It's a lot of ruckus to host guests, since my usual preferred activities these days are on the quieter contemplative side. My siblings left last week, and more guests arrive next week. I do love having guests, but I've been more nervous about it lately. It's either the pandemic or aging, or both, making me less flexible, or less tolerant of change and chaos. Socializing, it seems, has become like practicing an instrument; something I need to keep working on to get better at it.
New Car New Me
In which we buy a car, and it's fraught with pitfalls. The pandemic makes the ordeal even more arduous. In addition, there's shifting priorities as I age, my dear old VW bug, and David Crosby of course.
100 Things That Made My Year
If 2022 was our pandemic junior year, then I've moved on to senioritis; I'm restless and ready to bid goodbye to 2022. I nosed through the layers of my life like a mole. I paged through calendars, notebooks, my blog... Maybe it's death's hot breath, or maybe I just like spreadsheets and lists. But here are 100 things that made my year, in no particular order or ranking.
The pandemic highlighted how important it was to all of us to have this music-based community, to recommit to one another, to hold each other up and cheer each other on, and to know that these friendships would be here when we return. The ultimate intimate connection for me is the music. When words fail, there's music.
The long drive gave me lots of time to consider, and go over lyrics of songs I hoped to lead in the jams. I immersed myself in the scenery flashing by, and realized as we left the urban boundary, that this was our first drive so far south on I-5 in 999 days.
Beyond Mud To Open Waters
I never tire of crossing over the Columbia River into Washington. It has everything: a bridge, a river, another state, and another point of view. I hear constant birdsong during my four hour hike at Steigerwald Refuge. My troubles dissapate, and float away with the river.
The family of scrub jays that live in our yard love peanuts so much that they'll venture fairly close in order to grab some off the patio. I love how they hop in sideways, poised to flee at the tiniest hint of danger. Sometimes they won't come close at all, but squawk at us to move away, only swooping in later when they feel safe. It's how I approach returning to my pre-pandemic activities too...
It's an in-between time around here. Red, yellow, and orange leaves cover the ground and linger in the tree branches, hanging on til the next big winds. Rain alternates between torrents and sprinkles. I've just been in a "should I stay or should I go" sort of mood.
I thought the biggest drama of a trip would be the fact that I haven't taken an overnight trip in 19 months. But that part was easy. The drama came from all directions.
Effortlessly Into the Gorge
A gorgeous spring weekday, a visitor who's never seen Multnomah Falls or the Columbia Gorge, and his fancy Tesla to test drive. All ingredients for a fun afternoon on the road.