Saturday, May 22, 2010

What a lovely Saturday

This morning, Mom and I got up and did the Milwaukie Daze 5k walk. Milwaukie Daze is a festival in our town that used to be a big deal - carnival rides, vendors hocking their wares, food, and an overall good time. There was even a parade! A few years ago, they started scaling back and then eliminated it all together. It was really a shame, as the parade was fun and the carnival was always a nice time.

This year, the powers that be decided to do a 5k fun run/walk to raise money for Milwaukie Daze. I don't know if it means it will be restored to it's former glory, but perhaps the parade and a smaller version of the carnival will be back. Really, all I want is the food!

Included with our walk registration was entrance to a pancake breakfast afterward. We went, but it was hot and steamy and crowded, not to mention Mom doesn't like pancakes! Instead, we trekked a few blocks down to Sully's Cafe, a great little breakfast and lunch spot in downtown Milwaukie. We had a wonderful breakfast - Mom had corned beef hash, I had the smoked salmon omelette - complete with toast and homemade strawberry jam. Yum!

It really was the perfect start to what could have been a gloomy Saturday. The weather is gray and rainy, but a walk and breakfast with my mom started the day off just right.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Miranda Lambert - The House That Built Me

As I was driving home tonight, this song came on the radio. As I listened to the words, the tears began to flow. There was no stopping them. As I sit here typing and listening again, again the tears have started.

So why does this song hit me so hard? I loved my grandparents' house in the valley. It was a home they built for two families - one upstairs and one downstairs. My grandma's parents lived downstairs and Grandma and Grandpa lived upstairs. I spent a lot of time there, spending the night with Grandma and Grandpa. I was born the day my great-grandma died, just a few hours later, and I barely remember great-grandpa, but I remember that house with such fondness.

Grandma and Grandpa moved away from there when I was young, maybe 6 or 7, but I've always loved that house. Sometimes I'll drive by, and I always want to knock on the door, explain who I am, and go look around. I know from the window treatments that not much has changed. I want to see if the mint green carpet is still in the dining room and if the black bunny still comes to the backyard. I want to go downstairs and sink my toes into the plush burnt orange carpet. I want to sit on the back deck and watch the fireworks on the 4th of July.

Grandma and Grandpa are both gone now, and somehow getting into that house seems like it'd help in some way. As Miranda Lambert says, "I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me might start healing." It's true - I swear if I could just come in I'd leave...won't take nothin' but a memory.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Astroturf and a Hanging Basket

I am terrible with yard work and plant maintenance. Part of it is black thumbs. Why oh why couldn't I have gotten the garden-growing genes that are in the family?? Part of it is just my overall dislike for doing thing that get my hands dirty or get dirt in my shoes or that get me wet when I don't want to be. I don't like to rake leaves, spread barkdust, plant flowers, water flowers...the list goes on and on. Yet every year, I try. Some years I do keep some things alive, some years everything dies, but every year I think, "this will be the year!" After 7 summers of trying this in my own yard you'd think I'd give up by now, but nope!

When I was little, my general disdain for all things yardwork related led me to say that when I grew up my yard was going to be astroturf and I would have a hanging basket for decor. No weeding, no mowing, just a little water now and again. Perfect. I've always loved Fuschias, so I figured my hanging basket would be a Fuschia, dark purple insides with the hot pink outsides. Of course, I learned very quickly at the old house that we didn't have anyplace shady enough for a Fuschia basket so I couldn't fulfill my dreams.

We've been in the new house nearly 2 years now, and this will be our 3rd summer here. There's no astroturf (although maybe I should mention that to Ricky, he might go for it if I could convince him it'd be less work!) but the first plant I've purchased each year for 3 years now is a Fuschia hanging basket. It always feels like spring is here to stay once I've got my basket hanging by the front door.