Saturday, February 03, 2007

vale atque ave

Forgive me for the paucity of posts around here.

My friend and co-worker passed away on January 7th, just a few months shy of his 60th birthday. The next night about 50 people gathered in the chapel built in memory of his father and had a wake. It wasn't a memorial service; it wasn't a service at all. One of the church's pastors said a few words to open and to close the evening, but in between it was just a simple, beautiful wake. People took turns standing up where they were and telling a story about him. We shared tears and belly laughs, sometimes within the same story. It was the most perfect way of honoring a person's life that I've ever been privileged to take part in.

A lifelong scholar, my friend would have been glad to know I've been reading a surprising amount so far this year (up to 9 books already!), considering that I've also still been slowly unpacking or organizing things here and there. We still need to put pictures on the walls, get new window treatments, and other odds and ends, but it's starting to feel like home. It's certainly more comfortable than living in another person's house, amidst all her pictures.

Here are a couple of blurry shots of the living room before and after:

It's nice to start to feel more settled. We're so lucky I can hardly stand it.

I think I've found the fastest commute route for me, which happens to also be the prettiest way. Every morning I drive along Lake Washington almost all the way, tendrils of fog curling up from the lake in the dawn light. It's lovely and peaceful, and it feels like a totally different city somehow, like a quiet lakefront town somewhere faraway. (It may just be the smell of all that money wafting around the multimillion-dollar homes along the lakeshore. Oops, I beg your pardon, my cynicism is showing!)

I stopped Friday morning in a little park to try to capture a glimpse of the serenity that seeps into me during that morning drive:

The only way to make this commute better will be to start biking it. I need to get my helmet out of storage and practice it first, since my bike ride used to be about 6.5 miles one way, and this one is closer to 10 or 11. I know I can do it, I just need to get on and prove it to myself. And then every morning and every evening will truly feel like a vacation, and I will have a healthy exercised glow. It will go well with the flush of self-righteousness which I will also no doubt acquire.