Articles by Colleen

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Mon Oncle II

Columbia River

Multnomah Falls

Holla!

Bonneville Dam

Block + Tackle

Pepe le Moko

L O V E: Forever and All Ways.

M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I

A 1930′s Vintage Chevrolet. Beautiful!

Interurban – yumm…

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope it is lovely where you are. We are in full autumn here in Stumptown, with cool mornings, rain, and golden sun from time to time. We are also in full “Oh my goodness, we are selling the house!” mode. Packing, planning, and getting G I A N T holes dug to repair the 83 year-old sewer in the time it took us to get a single large shrub in the ground. The wonder of backhoes!

Back when we decided to move, the hubster and I only fretted over telling one person, my Uncle Chris. He loves Portland dearly and has been our most frequent guest room occupant. He was disappointed, most definitely, but cool cat that he is, very understanding, too. New chapters are exciting! Then, much to our delight, he made arrangements to be our final visitor.

We could not have had a better time or better weather, either, warmth, sunshine, the best of good-byes.

The highlights:

We visited Bonneville Dam, which was truly fascinating. The giant grey object with rust drips is a turbine that had been in use for some 60 years, the wonders of engineering, and, quite likely, Pittsburgh Steel. Then there were the fish, heaps and tons doing their darndest, working their tails off (in some cases nearly literally) to make it through the rough waters of the ladder. Extraordinary! The previous day had a count of 30,000, and that is after running the gauntlet of fishing boats. Nature is bad ass!

A long walk to Block + Tackle, which, if you are a seafood and fish lover, get ye there! Everything pleases, fresh oysters, perfect calamari, a smoked mackerel sandwich, fish and chips, shrimp cocktail, oh my. The service was pretty spectacular, too. With nearly full bellies, we introduced him to the wonders of Salt & Straw (minus the line, what luck!), a  slow, sweet saunter down Division in the light of the setting sun.

A most marvelous time was had by all. Next stop Pittsburgh, mon oncle!

Tears

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief. . . and unspeakable love.

Washington Irving

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We met her nineteen years ago, the runt of the litter, with giant ears and ever so much fluff. Smitten, we were, and instantly. Loving and cuddly one moment, wild and willful the next, she brought us much joy and many surprises. Like the time she caught a tiny mouse and held it in her mouth, without so much as a scratch of harm.

Her fur was silky and I could never get enough of its sweet scent, while constantly marveling at the wild riot of curls on her belly and the shock of fur protruding from between her toes. She meowed often, kindly and fiercely, depending on her mood, and purred even more.

She was our Paris, Birdie, Buttercup, Princess, Sassafras, Fluff and Stuff, our Favorite Girl.

She had gotten old, and it was more obvious with every passing day, the usual ailments of frailty, faulty vision, intermittent hearing (or maybe not, she was crafty like that), and others, too, more painful and not worthy of describing. So we decided it was time. Yesterday would be her final hurrah.

She ate well, with treats and tuna and an extra helping of dinner. She wandered the yard, purring, always purring, eyes closed to the sun and catching a multitude of scents on the breeze, before gazing at the birds and squirrels as they flitted and hopped. She dozed in her favorite spots and cuddled on my lap while I read. When the hubster came home, she curled up in her favorite basket and dozed some more before resting on each of our laps.

And then, this morning, my last picture with her. She smelled so good and meowed and chirped like no other kitty I’ve known. A quick needle prick by the deft hands of Deborah Rotman, a most compassionate and caring vet, and she fell quickly to sleep. I kissed her and held her again before the final dose was delivered. I cried.

I am crying now.

Bye, bye Birdie. I will always love you.

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One Minute

Good advice:

For one minute, please, stand here in silence, look at the sky, and contemplate how awesome life is.

At Home

When the hubster and I were traveling this summer, and any time, really, over the last few years, we have felt at home. We arrive, despite perhaps being travel weary and discombobulated from hours of flight or driving, and are at peace. We are here. This wondrous place is for us. For now, for however long we stay. Whether it be new or a comfortable, oft-visited destination, there is an air of the familiar. A warmth that embraces us, no matter the weather nor the language or custom of the inhabitants.

I think that is why we aren’t afraid to part from Portland. Though we will miss this skyline, and these most fabulous friends, Pittsburgh is already home. There is a well worn path to the supermarket stamped with our names. It meanders along a tree-lined road. We wave at our neighbors and friends, maybe stop to chat. The hubster pets every cat along the way.

It is all we have ever known.

Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary to my Parents!

XOXO

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