to celebrate MLK Day, we rented a car! makes perfect sense, right? we talked about driving north to see our friends in Washington. but driving with the prospect of winter weather sounded a bit much. so we stayed home. we rented a car and drove around our city and out to a few wild places.
on Friday night we drove over to NE to have dinner with Ben and Jess and Sophia. we shared a lovely meal at a Thai restaurant on Sandy. then drinks back home at their place. then over the bridge and back home to St Johns. being in the car let me notice all sorts of things i must have seen before but never quite registered. like the beautiful light posts lining our bridge. they can even be seen from our deck. or in the bathroom when you’re brushing your teeth.
Saturday morning we were up early and cold. we made a thermos full of coffee, boiled some eggs, bundled up and headed out to Sauvie Island. we drove the length of the island and saw sheep, cows, horses, cormorants, vultures, winter wrens, and geese. then we turned around and parked the car at the Wapato Greenway. we were headed toward a seasonal lake that is home to many birds who spend their winters in Portland. it was cold. freezing rain turned sleet turned snow. we followed a Stellers jay out to the water and back again. judging by how loud he was, i think the weather agreed with him!
on Sunday we went to church. then we watch the football game. our friends from Washington called…they were in town for the Old Time Music Festival…would we like to join them for the tail end of a concert? well, yes we would. we headed to the Mission Theater in NW and found the place packed with happy people, kids, mamas with babies in the sling dancing in the aisles. i saw two other little one ask to nurse. it was amazing to be listening to people sing and play the banjo and stand up bass, for there to be beer to drink if you wanted it, for kids to be so much a part of what was happening. i felt very blessed.
then we went to another friend’s house for burritos and more music. Nicki played her banjo and Kevin played his fiddle. and Mabel danced and played with the puppy named Zion. it was a comfortable, quiet evening in an old Portland house with dark wood floors. Troy came home with us and we made popcorn and talked about his trip to France and art and making a life and god and church and children.
in the morning we went out for breakfast with the big bunch of people and said our cold goodbyes. our family drove out to Kelley Point Park at the very edge of the peninsula. it’s the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia. i love seeing the two waters the mix, where the darker blue of the Columbia laps into the Willamette. the wind blow the clouds away, and the mountain was visible. it was windy up there too–a cloud of snow hung above the summit.
this entry is already too long. and i don’t feel i’ve even begun to tell you what we experienced. how nice it was to get very cold and then rush back to the car to get very warm. how full and expansive our days felt. how refreshed we were after being together in this new place in a new way. it was every thing a vacation ought to be. and it happened over one long weekend, right in the place we call home.