I ran across the street to make the bus one last time.  With the rain misting around me, I got off and looked around in the few blocks to behold the city that will forever hold a special place in my heart.  I met another coworker on my way up the five flights of stairs and chatted with him before parting ways.

It’s always a strange thing to say goodbye.  Days go by where you don’t realize how dear even the smallest of things are to you until they are gone.  I grabbed by cell phone and took some pictures of the workplace that I meant to take ten weeks ago.  Better late than never, I suppose!

I met with Mark to go over all of the data that I collected.  I showed him where everything was located and clarified anything that he found confusing.  After the meeting, I made a few changes that Mark suggested and saved them under a file that the team can use in the future.

All of the interns and our mentors went out to eat for lunch at Cuoco, an Italian restaurant nearby.  It couldn’t have been a better time.  I got to chat with both of the interns, and I found out what their plans were for the next few months.

It wasn’t long until it was time for dessert back at the office.  Before then, Mark asked me to come into PV’s office.  I saw Joe, PV, and Mark, waiting with a gift so I ran back to grab my gifts for them.  Seattleites love coffee and their Seahawks, and so I got each of them a Seattle Seahawks coffee mug with a thank you note.  For Mark, I also gave him a gift card to Ivar’s, the restaurant he treated my mom and me to when I first arrived in the city.  I received a thank you note, a University of Washington basketball shirt, and some art.  The artwork is titled Searing Salmon.  Mark read its description:  The salmon are determined, persistent, and will not give up until they reach their goal.  He looked up and said something along the lines of, We couldn’t think of a better way to describe you. 

“Spawning Salmon” by Marvin Oliver. My new favorite piece of art.

We walked down to the café and began digging into the delicious Danish pastries PV bought for the interns.  My favorite was kringle which, like many Danish words, sounds quite different than you’d think.  All of the interns were given coffee mugs and a few other small items with Novo Nordisk’s logo.  We all began chatting about this and that.  For a while, we discussed cricket.  An Australian coworker, PV, and Mark (whose native countries are all in some big cricket tournament) started making jokes about the each other’s teams while the rest of us laughed with no idea what was going on.  A sense of belonging filled my heart when I was around these people.  They had become my corporate family; people who will I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I went back to my desk for the very last time and packed up my belongings.  Mark must’ve read my thank you note before I came into his office because he seemed a little choked up.  We discussed what time he’d meet me at my apartment before taking me to the airport tomorrow morning and before I knew it, I was leaving 530 Fairview Avenue North for the very last time.  I glanced back with tears in my eyes to have one final look at the place that not only impacted my summer, but changed my life forever.  With Taylor Swift’s album in my ears, I looked ahead the busy street and continued moving forward, realizing how blessed I was to spend my summer in Seattle.

Iowa, here I come,

Ashley

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