There are three threads to consider in this July letter.
First: about Marcus. After a stable spring he was hospitalized for a week because his white cell count went from "just fine" to O. After three kinds of antibiotics in Dornbecker Hospital in Portland he is home again, active again, THANK-GOD! But your concern and prayers for this 11 year old grandson are still needed as the roller coaster ride of leukemia continues.
Second: the Long Journey has begun. I moved from Grand Junction on June 17 and spent a wonderful nine days in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. My host and guide was Reverend John Costanzo who has been a beloved friend for almost 20 years.
If you have an atlas you could trace the many little trips during those days: to Monte Vista from Del Norte, to Saguache, to San Luis, to Creede, to South Fork and to Pueblo. I saw buffalo (fenced in) as well as deer and antelope, herds of cattle with calves, herds of magnificent horses with foals between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains. In San Luis I was able to climb "the mountain" to do the Stations of the Cross, the deeply moving bronze images of Holy Week sculpted by Huberto Maestas, a brilliant nationally known sculptor.
Wildflowers, rainbows after tremendous thunderstorms, the headwaters of the Rio Grande and walks along the Arkansas River were part of those days. There was even a fiesta to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist before I left for Denver.
As I write I am visiting beloveds in Denver but will be in Oregon for the month of July. Two daughters and their families will cherish me until July 31. Now isn't THAT a splendid second step on the journey?
Third thread: before I left Grand Junction professional friends created a video of me talking about "Embroidered Memories". Many of them are on these web pages. If you would like to see me, the 30 minute tape explains why we need to say THANK-YOU for everything we receive in your lives - leukemia or love. In addition, I speak of coming to understand that I am an artist.
If you are curious, interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Now how's that for three threads? Marcus' health the first leg of my journey and a discreet commercial.
The THANK-YOU for July is to my beloved cousin, Jack Race.
May God continue to guide and to protect you.