Notes from Portland

Last night, my sister and I were getting ready to go to Mississippi Pizza to see some friends of her’s perform, when our mom said, “Wait a second, you’ve got a hair on you.”

I assumed she was talking to me, Raina thought the comment was directed at her. In absolute sync, we both raised our arms out at our sides, as if we were going to go into a 1980’s aerobic routine. We all burst out laughing. Turns out the errant hair was on me, but it was a nice moment that showed that we did indeed grow up together.

This morning my mom and I went to hear my dad sing in the choir at the annual winter music service at the Portland Unitarian Church. We sat down on the main floor and watched as the singers filed in. When my dad was in his place at the top of the choir loft, we watched as he scanned the audience, trying to find us in the pews. It took him some time, but when his eyes landed on us, he grinned big and waved just a little, kind of like a kid in a school play.

After church we went out to lunch at Violet’s, a nice little brunchy place not far from my parents’ house. We gave still-at-home Raina a call, she stopped eating the yogurt and muesli she had just stirred together, put her shoes on and walked down to meet us. There was a wait for tables, so we stood outside on the sidewalk for a bit. We’d been there about ten minutes when two girls came out and said to my sister, “Excuse me, are you Raina Rose?” It turns out that they were some of her former campers who have turned into fans. Later on, our waitress also recognized her from a gig she had played last summer. To quote the dad, “May it only become tiresome to be recognized.”

Tonight Raina pulled that yogurt and muesli concoction out of the fridge and grabbed a spoonful. The radio in the kitchen was tuned to a classical station that was playing an operatic holiday medley. Raina started to air-conduct the music with the full spoon. In a particularly grand swoop of the arm, the spoon lost half it’s payload onto the kitchen floor. There was much giggling and then she asked, “What should I use to clean it up?”

Without even thinking about it I said, “Use the dog.”

Poor Bonnie (who is recovering from her stroke quite nicely) was fast asleep when Raina bellowed her name. She’s going a little deaf and so ran in a circle around the dining room table, trying to figure out where the food reward was. She was happy to discover the bite of soggy muesli and yogurt. The floor ended up perfectly cleaned.

0 thoughts on “Notes from Portland

  1. Benecia

    I was looking at blogrolls on Blogher and found your blog and started reading.

    I loved reading this particular post, it brought instant smiles to my heart — thank you!


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