As I walked with Jera along Terwilliger Blvd tonight I realized that Prom season may be upon us.
My first stretch Hummer sighting occurred about 6:50 PM tonight heading towards downtown. It was one of those white ones with the very menacing dark windows and barely discernible yellow interior lights that run along behind the driver’s head.
Atleast I think that’s were they were.Maybe they were on the outside above the door and I just imagined them inside. It zoomed by quickly and truthfully I was distracted by the other dogs coming in the opposite direction on the sidewalk.
I remember a few years ago when my stepson Silas went to his Senior prom. The Hummer was booked that night so he and his group of friends settled on a stretch limo. I think it was a Cadillac but who knows,it was big and long and held about twenty or more kids pumped for their big night out. I took some photos from the front end of it,in the driver’s seat..now that I think of it I wish I had used the panorama to take in the colorful outfits and all their youthful energy!
Wonder what those driver’s hear and see on any given night? Might be kind of fun tootling around with a bunch of energetic teenagers..then again it might get kind of old too.
Stretch limos have a way of altering folks..some get more sophisticated, some more sophomoric.

I don’t remember having a stretch limo option when I was in High school. At least certainly not the ones that look like they have been taking steroids willy nilly.
Not for any of the various proms,or as we called them back then Formals that I attended….is that a Canadian term? What are they calling them these days North of the lower 48?

For my Senior year(that would be Grade Thirteen in old Ontario parlance) we rented a boat and went around Lake Geneva off the city of Lausanne.
As might happen in the late seventies,the night was a bit of blur, although I do recall two of my older siblings,Susie and Stephen, were both there. My parents were in town but not on the boat…bad idea considering the stimulants we were ingesting that night. I mean bad idea if they had been on the boat, good idea they stayed at the Hotel!
I’ll have to dig out some of the old photos to see if my memory matches the recorded events. Vague sensations of standing on the back deck of the boat, an olde style steam ship a la Switzerland, but powered with a regular motor. Laughing with my boyfriend Struan and other school pals,Adam,Liz,Susanne,…
Hmmnn funny how memories can be so distinct in some cases and very fuzzy in others. Not sure why this one feels very distant..but it does..okay it is almost thirty years ago(next year) but that shouldn’t matter should it? Neither should the ingestibles considering there are other incidents through my life that were couched by intoxicants..and I remember them..mostly.

I was on the water this past Sunday as well. First time kayaking in several months…several months…nearly a year I think….ACK
It felt great to be back on the water again. Three other ladies and myself on the Sandy river from Dodge to Oxbow. The section is class II with one II+/IIIish at the beginning.
The water was running at 2850 cfs which I understand is about the middle for it, although we did the 5 mile run in about two hours which felt fast. I had no idea we were finished when two of the gals started to pull over. I thought they were stopping for a pee break and that we had atleast another mile or so to go. Weather was all over the map,sprinkling light rain,sunshine,cloudy and dark grey, blue sky. It was as if it couldn’t make it’s mind up, so tried on all sorts of flavours till it found the one that fit. Monday.

Last week nine of us set off for our annual pilgrimage to the river. My Canadian friends Bob and Janet came down from Toronto via another friend’s wedding in Edmonton. Our son in law Chris with his step brother Curtis and Curtis’s friend Sid drove up from California. Silas and his roommate Jake from University,Joe,myself and two dogs,Jera and Major filled in the local contingent.

Janet and Bob arrived Monday afternoon and we managed to idle the rest of the day away by finishing off some Wordstock left over stuff I needed to do,explore a bit of the Pearl district,experience the Rose garden in all it’s colorful,blooming,scent filled glory,and shop at Uwajimaya for dinner supplies for one of the meals on the river trip….thanks to Bob and Janet’s suggestion of making a traditional Japanese version of curry(tasty and simple to boot) after I mentioned I wanted to make a curry for the river but was worried about the shrimp suffering if frozen. We used beef instead and it was delicious I might add..but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Tuesday lists were made,checked and rechecked, Silas and Joe joined us for a big shop at Costco,then B & J and I went onto Safeway,the liquor store, and New Season’s to get the rest of the stuff. Chris,Curtis and Sid arrived Tuesday afternoon in Curtis’s pick up truck which was a god send when it came to packing the vehicles with all our gear. Last minute checks of the gear where cleaning was done as needed. A last minute drop off and pick up at Wordstock for me allowed me to come home to find B & J had taken on making salads for dinner to go with our BBQ’d brats. Bless them!

Our first meal together including Sid’s girlfriend Nicole who happened to be from Portland…lucky Sid!

Post meal the boys headed to Powell’s to pick up some much needed reading material to complete their afternoon’s on the river. It was a late night slumber party with Si and Chris sharing a bed that Blake and Ethan normally share while Sid and Curtis took over the living room floor.

Morning came all too blearily…but we managed to get the cars packed and on the road a little after 7 AM. A couple of pit stops later..gas and the traditional Starbucks run in Gresham found us at the Deschutes River Crossing restaurant, in the Warm Springs tribal lands, for breakfast around 9:30 quarter to ten. Managed to make our rendezvous with D.R.A. at the put-in at 11:00 as planned and began the process of unloading the cars,filling our dry bags and coolers with gear and food, then loading and tieing them down on the boats.

Sometime after noon we actually got onto the water and within 300 yards, Janet, not quite used to the ways of a bulky sac of seemingly dead weight floating at will in the water, managed to put the raft into the trees. They got out but it was certainly an auspicious beginning 🙂 Right Janeta?

Thankfully there weren’t any other major Oh Shit moments although Bob did manage to pop Janet out of boat going through Oak Springs on the last day….Janet though is quick on her feet and a strong swimmer having the presence of mind to move herself upriver of the boat and pull herself back into the boat.

We finished the trip with a picnic lunch above White River and then rowed on down to  Sandy Beach for the final landing. A quick unpacking of gear and resorting ourselves got the vehicles loaded up, garbage dumped,dogs in and we were off to see Shears Fall to show Janet and Bob just why we don’t go past Sandy beach! The boys had to hit the road to try to make California by the next morning,Silas and Jake wanted to get back to Portland, so it was up to the four of us to continue the milkshake tradition post river trip. Not that we minded really!

After sugaring up we went back via White River Falls where we stopped to explore the Power plant below. Inside what was left of the turbines were slowly rotting away. We happened to disturb the romantic canoodling of a young couple(by accident of course)so carried on down river to see what we could find. Not Much. Turned around and headed back towards the Power plant to find our canoodlers had conveniently left and we were able to explore more intently the old building which is in a major state of disrepair.
After some exploring and ohhing and awing over the power of the water we checked our clocks and realized it was time to get back on the road back to Portland. Although we had a brief respite on the grassy lawn until another big dog came along and sniffing turned to growling.Let’s go!

Sadly Bob and Janet had to head back to Toronto while Joe and I had to clean ourselves up for another adventure.My cousin’s wedding in Halifax Nova Scotia over the Canada Day Weekend!

Coming off the rhythms of the river always takes a few days to process. You get into a mode of slow and easy despite the intensity of the rushing rapids. Most of our days we spent enjoying the weather and fantastic scenary, counting clouds,reading books,having water fights or watching the boys get soaked,tossing a football between rafts. Curtis did an awesome job at acclimatizing to the kayak even though he had never been in one. Don’t you hate it when those athletes can roll on their first try…sheesh:) Sid put forth a valiant effort but had some trouble with the roll. Everyone else enjoyed the rafts.
We got some great shots of people hurling themselves off the cliff just below Buckskin Mary’s. It had to have been 50 or 60 feet off the wate, of course I could be exaggerating but they all looked great. There is a particularly funny one of Joe going off that looks like he is riding his Hog off the cliff. Harley that is, not porcine!
The novices got their first look at the Bat Cave. Some of them..Janet perhaps..looked like she was ready to hold up a stage coach with her scarf wrapped around her face. Much needed protection against inhaling the nasty bat droppings that fill the bottom of the cave.
We had a great climb up to the top of the basalt cliffs that overlook the river at our first camp site. An incredible bird’s eye view that is a little unnerving when you can see air and sky through some of the crevices at your feet. IE don’t stand too close to the edge…Or don’t look down!
Saw one sunning snake that Jake gave a very wide berth to even though it was as interested in him as he was of it.

So many memories of yet another fine trip on the Deschutes.

How is it some people seem more able to compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings while others of us seem to float through?

I can be emphatic about one view,be sure, almost certain that it won’t change, but then am also able to change that view or else move to another place within that view, and not seem to be bothered by it,nor surprised by my change of heart or perspective.
Is that being wishy washy? Spineless? Fluid? Easy going? Manipulative? Flexible? Is it a different prospect when you make a promise you think you can keep because you think one thing is going to happen and then something else occurs? Are you a promise breaker? Untrustworthy? Weak spirited?
More on this..I am trying to sort out some inner turmoil around child bearing and or being child barren.

The hardest realization to accept is that my body is no longer able or willing to produce a seed to procreate. My body…the one I have trusted to see me through so many different adventures is now saying No. It doesn’t seem possible, how could it do this to me…Me…it’s feeder,thirst quencher,lover,supporter…it’s turned it’s back on me without so much as a second glance. How is that supposed to make me feel? I’m sad, disappointed,angry,rueful….questioning my choices through life. Why did I wait so long? Why didn’t I just do it on my own? Why didn’t I meet someone before I was forty? Why didn’t I have that child with Doug when I could have?

Each of these questions have logical, rational,reasonable answers and yet still science has played a mean trick on me. I still feel disbelief that it isn’t possible. Not me.That if I tried one more time I’d have success. I’ve always been able to do what I wanted. I’m a 20th century woman…haven’t we been told we can do anything? We’re the generation who has it all, can have it all,do it all…and still make a five course dinner for 10.

Who knew childbirth would be so elusive? So ethereal, so unreal.

Just saw a poignant play tonight called The Mark. A three person, interwoven three act piece that moved me to tears in the final act. One of the characters had breast cancer and it was a little too close to home,down to the same breast and the same arm pit with it attacking the lymph nodes. I could only shudder and am unwilling to consider,to put into words, make out loud thoughts, that what happened to the character could happen to someone I love. It’s too soon.Too real. Too painful.

since I’ve written in here.

For many distracting reasons I suppose but the main one being in March I tried for a second time to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization. Which means in the last two years I’ve been pregnant twice…in a petri dish….not quite what I had envisioned for myself as a mom but when the elusive maternal drive beckons one answers the call as best as one can.

However, satiating it’s seemingly unquenchable thirst is more difficult than I had imagined or considered. I knew at 45 my chances were slim at best,miraculous at most, but I wanted to believe that I was in the 3 per cent of the population that succeeds in this endeveour. After all haven’t we been taught that in this day and age as women we can have it all and then some! Don’t the tabloids scream out with success stories of improbable births!
It’s a very hard pill to swallow to discover that indeed you are NOT part of the three percent. In fact I’m in the zero percent zone. According to my doctor there are no real stats for some one my age trying to get pregnant using her own eggs.Who knows how accurate any statistic is anyway. Whether it’s old eggs or old sperm it’s hard to know. IVF is such a crap shoot when it comes to the probabilities of success even for folks much younger than I am. However science would seem to be working against me this time.

I took a cleaner,more holistic approach while embarking at the same time, on the better living through chemistry route. I ate well,didn’t drink alcohol,exercised every day. I went to see an acupuncturist on a regular basis throughout the process.
For over a year I have been seeing a wonderful cranial sacral practitioner Deigna (although Marie is my all time fav), and it felt like my body was in as good a place as it could be to receive any embryo’s that might come my way.

My friend Carrie reminded me every time I called her to give her an update, that I didn’t want things to be exactly like the first time. A sage piece of advice when I was fretting about one thing or another. I really wanted to be excited about this attempt, but was also wary because of last time’s disappointment.

It was doubly tough because Joe was not inclined to try again, although a testament of his love for me to see through this strong desire, was to allow it to go through rather than call the clinic and tell them to destroy the remaining vial of sperm. Which he admitted,in moments of despair, he considered doing.
Thankfully he saw through those moments.

However as luck and timing would have it, Joe was travelling the week of harvesting the eggs and transferring the embryo’s back into me.
I was lucky though to have my friend Margie ferry me back and forth to the clinic each time, and extremely grateful to have my friend Jennifer around to play housemate with me. She made sure Jera got walked,made meals,got me hot water bottles to ease my cramping abdomen,and generally provided much needed company for the three days,post transfer,of clinic imposed bed rest.

This time they harvested 17 eggs(last time it was 21) only 8 of those were mature enough to be injected with sperm(19 last time).
By day two 4 embryo’s were doing well,stage 4 and 5 blastocytes,(compared to 11 last time).Because there were fewer this time, both the Doctor and Embryologist recommended I transfer those four sooner than later. They felt the zygote’s would do better inside the womb than outside in a petri dish.

Last time because there were so many fertilized embryo’s at day 3(11 of them) we waited till day 5, so that we were down to a manageable 6 embryo’s to choose from. After much deliberation we went for all of them.
This time there was no question of whether or not we would put all 4 back in, so going ahead early made sense. Plus following Carrie’s logic of not wanting it to be the same experience as last time reinforced the notion to go ahead.

But like I said earlier it’s a tough pill to swallow when you discover you might be denied the chance for your own progeny. At our follow up visit with the doctor he admitted it was unheard of a woman my age attempting to get pregnant a third time with her own eggs.
That leaves me with three choices, adoption,donor eggs,or relinquishing the notion of being a mom. I know where Joe is on this,however I am still working my way through the grieving process. Some days it feels unfair,while other days I recognize all the good things I have in my life and feel blessed.

I watched someone give birth the other night in a movie and it made me cry knowing that might not be my experience. I realized too I am sad not only for myself but for my mom too. Call me traditional but it seems a natural course of events when there is a daughter, and when it is possible, for her to have children. And while mom has never expressed that her eight grandchildren from my brothers were anything but terrific I always felt she might like one from one of her daughters. My stuff, my projection not hers,but a real feeling for me.
And while I know my feelings are not to be down played,they take a backseat when you hear about a fine young mother of two children under the age of five who is diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and requires a radical double mastectomy in less than a week of her diagnosis. Kind of knocks the wind out of your sails.

Makes you realize even more how important it is to cherish life with all it’s various machinations. It also makes me realize how important it is to find a calling that will be satisfying, fulfilling, productive and needed in the wider world.
So in the last two years I’ve been pregnant twice in a petri dish….not quite what I had envisioned for myself as a mom but I guess now the search is on to find new,different, but ultimately satisfying ways to create and be creative. It is spring, the garden beckons loudly, it’s a good place to start…to muse things over….