Thursday, February 22, 2007


Today I got some pictures back.
I sat in the car, snow piling up outside, and I cried and cried.
I was homesick for a place that had never been home.
Haroldson homesick.
Maybe you can see in these pictures why moving to Seattle has crossed my mind.

Peter Bain and I have often talked about how the friends we made at UPS, who we were with for four years (some more, some less), have been the people that also made the deepest impressions on our hearts. There's something about that time in your life, the time when you are creating your own life, deciding who you want to be, there's something important and amazing about that time. Something almost magical. A love that Dave and Erik and Mark especially knew...and it grew to include Evy and me and of course Peter and Doug and Jim and Wayne and Jamie and Steve and many others.

Evy and I have often marveled at how that connection has been passed on to our a way that defies reason or explanation.

All I can say is that I'm blessed beyond belief. Yes, because I live in Walla Walla. But also because I have the Haroldsons in my heart.

I love you...Erik, Evy, Canute, Sonja and Echo, too!

Hugs, Shell

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Catching Up

Hello Constant Reader,
Friend, Ally, Supporter,
Prayer Warrior,
Brother, Sister...

I'm not sure what I would do without the support I get through this blog. I might go insane. Wait...I might be there already.

In fact so much so that I asked my children tonight what they thought of moving to the Seattle area. They all looked at me like I had three heads. I'm not thinking of doing anything drastic, but I look around and realize that in many ways, I'm terribly unhappy and lonely. So like any good 12-stepper, I look for a quick fix...geographical cure. Wouldn't it be nice to start over? Just ditch everything and go somewhere new and fresh and clean?

Not really, I guess.

For instance, we would have missed this one:

Zach says, "Mom, I need lunch money." (This, as I'm sweetly encouraging Kenny for the 15th time to get in the shower, as I'm gently reminding Kate for the 10th time to brush her teeth, as I'm giving positive affirmations to them all about how I'm certain they remembered to do all their homework, let the dog out and empty the dishwasher...and that nobody left a wet load of laundry moldering in the washer.)
Mom says patiently, with a smile, "Okay, dear one, I'll write a check for you in the morning, and I don't even mind that you always leave it to the last minute."

Okay, maybe not.

But I did promise him money and then promptly forgot.
So next day, I'm driving to pick Z up from basketball practice. And suddenly I remember...THE LUNCH MONEY! And I'm thinking, he never eats breakfast, and he went to school at 6:25 for BDAD and then school and then practice and now it's 6:00 and he's had NOTHING to eat and oh my goodness, there goes my Mom of the Year Award and he's going to be grouchy and maybe his friends took pity on him, oh dear, .... you get the idea.

So Z gets in the car. He smiles and tells me the story. He was sitting at lunch, forlorn and hungry and one of the women that works there came to him and said, "You're Dave's son, right?" And Z says, "Yes." And she said, "I just wanted you to know that if you ever need money, there is about $20 left on your Dad's account and you can use that."

WOW. Thanks Dave.

And we would have missed this one:

I'm surrounded by young moms and we're talking about husbands, and I'm telling one of the stories about Dave. Laurie walks in with a beautiful red rose. For me? Yes, for you. I read the card..."I know Dave would want you to have this. A friend." Everyone got chills. How amazing is that? Not only that someone would care that Dave's love was sent to me on Valentine's Day, but that the rose would come just as we were talking about him, and when I was surrounded by people who would understand just what that rose meant. Whoever you are, thank you, thank you.

And we would have missed this:

Kate, playing her heart out at a basketball tournament in Wenatchee. Brother Z, assisting the coaches, sitting on the bench with the little girls who adore him. Kate, disappointed that she got two fouls. Zach: "That's good! That means you were in there, you were playing hard." Kate laughing as Z turns purple after a bad call...."I thought you were going to break your clipboard." Kenny cheering when Kate made a basket. Watching girls who had been toddlers together run an offense...another gift only understood in the context of history.

And this:

Kate, turning 11 years old, smiling with her friends. Remembering when she was born, that copper hair, Dave saying, "She's a girl, Michelle...she's a GIRL!"

And this:

Kenny, watching the Superbowl with his brother, overjoyed at being with him, excited and enthusiastic, even though his team isn't in the's football after all. And Kenny tenderly checking on how I'm doing as we make the long drive back from Wenatchee...just to see the damn Superbowl. Remembering Dave, loving to watch sports, filming the Sweet Sixteen when he was supposed to be filming Zach's first birthday.

And this:

Kate, a ring of Saturn, gliding across the stage, the same stage she's danced on every few months since she was three. Elegant, beautiful, gracefully extending her arms, placed just so, her love for dance shining on her face, head held high, spinning, bending, leaping. Incredible to see this child grow from a little clown with bouncing pigtails tied in pink ribbons to this breath-taking young woman.

And this:

Z slamming his hand in the car door, bringing his friend to the ER with him to get stitched back together.
And finally, after almost two weeks, playing b-ball again.
Jumping up to block a shot, getting undercut from behind, FIVE FEET in the air - HORIZONTAL - coming down on his back. End of season.
What other pediatrician would "get it" the way Ted does? What a treasure he is.


There are good things here. There are.
And there are bad things other places. There are.
And nothing
and no place
can erase the ache.

Love to you all...

PS Added later...clarification after reading the comments...No, I'm not really thinking of moving, just fantasizing about how some days, it would be nice to fly away and forget...but we never really can, nor would we actually want's just a bit of fancy...

and....I have to echo what Kathie, Canute & Sue said: Walla Walla is an incredible place...I hope you see that is why I listed all the wonderful things that have happened here in the past few weeks...that could have never happened anywhere else on earth, that we would have missed if we'd been anywhere else at all. This place is filled with people who care beyond any place I've ever seen, read about or heard of...I venture that heaven itself is only a shade better than Walla Walla. Miracles happen here. (Although the very few bad apples in the barrel do seem to be aiming right at me these days...but that's another story.) So rest assured, we're staying put, and we do appreciate and love you all and I could never express how grateful I am for all you've done to keep us going over the past 9's more than I can even say, and I hope that's coming through, loud, strong and clear....

I love this song by Sanctus speaks to my heart, because I'm not 'alright,' as it says, but all I go through leads me to seek support, and to draw closer to God. I especially like the part where he sings, "Honestly, I'm not that strong." Because I've felt anything but strong lately, and I know that in my weakness is where God will shine through. He shines every day in the people that surround me and lift me up and keep me going.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Please pray for me.
And for my "enemies" too.
I've been praying all day.
I am in the midst of a conflict now.
Praying for wisdom to do the right thing by Kenny.
Praying for courage to be honest, even when it's hard.
Praying for discernment to know what the objective issues are.
Praying for kindness to temper the honesty.
Thank you for praying with me for guidance and for God to be present in this entire process.