I say hello, you say goodbye…or maybe it’s vice versa



(from my friends at the zoo…)

It’s hard to know where to begin. This post could very well be the Reader’s Digest version of my entire life here in the blog community.

-Rich left the big corporation, is once again thriving on his own, we no longer have a need to pay thousands a month to have a residence in Chicago, we sold the condo in 63 days flat, 63 days is an eternity when you don’t have a corporate paycheck, Aslan Movers is back on the job and we are very much headed in the right direction. Smaller footprint, modest lifestyle, mountain mama, what have you. A life I have only dared imagine and now we begin to build.

– We’re moving. Gak. Actually, we’re going into storage until we can move properly next April 1. Until then, it will all be packed up, climate controlled and we will be less fortunate than our furniture, wilting away in Florida all summer. Except I am planning my escape from that. Friends in Michigan? Here I come..

-If a dentist ever suggests crown lengthening to you, just head for Tijuana or CVS and buy dentures. ‘Nuff said. Except that five weeks out and it appears I have retained a molar that was otherwise history. So, that’s a good thing.

-Things at Lost Loon Lodge have taken a turn for the worse. Only there is it still dropping into the 20’s and snowing at night and poor Bud had a fall and then it turns into a very bad movie for a while- about 14 hours- where it’s fortunate he didn’t get eaten by a bear. He is now safely warmed up and recovering in The Big Hospital (Marquette) and talking the ears off his charming CCU nurse. This is all relatively new news, in the past 72 hours, and we shall see what the next week brings. But please send him good thoughts.

-I am here and there and no place in particular, just very unsettled. I flew to Chicago yesterday, have flight times to the U.P. jotted down just in case, but sister Laurel is enroute to be with Bud. Memories of mother, siblings, Marquette Hospital, 18 flavors of cafeteria jello. If possible, I head to Michigan Wednesday for Dan’s birthday, a dear friend’s wedding and a much needed MEETING OF THE CLUB (BCMA).

– The Asheville house is rented until next February at which time I will finally get the kitchen and garden of my dreams and live happily ever after with my sweetie. Until then, I at least caught up on some much needed nap time with him yesterday. We dragged out the futon, he turned on golf and we snuggled down for the nicest 4 hours imaginable. I’ve seen Rich a total of  2 weeks since Christmas so this week is a little hiatus in marital heaven.

-NOMO released their new CD , Invisible Cities, and the son is getting ready to leave on tour, States and Europe. You can hear a live NPR studio excerpt here or a free Amazon download here. The bari sax player is cute, yes?


-The Snarl and Misha are simply wunnerful, wunnerful. She’s flying in the face of H1N1, natch, and heading to a remote Mexican village to design and implement a non-profit organization for local fishermen and their families. Then Abby and Misha will go to Russia to Meet the Parents (the other parents).


-Rich’s new book is in pre-release and he is busy getting ready for a book tour. Wherein we will spend more time apart this fall because I have felting classes to teach and cats to consider and as much as we love each other, we might possibly resort to domestic violence left alone in an RV and 60 cities. I plan to drop in and out of the tour as it makes sense. I am incredibly proud of him as he writes about the obvious that everyone always ignores but is really really important. The book is called Simple Community and you can read his book blog here. And see a picture of the two of us, me before I stopped dyeing my hair.

THERE. Now I am caught up and can begin to blog again and that will really (really) make me happy. I can’t guarantee a daily post and you’d never believe it if I said it but I will get back to regular reading and writing and commenting as time permits.


So. Here is my first little regular blog entry in quite a while. Today was a weepy, happy /sad day. Today, I said goodbye to the Lincoln Park Zoo and my friends said goodbye to me.

I walked around the zoo after the morning meeting and Caruso, the white-cheeked gibbon, hopped down from his branch and came to pat me and  snuggle through the glass. So, I cried a little bit. I am now, too, as I write. It makes me very sad , this parting of ways. But here’s a bit of interesting karmic-type news: I’ve been thinking about what I might plug in, zoo-wise, in the Asheville area. I have Boyd Hill in St. Petersburg but still. I had been reading up on the Western North Carolina Nature Center and also lining up my references, to apply for something there. They do raptors and otters and bears and also, red wolves.


I’ve talked to you about the red wolves at Lincoln Park Zoo. The breeding pair there has had pups two years in a row and this year they again made national news. The thing about these wolves is that they are beyond endangered; they were declared extinct in the wild in the late 80s. Once a major predator in the Eastern U.S., they have been virtually no more, except in captivity. One of the wonderful things that zoos can sometimes do is re-introduce a species to the wild and undue the damage of our human follies. This year several of our tiny days old pups were sent to the North Carolina Red Wolf Recovery  Program where they are being fostered by a pair of wild wolves. Hopefully they will soon join the other 100-120 wild red wolves now living in North Carolina. 


Two pups stayed at the zoo with their parents and today, a day when I thought to take my camera, mother brought them out of the den. They aren’t great photos because it was some distance and through the fence but here they are. A critically endangered animal being brought back from extinction. Aren’t they beautiful? And now I may get to commune with the program helping their siblings on the other end. How cool is that?


If you don’t link to any other links in this post, please take a moment to check out this two minute you tube video, which I took from Rich’s blog. It’s very smart, very cool and right on. My teacher friends and those of you who work with young adults will love it.


17 responses to “I say hello, you say goodbye…or maybe it’s vice versa

  1. I am so glad to hear from you and to hear that Bud is not too much worse for his experience.

    I know how hard it must be to leave the zoo, but I’m so glad you’ve prepared yourself for that by becoming involved down here and you’re already looking at Asheville and its possiblities.

    I still want to have lunch with you!!!

  2. SOOOOOO glad Bud is better. Whew! I was worried and praying which don’t really go together do they? I know today was hard, but glad you are looking forward to the future. You and Rich need a hammock in that lovely Florida yard so you can cuddle together there. In the winter that is. In the summer, you will not want him close as you will stick together with sweat. EEEWWW !

  3. I’ve been praying for Bud, and I hope he won’t be too badly damaged by his night in the cold. Please keep us posted on his progress.

    The zoo in Asheboro is probably nowhere near as big or nice as Lincoln Park, but my daughter-in-law’s mother used to volunteer there and loved it. I hope you can visit there sometime. I know that Lincoln Park is very sorry to lose you.

    Good news about the condo sale and that Rich is doing well on his own. I wish I had known about his blog before. I subscribed on bloglines.

    The kids look great – all three of them – as do the baby wolves. I’d love to cuddle them (as long as the momma wasn’t around!)

    Crown lengthening? NO thanks! I’d be toothless before I’d do that, I think.

    Glad to have you back here at any time, Vicki.

  4. You had me crying too about that snuggly gibbons. The only other primate, besides humans, I ever held hands with was a gibbons at the Denver zoo. I will never forget the coolness of her soft hand and fingers.

    It’s not hard to imagine the world could radically change if we all learned to love and respect the wild animals that have no other choice but to share this planet with us. Saving the Red Wolf is the promise of sanity. I hope you get to have a part in that.

    Good healing thoughts to Bud.

  5. Vicki, dear, I know what you need right now. You to to visit a friend in southern Indiana for a few days. If only you knew someone down here who has a guest room all prepped and ready. Sigh.

    I’ll be in Idaho all next week, but after that I’ll be home until the summer sessions start up on June 8. I’m also off from Aug. 5 until the 23rd. Come on over.

  6. We have visited Wolf Haven in WA and loved it; those wolves are wonderful. The longer away from BlogVille, the harder it is to catch up sometimes–glad you’re back and life is moving in the right direction. For each goodbye, there will be a hello, sort of like one door closing and another opening, right?

  7. It is SOOOOO good to hear from you again. Your life is full and crazy and sounds like at least some fun.

    It is so hard for someone as independent as Bud to see that he needs his family around him more… I have seen my folks health decline these last few years… my job situation seems to be a blessing in disguise… I now have more time to spend with them and they can ease into being more dependent on me.

    When you get to Ashville perhaps you can visit the beach… or if Nyssa decides to settle somewhere around there… who knows?

    Come see the Cooper’s Hawks that invaded my space here… really, the back patio here! I love the idea of you working at the wolf center… what an opportunity.

    As for teeth.. avoidance…. works for me. If I ever have to have something done… such as teeth pulled….ouch… I think the way to go is implants. Mom got three and they are wonderful… she is most pleased.

    Welcome back… you were missed.

  8. goodness!!

    I’m glad to hear the update on Bud–I was wondering.

    As for your darling girl headed to Mexico. I spoke with my parents yesterday. They live in Monclova and said that their little town didn’t have ONE case of the dreaded swine flu. And that all the restrictions had been lifted so they went to church yesterday. Hopefully, her village is the same. (it’s the stoopid plane that would worry me.)

  9. I’ve been to the Western North Carolina Nature Center! It’s awesome! And I can’t wait until you move to Asheville because I can drive there in 10 hours.

    Bud is one tough old bird. I was horrified when I first heard the news, and when I thought about it later–an old man lying outside in the cold while snow falls–it even made me cry a little. I’m so happy to hear that he is recovering.

    As for you, darling Vicki, it sounds like it’s all coming together. But the goodbyes are hard, I know.

    That Snarl! And the cute bari sax player! They are both amazing. You done good, honey.

  10. Good God, you must be at least an F-4 on the Fujita scale.
    What a whirlwind of a life.

    Here’s hoping you get to chill a little soon.

    Wishing the best for Bud and your beautiful children.

  11. How the hell did I miss the news about Bud? I haven’t even been to the wild hiking trail yet? I’m glad to hear that he’s being cared for. Will watch for updates.

    Loved meeting Sasha and catching up with the adorable Snarl during my visit. Glad she has found a project to fill her needs and suit her desires. This is good.

    Hugs to all.

  12. Thanks for the update, Vicki. Glad to know your kids are doing well. Hope Bud continues to recover . . . sounds like quite a story there.

    Thanks for that link to the YouTube video. It was painful watching it the first half and then I saw where it was going and it was simply brilliant.

    I wish you and Rich all the joy in the world in your new life together. Best of luck in creating your new life.

  13. Best to your Bud. Poor dear.
    Don’t talk about the dentist – I need stuff done. No insurance right now, though, so putting it off.
    Love your zoo stuff.
    Congrats to Rich. How wonderful to be published and on a book tour. Good on him.
    I’ll let my musician bro-in-law in Pt Townsend, WA know about Daniel’s new cd.
    Good to get caught up.

  14. I am glad to hear that Bud is recovering and that you will get to do everything you needed and wanted to do.

    We had rain tonight…hooray! A classic thunderstorm and an hour of rain. Of course, that also means that summer is upon us. The thermometer is already stuck between 75 and 90 degrees, shirts are sticking to backs, and shorts will soon get lost in butt cracks.

    I miss you!

  15. thought I’d left some thoughts for you and Bud here but they seem to have got lost … they are here again.

  16. Life is a whirlwind…I’ve missed you. Your children are amazing. Must be their cool mom.

  17. Thank youhttp://togreeting.blogspot.com

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