It is almost 8 a.m. and the house is quiet. Mary left for work 40 minutes ago at the break of day. Street lights were still on and she assured me that hundreds of people are up and about getting themselves to public transportation stops. She rarely drives her car to work. It is easy to walk to the transit stop and without a car there are no downtown daily parking fees. Queta left minutes ago for an early meeting. All I can hear in the house is the heater as it comes on and off. There is a light fog outside and Max the cat is ensconced on new couch.
I've just stirred a glass of a dry powder supplement with Kombucha as part of a new regimen. the Kombucha is not part of the new regimen. It's just that I've fallen in love with Kombucha. Discovered it first at the farmer's market in Ballard on my last trip to Seattle. Now exploring many different brands from Whole Foods and Portland's local equivalent. Kombucha is a divine beverage that reminds me of hard apple cider without any sweet taste. Almost vinegar-like, in a good way. It tastes something like ginger ale used to taste before high fructose syrup ruined its sparkling non-sweetness. In any case, for me Kombucha is a restorative beverage. I pull a bottle out of the refrigerator several times each day for a swig. Refreshing, but I am finding that it's not thirst quenching like a plain glass of water.
I've had a lovely nine days here in Portland. Once a year I fly here to spend time with Mary B and Queta. By my arrival time, they had just completed six months work on their downstairs bathroom, new red steps to said bathroom and bamboo walled big room with fireplace and bed alcove. Lovely. All of it.
One uninterrupted week each year is not too much to spend with a daughter. Wish I could do the same with my two other daughters. I fly to Seattle often, but my time is chopped and diced because there is an entire tribe there. Two daughters and husbands, four grandchildren, my 94 year old Dad and my sister and her husband. (Kate's two kids don't live in Seattle, but they are nearby.)
Time is Seattle is spread thin among so many. That's why it's nice when daughters come to Houston every year or so. As Jeanne says, "I wish you were close enough that we could just stop by for quick visits, share a meal, a cup of coffee or a walk." That would be wonderful, yet I don't see the likelihood of a move that would allow for that easy, continuous visiting back and forth. Houston is my home.
Yet so much of my family felt the call of the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps once my sister and her family settled there, it was a no-brainer to follow, that is, if Houston was not the place any of my daughters wanted to be. Somehow, their migration seems OK to me. I cannot quite imagine us all together in Houston. How different life would be with big holiday dinners at Rockbridge and lots of grandchildren-tending. In what parts of Houston would each girl have settled?
The fog is lifting. A neighbor's two little boys and their toddler sister just pulled their bikes up in the front of the house, no doubt looking for Mary and Queta. I opened the shade and waved to them. They and their mom are all bundled up with warm water repellent parkas, out for a morning excursion.
Tomorrow morning I fly home to Houston where ES tells me it has been cold and rainy. So coat time in Houston too. This last day in Portland, I am going downtown for a leisurely few hours at Powell's Books and then perhaps find the shop that sells shots of liquid chocolate. Will meet Mary at the end of her work day and perhaps we'll have supper downtown and after the rush of commuter traffic , we'll take public transportation home.
My suitcase is almost all packed to leave tomorrow. What more can I say? It's been a fine week with lots of walks and conversations. I've read two books: Susan Cheever's 'Louisa May Alcott' and Bibi Gaston's 'The Loveliest Woman in America', read parts of 'Dangerous to Your Health, Capitalism in Health Care' by Vicente Navarro and 'Art in the Public Interest' edited by Arlene Raven. I have longed for picture books and found myself ordering two Turbeville books from Amazon that will be waiting for me in Houston. However, I know that by 6:00 this evening, I'll be sated with big picture books, having spent hours at Powell's sitting on the floor near shelves of fashion, interior design, architecture and photography tomes.
That's it for this Monday morning.