Yesterday I joined my friends Mike and Shelly Miksis for the 31st running of the Big Climb Seattle. The general gist: thousands of folks walk/run Columbia Center’s stairs — from floors 4 to 73, to be exact — to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was my second Big Climb — because it sells out so fast, I last did it in 2013. This outing was particularly special because Mike Miksis is currently battling lymphoma — quite successfully I might add.
My 6’5″ neighbor appears to be doing better in his battle with cancer than I’m doing with mine with Father Time: my 12:12 time was 40 seconds slower than my 2013 time. That was T328/2754 overall; T288/1380 males; and 25/146 males age 45-49. Not bad, but trending in the wrong direction. All that really matters, though, is that Mike is trending in the right direction. Next year we climb not for Mike the battler but Mike the survivor.
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To this point in his life, Finn has enjoyed — and been quite good at — team sports. Soccer, baseball, basketball — if he hasn’t been the best player on his teams he’s at least been in the top two or three. His aggressive style of play, particularly in soccer, has earned him fans and accolades among the parent class. I’ve left more than a few games thinking I’d have paid to watch him play.
That all changed with this season’s Laurelhurst Legends basketball team.
A member of the team, but not really.
The team did fine. Save for one mid-season loss, we won every game handily. But for Finn it was a season lost, if not worse. It started well enough: despite his lack of height, Finn was still among the better players on his squad. In one early season game he poured in 14 points to lead the team.
But things changed somewhere along the way. His teammates, almost all of whom are classmates in a different 2nd grade homeroom that Finn, froze him out of the offense. If he didn’t get the ball via steal or rebound, he didn’t get it at all. In the third- and second-to-last games of the season (both of which I refereed), his teammates passed him the ball exactly twice (that’s 1x/game). In last night’s season finale, he was on the receiving end of exactly three passes (two more were intercepted by a teammate). That’s in stark contrast to the 20-30 touches for the next most insignificant player and a world away from the 80-90 touches for the team’s big dogs. His spirit was understandably sapped. Shoulders shrugged, head down, this just wasn’t the same kid who’d started the season. He tried to get open for a while, but in the end he’d noticeably given up. It was as if he’d said “I’m not going to get the ball, anyway. I may as well save my energy.”
Memories fade with time, but as I write this I suspect Finn may have played his last organized basketball game. On our way to the car he lamented “I don’t ever want to play another basketball game again.”
I can’t say I blame him.
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Another year, another father-daughter dance at Sand Point Country Club.
She’s growing up WAY too fast.
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Another Saturday in February, another tea party. A few photos:
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It takes a lot to get me downtown on a weekday evening.
Last night’s “a lot” was a Laurelettes night out at Wings Over Washington.
We started out at WOW, a tourist trap modeled after California Adventure Park’s “Soaring Over California” ride. After that it was dinner for twenty or so at Red Robin. A few of the girls — Reese included — finished things up with a quick ride on the ferris wheel. By “quick” I mean that, including the wait, the ride took 45 minutes.
A few photos:
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For the last few years snowflakes have been as common in Seattle as Trump voters.
We awoke to our first appreciable snow in probably two years.
We were at the park by 9 am. So was the rest of the neighborhood.
Sledding was lousy, but we made up for it with a great neighborhood snowball fight. Adults — meaning me and Chris Landman — against roughly 15 neighborhood kids.
Laurelhurst Park, whited out.
Reese, Charlotte and Finn.
Finn and Mats Bashey made a snowman at the park.
Later in the day, Finn built a snowman in the backyard.
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