The last day of October. Halloween. Tomorrow is All Saint's Day. Five years ago tomorrow we left on one of our European whirlwinds with visits to Krakow, Poland...Prague and Dresden, Germany. The leaves are at that prime, amazing color level. We were up on top of the Fremont Bridge in Portland today crossing over the Willamette River....we could look across to the sea of colors toward the East side. We took Mason to his very first Doggie Play Group at Lexie Dog in The Pearl.....one of Portland's upper crust sort of areas on the north edge of downtown. He did so well (except for that little issue of trying to ride some 4 pound little pooch.....he's such a man). It's free every Sunday, and it's indoors. We have very few Sundays free that we can actually take him to something like that. And now it's Halloween. We have no plans. No costumes. And it's a great day out.
I had a quite nice time with my friend Shawn over a cup of tea yesterday at one of Portland's tea houses The Tao of Tea. We enjoyed a warmed pot of Roiboos Chai with soy milk and sweetened with Chinese jickory (sort of like brown sugar). Delicious. The place is warm and cozy with a giant tea menu and choice of how you have it served to you. We had a beautiful blue and white Chinese pot in front of us to sip on. We both blathered on and on about life, our desires, our wants, our needs, and where we are at. Or where we are not. It's been a very, very long time since I've enjoyed two unstructured hours of time with one other person one on one. Shawn is a good man and a great friend. He and I are at sort of similar places in our lives. We love life, we want more, and we're sorting out things to make sure we're headed in the right direction.
I'm breathing better and sleeping better too. As you well know, the last few years have taken their toll on me. Things just are not headed in the direction that I'd like them to be. I just have not been myself over the last years. And I don't like it. (See above paragraph.....) But I'm relaxing a bit. And I've begun to make a long list. Of likes, dislikes, things to change, things to hold on to. Even the simple act of giving thought to those things is therapeutic. And I've scribbled them down on the back of one of our airplane's catering sheets...the sheets that are taped to the front of each one of our food carts that arrive on the aircraft. The back is blank and I've used them many times throughout the years to make list, notes, write, and draft ideas. I'm headed toward a New Contract for Life With Myself. I'm not quite sure precisely what that means or how it will end up. But we'll see.
Next Sunday, we're jumping in the Kia Soul and heading down the Columbia River Gorge toward Idaho. My family often gets placed on the back burner with our visits and attention. We've been much more focused elsewhere in recent years. And the Idaho gang needs our visit....and we need to see them! We love our road trips.....gathering up Mason and plugging in the tunes as we traverse the 415 miles to my parents house outside of Boise. There's something horribly enjoyable and happy about the three of us in the car zipping down the road. And we always stop at Starbucks in Hood River, Oregon for a fix.