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December 28, 2006

In Memory of My Friend Sally


My friend Sally Criticos died on December 21; her funeral was yesterday. The world is poorer for her passing but richer for the many gifts she gave to those who knew her. Sally was one of the most courageous and life-affirming people I have ever met. She battled multiple myeloma for a number of years and did it with determination and conviction. She had a lot to do before she died, especially sharing her life with her grandchildren.

I first met Sally when I joined the St. Marks Cathedral Choir -- it must have been almost 10 years ago. I joined at a time of great ambiguity in the group. The choirmaster, Don Small, had just become seriously ill and it was not clear when he would be returning. Sally was the most welcoming member of the group. She helped me learn the ropes and encouraged me to take my place. I looked forward to talking with her every week. She genuinely cared about her friends -- she remembered everyone's life challenges and served as a one-woman referral board for everything from housing needs to educational or family crises. But most of all, I remember Sally for her warm smile and her laugh. A part of her will always be with me and her many friends. I regret that I was not able to participate in her funeral yesterday, but I am currently out of town spending time with my grandkids. I think ... I know ... Sally would want me to be right here! Sally - thanks and godspeed.

Here is her obituary from the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Criticos, Sally Eve Born October 15, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York. Member of the St. Mark's Cathedral choir in Minneapolis, perpetual artist, and beloved friend of many, died on December 21, 2006. Sally grew up in Brooklyn, New York with summers in Vermont. Graduate of Elmira College, she taught art to elementary school children, was community school coordinator at Kenwood Elementary School, worked at Judy Instructo, National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC), and the Wedge Coop. Sally is survived by her sister, Barbara Troxell of Claremont, CA; daughters, Amy Criticos of Spain and Sarah Dahl (Jon Dahl) of Rosemount; and grandchildren, Galo, Olivia, Luke, and Megan. A service of worship in celebration of her life will be held at St. Mark's Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis, on Wednesday, December 27th at 4:00 PM."

Posted by hgroteva at 8:37 AM

December 29, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging - welcoming Chloe and Dylan

The New Mexico branch of our family was missing our tribe a lot, so our family has now grown by 2 more Tonkinese: Chloe and Dylan. They made the journey from Las Cruces to Austin for the holidays and joined our festivities. Here's Susan with the 2 additions.

Chloe + Dylan + Susan2-b.jpg

They are not full siblings; they were born on the same day but to different mothers. (They may share a father, however.) But one of the mothers was not able to nurse her kittens, so both of them were nursed by the same mother. These pictures belie how mischevious they can be when they are tearing around the house.

Chloe + Dylan1-b.jpg

They can sense a "cat person" miles away. They also like to drag various items of clothing (especially socks and gloves) around the house, just like a dog would. I can spare a sock, but I can't spare my gloves since I'm going back to the land of the icebox tomorrow! Balls of Christmas wrapping paper also make for endless hours of play.

Cats on Kevin-b.jpg

The big question on everyone's mind: How in the world will 6 of them fare in the same household?

Posted by hgroteva at 5:23 AM