The Coast Starlight train trip from Oakland to Santa Barbara is a beautiful nine hours long. I had frequently traveled up and down the U.S. west coast, but the train was just never as cheap or quick or convenient as flying or driving. But when all you have is time...
When we first arrived in Portland our son warned us that spring was actually several seasons in one - fake spring, late winter, early spring, summer, real spring, winter again, and so on.
More of a nature park in the making, the most interesting parts of Graham Oaks Nature Park are not what I expected - the history, ecology, plans for the future, and a fantastic shining white view of Mt. Hood.
But what a difference a day makes. Last Friday most everything melted. The skies cleared and views of the Cascades showed gleaming snow-capped peaks. Clouds of the white and fluffy sort drifted lazily in a dazzling blue sky. The temperature climbed to 50, which we haven't seen in a while. Or at least I don't remember; perhaps it's frozen out of recollection.
Winter teases with a promise of renewal as new growth pops up, often subtle but sometimes shouting out loud. There really is reason to go outside.
Wondering about the meaning of life, I did what any sensible person would do, and I Googled it.
As problems go, an hour or two of being wide awake in the middle of the night isn't horrible, but...
A place where we're reminded that once upon a time no humans walked, where human strife didn't exist, where none of this, none of us, mattered.
I like Portland weather partly because I have no choice. I repeatedly re-embrace it in a cognitively dissonant way, forcing myself to think: It's exciting! It's variety! It's opportunity! instead of: Oh this sucks!
An old railroad is given new life, and a reminder to mix life's sweetness with the challenges.