Snapdragon Book Foundation

Katia and Austin with Great Aunt Mary

Katia and Austin with Great Aunt Mary

Busy weekend for Anne and Clark.  Several years ago, they started a foundation to give struggling school libraries with money for books.  The grant money pays for books that otherwise they’d never have.  The Snapdragon Book Foundation has a directors’ meeting from time to time to look at what they’re doing and what changes they’d like to make.  That meeting was this weekend.  Steve was here from Atlanta with his wife, Liz and their children, Katia and Austin.  Paul flew in from Colorado.  And Jill traveled all the way from a couple streets away.  All three kids and two grandkids here for the weekend…so nice for Anne and Clark, so nice for us.

The foundation is run by the family and one other trusted friend who actually chooses the winning schools. (Short commercial…If you know of a school that is having trouble finding money for library books, Google Snapdragon Book Foundation.  The grants are generous…ranging from 1,000 to 20, 000 depending on what schools need.)

Jill and Austin

Jill and Austin

Austin (age seven) taught me how to play backgammon.  I learned a long time ago but totally forgot how to set up the board and how the rules went.  Unfortunately for Austin, I won three games out of five.  I did try to lose the last game but kept rolling great numbers.  And if I did something “stupid” Austin would point it out and wait for me to fix it. I just couldn’t lose.

Everyone went out to dinner last night and to lunch today.  Jerry and I decided to pass.  Eating has become a major chore again (hello, Ensure) I wouldn’t say it hurts to swallow but it is mighty uncomfortable.  Totally expected..usually happens much earlier in the treatment cycle.  Jerry went to MD Anderson this weekend to pick up a prescription for something that is supposed to help but so far I’m not noticing any big difference.  I figure I’m lucky it took this long to hit and after a couple weeks away from radiation, I should be back to normal (whatever that is).  In the meantime, I’ll learn to love Ensure, I guess.

Liz and Katia

Liz and Katia

Last chemo tomorrow.  Four more Protons.  We’re really getting ready to go.  I’m sure Anne and Clark will be happy to have their house to themselves for awhile.  I cannot imagine what it would have been like to rent out here for all these months and for another month in the spring.  We are so fortunate to have them.  How will we ever thank them enough for their house, for their company, for their constant support?

Spring is coming.  We’re going home to 70 degree weather.  Life is so good.



Anne and Steve

Anne and Steve




16 thoughts on “Snapdragon Book Foundation

  1. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful family and fortunate that they live in just the right spot!!
    The foundation sounds amazing. What a great thing to do.
    Feel well friend, see you soon.

  2. Your entire family is so giving! All of you have made your parents, step parents, etc. so proud. I would like to meet them all! Keep that great attitude— all of us are in awe!

  3. Such a wonderful foundation and mightily important for the students whose lives are being changed as a result.

    Ensure is a darn good substitute when one can’t or shouldn’t eat. There’s another booster as well. When I remember its name, I’ll send it along. I didn’t love either, but preferred the other. Yep, just remembered…Boost. You can ask about it.

    Hard to believe that you’re close to the end of the first phase of treatment, but am so glad you are. You have a remarkably supportive family and they are blessed to have you. I am certain that you have brought them all immeasurably closer not only you, but each other as well. Family is the best; there is no denying that.

    Enjoy your last days in Texas for now. Be grateful for the friends that have helped along the way. Give a small smile for all you have done for all of us out there as part of your pep squad. Give a big SMILE for the return to Florida. Weather should be getting inviting and the turtles will be glad to have you back for a bit. Safe travels.

  4. Mary, here is the URL for folks who know of a worthy school.

  5. Great family, great company, great sports! You are a fortunate woman.
    Love Jill’s T-shirt.

  6. Hi Mary, sure is great that you could spend the weekend wth your kids and grands…there certainly were some lovely perks being in Texas! Sure is wonderful having family in just the right spot…they all know you would’ve been happy to do the same for them! So glad your treatments are almost over…ahhhh back home into the sun and warmth…it’s all waiting for you! See you soon, Pam G

  7. Refrigerating the Ensure made a big difference for my mother. She said it tasted more like a milkshake that way. When my mother was a little girl, she was unbelievably skinny (I think she weighed 33 pounds in first grade!). She also developed a calcium deficiency. The doctor told my grandmother to feed my mother milkshakes every day. In 1930, one did not appear healthy unless one looked well-nourished (and fat!). It’s only fitting that 75 years later, my mother thought of those milkshakes as she drank her refrigerated Ensure!

    Hope it feels better to swallow SOON. Remember to keep hydrated; that was a frequent problem for Jim. Florida awaits!

  8. Deirdre Christman

    So sorry to hear that swallowing is uncomfortable now. Of course, if you’re drinking Ensure, you might like a real ice cream milkshake every once in a while. Not as much nutritional benefit, but a great lift to the spirits. I’m so thrilled you’ll be home soon – but sorry that I’ll be gone until March 1. When I get back, we’ll have to plan some fun outings, in addition to DFW.

  9. Deirdre Christman

    Forgot to tell you I saw Shirley Reid yesterday at FST. She said her daughter, who has cancer (breast, I think), is having a very hard time being a patient, and it’s hard for Shirley too. She asked about you, of course, and she said she’d love to see you when everything calms down for everyone.

    “Daddy Long Legs” was very pleasant, but not a must-see. Still, we enjoyed it, and I think you and Jerry will too. He sure is a keeper, isn’t he?!!!

    When you’re really better, after you recover from your surgery, we’ll have to have a little dinner party with the men.

    MIss you! Deirdre

  10. Does Snapdragon accept donations?

  11. Foundation sounds like a great cause. Hang in there , Mary. We’ re with you!

  12. Sorry to hear that you are having such difficulty swallowing. Hopefully the suggestion above to refrigerate the Ensure will make it more palatable. Hang in there Mary. This to shall pass (but not quickly enough!) All my love.


    Mary-I don’t think our schedules in FL are going to sync up. We are going to Venice tomorrow, staying until Wed evening.

    Planning to go to yoga at the beach Wed morning. Do you know the times for this season?

    Will hope to talk with you by phone at least after you get to FL.

    We finally got some sunshine yesterday. It’s been pretty chilly–damp around the edges. Didn’t realize how acclimated to the dry cold and heat I had become. I can hardly complain. Most of this country has had such extremes of cold, ice and snow.

    Hope that swallowing has gotten smoother for youl.

    Love, Wendie

  14. I hope you feel better soon! Have you had a chance to try Ben & Jerry’s fruit smoothees at their ice cream parlors? I would definitely supplement or get inspired to mix up my own concoctions. I’m still waiting on some well-written Mary Ginley easy-to-swallow recipes. Stay strong!

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