The last couple of weeks have flown by. How, with no regular job obligations and precious few fixed commitments of any kind, can life possibly be so busy? Just for the record, here's a blessedly brief summary of what's been going on:
--A birthday party for a friend who volunteers at a homeless shelter downtown. He requested socks for his clients in lieu of gifts for himself. You go, Richard.
-- The Woodstock neighborhood picnic, featuring lion dancers and belly dancers. Pictured is Grace, who sunlights as a master gardener and (our) landscape designer.
-- A "Chef in my Garden" benefit for Growing Gardens hosted by "Tomato Bob" and his wife Marilyn at their home in Oregon City. The chef was Adam Sappington, owner of The Country Cat restaurant. Perfect weather, delicious food, copious wine, interesting dining companions. Bob grows four dozen varieties of tomatoes, and we all went home with a few.
-- An Underground Portland walking tour featuring glimpses of the so-called Shanghai Tunnels and other aspects of the city's seamy past and present. I've wanted to do some of these walks since before we moved here; we're signed up for a couple more, with different itineraries, in the next few weeks.
-- A visit with our friends Mona and Rob, whom we first met when they moved to Sea Ranch. Mona and I bonded immediately over our mutual homesickness for Berkeley. They've since relocated to Sebastopol, though in retrospect it's clear that they should have moved to Portland instead. We did the full-out tour guide number: The Chinese Garden, Contemporary Craft Museum (with side excursion -- Rob's a copper-lamp artisan -- to our friend Larry's lighting store, Lumen Essence, on the North Park Blocks), Powell's, windowshopping in the Pearl, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the farmers' market, plus dinner at home one night and dinner out the next.
-- Keb' Mo' and Robert Cray in concert at the Zoo. The music was fine, the crowd mellow, and the weather, again, was perfect. I spotted one friend in the crowd, and Jer ran into another; an increasingly frequent indication that we're getting to know more people around town. But the highlight of the evening, as far as I'm concerned, was the pre-show raptor fly-by. I was standing in the concession line at the time, and almost dropped my noodles along with my jaw. The experience of a bald eagle zooming by at eye level was, in itself, worth the price of admission.