falling for the falls

Women's Forum

Our good friend, Ina, has a young man named Florian visiting her from Germany for the summer. He arrived a week ago Sunday night just in time to help us close down Salt & Straw, the famous Portland ice cream shop. (I had the Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, described on the S&S website as “a tart goat cheese ice cream and swirled in ribbons of marionberry Jam that has been infused with habanero peppers.” It was amazing. Yum.) Last Monday, we all journeyed out the Columbia River Gorge to show Florian a bit of the local scenery. We all piled in David’s Scion, giving Florian the front-seat view. We got on the Historic Columbia River Highway outside of Corbett, and drove its windy narrowness out past Multnomah Falls. Continue reading “falling for the falls”

99 things – #31 through #35

NaBloPoMo Day 10

I found a list of 99 things, and I will be bolding the ones I’ve done and explaining a bit about each. Because I have a tendency to yammer on, I am doing 5 of the 99 at a time. 

31. Hit a home run – Uh, no. I played one season of softball, which went down in history as my only foray into organized sports. I was in 6th grade, and I was assigned to a team that did not want me, because I had no skills, no experience, and no aptitude. I was put into right field for the mandatory minimum number of innings, and everyone held their breath while I was out there. As far as I recall, they had a designated hitter hit for me.

32. Been on a cruise – Never. This is a dream of mine, because I like the idea of moving from place to place without having to move to new lodgings (something that got old after 6 months in Europe where we moved every 1-3 weeks). The all-expenses-paid gig seems pretty good as well.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person – No, not from a viewpoint or the inside of a barrel.

Aside from all the structural integrity issues, you can’t see when you are inside a barrel.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors – I’ve visited my dad’s birthplace! That hardly counts, though, since he was born in Long Beach, CA, just up Pacific Coast Highway from where I grew up in Huntington Beach. I’ve been to Ireland, and I know I have loads of Irish ancestors on my dad’s side, but I haven’t done enough genealogical research to know where any of them were born. My mom’s parents were from Australia and the Philippines, where I’ve never traveled.

35. Seen an Amish community – I am striking out right and left today! I have never been to an Amish area, though I’d certainly love to do so someday.

Score: 16 out of 35. Not only am I not improving, I’m falling deeper into the pit! Ah, well… a few more things for my bucket list.

  • #1 through #5 are here.
  • #6 through #10 are here.
  • #11 through #15 are here.
  • #16 through #20 are here.
  • #21 through #25 are here.
  • #26 through #30 are here.

The queen of summer

‘Cause we keep it together the better the weather,
We love it that way…


Last summer, when we were in Europe, I realized how much I miss having summers off. Not (just) because of the whole not-working action, but because my family is off in the summer – and I love those guys.

For seventeen years, David and I had summers off together. Most of that time, it was because we were both either students or teachers or one of each. Occasionally, we were between jobs, between states, or between countries. Whatever the reason, we had that time together.

David is different in the summer. During the school year, he is so focused on school – and playing board games to alleviate the stress of school – that he rarely has time to just relax and be himself. In the summer, he is that person… and I really like that person.

Quinland marveled over this repeatedly in Europe. David was so friendly, so chatty with strangers, so energetic, so willing to do hikes and bike rides and sea kayaking, so eager to sightsee and go to museums, so FUN. (We took to calling this aspect of him “Euro Dad.”) But really and truly, I know that David from all the summers we spent together doing all those things. It was so incredible to get to have that experience again after almost 10 years without it.


So, this year, I decided I was going to get at least a taste of it. We took a vacation – a real vacation – and went on a road trip down through Oregon, Northern California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado, stopping at National Parks and State Parks along the way. D and Q went for three weeks; I couldn’t get that much time off, but I went for two full weeks. Camping, driving, visiting friends and relatives, hiking, just hanging out – it was like having a summer again.

Oh, I can’t forget to add this: Crater Lake is beautiful. Why had I never managed to get there before?