...Except in this case as it's been a couple weeks since the last "weekly" quote was published. There were, as is often the case, good reasons. Two Fridays ago we were speaking at the Claremont Colleges in southern California (one of our favorite venues as Pitzer is Andrea's beloved alma mater). The students we met were amazingly engaged and curious--so open to the ideas we shared. It was a truly delightful time, yet we experienced the inevitable adrenalin drop upon our return home, "what goes up, must come down." 

Back home in our bed Sunday at 3:20 in the morning, we experienced the alarming 6.0 Napa Earthquake. With arms wrapped around each other, we waited for the sharp jolts, otherworldly bellow of the quake, and the sounds of shattering glass to come to an end. It felt as if the epicenter was beneath our floorboards.

We were not hurt and sustained no structural damage to our property, but again, the adrenalin rush was followed by a down that left me feeling fragile and disconnected. This did not last long as we had the joy of a visit from our grandkids from Monday through Thursday. They seemed to sense our need for quiet reflection and intuitively matched our moods--thus our time together was thankfully less active than usual--a sweet gift.

We continue to clean up from the mess of the quake--a Mother-Nature-induced opportunity for culling through long-forgotten items involving an ongoing process of recycling, trashing, and giving away. The process reminded me of the whirlwind remodeling of her bedroom Andrea embarked upon when she returned home from Spain. Below are photos of "After" (a bohemian-like young adult's bedroom, complete with hand-painted marbling on the walls) and "Before" (the "nursery" as Andrea calls it) along with a portion of a letter home on the subject:

Andreas Remodeled Room …I keep trying to decide what I want to do with my room upon return. All I know is, it involves a great deal of destruction and getting rid of stuff. I have to sort through everything, of course, but a lot’s going to go—especially clothes. It’s going to be so much fun! And please tell me we can burn the wallpaper! My room looks like a nursery! My only concession is that my Porcelain Dolls stay. I’m on the search for a really special Spanish one…

--Andrea Smeltzer, 15 (from the book, Andrea's Voice Silenced by Bulimia, (Gürze Books, 2006)

Andreas Before bedrm