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South Hill connections on Facebook

If you are on Facebook and curious about what's going on not just in the South Perry District but in nearby neighborhoods, here are a few Facebook sites for you to follow:

The Manito Neighborhood Site can be found here.

Spokane Southie, a blog written by a South Hill Woman, can be found here.

The Manito/Cannon Hill Neighborhood Council can be found here.

The South Perry Fair and Parade Facebook site can be found here. It's often used to announce neighborhood news during the off season.

And here is the link to the East Central Community Center's Facebook page.

I'm sure I missed some community organizations - let me know.

October: The Power of Pink, The Power of Community

Each October I honor my grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, by re-posting this 2006 column.  She was, and will always be, an inspiration and a guiding force in my life. CAM

 

 

The Home Planet: Community potent weapon against breast cancer

Cheryl-Anne Millsap
Staff writer
Oct 30., 2006

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’m sure you’ve noticed – next to the orange and black Halloween and harvest decorations – the pink ribbons, pink tools, pink kitchen gadgets, all being sold guaranteeing part of the profit will go to work for a cure for breast cancer.

Thanks to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, pink is the other color of October.

Now pink is the signature color of breast cancer awareness, the color of breast cancer research and, for some, the color of hope and success.

Pink is also the color of community. And that might just be one of the most powerful weapon in the arsenal against breast cancer

When I was a small child I went with my younger sister and infant brother to live with my grandparents. Our young mother was simply unable to care for us.

Two years later, in 1963, my grandmother – a woman who had just turned 50 – found a lump in her breast. After her surgery, the surgeon walked into the waiting room, put his hand on my grandfather’s shoulder and gave him the bad news. It was cancer. And it was very serious. She might not make it.

Both of my grandmother’s breasts were removed and she started her treatment. I don’t really know what was done to fight her cancer, beyond the surgery and radiation treatments, but I know she lost her hair.

During this time my brother, sister and I were aware that our grandmother was ill; I have a vague memory of her being in the hospital, of my grandfather brushing my hair, something my grandmother usually did. I remember the strangeness of finding him in the kitchen cooking hot cereal. I remember her wearing a wig.

We knew she was sick but the seriousness of her illness was never mentioned. You just didn’t talk about that kind of thing. Especially with children.

As soon as she was well enough, my grandfather went back to work and so did she. She went back to keeping house, to cooking all of our meals and caring for three young children. Back to raising a second family.

Although, when we got older, we were told that my grandmother had had breast cancer, the full impact of what she had been through didn’t hit me until much later. Until the pink campaign.

In 1990, at the first Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., pink ribbons were worn to signify status as a breast cancer survivor. The little badge took off and became a universal symbol. The simple pink ribbons worn that day have evolved into a potent marketing tool.

Now October has gone pink. I’ll admit that when I see pink kitchen mixers, pink umbrellas and pink vacuum cleaners, each promising to donate a portion of the profits from each sale to breast cancer research, I am vaguely irritated by all the hype. Enough already, I think. I get it.

But then I think about the monumental effort behind the campaign, and the work that has been done because of it, and I think about the world my grandmother lived in and changes that have come about. There’s a lot of power in that pink.

Just 40 years ago, we didn’t talk about cancer. You especially didn’t talk about breast cancer. Women like my grandmother had no choice but to soldier on taking care of homes and families, keeping what they endured to themselves, without the benefit of therapy or counseling. There were no support groups.

My grandmother was a relatively young woman to be raising grandchildren. She didn’t have a large circle of friends. She didn’t go to clubs or meetings. She didn’t meet other mothers for lunch downtown. She didn’t even drive. She was a true stay-at-home caregiver.

She battled cancer and the permanent effects of that battle, with only my grandfather to hold her hand. And she beat the odds. Despite a poor prognosis, she lived 20 years after her surgery before the disease reappeared. But what she didn’t have access to when she was so sick, and what I have to think would have been good medicine, was the support that only other fighters and survivors can offer.

She had sympathy but no empathy. She had no one to go to and complain, or cry, or shake her fist and scream about the pain and unfairness of what had happened to her.

That is a tool that, if today I was to find myself in her place, I would reach for immediately.

The scars after my grandmother’s surgery were disfiguring. But as I get older I wonder about the scars that were hidden. The scars no one ever saw.

There were no stitches or soothing salves for those wounds. She was left to care for them on her own.

The advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer; the advances in the search for a cause and a cure since my grandmother’s illness in 1963, have been huge.

Now, there are television commercials and magazine ads urging women to get mammograms and to make a pledge to remind one another to do regular breast self-exams.

Now, if a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer there is a community for her.

The disease is no longer shuttered and closeted. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer she doesn’t just have the benefit of science and medicine behind her. She has the benefit of a corporate identity; a network of support groups, literature, advocacy and caring. That community is a big advance.

October only lasts 31 days, but the power of pink can last a lifetime.

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review and is a contributing editor at Spokane Metro Magazine. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Sumptuous fare…

Good morning, Netizens…

 

Imagine, if you will, a street scene in Spokane, where the warm August afternoon lays across the city like a lazy courtesan, granting her favors to some but not all our residents.

 

A gang unit police car, always eagerly sniffing the air for errant activity in our neighborhood, smoothly idles down the summer street, and spying a young woman dressed in a gang hoody, he pauses beside her on the street and rolling down his passenger window, politely asks her name, where she lives and where she is going. From my vantage point, I can see him typing on the terminal inside the car, perhaps verifying who she might be.

 

Another day, perhaps, he might have put her inside the sterile cocoon of the squad car, but today he simply concluded his conversation, watching her closely as she continued up the street, ostensibly toward her destination. Or perhaps she was who she stated, albeit dressed in gang attire, walking down the sidewalk in a benign neighborhood, minding her own business and trying to avoid trouble. With a clash of technology, he suddenly accelerates, and within a few minutes I see him dashing up the next street down, once more in the hunt for someone who perhaps fits a profile that he recognizes as someone who is up to no good.

 

As the afternoon continues waning, the birds in the trees begin quieting down for the evening, the kids on their bicycles that have been eagerly moving up and down the avenue in a madcap manner for most of the day, have nearly all headed for home and the genteel tranquility of the neighborhood slowly begins delicately slowing down to its evening serenity.

 

It was nearly dusk when I heard an approaching young woman's voice from up the street singing, and so I remained in my chair on the front lawn the better to see what this might be about. As she passed by I could discern she was perhaps 14 or 15 years of age, with long red pigtails, riding her bicycle, and singing the National Anthem in her delicate voice, as she hustled down the street on her way to somewhere in the evening dusk. Perhaps sensing me sitting in the shadow of the bushes, she stands upright on her bike's pedals and increases her speed as she moves across the intersection and on down the avenue. She could have sung anything and I probably would not have recalled it later, but even as she crossed a block down from where I sat, I could still hear her singing as she passed through the evening ether.

 

When it transparently fell from dusk to nearly darkness, and still contemplating the young woman riding her bike and singing our National Anthem, I finally withdrew for the night, and rejoined my family gathered around the kitchen table. When I related the sight of the young girl singing as she rode through the dusk, and the song she chose to sing as she traveled down the street, my family understood how it had touched me, and left me satisfied, like I had just had a good meal.

 

Life doesn't get much better than this, I guess.

 

Dave

Friday Night Around the World

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)   

 

 

   On my last day in Switzerland, I walked around Zurich, visiting museums, wandering up and down cobblestoned streets window-shopping and trying to lock it all in my memory.  I strolled along the river and over bridges, people-watching, stopping to look at the sailboats on the lake. I was leaving in the morning, catching a Saturday flight and I was tired, ready to get back home and to see my family. But I didn’t want to miss a moment while I was in such a beautiful place, because Zurich is very beautiful.

    Finally, after an early dinner, I made my way back to the hotel. Back to one of those spaces Americans just don’t appreciate. We’re too used to modern boxes with uniform spaces. My room was the last room on the hallway on the seventh floor, the top floor of the building. The elevator stopped at the sixth floor and I had to carry my suitcase up one more flight. I thought how my friends would fuss and grumble about that little inconvenience, but, perversely, I liked the idea of being tucked away.


    Inside the room a double bed was tucked against the wall under a sloping ceiling and a single, tall, narrow, arched window opened up to a splendid view of the city.  It was a storybook place, like something from a movie or one of the romantic novels I’d read as a girl. I propped my suitcase in the corner and crossed over to open the window, grateful for the cool breeze that filled the room, making the curtains dance.


    I could see the tower on the Uetilberg - I’d been there the day before - and all the buildings of the city spread out below me. The train station and landmark hotels were easy to identify. The lake was just out of sight. On one side was the tall spire of the cathedral. On the other a row of old attached houses curved along the street in the University district. As they do in so many European cities, many of the houses had small patios or terraces built on the narrow, flat rooftops and the owners had decorated these private spaces with potted trees and hanging plants. Where there was room, some owners had added a small table and chairs. 


    The view was so different from what I see when I am at home, I stood there a long time, soaking it all in before turning back into my room to pack.


    Just a few minutes later laughter drew me back to the window, and the sound of knives and forks on crockery and corks being pulled from wine bottles.


    When I looked this time, I noticed that all around me the skyline had come alive with movement. Men and women, college students and young couples had moved up to the roof and were silhouetted against the sunset. The day was dying but the air was  suddenly filled with the musical sound of people at ease and happy; celebrating the end of the week; just as they do in my neighborhood when people sit on the patio and fire up the grill, laughing, calling out to one another or children as they play in the back yard.


    As I watched, one by one, lights came on in the houses around me and windows glowed like golden gems in the deepening twilight. It was nothing special but it was, at that moment, extraordinarily beautiful.


    That’s the thing about travel. You can cross oceans and continents, time zones and cultural divides, but ultimately, in the most ordinary, unexpected ways, like the universal sounds of people relaxing on a Friday night, you discover not just the ways we are different, but the simple and striking ways we are all alike.

    
Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

A circle of friends and writers

(photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

 

    Most Monday nights we gather together
    We open the door of the small building that houses the studio of an artist friend and walk into the warmth of a room filled with the all the tools and spirit of creativity.
    There is a kind of homecoming each time we meet. Someone might bring a loaf of fresh bread. Someone else puts cheese and crackers on a plate. On a good night a bottle of wine is opened and shared.
    For the first half-hour we talk. We talk about what has happened since we last met. Catching up with marriages, work and all the other portions of our lives, we strengthen the ties that bind us together. And then, when it’s time, we get to work.
    One by one, safe in the company of kindred spirits, we read the words put down on paper since we last met.
    We are a circle of writers.  Some of us do it professionally, others are more casual. But the one thing in common is that each one of us writes because something inside us won’t rest until we do. Each of us has a story to tell and we want tell it in our own way.
    There is, deep in the center of most people, a strong desire to leave something behind. We want to leave our story. A map to who we were. A chronicle of the things we dreamed and worked for; of the loves we shared and the heartaches we survived.
    In the Monday writing studio we are in turn, survivors, lovers, mothers, wives and sisters. And what we share - besides the bread and wine - is the determination to overcome the barriers of shyness, insecurity, fractured schedules and even, occasionally, the interference of others. We want to write and we’re willing to go to great lengths to find a way to do it.
    Most Monday nights there is a reason not to go to the studio. There is  work to finish before deadline. There is housework. There are family responsibilities that pull at us. But usually, unless we’re out of town, we make it. We open the door to the writer within us. One word, one Monday, at a time.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Breast Cancer: The Power of Pink.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In 2006 I wrote the following column to honor my grandmother who was born in October and died in the same month 70 years later. This is her story. I’d like to share it again this year:

October 30, 2006

The Home Planet: Community potent weapon against breast cancer

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’m sure you’ve noticed – next to the orange and black Halloween and harvest decorations – the pink ribbons, pink tools, pink kitchen gadgets, all being sold guaranteeing part of the profit will go to work for a cure for breast cancer.

Thanks to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, pink is the other color of October.

Now pink is the signature color of breast cancer awareness, the color of breast cancer research and, for some, the color of hope and success.

Pink is also the color of community. And that might just be one of the most powerful weapon in the arsenal against breast cancer

When I was a small child I went with my younger sister and infant brother to live with my grandparents. Our young mother was simply unable to care for us.

Two years later, in 1963, my grandmother – a woman who had just turned 50 – found a lump in her breast. After her surgery, the surgeon walked into the waiting room, put his hand on my grandfather’s shoulder and gave him the bad news. It was cancer. And it was very serious. She might not make it.

Both of my grandmother’s breasts were removed and she started her treatment. I don’t really know what was done to fight her cancer, beyond the surgery and radiation treatments, but I know she lost her hair.

During this time my brother, sister and I were aware that our grandmother was ill; I have a vague memory of her being in the hospital, of my grandfather brushing my hair, something my grandmother usually did. I remember the strangeness of finding him in the kitchen cooking hot cereal. I remember her wearing a wig.

We knew she was sick but the seriousness of her illness was never mentioned. You just didn’t talk about that kind of thing. Especially with children.

As soon as she was well enough, my grandfather went back to work and so did she. She went back to keeping house, to cooking all of our meals and caring for three young children. Back to raising a second family.

Although, when we got older, we were told that my grandmother had had breast cancer, the full impact of what she had been through didn’t hit me until much later. Until the pink campaign.

In 1990, at the first Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., pink ribbons were worn to signify status as a breast cancer survivor. The little badge took off and became a universal symbol. The simple pink ribbons worn that day have evolved into a potent marketing tool.

Now October has gone pink. I’ll admit that when I see pink kitchen mixers, pink umbrellas and pink vacuum cleaners, each promising to donate a portion of the profits from each sale to breast cancer research, I am vaguely irritated by all the hype. Enough already, I think. I get it.

But then I think about the monumental effort behind the campaign, and the work that has been done because of it, and I think about the world my grandmother lived in and changes that have come about. There’s a lot of power in that pink.

Just 40 years ago, we didn’t talk about cancer. You especially didn’t talk about breast cancer. Women like my grandmother had no choice but to soldier on taking care of homes and families, keeping what they endured to themselves, without the benefit of therapy or counseling. There were no support groups.

My grandmother was a relatively young woman to be raising grandchildren. She didn’t have a large circle of friends. She didn’t go to clubs or meetings. She didn’t meet other mothers for lunch downtown. She didn’t even drive. She was a true stay-at-home caregiver.

She battled cancer and the permanent effects of that battle, with only my grandfather to hold her hand. And she beat the odds. Despite a poor prognosis, she lived 20 years after her surgery before the disease reappeared. But what she didn’t have access to when she was so sick, and what I have to think would have been good medicine, was the support that only other fighters and survivors can offer.

She had sympathy but no empathy. She had no one to go to and complain, or cry, or shake her fist and scream about the pain and unfairness of what had happened to her.

That is a tool that, if today I was to find myself in her place, I would reach for immediately.

The scars after my grandmother’s surgery were disfiguring. But as I get older I wonder about the scars that were hidden. The scars no one ever saw.

There were no stitches or soothing salves for those wounds. She was left to care for them on her own.

The advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer; the advances in the search for a cause and a cure since my grandmother’s illness in 1963, have been huge.

Now, there are television commercials and magazine ads urging women to get mammograms and to make a pledge to remind one another to do regular breast self-exams.

Now, if a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer there is a community for her.

The disease is no longer shuttered and closeted. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer she doesn’t just have the benefit of science and medicine behind her. She has the benefit of a corporate identity; a network of support groups, literature, advocacy and caring. That community is a big advance.

October only lasts 31 days, but the power of pink can last a lifetime.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance columnist for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

We are halfways through summer

I hope you all had a great Fourth of July weekend. It seemed relatively quiet in the little neighborhood – I have a feeling the colder weather put a damper on fireworks and many an outdoor party.

How was your Fourth of July?

And I hate to bring it up but we’re more than half-ways through the very cold and rainy summer we’ve had so far – how are you coping?

The South Perry Blog would like to talk to some gardeners – this was of course the first summer I planted tomato plants in ages, and they still look cold and tired. Same goes for the basil.

This week’s Thursday morning blog session will be postponed to July 15 which is, drum roll please, the Thursday prior to the South Perry Fair and Parade on July 17. Have you filled out your parade form? The blog will be looking for you…

Bike to work and blogging

I’ll be back at The Shop tomorrow morning, Thursday 5/20, at around 7 a.m. so come on in and chat for a bit, if you have time.

I’d really like to talk to a couple of people who are participating in Bike to Work Week - stop by and tell me about your commute.

A couple of readers have suggested I do something about the history of the South Perry District, which seems like an excellent idea. I’ve covered the area since 1998, so I’m pretty familiar with the recent history of the area, but I’d be very interested in talking to some long-term residents - people who’ve lived on and around South Perry for 25 years or more. I’d also like to hear from people who were born and grew up on South Perry 40 or more years ago, even if you moved away. It’s a diverse neighborhood, I’m sure there are some good stories out there just waiting to be told.

 

 

 

Children’s clothing swap this Saturday

The Spokane Buddhist Temple is having a clothing exchange for children ages newborn to 16 on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. The Temple is asking for donations of clothes without tears, rips or stains. If you can’t make it on Saturday, donations may be dropped off downstairs, or after hours at the basement door, just north of the main stairs. On Saturday, participants can bring a bag of clothing, then start sorting from 10-10:30 a.m. When everything is sorted out, you get to pick clothes from 10:40-11:30 a.m. After that, you can pick items for friends who aren’t there. The Temple is asking for a $1 donation to participate. The Temple is located at 927 S. Perry Street. For more information e-mail spokanebuddhisttemple@gmail.com

Electric car much loved by owner

Roger Imes calls it totally guiltless driving and he loves it. About two years ago he set out looking for an electric car – a NEV, neighborhood electric vehicle – and he found one in Ohio.

It cost him a little more than $13,000, including shipping to Spokane, and he has never regretted buying it.

“It is a minimal car. It will get you from A to B with a minimal impact on the environment,” said Imes, one of the owners of Lorien Herbs South Perry. “There is no oil, no water, no gasoline - you can drive it and you wont feel responsible for Middle Eastern wars or anything like that.”

The ZENN (Zero Emission, No Noise) vehicle, is registered like any ordinary car and it looks much like a mix between a covered golf car and a tiny ordinary car. It can’t go on the freeway, but it can be driven anywhere else. Charging the batteries takes a little more than four hours and it will take the car 25 miles.

“The batteries will last four or five years,” said Imes. “We hardly drive our other cars anymore.”
The ZENN has a top speed of 25 mph and it’s a roomy little thing: it has plenty of room for groceries or a nice-sized dog in the back.

Imes said it is crash tested and all that, but he’s not too worried about getting in a wreck.

“Frankly, I think it’s so light it would just bounce off the other vehicle,” Imes said.

And no, his power bill hasn’t gone up since he started charging the car at home.

“It is not the car for everyone, but I love it,” said Imes. “And it’s perfect for just getting around the neighborhood.”

Time for tea and dolls

Liberty Park United Methodist Church, which is located at 1526 E. 11th Avenue, is holding its annual tea on Thursday May 13 from noon to 2 p.m. Church members will display antique, vintage and cultural dolls, and guests are invited to bring their own dolls along for a visit.

On the menu are sandwiches, deviled eggs and veggies, as well as coffee, tea and cookies. And you get all that for just $3 per person. RSVP to the church by calling (509) 535-5905.

South Perry dog park idea

I got an e-mail from one of my South Perry neighbors last week. She had an interesting suggestion: how about turning that grassy area off Southeast Boulevard and 10th Avenue into a dog park?
Stopping by the other day, I noticed that lots of people are already walking their dogs there - so it seems to be a popular spot.
What I didn’t know is that it’s an underground water reservoir. So the property belongs to the City of Spokane’s Water Department, but hey, maybe it could work out?

The city and Spokanimal are already working together on developing a dog park closer to downtown.

Thoughts?

South Perry Blog at The Shop Thursday

The South Perry Blog is coming to a coffee house near you. On May 6, (that’s Thursday morning) from 7-10 a.m. I’ll be at The Shop (924 S. Perry Street) consuming large amounts of coffee and handing out a free South Voice section to the first dozen of my neighbors who drop in for a little chat.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all - bring ideas big and small - I’ll be the woman with the laptop and the camera.