Update November 28, 2023
Our many good friends have given me hope that there is indeed life after the loss of a spouse. I have been included in holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and get-togethers. I saw the aftermath of men and women at the memory care home where Laura was. Many were dumped and forgotten by relatives who didn't want to be bothered or were just not up to the task of caring for an elderly parent. It was beyond sad, and a little frightening thinking about my possible date with that destiny.
Depression is a serious condition that often arises when suddenly thrust into a solitary life. I have moved on and began paying more attention to what was going on around me rather than inside my head. My outlook on life has changed. I have always wanted to explore recording stories told by friends and family members, the kinds you hear at family gatherings. After much thought, I decided to take a crack at capturing them on video.
In quick order, I assembled all the elements of a professional video recording studio. But where to build it? When we moved into our Island Lake home 8 years ago, we converted the den into a craft room for Laura. After she passed away, I couldn't even go in there, let alone think about turning it into something else. It took almost a year before I could face removing any of her things. Our daughter got her mother's sewing machine, surger, and Cricut machines. You'll have to look up what they do.
Little by little, the room was cleaned out, and work began on the studio. As of this date, it is not quite finished but functional. I think Laura would be happy. I hired Aaron Cleveland, a tech-savvy nephew to help with the project. We've had a great time getting each element installed and working. By the first of 2024, we should be open for business. And that business will be called:
Island Lake Productions
I'm forming it as an LLC. As far as I can determine, it is the only professional video production studio on the Olympic Peninsula. Our first interviews were done the first of November. We took the studio on location and captured 4 Army pilot-friends of mine reminiscing about our flying exploits. The quality is excellent, both sound and picture.
Us old folks are living, breathing, walking libraries of life experiences. Some are funny. Some are great storytellers, and all are precious. Some of these interviews will be post-produced into shows viewed on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Others will be live-streamed with a Q &A at the end of the show.
I'm also toying around with doing some interactive science demonstrations and field trips aimed at both public school informal science enrichment and home-schoolers. Science education, especially at the lower grades needs help. We have the means to do it in this studio. I invite any. of you retired teachers who might want to learn more about what we are doing to drop me an email. I have funded this out of my own resources. If you'd like to invest in my little project, it would be much appreciated.
I am so thankful for the encouragement in this endeavor I'm getting from family and friends.
A dear friend of mine, a retired middle school teacher, keeps reminding me, FINISH STRONG. I have adopted her mantra.
Merry Christmas to each of you!
Mike on Island Lake
We scattered the second portion of her ashes on Puget Sound off Edmonds, from her brother's boat on October 28th.
Friends and family gathered for Laura's Memorial Service at Maplewood Presbyterian Church in Edmonds the next day. The event was live-streamed, with many watching as far away as Sweden and Hawaii. It was an emotional time for friends and family to tell beautiful stories of Laura's extraordinary life. Some attended this church the day Mike and Laura were married, December 23, 1967, and came to her memorial service.
For those in the Shelton area, a Celebration of Life get-together was held at Mike and Laura's Island lake home on Sunday, October 30th. Almost 100 people came to remember Laura's life and celebrate the love she radiated wherever she lived and worked. She is greatly missed.