26 November 2010

Photo of the Day

Lithia Park
Ashland, OR
November 2010

23 November 2010

Thanks Giving Story

Tonight my coworkers at the meal told me this story, and it’s 100% true:

For many years, a woman named Ruth came to our homeless meal and passed out cartons of milk and cookies. She was more than 100 years old, but every week she would get all dressed up, in fancy clothes, makeup, and high heels, even if there was snow on the ground. She told everyone that she “was going to work,” and called our head cook her “boss.” When she got her social security checks, she would immediately go to the store and buy these sandwich crème cookies that were a favorite with our people. However, she never sampled them. It got to the point where her dementia was so severe that she couldn’t recognize the couple who picked her up to go to the meal. Yet she was ready at exactly the right time each week. Finally, one of the volunteers said to her, “You should really taste one of those cookies.” She just smiled. The next week, she died at the age of 103...never having tasted even one of the thousands of cookies she gave away.

02 November 2010

Michele & Heidi's Excellent Adventure

Michele is my best, best, best friend. She has been laughing at my jokes and listening to me ramble on and on for the past 25 years. That alone should get her sainthood. But there’s more! She’s humble, wise, sincere as the eye can see, patient, gentle, kind, loving, brilliant, tender-hearted, funny as hell, and pretty much the most wonderful person you’d ever be lucky enough to have as a friend. I would go on for pages more, but she hates that sort of thing and would probably slug me.

This is a mini diary of our trip to Portland and Seattle in October 2010, when she was nice enough to come out here and help me celebrate my birthday. It was, without exaggeration, a completely perfect week. I am incredibly blessed to have Micheley in my life. As I'm sure anyone who knows her will agree.

The City of Seattle, as reflected in the window of the Space Needle.
Sellwood district of Portland, where food carts rule and Buddhists make unagi in their Airstreams.

Standing on the dock of the bay, Portland
What a time we had at ol' Brick's. It's simply unimaginable to not stop when you see an octopus and a chicken outside a barbershop, and a mad Russian beckons you in for an eyebrow wax. Surrealism at its finest.

The hearse at the mausoleum. It was all going so well, until...I got snagged. And snagged by a mortician is harsh, I gotta tell ya!

An incredible store in Sellwood called Justin & Burks, a mom/gay son operation in which taxidermy and chandeliers huddle side by side. It's kind of like a date between Truman Capote and Annie Proulx...