Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Siblings Are Not Friends

Siblings are not friends. We do not choose them. We get them like unsolicited mail, and we're stuck with them for a lifetime. We don't pick our siblings in the schoolyard, at a teen party, or during a spin class at the gym. Though we rarely hear of young children begging their parents not to have a baby, stories abound of those who desperately want a little sister or brother. Either way, some of us end up with a houseful of siblings while others with none at all.

Siblings are not friends. Yet if we're lucky, we're able to build friendships with our siblings in childhood, adolescence, even adulthood. Friendships rich in a shared past and strong enough to overcome the inevitable baggage most families seem to accumulate. Friendships of binding love and honesty, mutual respect and admiration, shared interests and activities.

Siblings are not friends. But they can be. Please bring your siblings and friends to join me for a special reading to celebrate National Siblings Day.

6504 20th Ave NE
Seattle, WA  98115
Sunday, April 10th
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Heal! by Randy Hale

I'm pleased to share the winning essay of the 2016 Intima Essay Contest written by Randy Hale. Sunday mornings I'm fortunate to share the writing table with Randy. This essay is testimony to the value of that practice.
HEAL! | Randy Hale

The sign reads: “Correctional Facility – Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers.”

With a hair trigger reflex, I conjure scenes of mayhem and murder, complete with ominous score, courtesy of The Doors: 

“There’s a killer on the road. His brain is squirming like a toad. If you give this man a ride sweet family will die.”

“Snap out of it,” I admonish myself.

But I can’t help wondering how often a hitchhiker, freshly escaped from the prison we’re approaching, actually travels this road. Often enough to need a sign, is my uneasy answer.  Read More ...

Friday, March 18, 2016

On Hummingbird Wings

Our last visit, Kim and I sat on her sofa, an expansive view of Puget Sound beyond the deck, a large tree so close it felt as though I could touch it if not for the glass separating us.

"Look. There it is again," she said as a tiny hummingbird flickering in the tree caught her attention.

I saw no flowers and wondered at the proximity of this beautiful bird. "Is there a feeder?" I asked.

"No. It just comes to visit me."

I nodded. It never occurred to me to question whether a hummingbird would come each day to visit my friend as she sat on her sofa. Instead, I imagined her out on the deck in warmer weather, the hummingbird settling for a brief rest on her thin shoulder. Kim was that kind of woman, the kind birds would visit. Joyous and friendly, loving and kind. Imagine Cinderella in skinny jeans and short hair, a twinkle in her eyes and a wide smile.

We met when our daughters were in primary school and  a group of us formed a mother-daughter book club. After the girls graduated high school and headed off on other adventures, the mothers continued to meet each month. We added wine to our potlucks and spent less time discussing books and more time getting to know each other as more than just the "mother of Caitlin, Calla, Claire, Deepa, Ellen, Erin, Kari, Karly, Sage, Stephanie."

As a nurse, Kim worked at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Only five and a half years ago she cared for another friend, Sandra E. Jones. Sandi and I were in the same writers group. When we launched a collection of works we titled Sunday Ink: Works by the Uptown Writers, Kim attended the reading to support her patient. One month later, Sandi died.

Now Kim is gone. Cancer took her Tuesday morning, her husband at her side. I'd like to think she was carried away on the wings of the tiny hummingbird who befriended her during her final month. I know I will never see another of those lovely creatures without remembering my dear friend.

Kim Stokstad-Nicholas
December 24, 1955 - March 15, 2016