We went up to Mom and Don's over the 4th. Mark and the kids were there, as was JeriLu according to tradition - we celebrated her 70th birthday. We packed a lot into the three days..
We went up to Don's property up on the hill hoping to rescue a homemade Big Green Egg style cooker but unfortunately it was a little too primitive. We met the horses that are staying in the orchard. The palomino took quite an interest in Rex, who of course nipped at him. The horse didn't like that much and started chasing Rex, which freaked me out - I thought I was going to see him trampled so I tried to distract the horse, which in retrospect was not a very smart thing to do. Rex finally headed back to the gate with his tail between his legs, all disasters averted.
I took Ry and My into town to see Grandma at the gallery, and wander up and down Main Street one afternoon.
A few weeks before our visit, the barn at The Village burned down. That made me a little sad. So many memories! Katrin and family were also up for the 4th, so I met her, Peter, Leslie, Ruby, and Theo at The Village to see what was left, but it was just a patch of scorched earth by the time we got there. We walked up to Peter's cabin, then down to the river. It was a good visit, despite the feeling of loss over the barn.
We all headed out to the bluffs to watch the fireworks. We were worried about fog, but it was beautiful weather. Not too cold or windy and though the fog started lowering a bit, it ended up being more ethereal than obscuring, especially when the smoke from the ignition point on the wharf framed the lower part of our view.
I wrote a poem for Grandma a couple of weekends ago:
You get used to telling someone
I love you
when they can read it,
Can words still echo in a heart or ear
whose chambers have collapsed?
If the ashes of my love rise
to you in heaven
will you taste the fiery spark?
I don't think so, though I want to.
So much love has gone unsensed.
Does it collect in a pool,
like a quarry with no outlet,
a liquid darkness descending forever?
If I bathed in said pool would I
be washed clean of the despair
of not knowing where my love for you flies?
Please don't let it be wasted on air or
seep away between the quarry stones or
be that small blue egg (your favorite color
the shade of heaven)
that was yarded out of the juniper bush in mischief
and dashed to the driveway,
tender yolk and fragile oval shell exploded open
please don't let I love you be
July brought the annual excursion to Portland. (M spent that week with Mom and Don and apparently Rex pointedly did not go into the orchard with the horses on their visits to the hill property.)
I had only one night with Lloyd and Jacque, but we made the most of it. Heather came down with a friend, Michelle and her boys and Jim and Enid all came over for dinner. I really appreciate how they all come together for my visit. Before bed, I went through a number photo albums that Lloyd had brought back from Grandma's, and took a fine stack of prints, some that I hadn't seen in quite some time. Lloyd, Jacque, Heather, her friend and I had a lovely breakfast at Bread & Ink
the next morning, then they dropped me at the hotel for my work day to begin.
|Thanks so Uncle Lloyd for snapping this one!|
The conference went well. It's our longest one, six days including set-up. I paced myself, which meant I didn't get out much, but had fun at some of the conference parties.
|Goofing around with Monique|
|Trying to look suave with Sharon. The mustache was a great way to get noticed!|
I did have one nice meal at Ned Ludd
, followed by a long and pleasant postprandial walk back to the hotel through the lushly planted neighborhood.
|So, so many people wishing for so, so many things|
The conference ended after lunch on Thursday, so I took the streetcar and spent some time downtown, taking in the Portland Art Museum
for about 45 minutes, which wasn't enough of course, but I did enjoy it, particularly the first peoples artifacts and the large red Christmas-tree-shaped pile of Chihuly glass. I shopped my way (the museum store, Crafty Wonderland
, Knit Purl
, Buffalo Exchange
) to Andina
for dinner with friends from work. Writing all that, I see I probably could have spent more time in the museum after all, but I wasn't sure how long it would take me to walk over to the restaurant. Visiting the museum and seeing all of the art throughout the city (for instance, the bathrooms at the convention center have some really lovely art in them) reminded me that I've let my Art Imitates Life photo project lapse a bit too long.
It was nice to come home after so long away.
M and I have had nice weekends, last weekend sitting on the beach for a few hours. This one he's spending fixing one of the side-yard fences. I really appreciate that he knows how to do home-keeping stuff like that!