Thursday, October 15, 2015

Vancouver, Washington

Got to Vancouver, Washington late this afternoon, and was welcomed warmly by my dear friend, Jane Vanvig, her husband, John, and their herder, Gertie.

It is so wonderful to see Jane after all these years.  Jane and John moved from Washington, DC, to Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1999, and Jane came back to visit DC in 2001, right before I moved to Vero Beach, so it has been a while since we have seen each other in person, but it was like no time had passed.

We drank wine and caught up, laughing a lot, and then watched the debates. Jane made the most delicious chicken dumpling soup, and sweet Gertie kept an eye on me.  Finally, I went to bed in John's office, sleeping soundly until i suddenly woke up in seizing pain.  My left was cramping, and i had been dreaming that i was going over a steep waterfall.  I stumbled loudly to the kitchen, waking John, who fed me aspirin and water. an hour later, the pain was still there and i was afraid to go back to sleep.  Finally, I managed to.

The next morning, we went to the dog park, a huge space with a nice walking path and lots of friendly dogs and people. My calf was still like a rock, but i felt so good walking in a pack with Jane and John, as Gertie did her job, herding us along the path.

John had to get some work done, so Jane took me on a ride downtown and through the different neighborhoods.  We went to the library, which looks like a cool bookstore, and she took me up to the fifth floor roof top deck.  We drove through Fort Vancouver, and had lunch at a cute, new place called Bleu Door Bakery (, where i had the most delicious beef lentil soup, along with a delectable toasted ham and cheese sandwich smeared with tomato bacon jam.  The coffee was excellent and the decor adorable, with lots of mismatched chandeliers and empty picture frames painted fun, bright colors.

After lunch, we crossed the street to check out Main Street Marijuana, a dispensary located in what used to be a jewelry store, maybe. Walking in feels so conventional, until you remember that the display cases are filled with pot, and it is all legal.  The decor is really whimsical and trippy, especiallyl the large white global light fixtures.

When we got home, Jane set me up in the den with a heating pad and tiger balm.  I hung out on the couch all afternoon, and had a great time watching the news shows with Jane and John.

Last night, we met Lois, a good friend, and had dinner at the Vancouver Brickhouse (, and talked about politics, moving to new places, and travel.  We walked Lois back to her place, a cute apartment a block away from the library and the swimming pool, and stepped inside to meet Parker, her dachsund.

This morning, we drank delicious coffee on the patio, laughing and talking about crazy families, not ours, of course.

I am so blessed , and so grateful that i am alive, and able to do this trip.  It has made me realize how important it is to maintain connections and friendships.

The sun is rising over John and Jane's serene backyard, and i need to get showered and get my act together before they return from the dog park. 

It has been such a delight to spend time with like-minded, broad-minded people who pay attention to current events. Jane and John are both civic minded and regular contributors to the opinion page of the local newspaper.

You can tell that they're good people because Gertie, their black herding dog, loves and trusts them. 

I have Jane to thank for bringing so much into my life. She inspired me to go to massage school. On this visit, she introduced me to the idea of being way too up inside myself.

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