Thursday, July 30, 2009

In which my parents leave their home

Well, it finally happened; the lovely family home that's provided for us years of mountain and Lake Sammamish views just east of Seattle is in the past. My parents moved last week to a retirement place (altho they would not call it that) 8 miles away in Redmond WITH NO VIEW. They got to experience, like we did a year ago, the delights of moving lock, stock and barrel. They'd owned the place since that summer of 1971 when they and us kids rolled into western Washington state and wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into. We'd just spent two weeks crossing the country and camping out along the way. Back then, we were from sophisticated Maryland and Bellevue and especially Redmond seemed a bit behind the times, we thought. My entire family ended up settling in the Pacific Northwest except for me, the wandering Jew of the lot. I've included an older photo of the place which I will miss like anything. It's the closest thing I ever had as a family home, being that we moved every few years when I was younger.
My dad has promised that NOW he will finally get a kitty so we shall see if he keeps his promise. Soooo, no more lovely roses like the ones that always greeted me when I came home in the summers. I didn't fly back to Seattle this summer as it turned out; my parents' topsy-turvy home situation being one reason.
But Uncle Steve was in town this past weekend so Veeka and I wandered over to his in-laws where I caught a photo of them and Aunt Nancy at the dinner table. Veeka is now very taken with Uncle 'Teve and his brother, Uncle Gob. And Oma and Opa of course. As usual, Veeka charmed everyone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The finish line approacheth

Yes, I know it's been awhile since I've posted but I am in the final weeks of PUTTING OUT A BOOK. You can tell the signs: piles of unread newspapers around the house; unread mail, unpaid bills, mountains of kitty fur that need to be vacuumed up. For those of you who know me, this is the "Redeemer book" that will be launched this September at the Religion Newswriters Association convention in Minneapolis and plans are afoot now for a reception somewhere in the host hotel (the downtown Marriott). I'd wanted a pricey setting with wine flowing and hors d'oeuvres but my publisher didn't want to lay out too much money, so I am shopping about for alternatives.
If I had my way, the launch would be in Houston, where most of the action takes place, but circumstances have not worked out yet for me to get down there.
But I cannot say how glad I am that this 20-year project is almost over. I am now working on proofing copy, scanning photos, re-reading the dust jacket copy, negotiating with the photographer and digging up obscure facts. I spent last Wednesday in Baltimore doing a last-minute read through the manuscript which is about 300 pages.
As for Veeka, well, she is fine. There is one photo of what looks like a blur bouncing a ball. That is our little honey bunch learning how to bounce a ball. I got her a red ball so she is trying to learn how to dribble. Where is Uncle Steve when I need him to show her how?
Potty training is almost down pat. There are a few bad days but she has made incredible progress since her birthday when she decided to get serious about learning how. She doesn't need a kiddie diaper in the pool any more which is a great relief.
The other photo is of Veeka at the beach where I took her and the daughter of a friend who helped me take care of her. Am learning that on a weekend at the beach, I need someone along to help, as she has to be constantly watched. Despite there being two of us, she escaped us at one point and dashed two blocks down the beach just because she felt like running. Fortunately some people spotted my frantic looking about and told me they'd seen her. I sprinted down the sand and finally saw her - on the lifeguard stand happily enjoying herself. Grrrrr.