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes.
If I wear shoes that aren’t good for walking, I don’t walk. That means I’m more likely to take the bus or take a cab rather than walk to wherever I’m going. If I ride instead of walking, I miss out on all the benefits of incorporating healthy activity into everyday life.
See how happy I am? That’s because these boots are so comfortable, I wear them almost every day. I’ve worn them on the streets of London, in clubs in New York, on the beach in Massachusetts (pictured above), and in every neighborhood of Seattle through rain and shine. They make me feel ready for any kind of adventure; walking in them feels great.
When you wear comfortable shoes, you’ll be more willing to get up and move today, and with no blisters, you’ll still be up for more tomorrow!
Do you have an everyday pair of shoes that inspires you to move?
Posted by Tegan on Feb 8, 2012 in behind the scenes
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Linda and I have our own little unofficial book club, in which we read and discuss books that inspire us or relate to themes in our book. We started with Expecting Adam by Martha Beck, a book we had both read years ago but reread soon after we decided to work together on Linda’s memoir. Since then, we’ve passed many books back and forth.
I just picked up my latest book that will probably make its way to Linda next:
The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown. I’ve been wanting to read it since the review in the New York Times last May. I’m finally going to start it today.
Has anyone else read it? Would you like me to post a book review when I’m done?
Posted by Tegan on Feb 7, 2012 in brave things
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Doesn’t a sincere compliment make you feel good, whether you are the giver or the receiver?
A friend recently wrote, ”I realized then that we all wait till someone is gravely ill or passed to tell them what we think of them. I am not going to wait any more. Even if it’s awkward, I pledge to let people know how wonderful I think they are.”
Hooray! Her kind message truly made my day.
Then I found this delightful correspondence between Einstein and Ganhdi on lettersofnote.com.
Now I’m inspired to write to someone I admire. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to say the nice things I notice out loud more, too.
If you want to save a stamp, write who you admire and why below, then send that person a link to this website.