Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another interesting few days.

Nov. 2: Went to the Schnitzer to see Stephen King, in one of his very rare public appearances and readings—this one a benefit for Literary Arts in Portland. It was everything I hoped for, and more. He’s one creepy guy—and funny, too. He walked on stage in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, hair sticking up all mohawkish, and then started saying how he didn’t want to scare us, but he hoped we’d remembered to lock our cars before coming into the concert hall, and that when we went back to our cars, he hoped we checked the back seat before we got in. Because insurance statistics say that one in twenty people forget to lock their cars. And sometimes crazy psychopaths hide on the floor in the back seat. And sometimes they have knives.

Nov. 4: Chris Anderson’s funeral. Our family knows Chris (and family) through a combination of the Milwaukie community, school, Boy Scouts, and his photography studio. Chris took all of my kids’ senior pictures, and a month ago handled the photography for Lora (Spencer) Reilly’s wedding. We camped together on many a Boy Scout family trip, and bumped elbows at school, and he and his wife Debbie gave Katie her very first job—a receptionist position at their photography studio. Chris was one of those people who has a truly kind, sweet spirit, who seemed to delight in people, and who made you feel a little easier just because he was there. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost a year ago, and given a couple of months to live. He lived almost a year. Toward the end, he stopped the chemo and spent his remaining time fishing and just being with his family. The love of the Milwaukie community for this man was shown in the hundreds of people who attended his funeral, spilling out of the church and into the reception halls, where cameras with video feed had been set up for those who couldn’t fit into the sanctuary. You couldn’t find a parking place in downtown Milwaukie. It was something. The world was better for this man having been here. I can’t imagine the sadness of his family. I am glad I was able to know him.

Nov. 5-6: I went to Redmond to see Mom. She’s in what Joe and I call “The Home” right now. It’s kind of nursing homey, but really pretty decent. They are keeping her clean and shiny, and she’s having regular rehab. But the rooms are small, it’s noisy, the food is so-so, etc. Joe is starting the process to get her moved home as soon as he can. This will mean arranging in-home care for several hours each day, bringing in therapists, etc. Also making some modifications—he’s already installed a wheelchair ramp outside the front door. The shower needs modification, the bathrooms need grab bars, the bed needs lowering, etc.

Mom looked stronger and more Mom-ish when I was there. No huge jumps in her overall status, but her speech is better and she’s able to reply more intentionally to conversation, which is great. She seems cheerful about being where she is, which is good, and seems more aware of the world.

Today, Nov. 7: It’s raining here in Portland. I mean, really RAINING. We’ve had 5.5 inches in the last two days and are supposed to have another 1.5 inches today. See the picture below, taken in Tillamook, where they’ve had almost 9 inches in the last day and a half. Everything is flooding. And it’s really warm out, too. In the 60s. And dark. And windy. Thanks to Bill’s fine ditch-digging last summer, and his extension of our French drain, our basement is (knock on wood) still dry. Cross fingers….

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