Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I was thinking about my Granpa today and thought everyone should hear about him because he was awesome.
Awesome thing Number One: His name was Buster.
Awesome thing Number Two: He was 5'3" and my grandma was 5'9" (6' with the heels she always wore).
Awesome thing Number Three: He was in a street gang in the late 1920s in Portland. Their name? The Albina Toughs (they lived on Albina Street). Their activities? Singing on street corners.
Awesome thing Number Four: He was a lifelong fisherman and had a fish rival, a huge bass in the Willamette he called "Washtub Charlie" and almost caught a few times, but never reeled all the way in. This story was written up in the Oregonian as one of Portland's old timey treasures.

When he was a baby, his mother got sick and couldn't take care of her children. They didn't think she would make it, so his older brothers were sent to a boys home and he was given to a neighbor family that didn't have any children. They agreed to take him under the condition that he never be told he wasn't their biological son. He grew up playing with his brothers, but not knowing who they were. When he was in his twenties, an elderly lady he was driving home asked him how his brothers were - and when he responded that he was an only child, she said "Oh, you never found out?" She took him to meet his mother (from whom I derive my red hair), sister, and brothers that night.

He lived for 90 years in the Portland-metro area and had tons of pictures of the city through most of the 20th century. He had stories of everything from seeing silent movies downtown to hunting in Central Oregon to being in the Coast Guard during WWII (he was too short to be let in any other branch). He was pretty much fantastic and I'm kind of sad my kids won't be able to hear the story we heard every Christmas about the big Italian family that took him in for dinner one night during the war. Their table was so long, they threw the loaf bread down it like a football instead of passing it from hand to hand apparently.
I know this was long, but I love these stories, thanks for reminiscing with me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Talking to Strangers

Nothing makes you miss Oregon like pulling up to a gas station on a cold, windy day knowing you have to get out of your warm car, brave the elements, and fill up your gas tank yourself. However, this experience was redeemed yesterday by a snippet of conversation with the man filling up on the other side of the pump.
I was minding my own business, watching my money be sucked away, when I hear, "You are a lot braver than I am."
Although I had been singing probably louder than is acceptable in public when there is no music playing, I wasn't sure what he was referring to. So I said, "Pardon?"
"You're wearing a dress out here. It's really cold." He informed me.
"Oh," I said. And knowing perfectly well what he meant, I countered, "Well, sir, you would have to be really brave to wear a dress, that's true."
He didn't look as amused as I was, got in his car, and drove away leaving me to resume my singing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

It's Official

We got the word this morning - Josh is accepted into the Tulsa program for school! We're moving in four months! We're going to be close to Josh's family, we're going to buy a little house, we're going to get to live where there are parks and trees and well planned streets and good restaurants and less wind. It will be beautiful.
I have the tiniest of mixed feelings when it comes to work though. My job pretty much rocks the planet. I am very happy here. I have a great boss. I am not looking forward to telling him I'm leaving. I'm not looking forward to circulating another resume and going to interviews either. I know it'll be okay, it's more than worth it. I just wish it were over and everything were decided already. Maybe I'll find a sweet non-profit to work for. Tulsa is magical, I'm sure she'll have something perfect for me.
Anyway - back to the 99.5% of me that is ecstatic. I love moving! I love packing things up and reorganizing and getting rid of stuff we don't need anymore.
As excited as I am, I'm extra-happy for Josh. He loves his Tulsa. And he gets to be part of the free clinic program, which is fantastic.
I like change. It's exciting. You can make it whatever you want. And I choose awesome.