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Tools for School

August 22, 2013

Washington – Sunday, August 11

We had to get moving a bit quicker this morning than yesterday. Christy’s oldest daughter is getting married in September, and she and I were going to go along with Kim to the hair salon this morning where she was going to try out some different hairstyles. But first I wanted to take care of my donation-of-the-day – it was going to go to the Tools for School program that is run by the Issaquah Food Pantry, and they were open from 9 to noon this morning. My sister’s kids went to Issaquah schools, so it seemed like an appropriate donation for today! I had called ahead of time to see if they wanted a financial donation or actual school supplies, and they told me it would really be helpful to get a financial donation because they can go shopping at Office Depot for school supplies and get them at cost, so they would be able to get more school supplies than I could. Christy rode along with me to show me where the food pantry was, and at first we thought the place was closed even though they had assured me they were open on Sundays. But we tried a different door, and met the person who was there. She seemed to be surprised to get a donation on a Sunday morning, and both she and I were surprised when Christy pulled out $56 and matched my donation! She wanted to do that since her kids had attended Issaquah schools (her youngest has one more year left!). The goal of the Tools for School program is to ensure that every student in the school district starts school with all the necessary supplies, and they plan to have 1200 backpacks, filled with supplies, ready to hand out to the elementary, middle and high school students who need them.

Then we drove to a neighboring town to the hair salon. Kim’s maid of honor also joined us there, and after visiting for a while, I headed out to walk a couple miles with Tula – it was going to be a long hair appointment! Christy joined me, and we walked 2 miles through town and some adjoining neighborhoods. When we got back, it looked like they hadn’t made much progress, but they had started all over again. After some more time and some more visiting, Chris and I took Tula on another mile and a half walk, and then the chosen hairstyle was finished – complete with veil! Then we went on a long drive to the other side of Seattle where Kim was going to have a wedding dress fitting – all they needed to do today was figure out what kind of bustle she wanted, and it was fun to get a sneak peek at the wedding dress on the beautiful bride-to-be!

Then we headed back to Bellevue, and Tula and I set off for a 2 1/2 mile walk along the trail that runs right by the back of their house. They live in a hilly area, so we walked up and down, and it was a pretty (and convenient!) place to get some more walking done. I also took care of laundry. By then it was getting close to dinner time, and I was able to help a little. There was going to be a full house – 6 of Christy’s 7 kids, and a fiance and a husband of a couple of them, and a 4 year old grandson were all going to be around for a Sunday evening steak feast. There was an incredible amount and variety of food, and it was such a special time to have together with all of them. The next time I’ll see them all will be at the wedding, and things will be much more chaotic then, so I’m glad I had time to catch up with some of them now (although I felt guilty I didn’t help with clean-up!). The kids began to peel off to their various apartments and homes, and the house got quiet again. Somewhere along the way, Chris had found time to put together a gift bag for me for an early birthday present – some yummy goodies (including a 3# jar of peanut butter!) and a handful of gift cards for some good food as I finish out my journey. I’m spoiled indeed! Then, even though it was a little late, we headed out for one more 2 mile walk to finish off my walking for the day. The big family weekend was a wonderful way to wrap up my stay near Seattle.

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