Monday, May 17, 2010

Down But Not Out

I’m soooooooo bummed out!!!

After failing to qualify for numerous senior citizen discounts because we’re only 61, Gilda and I were told earlier today we were too old to be bone marrow donors. Seems you have to be between the ages of 18-60 to physically save a life.

Of course, a financial donation also helps save lives; we’ll give to the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation through the Matt Fenster Donor Circle, (donor kits cost $54 each to process. Interestingly, 54 is a 3x multiple of 18, the numerical value of the Hebrew word chai, which means life).

Matt Fenster is a father of four young children. He was stricken with AML, acute myelogenous leukemia in April. I’ll be including Matt in my prayers.

Walk to Defeat ALS: We weren’t the only Forseters trying to put an end to a dreaded disease this weekend. Our daughter Ellie was part of the 5K Walk to Defeat ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Ellie’s boyfriend’s father, Don, was recently diagnosed with ALS. Don retired from the U.S. Air Force. He was a pilot for the Strategic Air Command, based in Omaha.

Three of Don and wife Rachel’s children live in the NY metro area. Along with their younger sister who's considering moving here as well, their spouses and children, relatives including Aunt Laurie, and Ellie, they walked as a team on Saturday. Granddaughter Rachel, standing beside Don, helped cut the ribbon as the camera crew from Fox News NY (Channel 5) videoed the start of the walk for broadcast on the 10 pm news (regrettably, no link is available).

I’ve added a new piece of jewelry to my right wrist, a watermelon-colored flexible bracelet stamped with the words “Strike Out ALS.” For more info on ALS and how to make donations, visit

Happy Half-Birthday: Finley Hawthorne Forseter turned six months old Sunday. He’s officially reached the adorable stage (not that he wasn’t cute before, but I’ve often said that babies don’t really enthuse you until they are able to do things. Lately Finley’s been rolling over a lot, smiling, enjoying the swing, and even eating some solid food.

I still haven’t finalized on a name. Don’s family suggested Granpa No Socks. Might be hard for a little kid to say, but it does have a certain je ne sais quoi quality to it.

For those interested in seeing how Finley looks these days, here’s a link to his blog:

Hawthorn Tree: Hard to resist buying a tree that for all intents and purposes shares a name (minus an “e”) with your daughter-in-law and grandson.

To fill out the barren space in our front yard caused by the sudden and still unexplained decision of our neighbors to cut down their perfectly healthy tree that graced our property with its canopy, leaving a nine foot slingshot stump as a remnant of their foul action (, Gilda and I have been scouring local garden centers for the right tree to place on our side of the property line.

We looked at pear trees, cherry trees, Japanese maple trees, Thundercloud plum trees. Last week we chose a Winter King Hawthorn. We planted it today (a note of accuracy in reporting. When I say “we” I did not mean Gilda and I. Let’s get serious here—though Gilda is a force of nature to be reckoned with in the garden, I have as much horticultural knowledge and ability as your left big toe.)

The tree looks great. No word yet from our neighbors.