Sunday, June 25, 2017

Messy, mucky, massive (delicious)

When the tides get extreme, that's when delicious things are easier to pluck from the shore. We ate like kings for a week on a variety of clams. We enjoyed sashimi, sushi, fritters and of course, chowder. Lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest!

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Alexander commences

With his laser focus and determination, and the financial support of me, reinforcements from my father, and books and gifts respectively from stepgrands Farah and Lucas, and godparents Sue and Jim, Alexander blazed through college in three very concentrated years. He also spent a chunk of his last academic year in China and came back with a nice command of Mandarin. I'm so proud of him!

This young man has poise, diplomacy, discipline and discretion. To his own admission, he also played and partied as any college student would. I'm glad he struck a balance. I'm also glad he attended the school he truly wanted (Evergreen), one that allowed him to build his own curriculum and jump into deep studies in a seminar style.

I'm not glad for the one dorm mate (who didn't matriculate) that kept eating all of Alex's food using poverty as his defense, or the final flaky "Fiona" wake-n-baker that compelled him to move abruptly (because she intended to move). How you cope with that adversity shows character; he handled all with grace.

At first, in 2014, Alex didn't think he'd have the means to go to a 4-year school. I cashed in a retirement fund to get him started, did a payment plan for tuition, dorm, meal plan...then of course later switched from dorm to paying his rent and making grocery runs (or sending $), handled travel, etc..and it was worth every penny. Alex will cover any future graduate education on his own. For now, he's looking at an English teaching stint back in China and over summer is working near Olympia on an orchard.

To congratulate him,  I deposited the remainder of the cash I'd saved for his last quarter and just about fell over when I saw my dad's gift to him. My hope is the rest of his extended family really went big on congratulatory gifts since they were not involved in putting him through school. Alex, you rocked it like the star you are. Congratulations.

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