I’m not sure if the first time I went to Powell’s Bookstore felt like slipping through the wardrobe. Continue reading
Last Saturday we spent two and half hours in the Verizon store. We’d gone in to see if we could upgrade TJ’s phone, which for a year had been saved only by the Otterbox protecting it. It was a beautiful day, over 50 degrees by 10 am and we’d plans to drive to the coast. Continue reading
We’ve been meaning to get to the Multnomah Falls, a quick thirty minutes from us in Portland. There was no planning, we just happened to pick a perfect day — clear, dry, and warm for January.
I thought we were going to walk up that first little bridge, take some photos, and get on with our lives. This was a short-lived fantasy. When we reached the bridge, we kept going. And noticed this little cave. We did the most obvious thing:
Up we went. The first switchback had a sign: 1 of 11 switchbacks. I knew then I was in trouble. I had dressed inappropriately: Ugg books with no ankle support, cardigan, and makeup. I was only good for looking pretty, not for hiking. Actually, I don’t think I’m ever good at hiking.
At first, I kept up with TJ, but soon, I was falling behind.
Eventually, I gave up, waved TJ on, told him to go on without me and to remember that he loved me, despite my failings. I pretend to try some ‘photography’ . Really, I was bent over at the waist sucking air.
Don’t judge me. I hadn’t eaten breakfast. I workout inside. I have weak lungs. At switchback 7 of 11, I swear I saw a burning bush and Moses.
By the time I got to the overlook, TJ was heading back down the trail, but he turned back to walk with me.
At the top, you could stand at the edge and look down, straight down the waterfall. It’s moments like those that I remember that I don’t enjoy heights. Was it worth the pain and embarrassment of being left behind? Of course. I have two strong legs, a heart in good order and ability, I try not to let my brain get in the way.
We highly recommend this hike. But I suggest being a little more prepared than I was. Maybe, wear sneakers or hiking boots, bring some water, wear layers and if possible eat something. Or, if this all seems like too much, convince your travel party not to go past the first bridge.
Every Sunday, between 9 am and noon, I go to the Walmart on 82nd avenue. It’s a Walmart with a reputation. That might seem like a redundant thing to say about Walmart, but for this one it’s particularly true. It’s not very far away from where we live, just three miles, but in true Portland fashion & I think like most cities, the neighborhoods can shift with just a stop sign. This Walmart is in the beginning section of a not-so-nice part of town. It’s always an adventure, I always go looking for excitement, and I’m usually rewarded, but this last Sunday was completely uneventful, or so I thought. Continue reading
I heard someone say that lists were annoying, like those end-of-year lists or the ones that comprise a lot of Buzzfeed. But hasn’t this been the year of Buzzfeed? So, a few someones must enjoy a good countdown. And as much as lists require ten times less attention than a well-written essay, they are so wonderfully tidy. So I made one, too, for this blog, because I can. Here’s my top 5 favorite post thus far. Happy New Year and thanks so much for reading.
5. Prince & Patrice Do Hollywood — Once my brother and I reached California, we took a side trip to LA for the day. With no plan, we wandered into one of the funniest days of my life. Continue reading
Things got a little heavy this morning while I was on my hands and knees in the bathroom. I was finally taking the time to scrub the bottom of our tiny shower, an easy task that I’d put off for weeks, because it always became a bit of a production.
First, I’d have to scrub the excess grime with a dryer sheet, a trick I learned from Pinterest. It’d been so long, I needed two to really do the job. So there I was minding my own business, going at this mucky floor and feeling pretty damned satisfied with myself for being up AND cleaning on a Saturday morning before nine when out of no where I started having these really dark thoughts.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a nature trail in my own backyard. My dog, Kokanee, hadn’t been on a long walk in a few weeks and I was feeling the guilt that many dog owners understand. We’d cross the street from my apartment complex to one of the north-end practice fields of Reed College, and reached the farthest point of our usual walk, when I decided to keep going. I’d seen students come up from this little gravel road and I assumed it was a shortcut from one side of campus to another. Midway down the rocky road, I noticed a trail off to the right. Curious, I led Kokanee down, and it wasn’t long before I found a sign that read, “Wildlife Habitat”. I got excited, but before I got too far, I thought about that fact that I didn’t have my phone and no one knew where I was. So, I led Kokanee back up the path to the gravel road and we headed home.
Today, we went back. It started raining last night and has been coming and going all day. When I told friends I was moving to Portland, most of them were concerned about the rain and how I would deal with the long, grey winters. I’ll admit, I am still a little worried about it. But whenever I worry about something I try to come up with a plan with how to deal with the anxiety if, and when, it comes. I asked myself what my biggest concern was about the ran. And the thing I came back to the most was the fear of feeling cooped up. I tried to think about it logically. I told myself that just because it was raining, wasn’t a reason to not go out. In fact, when it was raining, I would force myself to do even more than I would do on a perfectly sunny day. In comparison, I would never willingly go on a hike in the rain in North Carolina and I’ve already experienced one kinda dangerous rainy hike in Washington. But if I had that attitude here, I’d never hike again.
Today is the seventeenth day. I didn’t mean to begin counting but after the tenth day, I couldn’t help but notice. It’s been seventeen days since I saw any of my neighbors. In theory, there should be five humans, one for each of the five doors besides ours in this building on the second floor, but of course, it could be more. It might not seem all the strange to you, that I haven’t seen a single soul in the hallway outside of our apartment for seventeen days, but as an unemployed person who spends most of her days going in and out, it’s becoming more and more bizarre. When we first moved in, I saw the man across the hall at least once a day as he was taking his small dog for a walk. He always spoke, or least nodded, and he seemed like a good omen.
On the second morning of a two-day trek to our new hometown of Portland, Oregon, we were up early and waiting to eat breakfast at place called Ardella’s — a quaint little restaurant in the picturesque town of Willits, California. Two young men working at the gas station had enthusiastically recommended the place. I could tell it was small-town northern California when the regulars showed up exactly 7 am, as a waitress was unlocking the doors and flipping the Closed sign to Open. We left with full bellies and lots of local gossip. TJ took the lead as we took scenic route 99 — a mountainous road that made my coffee slosh in my stomach. The only thing between me and the Kalmath River, sometimes fifty feet below, was my own skill as a driver. When we finally reached I-5, the major highway that would take us the rest of the way to Portland, my shoulders were so tight they were at my ears. We got in much later than we expected, hungry and sick of the road. It was a relief to have no trouble finding the house with the room we’d leased for a few days until we found an apartment. I’d used AirBnb, my first time, to save money for a hotel, and I wanted to actually feel what it was like to live in one of the many neighborhoods in Southeast Portland. The whole AirBnb experience could be its own post and probably will be, but not today. Our hostess, a woman named Karen, asked us each morning, how we were fairing — in general and on our apartment search. On the first morning, we were able to tell her that we’d found a place and by the second morning, we’d signed a lease. She said we were people who “Get Shit Done” —
1. I basically threw a tantrum and demanded that we take a route through San Francisco instead of around it.
2. Due to traffic, we drove through at a moderate 35mph, right through the city to get to the Golden Gate Bridge.
3. Do I get to say that I’ve been to San Francisco or is this the same as being in the airport in Chicago because of a layover?