315.February 20

London, UK

Kew Gardens was fun. It was cold, but the sun came out in the afternoon. First, Becca and I walked to the Pagoda. The Queen's Cottage. Then the Temperate Room. I met others in Marine life and went to eat in the Orangery. Then we rushed off to the entry so we could walk to Chiswick and the Hogarth House. Then back on the Tube to Earl's Court after a long Thames walk and on the bus home. The sky is gorgeous tonight, homework, a movie and pizza maybe.


After last nights great part for Faust, I woke at 0900 and went to Deco after a conversation with my niece Katie. I had a service pack to install, and updated a bunch of other computers, mostly the ones still running Windows 2000 while I waited for the storage server to finish. Then I got take-out for Koreana, Decorah's sushi restaurant, and brought it to Rachel, who was making clothing for mermaids with Katie. I slept when we got home, while Rachel rehearsed with 3 young singers for an event tomorrow. I joined her at the YOOH building to continue cleaning up after our last event, and Jill came too. We all went to a movie with Harrison Ford at the Cinema.


I was with Sharon from 16:30 to 18:30 tonight. I knew instantly it was a great day when she greeted me immediately with a very confident “Hello” response to my “Hi, mom.” I did not make a big deal of the unexpected greeting, though I was very excited by the progress she had made with her vocal therapist. Since I thought perhaps she’d been talking all day, when she said “would you like to...” and trailed off quieter as I was approaching from where I was working on an unnecessary project, most likely too remind me to get home to Rachel Storlie, since mom knew I was going home to help her bake some lasagna. This idea was complex enough to have me fairly excited, stringing at least four words together. She would not repeat them, though, and I said goodnight to her, amazed at the strides she is making. Yesterday she moved both her feet individually. Now, she was using both hands during our conversation, though definitely favoring her left while she listened to me read an ever complex Wodehouse novel. I could tell by the time I left she was tiring, but she’d stayed with me. She’d eaten quite a bit of each supper offering, drank very little, but smiled lots, and stayed engaged with me for two hours. It was another totally fulfilling night for me. I told her all the weekend plans, like her granddaughters state speech performance, Mardis Gras in Protivin, and all I knew, and also remembered with her some family stories, recapping stories I shared yesterday. On my walk home, I called Dad and told him of the successful work she’d done today, and of course he couldn’t have been happier to hear that  I  was given the honor of hearing his lovely wife speak again.


Rachel and I were invited to recount our 2023 Luren Scandinavian tour at Decorah's Son's of Norway meeting by David Judisch. We had dinner with Rachel's dad at Mabes Pizza. Then on to Pulpit Rock for a beer. I'm very partial to their Czeck Pilsner called LECKER. We sat through the SONS meeting, and then showed 45 minutes of slides, with Rachel narrating in the written words of John Jefferson, who recounted his trip on paper. I had planned to speak a lot, but I wasn't planning on reading, and so didn't bring my glasses. I instead ran the slides and interjected only about five times. It was fun. I met George Hanson afterwards, who is related to me through other relatives from Mabel, MN, about his life travelling the world in the oil industry until 1973. We were treated to some norwegian desserts before we left.