Something Fishy’s Going On

We’re having a little burst of springlike weather in the Seattle area today, and I went out to feed the fish. Before I give you my annual fish report, please excuse a small digression.

Terry, one of my very loyal fans who lived in Grand Junction, Colorado, recently passed away. How loyal was she? Once when I was doing an event in Boulder, Colorado, she drove 186 miles ONE WAY to come see me. When she arrived at the venue—a public library, she was told that the room was full and they didn’t let her inside. Had I known, I would have thrown Bill out so Terry could have come in.

Due to a series of cascading health issues, Terry was never able to attend another live event. As a result, shortly before this past Christmas, she began sending me boxes of my books, two or three boxes at a time, so I could have her books signed.

Rather than sending a comment to my blogs, Terry always sent me a personal email with her responses. When she suddenly went dark on me, I waited a week or two. I had an email address and a physical address but no phone number. Knowing she was in poor health and after checking with all the hospitals in the area to see if she was an in-patient, I finally called the local sheriff’s department and asked them to do a welfare check. Turns out she was in a short-term rehab facility. After that she gave me the name and number of a close friend, so I could call her if I was worried about Terry instead of having to call the cops.

The last shipment of books arrived and was signed, but Terry had gone dark again. I was reluctant to send the books without knowing for sure that she was home, so I called the friend. Sure enough Terry was back in the hospital. Terry called me the next Sunday afternoon. She sounded chipper and said she expected to be released from the hospital the very next day. I assured her that I’d send the books as soon as I knew she was home. But instead of being released the next day, she passed away. Her signed books are still in my garage, and the person handling Terry’s affairs told me to go ahead and donate them to a hospital here, which I fully intend to do.

So why am I telling you all this? Terry was always eager to have my annual fish report, one letting people know if the twelve and thirteen year-old koi in our fishpond, the Big Guy and Big Orange had survived another winter to say nothing the brutal beak of our neighborhood blue heron.

So today when I went outside to check, I was gratified to find that both of our name-brand fish as well as many smaller ones were all present and accounted for. They seemed a bit lethargic and not quite up to their usual fast-moving selves, but they were certainly there. So this post is my once a year fish report to all my regular blog readers. As for Terry?

I’m pretty sure she already knows.

34 thoughts on “Something Fishy’s Going On

  1. Thank you for the fish report. I’m always glad to learn they have escaped the dreaded heron yet another year. I like the annual report. Am sorry about Terry, but it was her time to leave the physical world. I’m sure she knows about the fish, too.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your loyal friend and reader. Logically I understand that death is a part of life, but it still makes me sad and a bit angry. Take care.

    I have to get back to Beau and Paul Kramer trying to solve the murder in the school district office.

  3. My sympathies to you over the loss of such a devoted reader and friend.
    Glad your fish are doing well.
    We had the same kind of spring weather here in New Hampshire until yesterday (Thursday, 3/21). We’re back in the deep freeze and may see snow on Saturday. Mother Nature is so unpredictable.
    Take care.

  4. So sorry to read about Terry. As one rock and roll song said, “No One Gets Out Of Here Alive,” although no comfort in a time like this, it does brutally tell what we all will face. I am glad you will be donating the books to the hospital. They will give some people hours of pleasure as they take your book journeys. May Terry Rest In Peace.

    Glad your coy have made it another year.

  5. This proves, once again, what a wonderful person you are. Your reader and friend is now flying with angles, and watching over the Koi.

  6. What a joy for this fan to have been personally recognized by her favorite author. You made a difference in her life. She is smiling down from her new home.
    And yes, there are two spaces after a period.

  7. What a lovely lady Terry is – and I do SAY IS – because she still is. She’s changed but is still among us. And now her health is perfect! I believe she’s watching over your coi! I have always felt your compassion but now I hear it thru your words of care for Terry. You are a wonderful woman Judy!

  8. There is something significant with connections and normal things.
    Your writing welcomes family and touches the soul.
    Thank you.
    You are more than spectacular.
    Blessings

  9. Those are big Koi. Glad the heron didn’t get them.
    And, Terry sounds like a true, loyal friend. Someone who will be missed.

  10. Judy, thank you for sharing your friendship with Terry. It is indeed a blessing to have you as a friend. May Terry rest in peace and long live Big Guy and Big Orange!
    This truly was a bittersweet blog.

  11. Judy, I too echo the sentiments expressed so far. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your loyal fan and friend. I’m also, once again, so touched by your kindness towards others. Thanks for sharing your life experiences with us. It’s so nice to get to know you more and more each week.

  12. Sweet story…thank you. Yes, done people leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.

  13. I can’t seem to come up with the right words for something like this. I do think that the sense of compassion these two women shared is something to be admired.
    My wife and I are old people and whenever we lose someone close she always says “the line is getting shorter”. One more step toward our destiny.
    Hats off to those name brand fish, and fair warning to that rascal bird…stay on your own side of the fence.

  14. Good news re Big Guy and Big Orange! Thanks for The Fish Tales! As a birder I’m a fan of Great Blue Herons but definitely prefer they acquire their sushi in the wild–not garden ponds.
    No other author cares for or about her readers like you do–and your concern manifests itself in your writings. Thank you for all you do. Hi to Bill, xx,Annie

    • You are so right, Annie! No other author cares for or about her readers as Judy does, and it truly shows in her writing. She is a blessing to so many!

  15. I so look forward to your emails every Friday. Thank you so much for today’s, it was heartwarming to know you went to such great lengths to find out about your friend. Those of us that choose to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest… know the weather and wild animals that play havoc with our ponds!

  16. Judy, that was beautiful. And bless you for caring so much for one of your fans. In all your books there are indications that you are a caring person. I love that you include moments of humor and moments that touch me to the bottom of my heart.

  17. Judy,
    This is such a touching story of you & Terry. Mainly it shows that not only are your fans dedicated to you, but that you are dedicated to your fans. You are truly concerned and caring about them as if they were a part of your immediate blood family. I bet Terry is rejoicing and doing a happy dance right now because you shared the story of her friendship with you.

  18. Your dedication to your fans is amazing, I know she was happy you checked on her. Nice tribute to her life.

  19. The care and connection you have with your readers is a gift to all of us fans, and part of what makes reading your mysteries a multi-dimensional experience-
    As sad as it is to lose Terry, it is wonderful to know how much comfort your books and your personal interest in her must have provided- May she Rest in Peace, and, with this Blog in her honor, we fans now have a connection with Terry as well-

    It is a relief to know that the Koi have made it another year, despite the efforts of that Heron to make a meal of them! The barrier around the pond you installed seems to be working perfectly-

  20. So very sorry to hear about your reader friend. It’s hard to lose friends even if they have only been known through email, snail mail or FB. I feel bad about her not getting in to see you. I wish she could have waited and met you after. I know I had to sign up early for your Zoom meeting at our library. Did not know I had to do that and missed C J Box at our library. Love hearing about your fish.

    • We did meet up after the event and had a chance to visit but not for very long because we needed to get to the next event.

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