I sent this submission to a Delta Sky Magazine Contest …

It was with some trepidation that I set out to enter this contest, because this is a story of the evolution of my greening. After all how Green can you be to be really green?

Portland Oregon is living breathing green. It is my adopted city. And I have come to love it. Never have I lived in a place where plants grow abundantly in the winter with actual flowers blooming. It was a sight I excitedly wrapped my head around.

I grew up in and around Toronto Canada and honestly still love the surrounding countryside of the rolling Ontario hills but brown slushy big city snow has sell-by-date limited appeal.
So in a leap of faith and a stroke of luck I moved here seven years ago for the greener pastures of love.

Once here it didn’t take long for me to appreciate other green aspects of my new home. Not counting the year-round vegetation or the 100 foot plus Douglas Firs in our back yard, Portland is well respected for its efforts at promoting conscientious sustainable living. Portland, I soon learned, was green before it was hip.

Our “territorial view” home, a treed lot in realtor speak, backs onto a network encompassing forty miles of trails mostly wooded that wends its way through the greater metropolitan area. A city with forty miles of trails! Unheard of, right?

I realized this afternoon as I walked my dog in the brilliant shimmering chartreuse woods overflowing with springtime foliage and trillium villages that I must live in one of the greenest cities in the United States.

This thought came of course in between the short hailstorm followed by the dappled sunshine and rounded out by an ominous grey cloud cover. It is spring in the Pacific Northwest and one quickly learns you must dress in layers here for three quarters of the year if you wish to be comfortable outside. I froze my first year here until I assimilated that valuable lesson.

The first time I saw one of the Tri Met buses outfitted with bicycle carriers on the front I thought, “How cool is that?” What a perfect solution for those particularly rainy winter days. Then I discovered Compost bins are given out for free to anyone who would like one. Hazardous waste drop off centers rove through the city during the summer months, making removal so easy it would be a crime not to do it.
Green living seminars are offered on a regular basis. In fact I just received my free Portland’s Smart Trips Resources and Rewards reusable bag put out by the City of Portland’s Office of Transportation.

It’s an incentive program to remind people “There is more than one way to get there.” It was delivered to our door by bike riding “greenies”. Inside the bag are trail maps for biking and hiking,a pedometer,a reflective strap to fit an arm or a leg, two separate indoor and outdoor water conservation kits, and an umbrella. The last item a most fortuitous addition since I literally threw out a broken one earlier today.

Recycling wasn’t unfamiliar to me having done my share of paper recycling back in Toronto. However the encouragement to recycle different types of plastics and cartons was indeed a novelty. I understand in the years I have been gone, Toronto has improved dramatically having implemented a program that now collects composting and food scraps. Portland, I have read is in the process of introducing a similar program in the next year.

Composting food scraps isn’t entirely new having grown up on a farm but I had avoided it in Toronto because of the problem of marauding raccoons in a high-density urban environment. But here in Portland I was eager to become one of the converted. We recently moved our full compost bin away from our back door. Digging up the remaining earth I was delighted to discover mixed in with the corn cobs, egg shells, and other vegetable detritus, hundreds, if not thousands of tiny earthworms wriggling their way away from my spade. It works! I was so excited to see them.

We are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of a year round farmers market. Each Sunday through the summer and every other through the winter my yellow Labrador Retriever, Jera, and I walk the two miles to the market to shop. My husband will drive over to meet us and ferry our booty back home again. We enjoy seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables,meats,cheeses and seafood sold by the actual producers that recognize me each week. Some of who I am lucky enough to be on a first name basis. My favorite vendors I made jam for at Christmas using the fruit I purchased at the market.
The chicken farmer actually keeps track of his carbon footprint required to bring his goods to the market. It’s less than 30 miles so when all is said and done they aren’t doing too badly considering the chicken factory farms of the Midwest or Southern USA.

Before moving here I thought I knew what fresh food was all about but little did I recognize the benefit of purchasing your food from someone who actually grew it. Or better yet paying attention to how far food had to travel to get to my home. I admit I still buy bananas from Ecuador and the occasional pineapple from Hawaii but more and more I find myself checking labels and turning away things that have come from a great distance. I see it as a necessity in my own small way of doing my part to decrease my carbon footprint.

I’ve even begun recycling words with my crossword puzzles and writing.

I feel like I might sound like a commercial for Portland but moving here has shaped my life a great deal for the better when it comes to the infamous reduce reuse recycle maxim so popular these days.

For me Oregon is a state of mind.

Not for lack of wanting to post, nor for lack of ideas but it is incredible to me just how much time can be absorbed off blog by emails…answering and sending…plus writing a book, short essays,finding words…..not to mention the fine art of living.

Including husbands, family and friends to love, dogs to walk, people to see,work to do, gardens to tend and grow,groceries to buy,crossword puzzles to complete, doctors to visit, reading of books, newspapers, magazines,online articles,youtube,facebook,phone calls, sleep…how do people actually keep on top of these things AND blog in a regular disciplined manner? I ask you? Is it possible? Obviously not for me.

I wonder too how much of me or my family do I want out there in the cyber ethernet? What topics are appropriate and which are taboo? To sort and sift through the daily events that go on in my life…hmmm?

I had my first published piece which I submitted in July and had published in September in a National magazine…American Whitewater…Yippee

My oldest stepson Chris got married last September Labour day Weekend in Hood River Oregon…A grand affair with to die for sunshine all weekend and a jam packed fun filled family laden extravaganza.
It took almost the whole year to plan between the happy couple in San Francisco, Aviva’s parents in Toronto,the three parents here in Portland and all the various vendors.
A long time to come to fruition but very worth the seeds planted along the way.

I went on a ten day rafting trip on the Grand Canyon at the end of October, early November. I agonized for three weeks whether I ought to go or not….which I suppose I could have shared on this blog but sometimes the journey of my decision making needs to be a private adventure of my very own agony.
Of course I wanted to go from the very first offer but it required a bit of figuring out on my part before I could make the commitment. I missed the full 17 days but I made it for 10 so I can’t complain.

I kayaked through Lava Falls,the biggest rapid, almost successfully…made it through the meatiest stuff but got knocked over at the bottom on an enormous wave….I should have tried rolling up a third time but pulled my spray skirt instead..possibly in camaraderie with one of the other kayaker’s who was sure we were all going to swim..his proclamation unfortunately was spot on… the three of us kayaking did indeed swim.

But hey I went through some big mothers between Phantom Ranch at mile 88 and the take out at mile 225 in a raft, in an inflatable kayak and in a hard shell.
It was a blast…I hope I get another chance to do the Canyon again all the way from the put in, sometime in the future!

I never knew this until I got there but the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon has it’s own class system…so something we would calculate as a 5 on most rivers is a 10 on the GC. Lava Falls and Crystal were my first class 10’s…hoowee.

Let’s see …oh yeah I got my green card in November after arguing with the INS for two years who said they sent me my first card in September 2005. Never mind that I was in Canada with my Dad who was dying, never mind that I never received it….too bad….pay up or shut up….Homeland Security said pay up a second time then they’d be happy to send another card.

Something that should have cost 200 dollars cost me an additional 375 because they had upped the rates in the mean time..mean time is right…AND they don’t bother to send the cards via registered mail…soooo you have no recourse or way to track the card once it leaves their office….what’s with the security in that?

I can’t prove they didn’t send it nor can I prove I didn’t receive it…there is something fundamentally wrong with their system of delivery…especially after all the hassle of ensuring that the correct forms are filled out and accompanied by the correct pieces of ID they require.

I have to say in their favour that despite the new Passport rule backlog of work, they managed to get the card out in a timely manner once all the steps were re-completed.

Home for the Holidays…A white Christmas in Canada..New Years with my good friends in TO..
No Sundance Film Festival this year. First one in 12 years I have missed…first time in Portland during the last two weeks of January..whodathunk a sunny cold snap…go figure. As for SFF there is more to it but I’ll save that for another installment.

As always it feels good to be back on the blog block

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written. Seems like some days I could fill pages and then days will go by with nothing to add. Before you know it many days have slipped past, and the resolution to write once a week skips to two, then three, then a month.

So here I am without much to say except I started a fiction writing for beginners course last week, through PCC. Our teacher is Myrna Oakley and although I haven’t yet read any of her writing I like her, and I think the course is going to be helpful.

I’ll have to miss a few classes because Joe and I are traveling for a couple of weeks and then I’ll be in Canada to attend to some things in Muskoka.

We’re going to Cannes, France for a couple of days while Joe presents at a conference for Middle Eastern/Persian Gulf families. Too bad the film festival is later in the month..ah well.

Afterward we are driving up the coast into Italy to stay at my friend Adam’s converted olive mill just above Imperia. We’re hoping he will actually show up but we may be on our own or sharing with his brother Bill. No matter, it’s all about the adventure, not to mention the R & R Joe deserves.

I’ve pulled out my Berlitz French and Italian language tapes to get back into the swing of things. Although after listening to the Italian one I realized I had only spent a month there back in 1978 so it’s not entirely surprising I can’t remember much.
My French though should be much better than it is…alors je suis tres timide je pense…

Joe’s never been to Italy or to the Alps so we’ll drive through them as well as we wend our way around the countryside. Should be fun.

That’s it for now.

Au revoir Arrivederci Ciao

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.

March 12,2007

Flying Continental Airlines is an experience I am not eager to repeat in the near future. I’ve just returned from a twelve day visit with my mom and brother Steve(four of those days) in West Palm Beach, Florida and Hopetown, Bahamas.

My flight out from Portland was delayed sufficiently enough that by the time I landed in Houston to make my connection on to WPB I had less than five minutes to make the flight. Lucky for me the gate I arrived in was literally next door to the gate I was departing from… I was the next to last person to board, in fact they had reopened the doors for those of us arriving from Portland. Needless to say my bag didn’t make the flight that night.

In WPB while making a delayed bag claim with Continental, I found out the earliest flight in from Houston would be 11 AM the next morning. We were to fly out at 9AM for Marsh Harbour in the Abaco’s. Hmmmnn no worries the woman told me, since I was flying on a Continental they could just forward my bag to Marsh Harbour and put it on the ferry to Hopetown the next day. Dubious but ever hopeful I had no choice but to settle for her assurances.

Friday morning mom and I arrived at WPB at 7:30 figuring we had lots of time before leaving at 9…yup we had lots of time alright…our flight was delayed until 11:30 AM, they even let a flight scheduled for 10:30 leave without us because a flight crew, translate pilot,who rumour had it, had over slept ,was being replaced by another one and so we had to wait for them?
I beg your pardon?

At any rate I thought with the delay perhaps a silver lining had been granted to me. My bag might make it with me after all!

The harried ground hostess who was frantically trying to reach her baggage crew without any success as our departure time loomed suggested I ask the Captain as I was boarding if I could check for my “expedited” bag. No go, he wouldn’t let me look, so I had no choice but to board and keep my fingers crossed.

Arriving at Marsh Harbour International Airport is like arriving in an outback backwater.
Redundant sounding I know but it fits the bill.
I like to think everyone means well, but like a lot of holiday sunspots things are somewhat laidback.
I have my own issues with customs but we were able to get through fairly easily…to claim our bags I went outside through the door on the left just the other side of the customs and immigration area to find a pile of bags that had been dropped off with no one attending to them. Like I said things are a little more relaxed here in the Bahamas….unfortunately mom’s bag was the only familiar one in the baggage claim area…

I hauled it up to the counter as the immigration/customs agent took a long look at my mom in a wheelchair, then at her zipped bag, while I explain to her that my bag has been delayed. Go ahead says she… without a glance inside…good thing…we weren’t really sure how we would explain the six film canisters of dad tucked neatly into a side pocket of mom’s bag.

The gal pushing mom’s wheelchair hustled her into a taxi while I went inside next door to the Continental ticket counter, which is sandwiched literally between, American Airlines, an open door to the planes, and Bahamasair in a space about the size of your average bed room…10 x 15. That isn’t including the rest of the other airlines,waiting room benches, or snack bar filling the other side of the larger part of a 20 x 30 room. Things were scrunchy but friendly.

Everything happens at the one counter so I waited patiently even when the semi frantic taxi driver came in looking for me while I was still waiting to talk to someone.
(Apparently, as I found out later, the meter starts running as soon as you enter the cab so I was unwittingly cutting into his fare time)
Finally got to speak with someone and was assured the bag would be on the next flight and ferry into Hopetown. Continued hopefulness on my part…silly girl.

Off we went to the ferry dock where a very nice couple Bob and Carol Carter (no Ted and Alice by the way) had offered to organize a charter ferry to Hopetown instead of waiting for the scheduled one a couple of hours later.

Yessss….

Ah, the smell of the sea,the salt water, the familiar turquoise Abaco sea and looming in the distance the candy striped Lighthouse of Hopetown. It feels good if not a little odd being back.

But wait what are these monstrosities along the horizon? Huge two,three storey homes rising up from the coral island,brightly painted blue,yellow,pink,mauve.
Later in the week we heard one of them actually had an elevator put in it!
An ELEVATOR in it?
Say WHAT?
This is Hopetown not Park Ave…and even if there isn’t an elevator what’s with the 1,2,3,4 and half million dollar price tags on these homes in the quaint little hurricane hole of Hopetown.
Wow big changes are certainly afoot!

The Harbour looks the same sort of…it’s almost as if every buildable square inch of the place has got a home on it. Everything is cleaned up, painted neatly, a little too “twee” for me and yet it still retains some of its old charm.
Gone are the unpainted decrepit shack/cottages that the old Loyalists called home. Old fishing nets,garbage,bits of motors or bicycles or other paraphernalia are nowhere to be seen in the back yards of the new Hopetown.

Not that the clean up is bad, it just feels a whole lot different.
I mean there is even a coffee shop there now. Not Starbucks but who knows when it might appear… things will really be in trouble then.

The harbour itself is filled with more stinkpot type motor homes on the water than sailboats these days. As one astute old timer noted “it does take a degree of skill to sail” compared to deep pockets for a large runabout. Haha

And yet..and yet..the sun shone brilliantly the whole time we were there, the white sand beaches are still lovely,the breeze coming off the ocean tricks you into thinking it’s going to be cold but it isn’t. Just another shitty day in Paradise as one Wilbar Dawhoyte might proclaim!

We stayed at our friends home which once belonged to Mom and Dad but has since been lovingly renovated to accommodate their ever growing family of children,spouses and grandchildren.

It was an odd sensation for Mom especially coming back to Hopetown without Dad, her partner in crime so to speak. She missed him a lot, even if she didn’t exactly articulate it that way. She kept remarking how funny it felt to be there, how she wanted to turn to him and say “Charlie look who’s here, or you’ll never guess what I saw or who I saw.”
I noticed how anxious she seemed to be even after we had spread his ashes into the three H’s…the Hocean,the Hibiscus and the Harbour..
In ‘opetown, H’s are dropped and added at will.

She didn’t want to tell anyone and then proceeded to tell everyone why we were there. Sometimes discreetly other times she would blurt it out as if she couldn’t get it from her lips fast enough. Steve seemed to get short with her but then again he spends a great deal more time with her then the rest of us so maybe it’s his way of coping.
Speaking of Steve he had his own saga of “getting to Hopetown”.

We were to both meet the night before in WPB and fly over all together the next morning. Ice, snow, sleet, and general flying nastiness was his undoing. Not one but two of his flights were cancelled, so he rerouted through Miami to meet us the next day in the Bahamas.
Except his flights were also delayed and while he indeed did make it to Hopetown later on Friday, his bag didn’t.

Of course Mom and I were both scratching our heads as to why he would have checked a bag when he was only coming for the weekend.
More film canisters with ashy substances he claimed.
By the time it finally arrived…which was the day before he left…he was scratching his own head wondering why he had bothered to have packed the four pairs of shoes or six pairs of underwear….however excellent timing on the part of the airlines!

Thankfully Mike and Ro had some clothes that fit each of us so we weren’t in jeans the whole time. At least I wasn’t.

My bag finally did arrive….about 56 hours after I had put it on the TSA cart in Portland. Never was I so happy to see my bathing suit! Or my deodorant!

Mom and I enjoyed a few extra days which allowed for more visiting on her part and beach walking on mine.
We flew back to Florida with out any problems and spent the rest of the time getting sorted out for her next batch of visitors,Uncle Bob, Aunt Liz and cousin Debb.

One highlight of the visit was going to the Norton museum in Palm Beach where an exhibit of Iris Barrel Apfel haute couture designs was on display. Mom and I had each seen it advertised separately and yet it both reminded us of two of the same people, Aunt Helen Lawson and Jeanie Matthew.
Both classic women in their own rights with fabulous design sense.

Iris is still alive at 85,wears glasses bigger than Elton John’s and isn’t afraid to combine flea market finds with high end fashion names like Nina Ricci, Oscar de la Renta,and her favourite John Galliano. Her accessories motto is instead of taking off something as you leave the house add something. Or as Ted Whelan used to say More is More!

The other fab exhibit there is a Dale Chihuly ceiling of Persian Sealife. Fantastic! Worth the price of admission alone.

Having heard from my old friend Jamie who just celebrated his birthday last week…Happy Birthday James…that he was enjoying reading the blog…Thanks for the encouragement James…I am making a pledge to write at least once a week instead of feeling overwhelmed and not writing anything at all!
Assuming of course I am in a place with internet connections,that should be manageable.
So wish me luck and poke me if I get slack!

PS We just saw a film called HOST, a Korean monster movie with a heart. It was the first time we got to see Chris Paul’s name up on the big screen! What a great feeling for both Joe and myself…

Congratulations Chris! Way to GO!

Reminded me of the story I heard, after the fact, when my nephew Stuart saw my name in the end credits of Indian Summer and he jumped up pointing at the screen yelling, “That’s my Aunt, that’s my Aunt!”
It feels good all the way around! So you can be proud of yourself CHP and we anticipate many more opportunities to jump up and point at the screen yelling, “There’s Chris…that’s my step son…that’s our man!” in the future.

So that last post only took me 8 months to get onto the blog! Yikes.
I have had a lot of great adventures since I was on the Deschutes last June.
I went to my cousin Georgia VandeWater’s wedding in Halifax which was a whole lot of East Coast/Polish/ good food and drink…fun, fun, fun.
We spread some of dad’s ashes in Halifax harbour right next to one of the huge naval buoys that the ships tie up to. A very fitting resting place for him since he was an expeditor, supplying the ships in WW2 in that very same harbour.
Then my Mom and I went to Newfoundland, where I had never been, for a five day whirlwind tour. We got to visit my good friend Bernie in Twillingate and saw our first iceberg,albeit atleast fifteen to twenty miles out to sea. It was the first one they had come down in 2 years. Twillingate is known as Iceberg Alley so perhaps Al Gore isn’t so off the mark in his Inconvenient Truth!
Yes I finally made it to the ROCK!
For Mom it was a trip down memory lane as she was stationed at two different bases, Gander, and just outside Saint John’s, during WW2. At that time Newfoundland was still part of the British Empire so she was actually Overseas…weird hunh!

In late July I drove back to Canada with Jera as my copilot and an 18 foot wooden sea kayak on my roof…To be deposited at the Cottage.
Got lots of work done around the Point last summer…even more to do this summer…it never ends! The red shag is no more..sorry Aunt Marg and Uncle Laurie. My good pal Friday helped me rip up the carpeting in three of the rooms, and the two layers of linoleum beneath it. I would have loved to have saved the original covering but it was quite dark and worn in many so spots that I had to settle for saving a piece of it for old times sake.
I wonder what dad would have thought if he had been alive to see it. As it was my Aunt Jean, my Mom , and Marg and Bob Hunter are probably the only ones to remember what the cottage was like 60 years ago.

Joe and I had a good visit with Jen and Craig and kids(young teenagers..long legged and gorgeous) at their new cottage outside of Burk’s Falls. Jen gave me a bike tour of the area and we were only a few hours late leaving when it was discovered that Joe had inadvertantly locked the keys in the car…oh well.
We made it over to Phil and Penny’s cottage which Joe had never seen and I hadn’t been to in quite a while. There was intense preparation going on for one of Kyle’s pals who was celebrating a birthday that weekend so didn’t get to see much of them…Jess was already in Australia by then,we did get to met the inimitable Sherman…approximately 2 feet of Weiner dog love..very sweet!

In September Brother Steve turned FIFTY..oh shit what does that make me?
After the party Mom and I drove back to Portland. She was a real trooper putting up with my internal drive to get home to see my sweetie pie who had only been able to stay for two weeks through my time there.

In October my sister Susie and I went on a 200 km six day horse safari through Rajasthan India, after a very quick stopover in Agra and a walk through the magnificant Taj Mahal. Our hotel had a fabulous view of the Taj of which I attempted to get some early morning shots of,but truthfully it is better up close.
We met up with some friends at the end of our horseback ride in Pushkar at the annual Camel Fair. Imagine the Royal Winter Fair in the middle of the desert with camels,horses,cows,goats,and bulls, and you’re getting some semblance of an idea of what it is like.
Colourful stalls filled with all sorts of “Accessorizing” options for your camel or horse line the sandy streets.Food stalls,open grills,pots of rice and curries sent exotic wafts of culinary curiousities our way. Not that I would try them mind you. I wanted to enjoy my trip not spend it on a bed next to the washroom!

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.

I wrote that last one sometime between today and April 13th but just reacquainted myself with it. Although I felt that way sometime in the last couple of months it isn’t indicative of today’s thoughts…however I thought since I had written it at some point it should be included.

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.

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