Archive for Personal/Family

Gratitude and Grievance…

How do we even begin to think about what’s going on in the world?  It feels like the Rapture. Fires (in Australia where I have family), floods (in the UK where I have a granddaughter), earthquakes (6.5 in Idaho this week where I have children and grandchildren), and pestilence – especially the pestilence – that’s driven everyone into quarantine.

This worldwide virus has changed everything about the way we live—and think about life. It’s intensified our lives, loves, and hates. It’s brought out the best in some and the worst in others. And, it’s given everyone but first responders, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals time to think about the way they live their lives, who and what they want in those lives, and how they plan to live if they survive the Death-Star. read more

My Quarantine Project…

In the days before the great pandemic, when life was simpler and we were living normally, M and I stopped to have a glass of something before dinner – often with a small dish of nuts or olives – and talk over the day. We still do but these days are not normal, but it seems especially important now to share small pleasures. It doesn’t surprise me that sales of beer, wine, and spirits have risen 300-500 percent in the last two weeks in the wake of the statewide quarantine. After you’ve binge watched Mrs. Maisel, Chernobyl, Berlin Babylon, and Jack Ryan you need a jolt of something strong. read more

A Small Business Crisis…

Kris and Karen have an inspiring story. Coming from diverse backgrounds, they found each other, had three children – now in college, high school, and middle school – and she became a citizen. Five years ago, they opened a small café in a strip mall in Kenmore. Kris was an experienced chef with years of restaurant experience but never as an owner/operator. The café was their American dream. 

Marilynn and I were among their first customers. To my eye, as a former restaurant owner, it looked vulnerable—nicely done but probably under-financed in a location with almost no foot traffic. On that first visit, the sales rep from Caffe D’arte was training Karen in the art of espresso. We were pleasantly surprised. As a coffee snob I had doubts, but she nailed our lattes and our patronage. It became our go-to espresso stop. read more

Live by the Sword…

For 40 years America has had a health care problem. We spend more per capita than any other country with substantially poorer patient outcomes. The majority of Americans agree that the system is unfair, too expensive, fails to cover the neediest, and rewards insurance and pharmaceutical companies while limiting patient care.

Until a month ago, Democratic presidential aspirants were arguing about how to pay for better coverage – Medicare for All, single payer, or an expanded Affordable Care Act. All would cost more than the current system. Republicans scoffed and called their proposals socialism. read more

Under House Arrest…

No ankle bracelets. No vertical bars. No knuckle dragging guards. No orange jumpsuits, but still… it feels like house arrest.

It might just be cabin fever, but for the past week M and I have been cloistered a scant five miles from Kirkland’s Life Care Center – epicenter of the American coronavirus scare – just over there, dead center, across the lake.

We’re making the best of it, but it’s already getting old. Experts predict it will get worse before it gets better and that means we could be prisoners for the long haul. The best information is that we are one step down from the most vulnerable population – older, but “in good health with no underlying conditions such as cardiopulmonary disease, obesity, or diabetes.” read more