Letter to Mrs. Sullivan in Lebanon

Wow, I actually hadn’t read much that you have written over the years. You are very eloquent and yet approachable and welcoming in style. It is a fascinating peak into a world that I know very little about and think about even less often. Thank you for opening my eyes and sharing your perspective.

Meanwhile here in Steilacoom, all is pretty good! The HS football team lost last night in overtime to Clover Park. There is a Haunted House this evening at the History Museum. The Apple Squeeze was well attended and it only rained a little.

My family is doing well. Marc has finally found work. He is basically a copy writer for an online advertising firm. He has moved to Seattle and shares an apartment with James Brown.
Erin is still living the good college student life. Did I tell you she will be studying abroad next semester? She is going to Dublin University from Jan thru May! All of us are very excited.
Sean is a Senior and thinking about college apps (but not actually doing much yet!) Niki has adjusted to life as a HS student, although it did take a bit of time. She is unhappy at the moment because her current boyfriend (since when is she old enough for one of them anyway!!) has just moved this week with his family to Fort Drum, NY.

I have spent the past month celebrating my 50th! And trying to balance living in the moment with guiding my kids toward their future. But it has been a wonderful celebration with both family and friends and a trip to New Orleans!

Well, there’s a bit of info from home. I hope that you continue to enjoy your time there and I look forward to reading more on your blog! Take care and Happy Halloween!

So that is my life in an edited for cheerfulness and brevity nutshell!


Uncle George

We don’t talk about our feelings much in the Hollis family. I do not recall my Grandma saying she loved me on a regular basis (if at all). But I knew it…it was assumed, a given. I think, no, I know that it is the same with my Uncle George. Not sure that I can recall him ever saying outright, I love you. Yet, I know he did, and I know that he knew that I loved him.
I don’t think that means I loved him more or less than if we said it all the time. I don’t think that not spending much time together matters either. The feeling, the warm, comfortable thoughts are always there. Family is family and family is love.

I miss you Uncle George, I miss knowing that you are sitting in your family room, yelling for Ingrid, or grumping about something. I can hear your voice in my head, I can feel your hug. I can see you sitting in the chair opposite the TV at Southold. Thank you for always being there in my heart, thank you for being my godfather.

You were a great Uncle and a great husband and father. You were the center of your family and you will be missed.

Farewell Uncle George, I love you .


Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, back in the 1960’s, my daddy drove a Mercedes. It was old, it had belonged to my grandparents first. It was a big, gray I think, sedan, 4 door. It had red inside I think and leather seats and my sisters and I could lay down on each other across the back seat. The dash was wood as I recall and I loved that car. I probably didn’t love at the time that my dad would always say,”Don’t slam the door, close it gently, it’s a Mercedes.”. But I love that now!!!! We got rid of the Mercedes pretty early on, I never drove it. I seem to remember my dad saying it was too expensive to maintain.
Since then I always wanted a Mercedes. It was my total fantasy, dream car, especially when I saw how much they cost. They are totally a classy car. They are James Bond and royalty and “bring the Benz around please Chauncey”! I actually never imagined owning one. I am nothing if not practical anymore and a $60,000 car is not on the list of things we need.

Fast forward to a few months ago. Curt gets it in his head that I need a really great gift for my 50th. He’s thinking car. He’s thinking convertible. I’m thinking I got 1 kid in college, still paying loans on another one and 2 more to go. Another big car payment is not on the list of necessities. He says, “let’s go car shopping”, I say ” no I really don’t think so”. He says it over and over again. While I’m in Vegas he goes car shopping with Nick. I realize that although I may be fine with the van (and actually I really like my van!) Curt really needs to get me something special. So to humor him, really that was the only reason, I agreed to go look at the car he’s been looking at.

Late on Saturday afternoon we grab Sean and head out. I’m still thinking we’re going to South Tacoma Way to see a Honda or something. Curt heads North on I-5, slow going by the Dome as usual for no reason. We pull off into the Mercedes-Benz dealer. “Sure”, I think, “we can afford that!” but the cars were gorgeous and it doesn’t cost to look. I slid into the front seat of a cute little 2 seater, white with tan interior, no price tags! Wow! Sean tries a few out, they are so gorgeous and even sitting in them feels right.

More tomorrow!!!


Thursday, July 08, 2010 by Amy Sorenson

Summer Reading

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of summer days reading. Since school was out, I could get my gymnastics workout done in the morning, and then the rest of the day was mine. I’d shower and bandage my rips, then find whatever book I was reading and head outside. We had an enormous covered patio out there that was always shady, and I’d sit in the rocking lounge chair and read for the rest of the day. Sometimes I’d get up for snacks (some grapes, maybe, or cold watermelon; sometimes my mom would have baked a coconut cake or that dessert with Oreos and whipped cream and butter mints or even a fruit pizza) or drinks or maybe to tease my sister a little bit, but mostly I read.

Those long, idyllic afternoons are now touchstones to me—moments of peacefulness I return to in my memory sometimes. It was delicious to not have any obligations, to read without anyone pressing me to close my book and do something productive. Sweet and relaxing to linger in the company of friends, even though they were characters in a book. Those memories are tinted with the scent of peaches and the sound of kids playing on the other side of the fence; they remind me that unprecedented peace does happen in a life’s small moments.

I tried a modified version of that summer reading program today. I was fighting off a headache, and it seems that holding still makes the headache less likely to happen. So I sat around for most of the day, reading my book (The Lace Reader) and eating occasional snacks (have you discovered Annie’s Bunnies crackers? They are awesome!), not really ignoring my children but not being a great mom, either. In fact, they cleaned the house while I hung out in bed reading.

And here’s the deal. Maybe because I do still have plenty of obligations and tons of things on my mental to-do list, or maybe because that headache was trying to be insistent, or maybe because there is always housework to do, I couldn’t enjoy my day dedicated to reading. Well, not like I used to enjoy it. It really did feel nice to relax and be slothful for a day. But it also felt indulgent; I felt lazy and unproductive. And also a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t enjoy the reading bliss as much as I wanted to.

I don’t know. Does that mean I have become a grown up? Or just that I need a long car trip in order to enjoy reading all day? Or that I have lost my ability to simply enjoy something without feeling guilty? Should I feel guilty? Or should I have worked harder at enjoying it more?

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I wish i had written this. I have felt this way all week. Lots of time and yet didn’t accomplish much or even relax much…want to scrap but overwhelmed with choice. what to scrap…I can never catch up…just writing this is depressing me. I think I will go to bed and read and fall asleep. tomorrow is another day!