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.