11 September 2007

Whoosh II

Whenever I post a catch-up entry like this one, I realize that I'm channeling my mother. She felt compelled, whenever we spoke on the phone, to enumerate everything she'd done since our last conversation. I could picture her standing in her kitchen, talking and talking, glancing for reference at her copiously annotated wall calendar. In her last few years it was all about bus connections, doctors' appointments and old friends' infirmities and deaths. I love(d) her dearly, and I'm fully cognizant that her kitchen calendar is the functional equivalent of my Sierra Club datebook, and that I've inherited some of her other compulsive behaviors, too. I'd like to think I'm a much better editor, but perhaps it's just that my life is more interesting to me, day to day, than hers was.

So, yes; it's been another insanely busy couple of weeks. For the record once more, some highlights:

Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we attended a lovely wedding in far northwest Portland, on the happy couple's farm, where we also got to spend time with several good friends from Sea Ranch. Zoë and Matt's dog Olive, in true border collie style, made herself a central part of the ceremony.

We met another pair of California friends, in town for a "let's check out Portland" visit, for Sunday brunch at Mother's Bistro. After saying 'bye to Carla and Scott, Jer and I strolled a few blocks to Art in the Pearl, where I spotted this very cool recycled-trash salmon.

We made it home in time to greet Rose, another Sea Ranch friend, who was en route south from a college reunion in Washington state. We showed her around the neighborhood and, Monday afternoon, took in the closing performance of Shakespeare in the Park's Taming of the Shrew on the lawn at Reed. She left Tuesday morning. On Thursday, we picked up our good friends Rob and Jackie at the airport. Jackie used to be our next-door neighbor at Sea Ranch. She's the former director of the UC Berkeley art museum and a full-time curator, consultant and writer on artsy matters. That afternoon, I took them on a long walk through Reed campus and the Rhododendron Garden, a.k.a the duck pond. An amusing moment: We were starting down the long, sloping lawn toward SE 28th Ave. when a security guy drove up; I thought at first he was telling us to keep off the grass, but it turned out he was warning us that an archery class was in progress and that, if we continued on our intended course, the three of us would be right in the line of mis-fire. Oops; an arrow escape!

Thursday evening, we went to the opening of Jackie's colleague Darren Waterston's exhibit of paintings and prints at Lewis and Clark College. I love this man's work. It sparked in me dozens of ideas about what I'd like to try in fiber arts, assuming I can ever get myself back into the studio.

Starting Friday morning, Jer and I plunged into E-ticket tour guide mode once more: The Japanese and Rose Gardens, lunch al fresco at Southpark, the Art Museum. I made a "kitchen sink" salad for dinner, including fresh corn, tomatoes and other goodies from this week's CSA veggie box.

Saturday morning we walked the Springwater Corridor trail as far as Three Bridges and back. The path was lined with these beautiful orchid-like flowers, which my wildflower book tells me is Cape Jewelweed. Later, while I attended to another obligation, Jer took our guests to the Chinese Garden (where they had tea, which I have not yet experienced; sob), Powell's Books, and, briefly, Saturday Market. That evening, Jackie and Rob treated us to a super-indulgent dinner at Fife's.

Sunday morning we dropped our friends at PDX and had a few hours to relax and put together a roasted potato dish and tomato-mozzarella-pesto bruschetta as Jerry's and my contributions, respectively, to the Rural Street block party that evening. Besides delicious food, home-brewed beer, lots of catching up with neighbors we don't get to talk with very often, and the traditional piñata for the kids (I wish I'd gotten a picture of the dozen or so of them lined up according to height, waiting to take their respective whacks), this year's featured non-trivial water balloon fights and a string quartet playing works by Vivaldi and Haydn. The same kids participated in both, though not at the same time. Also, Jay and Ellen opened the gates to their new bocce court; I'd never played before, but I actually got off a few good shots (which are probably called something else in bocce) and did not disgrace myself overall.

This week is shaping up to be very busy, too, with commitments every morning as well as three or maybe four nights out of five. After that I think life will calm down for a while. No houseguests on the schedule for the foreseeable future. As I implied at the outset, these "whooshy" blog posts aren't my favorite, nor are they yours, I'm sure. I'd much rather slow down and focus in on some interesting details. Like the jar that sat midstage during the entire uninterrupted 2 hours and 20 minutes of Richard Thompson's show last night, labeled Big Dick's Speed Dust Trouser Treatment. WTF? I Googled it in various combinations and you can imagine the results.

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