Thank you

I wanted to personally thank the swap volunteers and all the swappers who attended the December 13th Holiday Gift and Toy Swap.

My husband Chris was taken by ambulance to the hospital Friday December 12th experiencing great pain*.  He was diagnosed with Mesenteric Adenitis, which mimics appendicitis so closely that before CT scans they used to remove the appendix.  After the CT scan they prescribed some pretty gnarly anti-inflammatories, and pain medication that was so nasty he needed a second medication to keep from throwing up the pain medication.  Needless to say on the day of the swap Chris was in no shape to emcee/run his mobile DJ sound equipment, and I had my hands full taking care of him.

I emailed the swap volunteer team late Friday night telling them the situation, and they sprung into action to make sure the swap went seamlessly Saturday. Many thanks to Anna, Angela, Kelsey, Kerianne, Amy Alice, Shay, Veronica, Diana, Doug, Linda, Rita, Julie, Dave, Mallory, Andrew, Ian, JoAnne, Toby, and any other swappers who volunteered to help out at the last minute.  Thanks to Kelsey and Angela for picking up the remainders and playing Santa to others in our community!  Thanks to Amy Alice for stepping forward at the last minute to Emcee.  Thanks to Anna for keeping everything running smoothly. Thanks to the team that helped set things out before the swap – my son Toby (part of that team) reported that it was he thinks the smoothest swap ever and the aisles stayed clear due to your assistance.  Thanks to the team who boxed up remainders. Thanks to the door greeters.  And thanks to you swappers – YOU are the ones who brought all the goodies -as well as your kind spirits- to make this event so festive and fun for everyone!

Since I missed the swap, here are some quotes by volunteers on how it went:


I’d say, “WELL done, gang!”  What a fun swap ~ and swell music, Anna!  We missed you, Barb and Chris, but it sounds like you are healing and resting and recovering. 

GREAT news!

There were some incredibly nice people at the swap today, and everyone was so kind to each other ~ I heard so many, “No ~ you take it!” and “Oh, that’s PERFECT!” kinds of comments from people.  I must say I LOVE that!

There was no rain ~ there were nice people who came ~ and I think everyone went home with at least one thing they enjoyed ~ and the price was right!

Thanks, Barb, for spearheading and being there with us in spirit.  As I mentioned at the swap, these things take a village.

It’s splendid being a part of the village all of you reflect!


– amy alice –


Thanks everyone.  Special thanks to Veronika, who quickly stepped in to help me remove the spider from my car at the end (I seriously was not able to drive off with this furry creature sitting next to me – I figure s/he was an escapee from someone’s garage or attic box that was loaded into my car).  And to the gentleman who vacuumed every inch of the gym.  And to Shay, who drove off with a carload of ancient keyboards to figure out where to donate or recycle.  And the rest of you who contributed in huge ways, without which the swap could not have happened…  Thanks all.

– Anna-


I agree – such nice people at the swap!  Amy Alice did an awesome job signing in and introducing the event!  The clean-up crew worked so well together and the whole thing was a lot of fun – all the way to the very end when we loaded the last donated item! 

Thank you Barb for the update on how Chris is doing!  We missed both of you but it’s great that Toby could be there.  And as always, Barb, thank you for creating the swap years ago and for this fun, free community event that we enjoy year after year!

Happy holidays and good health to all!

  Diana –


*It was terrifying to get a phone call Friday night from an associate saying something like “I just put Chris in an ambulance – he’s throwing up blood and in great pain.  I don’t know what’s wrong and I’m not sure what hospital they are taking him to, probably one close by SW Portland”.  With that terrifying message, and since Chris had been driving our only vehicle which was now parked in SW Portland, I was paralyzed in more ways than one.  I started calling emergency rooms starting in SW Portland and continuing around the city. I contacted family and friends – including swap friends – asking if anyone was available to drive me to whatever hospital Chris was at when I finally tracked him down.  Several of my swap friends got back to me  – even ones on the far west side (I’m in NE Portland) offering to come pick me up the moment I knew where Chris was, and to drive me to him.  I was so appreciative of not only their prayers, but their willingness to help me in such a tangible way.

Thinking back on it now, I’m still a bit in shock over it all.

Chris continues to recover, and he’s been able to get off the gnarly pain medication so his nausea has tapered off.  He’s now on mostly herbal remedies to help bring down inflammation, support the lymph, and detoxify. Thank you for your continued positive thoughts for his healing.

In gratitude,

Barb Hughes

2 responses to “Thank you

  1. Hope he’s doing better – how scary! Hope you have a good holiday despite the medical stuff! Christine

    • Thanks, Christine. He’s doing better during the day – still low energy, his white cell count is still pretty high, and he has pain occasionally. Hopefully tonight he’ll be able to make it through the night without waking up in pain.

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