Email Is Iffy; Soup: Need Sign-ups; Crossroads; Ingredients; Families; Straw. C-19 Study; Mike Marker; Song: My Street

CONTENTS 1/19/2021
Email Still Unstable
Soup Brigade
   Need Mealtrain Sign-Ups
   Life At The Crossroads
   Today’s Ingredients
   Support For Families
   Straw Bales & Snow
C-19 Study
Comfort In, Dump Out
Mike Marker Obituary
Two Dads Story
Radio Free Fl!p: My Street


Still struggling. Phone and text are best for now. Email is getting better but still unreliable. At this point the problem seems to be Apple Mail.



Starting this Wednesday,MealTrain sign-ups are a little sparse. I’ve got containers and ingredients if you will prepare them. I’ll coach you. Grab some family members or buddies and let’s feed some cold, hungry neighbors!


I said the other day that I am getting to stand at the Crossroads of Kindness. I see many people each day (safely masked, from the foot of our porch stairs for the most part) dropping off or picking up ingredients, pots & pans & containers. Boots & blankets & headlamps & hand warmers. The last couple days have been hat & scarf days. Several different knitters brought gorgeous, warm, hand-knitted wool hats and scarves. Beautiful enough for tears. Gratitude fills my life. And I get three visits a week from on-the-ground volunteers who take it all and carry it with love and respect, hand-to-hand and face-to-face, to the individuals who need it most.

Someone teased that if my neighbors didn’t know me so well, they’d think this was a drug house because of all the cars pulling up for a few minutes and driving off again.


6# carrots, (carrot cake anyone?), 6# potatoes, 4 heads of celery, 15# rice, 10# lentils, three 4# bags of pasta (Ziti, penne), two 5# sack and three 2# sacks of shredded cheddar. (Please come get the cheese!) Two loaves of bread – one is Texas toast. There’s a big tub of curry paste (wouldn’t that be great with lentils & onions?). A jar of chili powder. About 12# of onions. 20 dozen eggs. Two jars of chicken soup base. Six huge cans of Chili, and cheese & onions to go with them, for those who would rather heat food than make it from scratch.

Sign up below to keep a steady flow of meals, and then come pick up soup pots,  restaurant pans, ingredients, bakery bags & individual containers from me. I’ll be glad to talk you through the process we’ve worked out.


On-the-ground volunteers have four families in a motel together, in urgent need of the following items. If you can help, please contact me BEFORE you bring things here, so they don’t drown in duplicates in their very limited space. Hand-me-down clothing is welcome. Self-care & bath items should be new. If you’re going shopping for them, call me first. My email is still unreliable. 360-671-4511. My address is 2518 Cherry Street. Thank you! Let’s see if we can get this done today.

I was horrified to discover that there do not appear to be any agencies that help provide supplies in situations like this. A long-time out-reach worker told me that the pandemic has changed everything. Thrift stores used to help, when they were open. And when people in urgent need could get there. If there are programs I can’t find, please let me know.

* 2 pkgs of size 4 diapers
* 4T/5T pull-ups
* several pkgs of baby wipes.
* 18 mo-2T clothes  clothes.
* 2 sets of 4T clothing and  size 7 shoe, and size 5 diapers
* 5 yr old girl who wears 5T clothing  ,panties.
* children’s socks
* 4 family units worth of Bath items
*  Shirts XL, some sweats/joggers same size.
* hair  brushes
* 4 family units worth of self care items


And pallets and tarps. With no place to go, and snow forecast, neighbors who have lost their homes and are tenting on the lawn at City Hall are trying to build sturdier shelters before the weekend. Straw bales make important insulation and wind barriers. Can you help? Might your church, or club, or association, or buddies, pool your resources together to get a bunch of bales delivered? Bob Franke wrote a song: Straw Against The Chill. It’s where we are now.


Zeke and I joined this international study many months ago. It take me less than one minute a day to report in for both of us. It has been helpful to researchers studying this disease, and therefore helpful to us all. As of this evening, they need only 42 more Whatcom County residents to join, and they will be able to provide accurate daily COVID estimates. Can you help?


And take turns! Here’s a new version of the Ring Theory Of Support, modified for the pandemic. This is very useful!


Mike lived in the next neighborhood over, but was a huge part of the local music community since the 1970s. I believe musicians impact us all, and Mike’s skill and passion definitely shaped my life, and through me, you.

R. Michael Marker, known to his many friends as Mike, left this world on January 15, 2021. He was a force of nature, and will be dearly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and musical co-conspirators.

Mike was born in San Diego to Bob and Jean Marker in 1951. The family relocated to Spokane shortly afterwards, where Mike spent his childhood and young adult life. He cherished time with his grandparents on their farm in the Spokane Valley, growing up with a love of the outdoors and a strong inherited work ethic. Both his mother and grandfather sang and played music. When he was in high school, he saved up his own money for a banjo, and his mother paid for five lessons. Soon he was playing his first gigs at Shakey’s Pizza.

When Expo 74’ came to Spokane, he met Utah Phillips and Larry Hanks. Both became lifelong friends. He was also strongly influenced by his many mentors, including Malvina Reynolds, Pete Seeger, and Michael Cooney. He dedicated the better part of his life to social justice, believing in the power of music as a political and social tool. He toured extensively, also writing and performing songs for countless local protests and community events. 

Mike was an incredible performer and storyteller. Throughout his life he continued to improve upon his already impressive musicianship. He was constantly writing new songs and arranging old ones. His gigs at Mama Sunday’s (now the Underground Coffeehouse at WWU) were legendary, and his pajama concerts for the Roeder Home and Bellingham Public Library were beloved across generations. 

Mike was an integral part of the Bellingham musical community. He could often be found playing an impromptu gig at one of many local brew pubs or sitting in on a music circle (invited or not). He was a wealth of old songs, and was happy to share the history of all of them. For many years he was music partners with Larry Hanks, and in 2009 they recorded their studio album, The Truth for Certain. Later, Mike performed with his son Nakos under the moniker “Doc and Nak.” Mike was immensely proud of his son’s talent and skill, and it brought him great joy for them to share a stage. Most recently, during the pandemic, he was performing in virtual festivals as far-reaching as Australia. 

He is survived by Ceci, his wife of 37 years; his three children, Yonina, Nakos, and Miska; and his brother, Terry. 

Nakos has organized a comprehensive archive of Mike’s recordings. They will be available for free, as Mike firmly believed art should be. Contact Nakos at

Due to the pandemic, there are no current plans for a memorial. A public wake will hopefully be held over the summer, as Mike deserves a party as legendary as he was.


Mike wrote this, and sent it to me recently. You might like it too.


Malvina Reynolds was one of Mike’s mentors, and he used to sing this song of hers. He and I were talking about it just a couple weeks ago. Our two lives have intersected since about 1973.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you’re willing to share your phone and address with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission.

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

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