Gathering Graces 10/28/2017

*I got up in plenty of time this morning to finish packing, do some things around the house, and head out the door in plenty of time to get to the airport for my flight to Portland this morning.  I stopped at McDonalds and got breakfast and a coffee.  As I was lifting up the coffee, the lid came off and I spilled it in the drink holder and beyond.  I pulled over in Cataldo to try and clean up the spill as best I could, but realized I would need quite a few paper towels.  So I waiting until I arrived in Coeur d’Alene, and pulled into a gas station, and soaked up all the coffee.  So I am glad I left early for the airport!!
*I  arrived at the airport, made it easily through security, and had a nice flight to Portland.  I took the train into downtown Portland.  As I started heading toward where I thought my hotel was located, this nice young woman asked me where I was headed.  I told her, and she gave me directions, and a map of Portland.  She mans a little kiosk right where you get off the train, and it was very helpful.
*Our new counselor at KHS, Dan Lucier, has a daughter who lives in Libby, Montana, and she is also a Gear Up Coordinator, and she would be attending the meetings I am attending.  He hoped we would have the chance to meet while we were both here in Portland.  After I received directions to my hotel, I ended up behind two women who were headed the same way I was going.  At one point we started talking, and we all realized we were there for the same meeting.  One of the ladies asked where I was from, and I told her Kellogg, Idaho.  Guess who the lady was???  Yes!!  It was Dan’s daughter!  She was so nice, and we had a brief conversation, and I hope we get to visit more while we are here at the meeting.
*The weather here in Portland could not be more beautiful.  It is warm and the colors on the trees are magnificent.  After checking into my cute little boutique hotel in downtown Portland, (and experiencing the nicest hotel staff ever), I ventured outside to find a bite to eat and enjoy downtown Portland.  I forget how much I enjoy being in a large city.  I love the hustle and bustle.  I love to people watch.  I love the energy.  Today was the perfect afternoon in Portland to experience that wonderful Portland vibe.
*I texted my niece Jenn that I was checked into my hotel, and ready to head her way to join her and her family for dinner.  She told me what train to get on, and I rode the train toward her house, and again enjoyed the whole train experience, and watching the beautiful views through the train window.  Jenn picked me up at the station, and we went to her house.  We visited for a while, and then they took me to one of their favorite places to eat, Rock Creek Tavern, where I enjoyed a roasted beet salad, and a delicious seasonal cranberry and tangerine hard cider.  It was nice enough that we ate outside.  It was fun being with Dave and Jenn and their kids Peter, Ella and Iris.  I saw their oldest daughter Grace when I first arrived, but she was off to a birthday party for the evening.  It was a very lovely evening.
*Today Dad would have been 87 years old if he was still alive.  I marvel that he has been gone for 21 years.  I marvel that he was only 65 years old when he died.  I realize that, with the grief I feel over Mom’s passing, I am also grieving Dad’s passing.  I don’t think I really took the time to grieve over Dad.  I was a young mother living in Meridian.  My kids were 5, 1 and 9 months when Dad died.  Paul’s grandfather Paul Taylor, who also lived in Kellogg, died two weeks before Dad died.  I remember feeling overwhelmed.  I remember feeling sad.  But I don’t remember going through a grieving process when Dad died.  I think it is happening now, because I am not only grieving the loss of my parents, but the loss of a certain family structure that we will never have again.  Happy Birthday, Dad.  I think of you often, and I have a renewed sense of loss for your passing.  But that is okay.
*I got on the train after visiting with the Schrams and rode it back into the city.  I talked to Paul on the phone for some of the train trip.  I arrived in downtown Portland and walked to my hotel, and had a nice relaxing evening. 

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