May 17 2011

Shooting star.

From the air, the wake of a motor boat on a lake, thousands of feet below. looks like a shooting star.  Have you noticed?

If you aren’t convinced, next time I’ll try to take a picture, but I bet you can imagine just what I saw.  We romantics see some things other people might miss.

This month I bought a Groupon for a sailboat ride on the Willamette River – more my speed closer to sea level.  Fresh out of college in 1980, I wanted to spend weekends on the water – even if it was a man-made lake.   I figured if I could crew, the invitations would pour in.  Toward that goal, I enrolled in a sailing class.  It was before the oil bust;  some people in Oklahoma had money to burn.  I looked around the classroom the first night and figured out pretty quickly I was the only one who hadn’t just bought a boat – a big boat.  Imagine the cart before the horse.  Their class attendance was pretty spotty, giving me a chance to bond with my instructor Sterling, who was a sun and wind-weathered fellow from the Great Lakes area.  Sterling believed in business cards but he  didn’t believe in motors on sail boats.  On a couple of still summer afternoons I considered swimming back to shore but Sterling had a least 100 stories to tell for each digit or partial digit he was missing due to navigating in violent seas over the years.

The following summer I tried wind surfing.  The instructor was a tall, blonde HUNK.  You heard me; I used the word Hunk.  Shall I say it again?  Charles (??) was the the tall, silent, dreamy blonde type.  I made the mistake of introducing him to my hairdresser one lake trip short of a summer romance possibly blossoming.  We will never know.

I like to imagine Charles (and his younger brother who made off with my copy of Fountainhead, Razor’s Edge and My Brilliant Career) still 24 years old, tan, capable and strong but a bit shy, just as I picture Sterling still alive and sailing new waters.

The hair stylist and I, by the way, are still friends though I’ve not seen her in maybe two years.  She caught the bouquet at my wedding 25 years ago. My young six-year-old niece cried.  I quickly I tossed the flowers again – to her.  Later I danced at her wedding.  Still later , on my sister’s 60th birthday, I danced under August Texas skies with her baby boy.  Now I’m doing a bit of a gig because my niece is expecting her second child.  Christmas will come a bit early this year.

She’s my only niece and if I don’t make it to Voodoo Doughnuts for a care package soon I will never lift my head again!  Since she saw the Portland iconic foodie spot on Food Network she’s been after me to sample and report back.  On the way I may stop at Mia Gelato (for a serving of Mona Lisa) or scoop up a coffee carmel ice cream at Cool Moon on Jamison Square or Chunky Monkey at Ben & Jerry’s on NW 10th (next door to Jones Cupcakes) .

Cravings happen at every age.  We somehow think we need an excuse to give in to them.  Shame.

Don’t miss the boat. Trix

Nov 28 2010

Take a bite out of life.

November 28, 2010

Yesterday I was jamming and juicing on a foggy Saturday in Portland.  Breakfast and music and dancing!

As I tilted my head back for a big sip of plum-colored smoothie (banana, mango, cherry, blueberry, orange, pear and pomegranate seeds) I spied a patch of blue sky outside my window, just past the 13th floor balcony. Had my attitude made it materialize? Does just a gaze in a different direction change the landscape?

The benefactor of my weekend Reggae soundtrack was a man from Africa I met on an American Airlines flight.  He traveled with a heavy, bulging piece of luggage filled with music CDs.   He had to have his music with him at all times, just as I have to have dancing room.  Late one night earlier in the week I had swayed to the music of Omara Portuondo, a popular Cuban vocalist.  When I started I was just shy of the 10,000 steps a day the Japanese (and American Heart Association) suggest for good health.  A rumba here, a bolero there and I was at 10,452 before midnight.

When was the last time you danced?    Why not try it today?  Hope someone IS watching, that you start something delightful.  If you like Buddy Holly (“Maybe Baby”) slip into a hula hoop and call it exercise.   If the weather or your day has zapped you, be still and simply listen to the music.  Try Cleo Laine singing love ballads while you unwind late at night in a softly lit living room, put your laptop near your nightstand and drift off to sleep listening to a new artist on Pandora radio or get dressed up and go downtown for the symphony. No one will notice if you close your eyes in the concert hall to really hear every note of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 in F-sharp minor.  I promise you will be energized for a later dance.

Life can be challenging.  Don’t short yourself on fuel. Take it one song at a time.  Try a little finger food before noon or perhaps  a “Grand Slam”… eggs, bacon, baguette (fig jam), coffee, juice … The choices are yours.

Take a BIG bite out of life and chew slowly, thoughtfully until full – then dance!

Always, Trix