Thursday, May 5, 2011

Goodbye, Marilyn

Since my blog is by-and-large a time capsule (that never gets buried) for me to look back on, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the death/killing of Osama bin Laden last Sunday. Tammy said that she doesn't take any satisfaction or glee in his death but that she does find happiness in knowing that he will never do terror again. That's well said. Me? I admit to welcoming the news with an inappropriate Facebook status update which I later removed and replaced with one exclaiming my happiness that sleeping air traffic controllers were no longer going to be front-page news, at least for a while.

We lost a dear member of our small-group last Thursday afternoon when Marilyn finally lost her battle with cancer. It's difficult to come to terms with this as she was just at our home maybe a month ago and was always such an active member of our group. She seemed to be holding steady in her fight and for a while appeared to be making progress toward recovery but the last time she was with us she mentioned some new pains she was having. I had the feeling then that she wanted to share with us some dire news from her doctor that she'd alluded to but in her typical fashion, she remained very private in her struggle.

Marilyn was reluctant to have visitors but Tammy felt a prompting to go see her the night before she died. Tammy said that Marilyn was having a very difficult time but she managed to smile when Tammy came into the room. They spent a short time together in prayer before saying goodbye. She will be very missed by many.

Rachel's first year of college comes to a close this week with finals. She wasn't sure what to expect going to a new campus (in its 2nd year) but I had no doubts that she would thrive there, and she has. She was telling me today how they're having a lot of fun establishing their own traditions such as this week when they organized a (hopefully annual) students vs faculty kickball game. They purchased a $200 trophy that will be updated each year to reflect bragging-rights which the students now claim.

She's also been tapped a number of times to be included in photos for some various brochures and campus advertisements. She called me two days ago to see if I had a particular UMR brochure handy because she wanted to know what shirt she'd worn in that photo. She was being asked to participate in a billboard advertisement for the school and she didn't want to be photographed twice in the same shirt. Understandable.

I joked with her that it was only her minority status they were interested in and had nothing to do with her pretty smile.

Tammy and I are both becoming more and more addicted to glassblowing as we progress in our abilities. We have to give special thanks to both Steve and Jackson for expressing an interest in how we're doing and taking time to give us pointers and demos along the way. Their helpfulness means everything to us. Steve showed us a new color application technique this week that has us both excited to go back and work with it some more.

I surprised Tammy with a trip to the Verizon store where we upgraded her Envy to an iPhone 4. She's been feeling a little left out as both Rachel and I have Droid smartphones. When we got them she wasn't interested in anything more than a regular cellphone but after seeing how much use we get from ours she wanted in. I was hoping to have another WordFeud partner, and she is to a small degree, but she's pretty much stuck on Angry Birds for the most part.

I got out for my first long ride of the season on Friday afternoon. 105 miles (169 kilometers) under sunny skies, light winds and temps in the mid to upper 60s. It's been a lousy spring for riding and I could've used a few more miles in my legs before biting off this one but I did okay. I was ready to pack it in after 80 miles but with 25 miles to go, I had no choice but to put my head down and press on as I was also in a race with sundown. I knew it would be close and it was. I lost the race by 2 minutes.

Video from the ride

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