I returned from my holiday with a bout of Covid, my first.  I am grateful it has been a mild case, and that I did not share it with Hank, as he and the Viking Volleyball Team had their dance at the State Tournament in Yakima this week, playing hard but losing in the second round. The Soccer Team has a playoff game today. Wishing them a victory! Go Blue!

The Holiday Give Orcas campaign launches this coming week with five days of guessing who the 2023 Flat Person Ambassador is. Each year, a community member is selected to be the ambassador for the Holiday Campaign. The hints start to drop Monday. You can make your guess by emailing us at All correct guesses will be added to the winners hat and one lucky guesser will win $500 to give to the proposal of their choice in the Holiday Campaign. Hints will be posted on OICF’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. GiveOrcas opens for donations on Monday, November 20th and runs through December 6th.

Part of my trip East included saying farewell to the Giant Pandas at the National Zoo. I was 13 when the first pandas arrived and we lived walking distance to the Zoo. Somehow, the keepers realized they did not have enough fresh bamboo to satiate Ling-Ling and Tsing-Tsing. One day a fellow in a zoo uniform knocked on our door and asked if we would allow them to trim our stand of bamboo to supplement the pandas meals. They did so for years. I have somehow felt connected ever since. Here is one of my favorite clips of panda antics. They have brought a lot of joy to so many and I am grateful they will now be able to go to a more wild and natural environment in China. They certainly deserve that freedom and will be missed.

I hope to be back in full action next week.