Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thanks, Mom

I've been seriously depressed for several days without an explanation.  I just couldn't figure out what my problem was--sure, it's been gray and rainy, but there's also been plenty of cool (and relatively bright) fog.  My shoulder seems to have been hurt in the little accident we had on the way to church a week and a half ago, but since an agonizing couple of hours Sunday night it's been feeling quite a bit better.  I've been taking my vitamins (including the all important D) regularly.  I just couldn't figure it out.

And then Andra posted on facebook this morning-- that no matter how much she tries not to pay attention, her subconscious always knows when it is the anniversary of our mom's death.

"Ohhhhh," I thought as I sat there,  "That's why I've been so incredibly sad..." Amazingly, that understanding was like a cleansing breeze that blew through my mind and heart.

This evening I left the house a few minutes late to pick Jared up from wrestling.  I noticed that the sky had cleared a little from it's earlier grey.  I drove north and then turned west, right into what was quite possibly the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen.  There were low clouds just above the mountains, but above them were large bands of an incredibly vivid pink.

To pick up Jared I had to turn away from the sunset, but I kept watching in my rearview mirror to be sure it was still there.  As soon as he was in the car (even before the door was closed) I started forward, wanting to go somewhere where we had a better view of the sunset without the obstruction of the tall evergreens.  Thank goodness the light was still good when we found a side road to pull off on, and we sat there admiring the view.  The fields just beyond where we sat had a thin layer of fog starting to rise from them.  Beyond that we saw a farm house, a barn, and some smaller trees.  In the distance we could see layers of mountains.  And above those, against the grey-blue sky, those bright pink streaks.

My mom didn't have a lot of chances until later in her life to do artistic things, but she sure loved painting.  Whenever Andra sees a beautiful sunset she always tells her kids that Grandma painted it for them.  Looking at that sunset tonight, from the moment I came around the corner, I knew that whether or not my mom painted it, she sent it for me.  A healing message of love for my sorrowing heart.

Thanks, Mom!

ps--I didn't have a camera with me so we tried taking pictures with Jared's cell phone.  Sunset pictures are notoriously hard to take anyway, even with a good camera.  I've had cameras that have enhanced the sunset and cameras that have refused to acknowledge the sunset.  Jared's phone picked up much more yellow than what we saw, and the pinks were washed out.  I found a picture online that showed the intensity of the pink, though our sunset didn't fill this much of the sky.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Segway Portland

About a year and a half ago I saw a groupon for a segway tour of Portland.  Since we already know that we love to segway I thought that would be a terrific date idea and I bought 2 of them.  Then I went and got concussed on that hike and it was a while before I was ready for our tour.  I worried that the weather would have changed but it turned out to be a perfect day.  The leaves were all sorts of beautiful colors and the temperatures were perfect.  We got to segway all through the downtown, around Portland State University, along the river, over a bridge, along the other side of the river, and back over another bridge.  It was seriously fantastic.


The kids were all sorts of jealous.  What they didn’t know was that we had asked whether the triplets were old enough and big enough to ride a segway because we thought that would be a fun group birthday present this year while Jason was home from college.

Here are some pictures and video from that day.

First the kids had to be taught how to ride the segways, then they got to practice in a square around a fountain.  Jenna was scared in the beginning but after a while they were all confident.


For the tour with the kids we skipped the university, but we still got to go by the Portland Loo, a public bathroom in a greenspace downtown.

We went by several bubblers, public water fountains that were designed and built long ago and are still in use. 
When we went down to the river we passed an apartment building that had a moat around it. 
We had a great view of all of the bridges.
We also passed the smallest park in the world.  Seriously.
When our tour was over we got to ride our segways around a parking garage while the tour guide was putting the first few away and settling up with Russ.  We decided that the cool Portland tour was just a bonus—they were equally fun in the parking garage.
I don’t know when or where our next segway tour will be, but I’m sure there will be one!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Foggy morning

I got up this morning at 6:30, approximately 4 hours too early for my NyQuilled and still-recovering self, to drive through the fog with rush hour traffic to take Josh to the airport. I felt just one step better than death warmed over. After dropping Josh off I found a McDonalds and got both breakfast and a coke, hoping that one or the other would help me feel better and make it home safely. Then I headed up to Marine Dr because the traffic was terrible on 84. IMG_0444p

The fog hadn't been too bad through Portland or at the airport but it was thick and dense up by the river, and me without my GPS. IMG_0452p

Nothing that i could see looked familiar, perhaps because i couldn't actually see anything. I circled around the port of Portland several times before I got ahold of Russ so that he could "blonde star" me back to somewhere familiar. IMG_0457p

When I came through the pass and over the top of the hill looking towards Beaverton and Hillsboro the sun was shining, the sky was almost blue and I could see a white blanket of fog sitting on top of everything. IMG_0468p

By the time I got to Hillsboro I was back in it... Amazing how that can happen so quickly. IMG_0478pIMG_0471p

I went by Intel to pick up my van and leave Russ's car. I hasn't wanted to take my van to the airport since it'd had a flat tire (#3 in as many months, and no this is not my happy voice!!) yesterday afternoon and still had the temporary tire on. I took it straight to Costco and sat down to read the only thing I had found in the van--wired magazine. After a few minutes the tire tech called to tell me that actually I didn't need my tire fixed, I needed both of my front tires (less than 2 years old) replaced. He asked me to walk back around the building so that he could show me what he was talking about, but I declined. He could tell how upset I was, and ended up charging me the warranty price instead of the full price for new tires. Good business on his part. IMG_0495

I didn't get back home till after noon. Still feeling crappy, totally exhausted. I'm going to take a nap now. A very, very long one.