Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lots Happening in Seattle

Even within my drug induced haze, I had good visits with my three daughters, four grandkids, my sister and my dad. Never long enough, but I certainly got a sense of what is going on in their lives.
I went to Meridian Park for Charlie's soccer practice and watched Lulu climb a tree or two, saw Jeanne's scrimmage with Rat City Roller Girls team members and then went with Caroline and kids, Jeanne, Lauren and Mary and Queta to watch two Rat City Roller Girls games at Key Arena on Saturday night, April 13. Jeanne goes to practice several times each week and would love to be called up to a team at the end of this month or at the end of June. She knows she is among the oldest who could be chosen. Most contenders are in their twenties and thirties. Whether age makes her a liability or not, who knows? As a mom, I almost hate to see her play. Who wants a daughter to be injured? It's tough out there.
One of my favorite players, NiHi Nightmare, is a team member of Grave Danger. NiHi must be under five feet tall and over and over, she jams through any line because of her petite size and great agility and speed. Click on this link on You Tube to see NiHi's fleet of foot skating, dodging and finding a pathway through a line of much bigger - but probably not tougher -  women. NiHi  is a joy to watch. She took a few falls that night, but she righted herself quickly and never stopped looking for that gap in the line so she could plow through.
Ok, so there was more than Rat City Roller Girls games. I walked around Green Lake a couple of mornings with Caroline. Beautiful and it's about 7000 steps, so it's healthy too. 
Caroline ordered me a FitBit One after I told her I'd wished for a pedometer in Paris and I'd certainly like to take one to Rome. She owns a FitBit, wears it constantly and said I'd like that better than a pedometer. She's right. I love mine. It tracks steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, hours slept and times awakened. I am sure does more, but those are the things I am tracking now. This little gadget is wonderful and it's wireless and synchs with my iPhone and laptop. With the FitBit and my plug in blood pressure machine, all info is possible. Sally told me this morning there is also an app to track the taking of medications. I may be downloading that too.
Charlie Bean, my very first grandchild and Mom and Dad's very first great grandchild, had his ninth birthday on April 15.  Nine years since we all spent the day in Swedish Hospital where Caroline delivered. She was surrounded by Steve, her two sisters, her mom, assorted nurses and her doctor.  A crowd, but that appears how it's done these days. By the way, Caroline made a gluten free chocolate cake filled with zucchini - very healthy and covered with fresh strawberries. Then on his actual birthday, we went out for a supper of hamburgers and shakes. Charlie was a happy boy. 
I bought Charlie a small aquarium that he will fill with fish when he moves down into his very own bed room later this spring. A birthday party with his school friends is this Saturday. So his celebrations will have lasted over a week.
Visited Dad every day but one. Took more file boxes of old letters and photos, yearbooks and newspaper clippings for us to look at together. Gives us things to talk about and often he simply reads one letter after another or thumbs through yearbooks or calendars. 
A day or two after I arrived in Seattle, after leaving Dad, I drove south on Roosevelt Avenue toward UW. Wanted to eat lunch at Thai Tom.  My favorite bar stool in front of the flames heating those woks was empty. I sat and ordered an eggplant dish over rice. The same cook was there with an assistant and a third guy who washes the woks. the trio smile at one another and work so smoothly, they could be dancers. Near 2:00 p.m. folks stopped coming in and so, the cook turned off the gas, the flames died down and he went out on to the sidewalk for a smoke. How many meals must he prepare in a day?
After lunch, I walked several blocks to the UW bookstore to buy a copy of Henry James 'Portrait of a Lady.' The reason I purchased this book? Well, I've read a dozen Donna Leon mystery novels in the last several weeks and the Venetian detective's wife teaches literature at the university and reads Henry James. There were enough mentions of James that I went on line to read more about his novels. Many  are set in Florence or Rome. As one of the great 20th century writers, it's high time I read his work.
I am quite undone with 'Portrait of a Lady'. Find it wonderfully dense and filled with similarities to my grandmother's life, my mother's dreams, my own ambitions. The character Isabel Archer knows that marriage and attachment may well be 'the end of things' and she finds this hard to articulate. Don't we all?  I've not gotten far enough into the book to read about her eventual marriage, but the 1996 movie version directed by Jane Campion with Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich was frightening.
Enough. I know there is more to write about, but this post has been in draft form for a week and I am forgetting the details. Suffice it to say that I spent half of my nights in Jeanne's guest room and the other half at Caroline's.
I left Seattle three days early - leaving these two sweet grandsons, along with everyone else - because I became so very weary. Weary and overdrugged too, as my cardiologist's nurse and I traded info for a week, tripling one blood pressure medication and adding another. They didn't lower my blood pressure one bit, so I flew home.  How long must I work on this with my various doctors?

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