Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Yesterday, after lunch, i decided to drive to Astoria, a beach town that looked intriguing on my map.  In order to get there, i drove through more hauntingly beautiful and very remote seascapes, especially the tidal pools.  It was raining and foggy, and by the time I got there, I was spooked and did not find what i was looking for, which was a friendly looking bar and place to sleep. So i kept driving until i reached Portland.  There's a reason you're not supposed to arrive in a strange city after dark, and last night, after really questioning my sanity, i really got it.

When i got to Portland, I finally found that welcoming bar, and it had a late night happy hour menu.  I ordered a honey margarita and smoked prime rib with mashed redskin potatoes.  Sitting there, i realized i had spent way too much time alone yesterday.  On the way out to the beach, i was feeling so out there that i called my good friend, Laura Kachaylo, in Florida.  I really miss her, and i was feeling so out on the edge, which is an exhilarating feeling, until it isn't.  Laura is calm and encouraging, and pointed out to me that i was about as far out there, away from Vero Beach as i could be.  But her sweet voice made it ok.

Sometimes, the enormity of what i am doing sinks in, and when it does, i have to breathe really deep and focus on what is right in front of me - the music, the road, and my knees.  thinking about the past or the future makes me hyperventilate.

As the sun rises over Portland, I am sitting in a cozy coffee place called the Bipartisan Cafe, just what i thought a portland coffee place would be like - reclaimed wood floors, mismatched tables and chairs, and really good latte in a huge, brown cup.

I have to keep reminding myself that i cannot see and do everything on this trip. This is a huge smorgasbord, and I can choose things and go back for others later, I hope.  I keep bargaining with God regarding my mortality.  Now that I see that what is out here in the world, I am not ready to leave it anytime soon.


I found a delightful place to do laundry and get a great cup of coffee.  It's called Spin, and it is located in a huge industrial space that has been scoured, scrubbed, and polished.  The atttendant is helpful, and the place is bright and cheerful. In addition to the cafe, where they serve all kinds of tasty things to eat, as well as coffee, latte, wine, and beer, there is an upstairs loft, where you can stretch out on a comfy couch, or play pinball, while waiting for your duds. People were working on computers and tablets at the folding tables and really good music was playing on the sound system. 

While i washed my down coat and some other things, i drank a lattle and ate a pear pumpkin hand pie that was so flaky and delicious i felt my inner ruth reichl sing.

What a life! I drove by an elementary school this morning and was transported back, but only for a minute, to what i would be doing this morning if i was still teaching. that is why i am staying right in the moment.  

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