Teary

My visit to Portland. I never thought I would return – a twofold fear of the BIG one and the notion of visiting a city I would no longer know. A city that is no longer mine.

But I did it, without a moment’s hesitation. For Solveig, my daughter from another mother and her sweet kids. The family not born but built with infinite love.

And I kept crying. At the Eastern Oregon wrinkle of rivers, I cried. At Mount Hood towering beautifully over the forest, as it has for eons, beacon of the eastern skyline, I cried. Just about everywhere. Walking, eating, driving – snaking up and up the magical 20th-21st southeast to northeast ribbon, crawling past Alameda, Elliot Smith singing along. And me lamenting my latent appreciation. Better late than never.

Why the tears? Why so many? I never experienced such overwhelm when returning to Arvada, home of my youth. I realized that is precisely it. Portland is the birthplace of my adulthood, our FIRST house. Place where I learned to plant, to love plunging my hands in soil to witness the miracle of shoots turning to leaves, to plants, to boisterous blossoms. Even trees!

It is the place where my sense of self turned from liquid to solid, or at least the appearance of it, a slow moving slab of glittering glass.

Where I decided on friends, realizing I am worth kindness, not snark, open hands and hearts, worth goodness and the very best in people. Honesty and accountability. LOVE.

Where my politics and lofty dreams rooted, deep and sequoia strong. Be NICE. Don’t be a doormat. And as I wandered, I suppose my unconscious remembered before I did, saw the places where the first seeds were planted. Odd corners and unpaved roads of one great and glorious city.

And so the tears and sobs. Heaps and tons.

And hugs, conversation, blessed quiet, with the dearest people of my past and present, almost like I never left, but with it hanging in the air. The sweetest start of a soft storm, soaking me through, puddle jumping, LAUGHING, to myself and Portland, a city that remains very much mine.

 

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Trivialities

We are all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities. We are eaten up by nothing.

Charles Bukowski

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A dear friend lives here! We ate and talked and enjoyed Fifty Licks of ice cream. The time whooshed and the sky turned starry.

Luna graduated from preschool!

Aloha!

Lucky to have had these fine folks as my Portland neighbors. It was like I never left.

Zoran likes workbooks. His Mama does, too.

Super Girl Heart Warrior

picnic in a box

Much beloved Portland rain, tumbling down just for me. Or so I like to think.

Kill your television?

As I was short on time and long on activities, I didn’t make a visit to my favorite bridge in the world, so imagine my delight when the plane home gave me this view.

And then this one of THE old neighborhood! I walked and biked and drove every one of these streets in happiness and sheer joy, sometimes in tears, always in gratitude.

Can you see the plane shadow surrounded by a rainbow? It was much, much clearer when first I spied it but wasn’t quick enough to capture. But still, how cool?

Denver! Almost home…

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I don’t post many recipes anymore, mostly because there are PLENTY of places to find them, and I don’t necessarily feel like I have anything special to offer. By the process of deduction, I hope you’ve realized this strawberry rhubarb cake IS something special. I’ll give you three reasons. 1. It comes together quickly. 2. Greg hollered from the office, “I don’t know what you’re making in there, but it smells AMAZING.” 3. It tastes even better!

So, yeah, it’s good. I used rhubarb from my garden, which makes me feel extra warm and fuzzy. The pieces are kind of itty-bitty because the stout & gorgeous first stalks, just days from perfect ripeness, were positively mauled by a hail storm. Giant sad face. Giant. These are the little babies that came after, harvested just this morning. I’ll take it however it comes.

Also, if you like a really rhubarb flavor, I’d use another cup of it. I was worried that it would be too sour and was definitely wishing for more.

2 or 3 cups sliced rhubarb

1 heaping cup quartered strawberries

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup flour – I used half all purpose and half whole wheat

Toss the rhubarb in a bowl with 3 tablespoons sugar. Spread strawberries and rhubarb evenly in a generously buttered 10″ pie pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until lightly golden, 5-7 minutes. Pour the butter into into a medium bowl. Stir the 1/2 cup sugar into the butter. Gently stir in the eggs and vanilla, then the flour until blended. Spoon the batter evenly over the strawberries and rhubarb. Sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees until crusty and lightly golden, 40 – 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for as long as you like. This is delicious warm or at room temperature. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla or cinnamon ice cream would be extra-extra.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Wild

You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.

Isadora Duncan

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