Cupid recently delighted Inga Burnell of Kirkland. Burnell, who lives at Aegis Lodge at Totem Lake, found a large bouquet of flowers outside...

Share story

Cupid recently delighted Inga Burnell of Kirkland.

Burnell, who lives at Aegis Lodge at Totem Lake, found a large bouquet of flowers outside her assisted-living apartment. The card read, “To my favorite Girl Friend.”

The mystery has entertained the 93-year-old longer than the flowers lasted.

Her stepdaughter, Charlene Avery of Kirkland, tracked down the sender and was even more impressed than Burnell.

It seems that Trader Joe’s in Totem Lake gathered the flowers that didn’t sell on Valentine’s Day and delivered them to folks at Evergreen Hospice, Aegis Lodge and other nearby retirement homes.

That’s not unusual, said Alison Mochizuki, corporate spokeswoman for Trader Joe’s.

“All our stores have relationships with multiple agencies to distribute perishable things on a daily basis,” Mochizuki said. “A donation coordinator in each store makes certain food banks and other agencies get the perishables while they’re still usable. The flowers are part of that.”

Avery said the flower delivery gave her stepmother a big boost in spirits.

“What a wonderful and thoughtful gesture,” Avery said. “I’m sure they touched the hearts of many. They did mine.”

Cover story

Julie Court, a 1997 Redmond High School graduate, was pictured on the Feb. 25 cover of Time magazine for a story about how to make better teachers. Court, 28, teaches sixth-grade English in the Queens area of New York City.

As a former participant in NYC Teaching Fellows, a program to get teachers into inner-city schools, she was one of several teachers at the photo shoot. (Court finished the program in 2006 and is now a regular teacher.)

“It’s not as exciting as it sounds,” Court said Tuesday from New York City. “We were told to look friendly but not smile.”

She didn’t know her picture was cover material until her principal spotted the magazine the day it was released.

“My reaction was ‘Holy cow!’ ” Court said. “I called my mom because I knew she hadn’t left for work yet. But it was tough because we can’t do personal e-mails from school. When I got home I e-mailed basically everyone I knew and told them to check out something interesting in Time magazine.”

Her mother, Kathy MacLeod of Renton, teaches high-school math, and her father, Bob Court of Issaquah, is a retired educator.

Court said her time in the national spotlight is already ending. The new edition features actor George Clooney.

Another N.Y. connection

Natalie Grant, the Christian superstar vocalist, attended Northwest University in Kirkland before launching her singing career.

Rhett Usry, who grew up in Snohomish, is a publicist for DKC/Dan Klores Communications in New York City.

Although they never crossed paths in the Northwest, Usry works with Grant on her public relations.

“It’s funny how even here in New York two Seattleites could be reconnected,” Usry said. “Shows that sometimes the world really is that small.”

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or sgrindeland@seattletimes.com