Dropped in on Sam this

Dropped in on Sam this (yesterday) morning to plan a countryside drive this weekend. We got to talking about “belonging” and he asked me how long I’d been in Vermont – wouldn’t you know it was my ten-year anniversary! A solid decade. That means I’m on the verge of setting a longevity record – we lived in Denver for about 10 years when I was a kid (aged 4-14). Wow.
Sam noted some of the characteristics of Vermonters, concluding that “we’re direct, but we get things done quietly.” I thought that was an appropriate motto for starting to facilitate the mentoring grant project today…but when I told Sam I was going to work on accomplishing directness in a quiet fashion he said, “I doubt it.” Alas! My personality precedes me. ­čÖé
The trouble with indirectness is that in some venues it just doesn’t translate. For instance, I think Sam’s desire to have me write about him here is not only that old friends and family read “the news,” but that they actually engage with each other (through the comments function). And, what do you want to bet he wouldn’t mind it if he made new friends this way? Or at least got somebody thinking about something…I suspect (because Sam certainly hasn’t said anything so blatant) that being published on the web is an act of life for Sam. It’s a way of asserting the fact that he IS still thinking, feeling, curious, engaged, and caring, even if his body is crapping out on him. He wants to do what he has always done – bring people together to share their experiences in stimulating ways.
Discussions about family have been percolating lately. For me, because in so many ways I feel without family – not the kind that gives that rooted sense of belonging. So I’m always seeking connections in other places. Which connections/needs can family fulfill, and which can (perhaps should, or need to) be satisfied elsewhere?
The mentoring grant meeting went all right today, I guess. It was grueling setting the schedule, but we got it done and responded to technical and methodological concerns that were raised. The turnout was great – yahoo! Hopefully the momentum will build and energize us all. Its going to be a consuming project for me and Li for the next 9 weeks, there’s no doubt! (Then we’ll get a break until the massive editing push in January.)

One thought on “Dropped in on Sam this”

  1. Dear Sam,
    You’ve been on my mind and heart lately, so much so that I am compelled to write you this brief note. I’ve read about your recent concerns and thoughts regarding mortality and death. You and I are at that age aren’t we? We won’t likely get to see each other in the flesh again, but I so very much want to see you in Heaven not very long hence. As I recall, being in your Mother’s home with you in the spring of ’54, that she was a devout christian. I do hope and pray, if you havn’t done so already, that you will make your peace with God so that you know for sure you will join your Mother in Heaven when this life on earth comes to a close. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that if Sam or Harold or any one else believes in Him, Sam will not perish but have everlasting life. This simply and profoundly means commiting oneself to God’s Son, Jesus, as Lord and Savior of one’s life. I highly recommend you do so if you havn’t already. Sam, God loves you and so do Kathy and I.
    Harold VanValin

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