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It’s cold here today.

We have slipped out of cool and into cold- at least for here anyways. It seems that this last week has been marked with change for a lot of people. And, while change is one the oddest constants, some weeks you just notice it more than others. In the news, the Mayor of Portland announced a change in how the whole Occupy movement would be tolerated and handled- protesters were no longer welcome to camp in the parks. Thankfully, that change remained mostly peaceful despite our worst fears.  At the pool, children changed and grew and learned.  At Starbucks, we reorganized and redecorated changing from regular retail into holiday. Lucas will begin a new job on friday, changing from floor staff to manager, one theatre to another (one city to another). And today, my sister begins her 24th year blessing us with her life and love.

In between the closing shift and the Holiday set-up shift, I sat with one of my dearest friends and coworkers in the back room. Perched on ladders with take-out boxes on our laps and tired eyes betraying our feelings, we talked about change and we confessed. My confession: I used to fear change, but I do so no longer. Sure, I absolutely take comfort in routine and the familiar, but change is not so bad either. The times in my life with the largest changes have been wonderful, terrible, and difficult in many ways, but they have always turned out right and good. Yes, sometimes the worst did happen, but we survived and God’s will was done. Most of all, I hope that God was always glorified.

The weather is changing and we do likewise.

As for me? I am not sure what’s changing right now except for all that which is going on around me. I feel a bit like this time of my life is spent living up to a name given to me long ago by some wise friends: authentic observer. Some days, I almost feel as though I am watching everything around me from behind some sort of partition, blessed for any opportunity to interact and speak into the lives of those around me. Forgive me if that sounds sad- I think it is quite rare and beautiful. Oddly enough, it is the one aspect of my existence I hope will never change.



About a month ago, Lucas and I were on our way home from his parents house when we stopped to visit a little park on the island. We’d been here before: it was where our wedding photo’s were taken over three years ago. In the fading sunlight, everything looked surprisingly different and even more beautiful than I remembered.

Our visit was brief.  As we crossed the fence-line to the parking lot, a little piece of paper taped to the handicapped parking sign caught my eye. If we were anywhere else, I doubt that I would have given it a second thought let alone walk back to see what was written on the water streeked paper. However, the oddity of it’s location on a sign in a parking lot that you have to intend to get to, piqued my curiosity. Written on the note, in hurried handwriting was the following message.

We were worried about you. If you ever need anything just call.
Cheryl & Sarah (XXX-XXXX)

Now, weeks later, this note is still on my mind.  Why is it that Cheryl & Sarah “were worried” and not “are worried”? Perhaps it is a simple misunderstanding of grammar or their rushed situation that caused the wording. And why is it that this note would be in such an oddly remote location in search of David? The story behind this note will likely go unknown to me for the rest of my days, but it is intriguing nonetheless.

Want to know the most interesting part? The note was there two weeks later, but had vanished by week three. Did David return and seek out Cheryl & Sarah?


I had the best day.

Free from the terrible guilt of unfinished homework, Lucas and I planned to spend Canada Day away from the noise of the city.  We slept in- something that has taken on a new meaning since most of my workdays now begin at 4:15am. After getting dressed and packing the necessities into the car, we made a quick stop at starbucks and hit the road. An hour later, we arrived at Multnomah Falls.

(Photo from Multnomah Falls Lodge website)

Isn’t it beautiful? Since we had no other plans for the day than to eat a locally-grown lunch in the Lodge, we decided to take the huge loop to the top of the falls and then past another 4 waterfalls before returning to the base. Not surprisingly, this was considerably more difficult than it looked on paper. The majority of the hike was uphill- and by ‘uphill’ I mean 60 degree angle uphill. The views from each waterfall were completely worth every step. The forest was a lovely green in true Oregon fashion and beautifully quiet.

3 hours later at the base of Multnomah Falls, we sat in the sun-lit dinning room of the lodge. Lucas had a really awesome looking (and probably tasting) burger, while I had a plate filled with cheese, fresh bread, apples and Northwest smoked salmon. It was beyond words amazing. In the car, on the way home, it started to rain. Really, I could not have asked for a better day.

I could get used to having significantly fewer obligations. 


My sister-in-law and I had been planning the feild trip for more than a week. We had even gone ahead to scout out the place so we could return with a plan. To go in without a plan would be dangerous- truth is, it would likely be dangerous either way.

Have I ever told you that Fabric Depot might be among my favourite places on earth?

Well folks, this weekend was their 35% off all fabric sale and it should not be resisted. My dear SIL and I went a week ago to pick our fabrics and avoid the massive temptation which is the 73000 square feet of fabric enveloped in that perfect building. It actually worked this time too! Upon our return trip, I actually left with less than I was intending to buy and money left in my budget.

Last time I was there it was to purchase the fabric for a quilt specially designed for my grandfather “Pinwheels for Poppy”- now finished and sent off. (Please excuse the terrible image quality- my camera is rebelling at the moment)

This time I went in search of some canvas for a laptop bag I am making for my sister. All in all, our excursion was successful.

Then it happened: my dear SIL suggest that, since I had a little extra money left over, we should go visit Scrap. DANGER! I had never before visited this wonderous phenomenmon of Portland. I was very unprepared.

Needless to say, all of our pre-planning went out the window and our field trip turned dangerous. But! You’ll be proud: I only exceeded my original budget by 3$!

 Besides… who could resist that pretty butterfly fabric that put me over budget anyhow?!


We have reached the storm season in this lovely little state. Rain is the expectation, sun is the exception. I find myself happy to see the rain so long as I don’t have to drive in it on a given day. I find it somewhat profound that life continues as normal even when it is raining. There is still laundry to be done, a bed to be made, a (very vocal) cat to feed. I sit down at my computer, just like any other day, with books open and pen safely hidden from the eagle eyes of my kitten. My tea tastes the same as it did when the sun was out a few days ago though it is more satisfying somehow. I used to think rain was a disruption, but I think I was wrong. It’s just another part to life, something we will have to tell others later: we lived through as many rainy days as sunny, and made it out okay in the end.

I do not think I can put it any better than Frank and Cyril in Slings and Arrows:

CYRIL: “Because then you’ll have stories.”
FRANK: “And then you’ve had a life. You’ve had a life.”


Forgive me- my last entry was perhaps a little over dramatic. It was written at the end of a long very complicated few days, and I let my emotions get the better of me. I really do know that this decision will be best for everyone in the long run. I am also starting to realize that I am still very young, and that which is important and valuable to elders is difficult for the inexperienced young to understand.

Today is a very different day. The peach blossoms are making an appearence and the air smells like burning cedar. The sun is shining and it is warm enough to go outside without a sweater. I can’t help but feel a lot more optimistic.


Harmonica music always makes me cry. It doesn’t matter if the tune is intended to be happy or sad, it always makes me cry. To be honest, I have no idea why that beautiful and folksy instrument has such an effect on me- its not as if I have something against the little thing.
I am not one to cry easily, or at least I never used to be. Oddly enough, this is a topic that came up last week, though it was not in relation to a harmonica- that thought came later. In women’s Bible study last week, we got onto the topic of humilliation. The topic was not surprising as we have been studying the book of Esther in which Haman, the King’s less-than-reputable second in command, meets the greatest humiliation in his life by havign to honour his enemy in the way he had wished to be honoured. Our Bible study teacher posed the question of what would you rather happen than be humiliated like Haman? As I listened to the answers of a great many women in whom I have much respect, I couldn’t help but feel that personal humiliation was not all that terrible. Wondering if I was completely crazy, I worked up the courage to voice my thoughts: I would rather be humiliated than watch someone else’s humiliation.

Within the few quiet seconds that followed, memories from the last few weeks at Bible study flooded my mind. I had often felt the urge to cry upon hearing other women tell stories that they seemed so composed over. I had even witnessed tears in the eyes of other women while recalling the last year for Lucas and I, while I felt their trials were so much greater. Those few horrible silent seconds where I felt childish and inexperienced were finally broken by the eldest lady in the room. Empathy. She said I was extremely empathetic.

Now, I realize this has absolutely nothing to do with harmonicas. But it was as if she had somehow managed to open a door and let light into so many areas of my life with the use of one word. Suddenly, all my years of being an RA and camp counselor – and the difficulties associated with -made sense. I understood. My emotional attachment to characters in books, tv shows and movies looked different. I have even begun to understand the gravity that seems to pull me towards the theatre.

This same word, causes me to stop and ponder my former definitions of self. Empathy almost seems foreign to me, even though it is clearly not. It explains why I cried the day that Gary got the first cut on his nose from a fight, and why I still grieve the choices of friends. However, empathy almost has this bitter taste in my mouth- like it is a character quality that is supposed to be avoided. I have to say I am at a loss on this whole subject really. Enlightening and confusing.

So, I cry at the sound of a harmonica and empathy is on my mind (and apparently my heart) as I sit down to schoolwork yet again. I am happily working away with the goal of finishing schoolwork, getting a job, and moving into an apartment of our own.


I find myself in an odd position tonight, stuck somewhere familiar between exhaustion and illumination. It’s only odd because I have not been here in recent months- perhaps even in the last year. My body is collapsing around me, melting into the chair and begging for a bed, but my mind is alight with inspiration and opinions. Odd.

At school, I used to find myself in this position almost everyday in that short time between classes and dinner. I would lay on the hard floor of my dorm room as the sunset lit my red table-cloth-turned-curtain on fire. Thought would bounce around in my head until I, inevitably, drifted off to sleep for a few moments before the other girls would come and wake me for dinner. If I was lucky, the thoughts would make it to the pen and then to paper before my eyes closed, but that was an oddity of its own.

In the summers, these moments were more rare, but more precious for it, coming only a few mornings a week when I was able to collect myself. As required by my position, I would wake up at first light and go down to the water’s edge, wrapped in a blanket, craddling my lifegaurd’s whistle. The sun would rise before me, bleary-eyed, awaiting the beginning of another day. My illumination ultimately turned to prayers, never finding its way to the page. I don’t regret this at all.

Tonight, there is no sun, whether rising or falling. Darkness has long-since become the victor, yet again. And here I am attempting to turn illumination into motivation to complete another twenty-pages of reading. Then, perhaps, into another twenty pages more.

I just feel so alive. So present.


a tea for everything

More Pictures

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