Saturday, January 22, 2011

At St Martin's College

OK, first I should say that the title of this blog should be "At St Martin's University" but when I was a student here, it was St Martin's College. Click here for a link to the school! The mission statement says, "Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic Benedictine institution of higher education that empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment in all arenas of human endeavor." And that IS exactly what they do there!

So I spent 1986-1991 here as an undergraduate. St Martin's is located in Lacey, Washington, just a stone's throw from Olympia (the state capital). I was, of course, an English major and primarily studied under Father Kilian and Les Bailey. They both taught me everything I know about literature -- and teaching.

And as friends and readers of this blog know, Les died on Christmas eve. The memorial service for Les is today at 1 PM at the Abbey Church, the heart of St Martin's. I had to be here for it -- Les was like a father to me and there was no way I could miss the chance to tell him good-bye (as glib as that might sound). I flew out to Seattle from St Louis on Thursday (during a snow storm!) and I will be leaving tomorrow. I've been staying with "my other mother," Mary, who is one of the coolest people that I know. If anything, St Martin's inserted the most influential people into my life just at the time that I most needed them. So ... somehow I will need to get through this service without crying my head off.

I promise more later -- I will say that I love Washington state and a small part of me regrets moving away from the area. But things happen for a reason, I guess. I don't think I would have ever met Jim if I would have stayed in the area after graduating.

PS: Thanks to Laurie for the fabulous scarf (to match my gloves and hat) -- I have been wearing it a lot because it completely matches my black and white coat! And Rachel -- words cannot begin to express the gratitude about the Lush items -- I can't take a bath yet but when I can it is going to be an awesome one! :D

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

At the Beach

I just have a few minutes but I wanted to post a quick update -- in a simple sentence: the beach is fabulous! Here are a few pictures -- here is the view from our patio:

And here is one of Stella, the city-dog turned beach dog!

So far I haven't done much of anything -- a good thing, I think! When we got here this past weekend, I was able to visit with my good friends Marie and Jeanie (and their fabulous parents!) and pretty much everything else has been walks on the beach, hanging out in the sun, reading, and watching television/ movies. So far I have learned how much I miss living by the beach. Even though I have spent 10 years in St Louis, I am still a west coast girl!

The pain is still there but I don't feel it too much if I just relax and do absolutely nothing.

I promise more later!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just a quick entry to let everyone know that we are leaving this morning for our vacation in Dauphin Island, AL. Click here for a link to the great "cottage" that we rented right on the beach! There id wi-fi but I am not bringing my laptop with me. I think Jim is bringing his, though, so I will try and upload some pictures if I can. Stella gets to go with us on this vacation (I love pet-friendly rentals!) and she loves car trips -- so we are about to have a very excited dog on our hands!

I am excited that it's 2011. I am hoping that this year is so much better than 2010! But there were good things that happened this year -- I had a great bunch of students who survived me being sick a lot in class, I have colleagues who were so supportive of me, and I met some great new friends (Laurie and Rachel!). I guess I just hope that 2011 is less eventful on the health front and that this is the year that I get most (if not all) of my dissertation completed (I am bringing a stack of books and articles to the beach with me!).

The open wound is still pretty gross but seems to be getting better. I am hoping that in another week that it won't be so noticeable. The surgeon said I could start walking now and in another week or so I could start with the stationary bike. Running is still maybe 3 weeks or so away.

Happy new year to everyone! I appreciate the well wishes that I received this whole last year! I don't have words to express my gratitude! Many thanks!