Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Or whatever that is. I don't really celebrate religious holidays and stopped church about 15 years ago. So I think of other ways to celebrate. We did break open the Cadbury caramel easter bunnies on today's bike ride around town.

It was a lazy start to the day, waking at 9:45. A couple weeks of being on the run finally caught up to us, and it was my first day of being able to sleep in for quite a while. Last week we were in Seattle for an education event for me and then Vancouver, BC seeing my old friend Vivian the couple days following. I'd returned to Portland and worked the next day. Even started riding my bike to work this week.

We've been spoiled the last few days, with summer like weather (75!) and sunshine. No breeze. Perfect for hopping on the bicycles and meandering about town. I tried not to kill Justin this time- just took him around on mostly flat roads and no long-cuts like last time. He's been telling everyone he's on the West Coast Shape-Up-Plan--- after years of being a sedentary work-at-home-on-the-computer-person (his terms, not mine), he's got some catching up to do. I forget sometimes and almost kill him with activities.
Carrie and I determined that we might have special endurance genes, so it's not so hard for us to pick up and do things.

Anyway, he's cruising along to better shape and today we upgraded his 3-year old Keens with real new hiking shoes which we can use about town. At REI, the guy who helped us was from Virginia. :) We explained that Justin had gear for water sports but was in need of different gear since arriving from the East. He totally understood. We are gearing up for some summer hikes in the gorge, camping trips and stand-up paddling.

Leaving REI, we strapped the old shoes to our bike rack and headed out for a buy-one-get-one-free ice cream at Salt & Straw (Oregon local!) which fueled us for the ride home and Easter Dinner Leftovers.

A great easter Sunday!

 [bunnies kissing]

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fears in between

Two months in the Northwest and I feel more at home every day. I'm healthier than I've been in years from  all the outdoor activities, good food and friends who fill up my soul, plus time with my sister. 

Yet I feel like I'm holding my breath waiting to see what happens. I don't want to leave here. I don't know what'll happen should I come to the crossroads of choosing between living here and returning to North Carolina. I feel ill at the idea of giving up myself. I'm not sure what I'm able to do. But I know that I am also thinking ahead which is pretty futile in most ways. So instead I'm trying to stay in the moment I'm in. I can't help but wonder- my brain is trained in speculation and possibilities and planning for the future. These last five years have been a study in living in the moment. It is not easy. 

I sometimes feel it is a tug of war. So many things- location, weather, lifestyle, families. I wonder sometimes if it is irreconcilable differences. Sometimes it feels too much. I feel like we are in that in between world where things are before they explode one way or the other. I don't know if we have enough to hold it together. I will have to see. 

I know he originally came out here with the intention of moving me right back to NC. I think he has since changed his mind in some way, but I think it's only temporary. It's a tug of war between the coasts. I wonder if we each have to give up too much. I feel restricted and scared. 

I wish things were easier. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cross Country Skiing and Catherine Feeny

Mississippi Studios- a small venue for music

Catherine Feeny, who Carrie and I have followed for about 8 years. She's a 1976er too!

MT HOOD Tea Cup Ski Area 
-Justin's first time on skis

 First day fall- he did pretty good for first time on skis
 Oatie was a trooper

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Good Life in Portland

I don't have much to say these days. I've been busy wandering the familiar PDX roads. Meeting up with friends. Enjoying life. Happy to be back from Iceland in a place with color, warmth and the absence of wind.

Justin flew in last Monday night at 8PM and we've been treated to quite a lot of mild weather. So we spent a day on the bikes and another wandering downtown and up to Council Crest - the highest point in the city limits of Portland. Carrie and Justin headed downtown on Saturday while I worked. (I was a bit jealous but I had to squash my emotions- I don't work enough to complain really.)

I read something the other day, about how it is enough to just live. You don't need to be somebody or important or anything. Just live and enjoy life. I like that. I am trying to hold that close to my heart.

Today I woke up and realised I don't work until Tuesday. What a strange life to have so much time off and to be in the company of all things good. Justin, Carrie & Oatie, Portland. It's good to go to work and know they are here too when I get home.

We're all in Carrie's house, and I was very worried about how things would go for various reasons. But so far it's been sort of a little blessing and we're all working together. I think Oatie feels that he's died and gone to heaven, with THREE people to love him all the time. He's taken to Justin as a new man friend and even managed to crawl in his jacket.

Justin and I are working on some projects. Reading a little Buddhist philosophy and all trying to live day by day without worrying too much about the past or the future. This is easier said than done.

I can't stop thinking about my cousin Kelly's daughter Kayleen, who is nine and fighting leukemia. I don't know how they are all feeling, but the only thing I can figure is to try to enjoy each day as it comes. If you have a prayer in your heart, say it for Kayleen, that by some miracle she is the 10% of those who survive.

My sister Molly is also about to have her third child, and she is in my thoughts often. I always worry that last month of the pregnancy until everything is okay and done.

I am feeling pretty thankful these days for the good life I am having. I've been fortunate to have work in this delightful city, a generous sister who's shared her nice roof over my head, and a boyfriend who flew across the country to make it work. I'm just going to go with it and enjoy myself.

 I was out biking with my friend Hrag and we pedaled over this bridge
 St John's Bridge
 Ristretto Roasters
Old fashioned and modern lighting 
 Mississippi Pizza- best in town

 I always love visiting the train station
 Charlie has adapted to the tea & coffee lifestyle
 Stumptown roasters