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Showing posts from December, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 2:36 AM CST

It's after midnight.
It's Dave's birthday.
He would be 43.
He loved pizza and bowling and football.
He loved pie and didn't care for cake.
He loved Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
He loved the ocean.
He loved hugging.
He loved singing.
He loved his guitar.
He loved Jesus.
And he loved us.

So many times, I've missed him so.
So many times, I could actually see him.
Laughing at Kate and Zach squealing and squirming when picking up pieces of fish to feed the seals.
Helping Zach with his first shave.
Stretching his body, leaning his head back, half-closing his eyes in the passenger seat of the Suburban..."Riding in style, eh, Shelley?"
Buying roses for Kate's dance recital.
Making Darren put on the Santa hat to fill the stockings.
Going with Darren to buy silly, stupid, outrageous, and sweet stuff to put in the stockings.
Putting bows on his head.
Smiling, laughing, the spark of life in any gathering, that was Dave.

We m…


Friday, December 23, 2005 9:25 PM CST

December 23.
A date that will always burn in my memory.
The date that our world changed forever.
The date that we began a roller coaster ride that brought the highest highs and the lowest lows, that lasted forever, but ultimately ended all too soon.

Most of you know this story. Nine years ago today, Dave and his brother, Bob, decided to go to Portland, about 4 hours from our home, to pick up some furniture. I didn't want them to go. Selfishly, I wanted Dave home. So they left very, very early in the morning.

And hit ice outside of Boardman. They rolled the van three times. I got a call from the state patrol saying they'd been taken to the hospital, no word on their condition. Mom and Dad were packing to leave. They stayed to help get things sorted out.

So began one of the longest hours of my life. Phone call after phone call to hospitals in the area. No-one knew anything about them. Finally, an hour later, I reached a nurse in the Hermisto…

Santa Continues

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 1:20 PM CST

Lots to tell.

First of all, Secret Santa:

I don't have the little tags handy, so I'll have to post the clever poems later, but at Annalee's Bowling Birthday Bash, the Secret Santa-S! revealed themselves. The poem for the 12th day mention being tired of running around! Anyway, I was partly was my lovely family...sister Mindy, sister Missy, mom Judy, grandma Ginger, Dee Wellington and sister Stephanie. What a fun adventure that was. It was wonderful for the kids to have something to look forward to each day. So thoughtful and so just like them!

Now there's another mystery...someone left a GIANT bag on our doorstep, someone who's been reading the website...there was a picture of McIllvaigh man, and a Patrick sitting on a crabby patty ornament to keep M-man company! (If you don't watch SpongeBob, ask your nearest neighborhood kid.) A lovely angel ornament for me, a purple ornament for Kate, a note and ornament …


Friday, December 16, 2005 11:21 PM CST

The concert was awesome! And LOUD!!! Kate was miserable until Teri gave her some earplugs. Then she bounced around and danced. The kids had a lot of fun.

The crowd lifted Tim up and passed him around. I'm not sure what they call that. Guess I'm getting old.

They had a good turnout, especially considering they were competing with WaHi's Winter Concert!

Thank you, Timm. You are amazing!

If anyone would like to donate to Tim's concert for brain cancer research, contact him at

We've been busy, busy with dance rehearsals. Kate is a gypsy. Very cute!

Secret Santa has been busy, too.

On the seventh day of Christmas
as you think of swimming swans,
Enjoy a shower/tub of bubbles
before the morrow dawns.

(My favorite Bath & Body Works shower gel in Orange/Ginger, plus scented bubbles for the kids.)

On the eighth day of Christmas
the milking maid took sick.
We hope you enjoy this ornament.
Could it be from Old Saint Nick?

(A beaut…

Timm Johnson

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 11:35 PM CST

Front Page Article in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Concerted Effort

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Student's Project draws band for benefit Concert: Concerted effort pays of
Wa-Hi senior Tim Johnson wanted to hold a small benefit concert to meet a class requirement, but he got a whole lot more.

By Sheila Hagar of the Union-Bulletin

When Tim Johnson needed a community service project for his U.S. government class, snagging a band for a charitable concert seemed like no big deal, he said.

``I figured I'd get a small local band and do it at The Underground, and that's pretty easy to do,' the Walla Walla High School senior said.

By Tuesday, between tracking down a sound system and distributing fliers, Tim was no longer so certain of how easy his project would be. In his words, ``Things got kinda big.'

Which can happen when you remember that your middle-school music teacher's kid plays in a Los Angeles-based band that's beginning …

Dave's Manifesto

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 9:20 PM CST

The Manifesto of the Lance Armstrong Foundation

We believe in life.
Your life.
We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being.
And that you must not let cancer take control of it.
We believe in energy: channeled and fierce.
We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong.
Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.
This is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

We kick in the moment you’re diagnosed.
We help you accept the tears. Acknowledge the rage.
We believe in your right to live without pain.
We believe in information. Not pity.
And in straight, open talk about cancer.
With husbands, wives and partners. With kids, friends and neighbors. And the people you live with, work with, cry and laugh with.
This is no time to pull punches.
You’re in the fight of your life.

We’re about the hard stuff.
Like finding the nerve to ask for a second opinion.
And a third, or a fourth, if that’s what it takes.
We’re abou…

6th Day of Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2005 8:13 PM CST

Visit this link: Relay For Life
to learn about a Relay for Life fundraiser. You can buy a ticket to try to win the Dave bear!

Also, all locals note:
Timm Johnson, a young man from our church, has organized his civics project around a concert to benefit brain cancer research! What a kid! The concert will be
Thursday, December 15 at 7:30 pm at Sager Middle School in College Place, WA.
If you live near here, please try to come!

Okay, onto Secret Santa, but first a Dave story. I told this one to Darlene over lunch today (thank you, Darlene...what a wonderful gift. I love you!) and I told her I was going to get it up on the site, so here it is.

Every year we decorate the tree together. The first Christmas Dave and I spent together, we had a Christmas branch instead of a tree, and we stuck it in a cardboard box and made ornaments out of construction paper. We had no real ornaments and no real money, either. He decided then that we should start a tradition when …

5th Day of Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2005 10:55 PM CST

On the fifth day of Christmas
We bring you this good cheer.
Five golden rings we can't afford
at this special time of year.

Secret Santa strikes again, via Mimi. A lovely bottle of Meier Sparkling Spumante! A fizzy, festive, non-alcoholic treat so we can all enjoy it together.

I'm suspecting Aunt Mindy more and more. These cards look suspiciously like birthday party invitations and birth announcements that I've seen before.

Packaged up and delivered tons of fudge today. Peppermint-chocolate layered, peanut butter/chocolate layered, and Irish Cream. Yummy!

Kenny came back from Leadership Camp. He was walking on air. He was so excited. He obviously had a really great time. He got lots of notes, not only from family, but from teachers and friends. Many notes mentioned how they see Dave in Kenny and how proud they are of him. I'm going to put them in an album for him. By the way, he was impressed that I drove up the mountain.

It's funny, I…

Santa Mystery Continues

Saturday, December 10, 2005 10:09 PM CST

Hey all,

Well, new hints in the Secret Santa mystery. Today, our neighbor, Mimi delivered the package. So....our Secret Santa must be out of town this weekend. That leaves out Cindy and Deb, since I talked to both of them today. And Lisa, she's still home across the street. Hmmmm....

On the fourth day of Christmas
the calling birds have fled.
We hope you like this frame
that we have brought instead.

Inside a beautiful frame, cherry wood with black inlay. Gorgeous. And it goes perfectly in my house, so....another hint, they've been here before. Hmmm...wonder if Mindy is out of town? Peg denies it's her.

I think it's someone who scrapbooks because the little cards are sooo cute, with borders and stickers and little graphics. But I know a LOT of people who scrapbook.

Okay, let's take a poll. If you think you know who it is, write your vote in the guestbook. Deb votes for Alex, who denies it, but also said I was stupid to ask her over th…

No Grinches Here

Friday, December 9, 2005 6:51 PM CST

Our Secret Santa has uncanny timing. Went to pick up Zach from the PiHi party, and got back....package on the doorstep.

On the third day of Christmas
the French Hens flew away.
We've brought you a Christmas story
to brighten up your day.

Inside: 2 ornaments, some Christmas tree bling bling and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Which is Dave's favorite story of all time. He used to watch the listings to watch it on tv. We have it on video, but he thought it was better to wait until the movie was showing on tv and plan for it. Lots of popcorn, lots of snuggling and Dave, in his best grinchy voice:

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You're a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk.
Mr. Grinch.

Zach was delighted, looking like a little boy instead of a half-grown man, smiling and laughing, "How did they know?" He also counted the days until Christmas and figured that this Secret Santa must …

Guess What?

Friday, December 9, 2005 2:12 PM CST

Okay, folks.
Sit down.
Are you sitting?
I mean it.
Sit down.
Now put down your coffee.
And swallow whatever's in your mouth, we don't want your computer screen spewed upon.


Ha! Bet you didn't expect that!

My dad, hero that he is, knew someone in Kelso at a Toyota dealership. If we can bring the van in there, and prove that it has this problem that Tim at Wayne's Automotive says it has, they will fix it.




Thanks to all of you who prayed for us. Don't stop yet...but it looks like we're on the way!

Love you all, Chelle

Secret Santa

Thursday, December 8, 2005 10:01 PM CST

Okay, guys. My pity party is over. For now. I'm sorry, sorry, sorry. I really, truly didn't mean to induce guilt! I didn't. I was just whiny yesterday. And feeling profoundly alone.

It truly does help when people write in, I feel less like I'm in a fishbowl then, and more like I'm sharing with friends. Claudia wrote on her site (link above: Robert Williams) about the power of a witness. The need we have for someone to verify, to affirm, to testify to an event. When we're facing about a life-altering event, like cancer or death or autism, the need for a witness, someone to affirm and verify our reality is so profound. It's easy to feel alone, even when surrounded by people. It's easy to feel that tenuous grip on sanity slipping away. So thank you, for being willing to be my witnesses, there is real power and healing in your very presence.

Still, I apologize for guilting you all and feeling sorry for myself.

Speaking of…

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 5:25 PM CST

(An aside, CaringBridge, amazing CaringBridge...our guestbook finally got big enough that they archived older entries. So....when you go there today, it will only appear that a few people have signed. You can click the link to see the older entries...if it's your first visit to the site, I recommend you read those. They are the most interesting part!)

(Aside #2...speaking of guestbooks...THANK YOU to folks who take time to "sign in, please." I can't tell you what it does for the little sanity I have left. This site gets between 500-800 hits per day, and even given that 100 of those might be me and another 100 might be two or three people who like to obsessively hit the refresh button, and 20 or so are my mom...that's a lot of visitors. But what's with the 2-3 entries a day in the guestbook??? Charlie's talking to the wall. Only a few select folks will get that one. Anyway, I do feel less nuts when you talk back to m…

I made my bed

Sunday, December 4, 2005 0:28 AM CST

Okay, okay, okay. Settle down everyone. I made my bed. You guys are hilarious. I can't believe how many emails I got about sleeping on a mattress. It's made now. You can sleep better tonight. I was sleeping fine. :-)

We got our tree today. We always go to Klicker's and pick one from the field. Mike Klicker was there, and it was great to see him. I even got to talk to Laurie on the phone when she called looking for him. It was cold and muddy, the snow has melted into muck.

Funny aside, Zach predicted this. That the snow would melt and it would rain. Then he said it would snow again in a couple of weeks and do the same thing, but that we'd have a white Christmas. Well, Kate is now convinced that Zach can tell the future. "HOW did he know that, Mom?" "Well, sweetie, that often happens, it was pretty easy to predict." "NO, Mom, he KNEW!" She's very impressed. I told Z the story, and he smiled, then said…

10 Things I Hate About You

Thursday, December 1, 2005 11:33 PM CST

Where do I even start?

Joan Didion (sp?) in her book, "The Year of Magical Thinking," talks about the great divide that is death. She says, people will say, "Oh, he died after a long illness" as if the protracted means of death gives one time to prepare or get ready or lessens the sting somehow. And yet, no matter what, it's like a grand piano falling on you from the sky. She talks about, it was an ordinary moment, and then everything changed. One minute you're fixing dinner. The next your life is irrevokably different. She talks about how every death is sudden. One moment, someone is alive, is here. And then they are not. They are dead. Irreversible. Permanent. Unalterable. From one moment to the next, everything has changed forever. Never, never to be the way it was before.

It's a bleak thought. Bleak and cold, like the snow outside my window.

But it's not as bleak as the quiet desperation that lives within my h…