Monday, June 28, 2010

Zuzu's Petals

In the lobby of the Pete Gross House, next to the wall of mail shoots and cubbies there is a donation cabinet with a sign: Please put items underneath in the cabinet. Un-opened, and non-perishable items only please. -- Thank you! Nothing ever changes in the lobby except what is on and in the cabinet. The conversation center with table and chairs, t.v., game shelf, couch and stainless presentation acknowledging Friends of the Pete Gross House and Council Members and the biography and big picture of Pete Gross, the brochure stand with bus schedules stay the same. The cabinet is the lobby wild card. We have found oatmeal, tomato soup, pants that fit, socks, books, magazines, dolls, head bands, medical supplies, chips and assortment of give-aways for the taking. And, we took. For the first three months of our time here, I was a rag picker like everyone else. Wow, look at this! We can use this oatmeal. I put the cardboard cylinder of oats under my arm and push the elevator button to 6. A sense of giftedness came over me every time I made a find on the table. A few days ago, I started to see the table differently. Angelia, a German woman who was in Seattle with complications since November! finally went home. We invited her for dinner the night before she left. She brought us grocery bags of food she couldn't pack. In addition to what she brought us, the cabinet in the lobby was full of her over flow. She commented to me on how fast the loot disappeared Angelia taught me a whole different way to approach the cabinet -- the cabinet is like Zuzu's Petals and the tinkling bell that rings in "It's a Wonderful Life," signaling that an angel got their wings. When I see an item on the donation table, I know that somebody broke out of here. The stuff left on and in the cabinet is dumped so the escapee isn't weighted down.


  1. How very cool! And how wonderful Zuzu got well enough to go home nearly 6 months after arriving.

  2. Valerie, I just returned from a cruise of the Inside Passage of Alaska, and it made me think of you and your canoe trip We were in Seattle, just for a day, but had to visit with Russ's daughters as it will soon be his 80th birthday.
    I trust that you are doing better each week. It seems like you get to do a lot with your girls and how special that must be.
    Holding you close in heart. Love, Joan Howard

  3. Valerie, I just wondered why there weren't any blogs, and I've been so concerned. Now I realize that things at home are not good. How I wish I could be of some help to you emotionally. This story about the pilot on the plane is touching. Be safe, and don't put yourself at risk as your children are also depending on your coming through this okay. Love you, and holding you close in heart always.
    Joan Howard