|Tara Ashton (Joleen Samarin)|
Searching through old photographs, news clippings, report cards (groan), and old school papers proved to be a bittersweet experience.
Finding an old photo of Mike Karstetter, R.I.P., and Terry Elgin, R.I.P. & Donna, reminds me of the special people who have passed through my life and made it better. Found the unused $5 ticket for the April 24, 1976 Ted Nugent concert at the Gold Creek Dome in Woodinville - Mark Fairbanks, Jim Fick, Donna Elgin, Toni Harig, and I never made the concert because of a nasty head-on collision. And there are four 10th grade progress reports that were noting my many absences due to the accident…we were blessed to have walked away alive. It didn't have seat belts so we were thrown all over the place and injured. I'll never forget having my eye sewn up in the E.R., and not being able to walk for a very long time, which explains my decision to drive Volvos since our kids were young.
I found some old poetry and drawings of Donna's and mine - I recall we used to cut the boredom of classes this way when we weren't cutting the classes themselves.
Then there is my third grade report card from Clover Park stating my interest in art, disinterest in math, and my "lively imagination". Funny.
I really enjoy reading everyone's bios - Chris Ward soaking up the sun in Phoenix, Mark Bowron having done some really cool stuff, Tina Coffman (Anderson) - your bio is hilarious, and Debi Pennington - the photo of your quilt is beautiful!
When I saw my first van Gogh at the Gallery Of Fine Art, in the Bellagio, Las Vegas, I wept. When I saw Leonardo's "Last Supper" in Milano, It was hard to look at…kind of like being in the presence of God, or at least witnessing something of great significance to Christians everywhere.
These days, I spend my time researching how to avoid our adulterated and polluted food supply (no soy, corn, canola or other GMO's, et al), cooking good food…well, actually eating good food, drinking a glass of really good wine, collecting music for my iPod (10,000+ songs so far and counting), playing around on my computer, creating art in the form of jewelry & paintings, and painting faux wall finishes (view samples). No doubt from my 3rd grade teacher's behest, I went on to become a published, and underpaid artist . I also enjoy interior decorating, antiquing, going to concerts, and going through open houses for ideas. Also, we have our daughter's Pomeranian mix and our son's pug underfoot (view sample). Isn't it great being owned by a pug, Chris?
There are great people living in our neighborhood of Richmond Beach, Shoreline. A group of about a dozen of us families/couples spend time around backyard fires, going to dinners, talking over the fences daily, and enjoying the Hawaiian music of neighbor Elias in his back yard, and in the local restaurants & coffee houses, so not a day goes by that we don't connect somehow, and I like it that way.
Growing up, we moved around a lot, so I attended nine different schools. This community will be one that I do not believe I can leave (during the warm part of the year that is). I recall when Andrew was promoted back in 1987, we had to move to Purdy, WA - near Gig Harbor, where we didn't know anyone. We rented a house on five acres of trees and beauty. After 6 months of loneliness, I was ready to move back to Seattle, once again learning that I've got that social DNA. Can't do nothing about it - just embrace it, plan around it, and enjoy it.
A large part of my life, and something that continues to be very close to my heart is my volunteer work with disabled patients at PROVAIL's Johnny Johnson Memorial Dental Clinic (formerly the United Cerebral Palsy Dental Clinic). It is how I serve God with a humble heart.
Health care workers (dental and med students, etc.) in the state of Washington are required to complete training in community health as part of their college credentials. This will include public clinics that care for the underserved and/or disabled. Since I have been licensed as a Registered Dental Hygienist in 1997, I have worked with this disabled patient population, first providing oral care, and for about nine years as an instructor to 2nd year dental hygiene students and an occasional 4th year U.W. dental student who provide the majority of the hands-on care at the clinic (view sample).
Every year, John Fitzgerald, DDS, and I give presentations to the incoming students at three hygiene schools so they will know what to expect at the clinic. Part of our presentation is showing the class a professionally produced tape of the disabled receiving oral care at the DECOD dental clinic at the U.W.
Guy Anderson is featured in that tape. He generously agreed to be filmed during treatment, knowing it would help students learn how to care for the dental needs of patients with ALS. It was never sad for me to watch him on the tape before, as people with disabilities are mostly okay with their lives and don't want to be pitied.
It is always sad to watch now that he has passed away.
If any of you have ever considered volunteering in your community, I say jump in with both feet. I have yet to hear anyone voice regret regarding their decision to volunteer. If your only concern is carving out time to do it, remember the saying: "if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know".
Our daughter Taylor is a former flight attendant. She is near graduation from Coleman University (specializing in computer coding), in San Diego, where she lives with her husband. She graduated from King's High, a school of Crista Ministries.
Our son Brad, is employed full-time, and takes classes at Shoreline CC.
So enough about me, but we were encouraged to be loquacious, weren't we?
See you all at the reunion!
Feel welcome to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org