Starting in Tacoma

July 4, 2018

I know it doesn’t look like Tacoma because the sun is shining, but it was really beautiful that day.  I arrived in April to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins.  Our first morning walk took place at Chambers Bay, and I already look forward to returning next year.  There is something special about having family to visit, and even more special because they bend over backwards the entire time I’m there, making sure I’m well fed, well rested, and well caffeinated.  There are delicious meals, like the trout at Wild Fin, and invigorating walks–2 per day.  One time our walk led us right to Legendary Doughnuts.  The best walking paths lead to such places.

This is my Uncle Roger and me.  He is my mom’s (younger) brother.  Roger and I have many things in common, like doughnuts, TV watching, and politics.

My Aunt Steph and I are also very close.  We start our mornings early with a cup of Starbucks coffee, followed by another cup of Starbucks coffee, while talking about all things.  The time with them always flies by.

Also, they are the people who literally left the boat (!) in the middle of their cruise to attend my dad’s funeral in February.  This was no small feat since they were in another country, and it will never be forgotten.

Three days after arriving in Tacoma, I boarded a train to Portland.  I originally planned to take the train all the way down the coast to LA, but my trip was shortened, which gave me an opportunity to test the waters before committing to a 35 hour train ride.  This one was a 3.5 hour ride with lovely scenery, even on a cloudy day.

I arrived in Portland on Saturday morning and was picked up at the train station by 2 friends.  We ate lots of delicious food, walked in the rain, wandered through Powell’s Books, which was a little piece of heaven.  I only bought one book – an Anne Lamott book I had not yet read.  We ate Sunday brunch at a restaurant that allowed dogs.  Seriously, why don’t we all live in Oregon?  Oh yeah…the rain.

Along with my Anne Lamott book, I purchased a rain coat.

I stayed at my first Airbnb in Portland, the most adorable house.

The homeowners are both students, studying to be naturopaths.  Everything in the house was organic.  There were herbs, teas, and homeopathic remedies.  There was a tiny container to make miniature cups of coffee, one “cup” each.  Also, they played their music kind of loud, but it was good music, and I would still return.  I am pretty sure the last “b” in Airbnb stands for breakfast.  I don’t think they eat the same kind of breakfast I do.  I know they don’t drink the same quantity of coffee I do, but there was a place called Harlow nearby that filled in these gaps.

One of the best things about traveling is coming back home, and this was no exception.  I arrived home in early May.  These are some additional updates:

♦ We’ve continued settling into our house.

♦ I went to a Twins game in June!  (We beat the White Sox right at the end.)

♦ Jeff & I went to a cottage up north with friends.  Although chilly, it was beautiful and relaxing.

I read almost 4 books:

I posted a chair on Craig’s List.  I will sell this chair to you for $25.  Or best offer.  Really, it’s a great chair, but how many chairs does one family need?  $20.  $18.50.

♦ I coped with Father’s Day without my dad by buying roses and going to work.

♦ I spent a day with 9 high school friends where we laughed, reminisced, and made bracelets.  These are such special people.  Every time I see them, I am amazed at how they embraced the “new girl” in 11th grade.  Among the 9 were my Bethel roommate, Karen, Debi who got me a job at Happy Chef when I turned 16, and Nancy who was on the dance line with me.  Unlike me, Nancy was actually a really good dancer.

And Lois, the friend who made it all okay in chemistry that first week of school.  I can still hear the horrifying words of the teacher instructing us to think about who we wanted for a chemistry partner.  Since I knew zero people in the class, the only person I wanted for a partner was my friend Sherrie from Cottage Grove, but Lois turned around and asked me to be her partner, and as a bonus, she got us an A in the class.  Let’s all be like Lois.

♦ I’ve had 2 piano lessons.  I love learning how to play the piano again.  Also, it fills me with anxiety.  I left my lesson covered in sweat.  Perhaps I’ll learn how to play the piano AND how to better manage my anxiety.  There’s always hope.

I hope you are enjoying your summer….making good memories….laughing and connecting with your people.  I hope if you are inclined to make gratitude lists, that you can easily fill them up with big and small things that make your heart full, and I hope if you start your morning with a time of mediation like I do, that you are able to enjoy some moments of peace as you look ahead to the 24 hours in front of you.

Summer goes fast.  Life goes fast.  Here’s to the moments we get to be present….to contribute….to grow.

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  1. That is beautifully written…I hope to get to Portland someday to visit my niece who lives there..
    and, yes, thru good and bad times, there is something everyday to be grateful for. I do feel your loss though too…

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