No Goodbyes

Took my time leaving Eugene today. Got in a few more, until we meet again, hugs. Annie served up some lentils and rice to fill me up for the short trip to Ashland. Lovely drive, the sun was shining as Mt. McLoughin came into view. Arrived in Ashland, home of the  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival just before nightfall. It is my goal to avoid driving at night if at all possible throughout this trip.

I’m treating myself to a stay at Lithia Springs Resort. I got a deal, after asking about every discount available. The room has a soaking tub fed by mineral springs. My body could use the health benefits of the mineral water. I’ve had a soak, a little cry and now off to bed. I turned on the TV for a bit but there were too many commercials with happy families gathered around the Christmas tree, holiday table or somewhere that makes them look perfectly happy.

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Gifts from friends who know you.

Getting ready to leave the Eugene cocoon. In fact, I delayed leaving by a day. It’s been so comforting and good for the soul to be here. After living here before for 20 years, some strong authentic friendships developed. Friendships were made from different places of work, from the childcare I ran for several years, from raising my daughter in this community and from the women’s theater group I took part in for several years.

The women’s theater group, Get Down with Your Sweet Self, created theater pieces from personal story. In a safe space, we shared life stories that were heart warming, heartbreaking and sometimes comical. Tight bonds were established. With many of these friends and friends from other areas of life here,  we reunite and it’s as if no time has passed while getting to the heart of the matter. We’ve held each other up during hard times and created some hysterically fun times together. During my stay this week, they have held me in my grief. The grief of losing connection with my daughter and my 3-year-old twin grandchildren. A choice my daughter feels is right for her. So I am honoring her choice and honoring my own loss of her and my grandchildren.

Tomorrow, I’ll travel to Ashland, Oregon for the night. Then ease myself out of this cocoon with a stay in San Francisco with my dear friend, Marian. Stay tuned, probably a week away from crossing the border.

Gifts from a friend

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Connecting talented friends

Helping out at Annie Heron’s studio sale this afternoon. Annie Heron Ceramics

Playing music by Missoula’s Caroline Keys. Caroline Keys, Mean to Stay

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I have twinkle lights and greeting cards at Annies. F47524AF-A187-4111-ACFB-044877E4AE89.jpeg

It’s a rainy day in Eugene. Eugenians might want to stop by Annie’s then head over to Holiday Market to see what’s new at Joule Art, booth #3.

Ferns and photos

Reunited with old friends, Deborah and Deborah, for a wet walk in the woods. We got rained on and I never warmed up for the rest of the day. A reminder of one of the reasons I left Oregon. The winters are too wet and cold for me. The cold stays in my bones all day long. In Montana, the temperature can be below zero, but it stays out of my bones. 59944EF6-5CEB-408F-8B72-C0351E73A79F

Late afternoon, I meet my friend, Beth, at the Natural History Museum . I was moved from the moment I saw the eyes of an indigenous woman who’s pain seemed familiar. Maybe she too, had experienced loss of family. Dana Gluckstein

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Took my friend, Amy, away from her work for a bit with an afternoon stroll through Eugene Holiday Market. Settled in at Amy’s house for the week. It’s amazing to be a witness to Amy working her magic with her real estate business, Amy Thompson Homes Real Estate. Truly her clients are lucky to have her expertise and it’s no surprise that she is in the top 1% of residential real estate brokers in Lane County.

I’ll be cooking the elk meat I brought from Montana tonight. (Thanks Joe) Amy’s going to pass, but her husband, Jamie is willing.

Cheese grits

I’m in gratitude for the smoothness of my journey so far. Made it Eugene which holds an amazing group of friends and love. Walked into my friend Cathy’s house late afternoon yesterday greeted by her newest boxer rescue, Morgan. He and I became immediate friends as he handed me his ball to toss. Her house holds familiar smells and layout that feels like home. Morgan and I will hold down the fort while she is away for the holiday. Gathering with dear friends at 3:00 this afternoon for turkey and fixings. For now drinking coffee and getting a glimpse of  the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Have plenty of time to relax and cook cheese garlic grits.

Modified Cheese Garlic Grits
From Southern Sideboards Cookbook