The weekend kicked off early on Thursday with my neighbor and I driving all over town buying emergency supplies to send to Nepal.
Along my winding mountain road there are 18 houses scattered across the ridge. Several months ago a new family moved into the first house. The man is a doctor, from Nepal, although he's been in America for quite some time and his two small kidlets were born here.
Jen, (the neighbor), spent her childhood in India with her American/British parents. She said in the village where her family lived--close to the border between India and Nepal--she could see the Himalayas and the lights from Kathmandu. She loved the people and has a deep affinity for the region.
After the terrible earthquake last week, Jen went to the doctor's house to see if there was anything she could do, considering his entire family--and his wife's--live in and around Kathmandu. When he told her he was leaving Friday night with a team of colleagues, nurses and interns to help in the relief efforts, Jen asked for a list of medical supplies that he could box up and take with him.
Then she called me. We went to Costco first, then stopped at two medical supply stores and a place that services the local hospitals. When curious peeps asked what we were doing (because we had way more gauze pads and bandages than normal), we explained, and--cool part now--the shops gave us discounts and customers donated money to help us buy more supplies. It was heartwarming, and restored a tiny measure of faith that there's an inherent decency in most people.
Sandesh and his crew are now on the ground, somewhere in Nepal.
Saturday, Jen and I went into town to find her some new Summer duds. Last year she was just finishing her mastectomy surgery and chemo; new clothes were way, way down on her list of priorities. We had fun shopping, then she said she wanted to go to Michael's for a new coloring book. I laugh, think she's kidding. She wasn't and told me the books got her through endless rounds of chemo.
A whole new world opened up for me. Sometimes I wonder about the stuff I don't know. Like, who knew there was an entire department at Michael's with coloring books for adults, and all the pencils, pens and equipment needed for coloring in them? (Okay, probably everyone but me). I was amazed and intrigued. And got hooked in about ten seconds flat.
I bought the Celtic Flowers book because it looked fairly easy, then couldn't resist the Mandala book, though wow, it's so complicated I don't know what I was thinking.
So, Saturday night, movie on the television, I sat at the dining room table listening while I colored in my new book. It's incredibly relaxing, soothing and very, very fun.
The blank page...and the almost completed image:
I'm clueless about "painting" with gel pens, so I'm learning as I go. But one thing hasn't changed since my early days with that familiar yellow box of crayons: I still can't stay within the lines.
Great colors in the adult version of Crayolas, too.
Finally got my new birdbath yesterday. I've been waiting for months--since my beautiful cobalt blue one cracked in the freezing temps over the Winter. This one is ruby red, though looks sort of brownish in my photo. I had barely gotten it filled with water when a blue jay came flying in, squawking like a town crier. I can't wait till word gets out and all the birds come back for their early morning baths...
Then later in the afternoon, I planted my fuchsias in the five hanging baskets. I found a new style to replace two baskets that were falling apart. They sort of have a tulip shape and I loved the soft, green jewels.
When I was finished planting and starting to clean up, I realized my throat was scratchy and my nose was burning. I looked toward the coast range...and was stunned to see thick smoke filling the valley from a forest fire. It doesn't bode well for the coming dry months. Within the hour, it looked like this...
It was definitely a busy weekend.
There's much to be said for helping others in desperate times; learning a new way to craft color into my world; anticipating the joy of watching hummingbirds dine on juicy fuchsia blooms all Summer...and listening to the blue jays chatter and argue each morning as they bathe...