What do I know about Seattle? Incessant rain (apparently a myth). Microsoft (no myth … the Internets are truly coming one of these days). Starbucks (Cinnamon Dolce Latte … period). Pearl Jam (“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” … period). Ichiro Suzuki (for Jacoby Ellsbury?). The Space Needle (drawing a blank). And for the last decade and then some, the Greater Seattle area has been home to one of my best pals, Karen Gates.
She left town as Karen Cousens. She’s now in the capable hands of the BMW-motorcycle-riding Ug32, better known as Mr. Doug Gates, also known as one of the Great Oregon Ducks fans of all time, referred to by his wife as the Greatest Husband On The Planet, and known by me as one tremendous dude. They’ve got Ben and Jack, 9 and 7 (same ages as my own Things 1 and 2), and they’ve got themselves a pretty cool, sustainable, caffeinated life out there on the upper-left edge of America.
Point is, it was sad to see her migrate 3,004 miles (I Google-mapped it) all those years ago, but whereas some people get up and go for all the wrong reasons, she found all the right ones in the arms of one guy. She was pretty darned great before, as all of one. Now, whenever she returns to New Hampshire as half of two, I am inspired (and I know this is going to sound pretty girly, but I’m going to say it anyway) by her example of the power of love. She’s tough. She’s self-assured. She’s as good a listener as a teller. She cares about the photos on other people’s walls.
This time, part of her return was a trip to Epsom, where she was kind enough to cut a check to Hoops For Heroes (Thanks to you, too, Doug!) and join me at the gym for a two-hour rebounding romp. With Mr. Springsteen doing his thing through the gym’s sound system, we methodically dropped in 1,400 more foul shots, the only downside being Karen’s smirkishly pointing out my apparently evident New Hampshah accent, whereby every time I would get to the numbah after “three” … I would allegedly say, “foe-wah.”
OK, so let’s forget all that and just take a deep breath and review our new total: 145,807 down, 854,193 to go to 1 million made foul shots.
The whole Gates family of four is coming east again in July, and we’ll all be looking forward to seeing them then. As we used to say in Newport, it’ll be wicked decent.