Posted by Tegan on Apr 26, 2012 in brave things
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I love tutoring. If I didn’t tutor, I might not have known that today is Poem in Your Pocket Day! Last night one of my sweet students did her own brave thing by reciting a memorized poem which she is sharing with the world today. She memorized the poet’s name and wrote it on every copy, too, saying, “I want to make sure I honor the poet every time.”
Do you have a poem you’ve memorized? Have you shared a poem with someone lately? Why not recite one for a friend or stranger today? Share the love, share the poetry.
Here, I’ll start (even though I haven’t memorized it all yet– I found it in a great anthology called 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, edited by Billy Collins):
Bedecked by Victoria Redel
Tell me it’s wrong the scarlet nails my son sports or the toy
store rings he clusters four jewels to each finger.
He’s bedecked. I see the other mothers looking at the star
choker, the rhinestone strand he fastens over a sock.
Sometimes I help him find sparkle clip-ons when he says
sticker earrings look too fake.
Tell me I should teach him it’s wrong to love the glitter that a
boy’s only a boy who’d love a truck with a remote that revs,
battery slamming into corners or Hot Wheels loop-de-looping
off tracks into the tub.
Tell me it’s fine– really– maybe even a good thing– a boy
who’s got some girl to him,
and I’m right for the days he wears a pink shirt on the seesaw in the park.
Tell me what you need to tell me but keep far away from my son
who still loves a beautiful thing not for what it means–
this way or that– but for the way facets set off prisms and
prisms spin up everywhere
and from his own jeweled body he’s cast rainbows– made every shining true color.
Now try to tell me– man or woman– your heart was ever once
Posted by Linda on Apr 24, 2012 in family
, life at home
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Heather and I planted the first seeds in our garden today. It was a beautiful day, and it made me wonder why we hadn’t done this sooner. Probably because the Community Garden was just put in this spring. In the garden are two wheelchair accessible plots. Heather and I will be gardening one of them, and from time to time we will bring you pictures.
We decided to put carrots and beets in from seed.
And while we were there we added more soil.
I loved standing back and taking a picture from a distance. Can you find Heather? She is a speck under the trees. This angle will be fun to watch over time.
Heather loves being outside, and our time together at the garden was sweet. I already have marker ideas– this could get fun. Sunday we will be putting many more starter plants in and later tomatoes. I figure if I ask at least two good questions from other gardeners a day I will learn what I need.
Are you trying anything really new for you this spring?
Posted by Tegan on Apr 20, 2012 in brave things
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Monday was the 116th Boston Marathon, and my husband’s second. It was also the hottest on record.
Friends and family joined me to cheer Jordan (and thousands of other runners) at a relatively shady spot less than a mile from the finish line. When the marathon started, temperatures were already in the 70s. By the time runners were finishing, it was in the upper 80s or even the 90s. The heat was so brutal, the Boston Athletic Association encouraged runners to postpone until the following year. Despite the warnings and the deferment offer, over 21,000 people finished the race. However 2,000 required medical attention, and over 100 were hospitalized.
I am very, very glad that Jordan finished the race healthy! And look how happy he was for dinner that night! Last year, he had a near-perfect race, and this year, I think he had the perfect race for the crazy conditions. Jordan ran it just right! His qualifying time determined his bib number (5196), but he was number 4130 across the finish line– faster than his qualifying time would have predicted. I am so proud– and relieved. You can read his post about the marathon experience here.
As a spectator, the marathon was difficult. The discomfort of the heat was one thing, but watching runners collapse was a horror I hadn’t prepared for. We saw many runners cramp up and two collapse right in front of us. Thankfully, we also saw alert and attentive medical personnel at work and a tremendous supportive crowd. My favorite moment of the race (besides seeing Jordan wave as he ran by and finding him healthy at the finish line) was when I saw a runner pass a man stopped with a cramp, then jog back against the flow of runners to offer the stopped man a drink. We all cheered wildly, and I don’t think I was the only one with tears in my eyes.
Congratulations to all the people who ran the Boston Marathon and to all who trained for it but deferred to next year. You’re all winners in my mind!
Posted by Linda on Apr 18, 2012 in friendship
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I struggled within myself most of the week. My internal mind kept saying; “ I really don’t have time for this. I don’t think it will go as well as last year. And not as many people from our Team will be there. Last year was my first time and it was a blast. And this year I haven’t trained as well.” Now it’s a year later… and the loop starts again…”I don’t have time for this…”
I somehow made it to the pool that Saturday morning because I was entered in 4 events and a relay. The same 4 events as last year, wondering if I could improve my time. That’s what it’s all about: seeing if you improve. Or it might be about just showing up.
I met some seriously friendly young women in the locker room. This was their first Masters Swim Meet and we said we would keep an eye out for each other during the day. Quckly they got lost in the sea of 382 swimmers, and I never saw them again.
Our team settled in on the bleachers where we were last year and Coach Robin gave some last minute directions. I went in for a long warm-up. The meet got underway. The next thing I knew the pool was quiet except for lane 1, the lane of Evelyn, the star of the day. She is 93 and still swimming. As she finished her race, the 50 freestyle, many people applauded. It was genuine and warm. I was standing next to Robin and we were commenting on how wonderful that was, and she just won her team a ton of points. She rocked the 90+ category–she was there by herself.
I happened to be closer to Evelyn’s next race the 100 IM (Individual Medley) because I was in the next heat. Evelyn did one length Butterfly, one length back stroke, one length breaststroke, and one length freestyle. As she fininshed the crowd went W-I-L-D!! And I heard some young kids (hovering around their 20’s) say, “I want to still be swimming when I’m 93.” The cheers were so respectful and happy; I knew then… This is why I came today.
I have a fear of aging. I think most of us do. I also believe all the bad news delivered everyday about how the world is getting worse and so disrespectful. But on Saturday I witnessed something very different. The elder tribe member was given honor, and it felt electric great to be in the Aquatic Center when Evelyn finished her race. We were applauding a person who had kept moving for all of her life.
I don’t know if I will make it to 93 but these next photos were taken last Saturday by a new friend who shares a lane with me at practice. Thanks Mary.
On the Starting Block for my 50 yard Butterfly. Foot behind to be sure I don’t false start.
Linda doing butterfly
Final stroke into the wall, btw, it was a better time than last year.
I figure all we can do is keep moving and do the best we can with everyday. If finish lines help you like you like they do me, then find some races to sign up for this summer. A 5K is where I started 15 years ago. Then a sprint distance triathlon, changed my life forever.
My goal used to be to do a half marathon every year until I was 80. Now since I have met Evelyn I might need to adjust that goal.
“A stitch in time saves nine.” I’m not sure about the ratio of stitches now to later, but yes, I agree that just dealing with a problem usually saves you from doing extra work later on. But sometimes, you’re really tired and in order to that one stitch, first you have to find the needle, then you have to find the thread, and wait– there’s no good light, so maybe you have to change a lightbulb first… and then you can wind up getting overwhelmed.
Last night, I came up with my own little words of wisdom:
“At least rinse the dishes before they get crusty.”
You’ll notice that my proverb doesn’t say you have to actually wash the dishes right away, just rinse ‘em. Then they can wait, as long as you still have other clean dishes and counter space. You don’t have to solve the whole problem right away, just don’t let it get worse by ignoring it completely.
Do you have proverbs, traditional or original, that you live by?
My love for this bottle of wine started 30 years ago, when my brother-in-law asked me to help him plant his vineyard that year. Many starts went in and we followed the shoots, training them to grow up and out on their trellises. I learned so much and enjoyed working outside more that I thought I would that summer. I was 28.
A few week-ends ago we gathered to bottle a crop of wine that came from that vineyard. It took 16 adults and 2 kids only 5 and a half hours to bottle 92 cases, or 1,104 bottles of wine.
The process of bottling is fascinating. First you make the wine. That took two days to harvest,fall 2009, then a day to crush/strain and has been aging since harvest in oak barrels. The day before bottling, it took a whole day to filter the wine and decide which barrels are good enough to bottle. It was decided to use 4 out of 6 barrels.
After that, the actual bottles come into the process. First CO2 is blasted into each bottle, so as the bottle fills with liquid, that is what is left sitting on top of the wine– keeping the wine fresh for years, fresher than just air.
Then bottles are put on the filler. This takes about 30 seconds per bottle. And depending on how creative the person running the machine wants to be this can really be fun, staggering the fill times.
Next is corking, the part of the process where the men had a place to prove their “ macho” place in the universe. Corking is hard work. After 20 corks, you need to switch out for a break.
Then the plastic around the top seal. One person put the plastic little neck sleeve on, and the next person put a heat sealer over it.
Finally the label. “Family and Friends 2009.” Then into the case.
I cannot wait to give this wine as gifts in years to come. With the story, “I was there when these grapes were planted.” It makes me smile over and over.
Special thanks to Bud and Leslie, owner of the beautiful vineyard, and Matt their son (pictured above), who worked overtime so we could be IN on this extraordinary project.
This week, I was asked to provide a picture of myself for the website for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association since my membership on the board is now official.
I had to think, “Who am I? Who do I want people to see when they look at the faces of the indie booksellers of our region?”
I thought maybe I could go with coy and enthusiastic– a photo my husband took of me in the teen’s section of the store during the holiday season.
Or maybe I should be outside, in the sun, looking vaguely literary-tourist?
In the end, I couldn’t choose. I chickened out and sent both, together with one other– my personal favorite, actually. The third photo shows me being silly but looking strong. It has a bookish inside joke (a fake tattoo that may look familiar to more people now than when I wore it for weeks in the summer of 2010), and it shows the fighting, playful spirit that keeps me inspired as a bookseller. I thought maybe it was too much– to sassy, too goofy. Turns out that was PNBA’s favorite, too. Now you and the rest of the internet can see it at the PNBA Board page!
Sassy, nerdy, goofy, playful, strong– I guess that’s who I am.
One week ago we discovered Heather had more than just a cold: she had pneumonia. And after a quick trip to the ER to get the right antibiotics she was able to stay at home on oxygen as her lungs healed. The only thing that was fun about being sick was the special company that comes to visit to break up the day. Heather’s special friend Dasia came for a visit on her third day of recuperation.
And while the adults were in other rooms, Dasia was telling Heather a made up story, about flying purple horses that get to eat their dinner in bed. This story she was telling was going on and on… Toni thought this was so over the top cute that she wondered if she could sneak in and get a photo of the two in make-believe story moment.
It’s awesome to have love come and visit at any age and bring imagination. It’s delightful that Toni caught it on camera. And we are glad Heather is feeling better now due to medicine, stories, and just plain love and time.
Yes, we are all wondering why the flying purple horses get to eat their dinner in their beds but don’t have the heart to ask.