Monday, April 25, 2005


Shawn called home Friday suggesting that I come pick her up from work. It was a bad week for her as she's been getting very little sleep and her work load has increased along with her school work load. The result of which has been her stressing over the details of virtually everything, finding it difficult to focus on one task for very long which leads to finding it difficult to actually complete simple tasks and all the while still finding time to snip at me about things. All of this seemed to distill down to a feeling of being isolated, disconnected from community and communion, and in a bit of a rut. She offered to bribe me with dinner in order to pick her up at work. It wasn't necessary, but it did seem like a good idea.

When I arrived at 4, Shawn was in her office and not yet ready to leave. As I sat there waiting, she got another 4 rush jobs to wrap up before she left for the day. No worries. I told her that I would go over to the new location for Silver Platters (which I hadn't been in yet) and would be back in 30 - 60 minutes. I got back in 50 minutes and found Shawn sitting on the curb, taking in the abundant sunshine we had on Friday. She got into the car and we discussed places to dine in the area rather than heading home through traffic. Her one criteria was that the place have a bar so that she could order a cocktail.

As we headed down the road, Shawn recognized someone walking nearby. It was Sean, or boy-Sean as I refer to him in conversation. Shawn leaned out the window and screamed his/her name. He finally spotted us, smiled and waved. I decided to circle back and see what he was doing for the night. By the time I made the U-turn, he had crossed the road, but was still opposite us. He smiled again as we went by. We made another turn around and this time he had crossed the road yet again - now on the opposite side of us, heading towards his bus stop. One last turn around and he had finally understood we were trying to catch up to him. Sean was doing anything that evening, so we asked him to hop into the car and join us.

Now a party of three, we discussed dinner. I suggested that we were now a carpool for Highway 520 purposes, so we should head towards Sean's side of the lake for dinner. That way we could drop him off at home once we had our way with, er, dinner was done. *smile* They agreed and on the way over we discussed where to dine. Some discussion of Thai food and Indian food followed, but no decision. As I approached our exit, I suggested a Mexican place, Agua Verde, that Shawn had been to, but Sean and I had not. It was on the waterfront which seemed like a perfect spot to be on such a lovely day, so we agreed to go there.

Sean and Shawn got in line while I parked the car. By the time I caught up with them, they had our name on the dinner list for a table and were standing in the drinks line. Who knew? You could order a drink and stand on the deck to the side of the restaurant, or go to the park next door, and wait for your table. We stood on the deck and sipped margaritas while killing the hour for dinner. As our name came closer to being called, Sean suggested to the hostess that we'd like a table on the deck if at all possible. Luck was with us and 15 minutes later we were sitting on the deck watching boats pass, eating dinner and dessert, and watching the sun set. Perfect!

We drove Sean home. Earlier he had mentioned going for a walk around Green Lake. Shawn asked him if that was still his plan and could we join him. He was happy for the company. He also suggested that we go by Kathleen's place (another friend of ours who lives 2 blocks away) and see if she wanted to join us. Kathleen was sitting in her apartment and we called her down. She was happy for the company. She, too, was feeling isolated and nervous and needed someone to talk to for advice and comfort. She was also seeking ice cream.

Baskin Robbins, nearby, was packed with people, so we decided to walk down by the lake for a ways towards another shop. Sean and Kathleen were ready for a treat, but Shawn and I were not, so we grabbed a table and chairs outside. While sitting there, a woman approached us and asked to grab a chair. We looked up and it was Cody, whom Shawn and I both knew from our days of working with her at Corbis. Shawn noted that she had moved to Seattle and started her job at Corbis 10 years ago that day and the Cody was one of the main interviewers that ended up in the job offer. I joked about how I had Cody to blame for the past 10 years. Cody's husband was there as well and he joined us. Soon enough, Kathleen and Sean joined in as well.

Before long, Kathleen noted that she was getting cold from sitting and eating the rather large ice cream cone and she suggested we start walking around the lake. It was a good idea and everyone seemed to agree, so we headed around the lake again. Kathleen, Sean, Shawn, and Cody kept pace, discussing library school and the state of jobs and such. Cody's husband (Chaddra? - that is the correct pronunciation, but perhaps poor spelling) and I hung back a ways and discussed music. We got to a point where Cody and Chaddra were near home. We said our goodbyes, then walked Kathleen and Sean home as well.

It was a beautiful evening. Serendipity served as a tool for reminding Shawn that she wasn't isolated at all. The community and relationships were there. She just didn't recognize it or had forgotten how to see it. She felt much better on the drive home and during the next day.

Shawn's mother came to stay with us on Saturday. She has a funeral for an aunt to attend on Monday. Frankly, Shawn and I were both tired from our late night Friday and early morning Saturday. We did a little shopping in the morning for dinner and took a walk, but Shawn had to study so that was the extent of our sharing the day. When Debbie arrived, I was making apple crisp for dessert. She and Shawn visited, ran out for wine, and ate appetizers while I through dinner together at a leisurely pace. Debbie brought up work for me and that sent me off on a bit of a bitch session, but I set it aside as soon as I stopped talking about it. For dinner, I made halibut in the oven and I topped each portion with a sauce made with pistachios, garlic, mint, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, orange flower water, salt and pepper. It was a big hit. I served it with a salad topped with fresh avocado slices and a raspberry vinaigrette. It was good conversation and a good time.

Sunday I was surprised by Shawn and Debbie being up early. They were both up before 6AM! I had taken my time about making coffee and running out for cream as I assumed that I would have until at least 7AM. I recovered quickly. My typical Amaranth pancakes made up breakfast along with a fresh batch of blueberry sauce and some canned peaches. Debbie left fairly early to head to her relative's place. Shawn and I took a walk, then she went back to studying. I got some house work done, read, and then made phad thai for dinner. All in all, a very enjoyable weekend.

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