A death in our family

Tom's lovely and interesting Aunt Helen died last week after a short illness with gall bladder cancer, one of those that they don't catch until it's too late. It's still shocking to realize she is gone, and even more upsetting for Tom and his family. We were in Alton, Illinois this past weekend for the burial. On the bright side, the whole family was there minus only a few of the younger children, and the weather was sunny and mild. We stayed in Helen's house with lots of other relatives. We had the hide-a-bed in the basement.

I seriously don't think I'd ever slept in a house with ten people before, and the first night was weird because I had the illusion that I could hear each person breathing. I fell asleep and continued to “hear” it. What I was really hearing were the baby snores of a two-year-old sleeping in the next room behind a louvered door. In my sleep this grew to a sinister crowd of invisible breathers all around me, and then waking, it was this tiny little smiling boy.

Back to Seattle, and it's now been raining for 23 straight days, often much harder than our usual drizzle. I can't imagine how it can rain this much. It reminds me of a sci-fi story I read that took place on Venus… I can't remember anything about it except that it rained constantly and people drowned standing up. I'm tired of riding the scooter in the rain, with the water on the helmet visor making me afraid I'm not going to see something until it's too late. I came in today on my bike, and it was a treat to find that during the 15 minutes it takes me to get to work, it wasn't raining. It was mild windy and spring-like, with the first gray-blue of the cloudy sunrise showing at 7:35.

Daffodils are sprouting in our yard—the early ones—and are growing flower buds. I can't wait for spring.