Mar 19 2013

Theme Songs

Music is incredibly powerful.

Several years ago I suggested one NOT listen to music with lyrics during a breakup; too many love songs about just that – heartbreak.  Misery doesn’t need a crowd.

Tonight I stumbled upon a song that resonated with me – one that has many times. And tonight a few clicks on YouTube and I found a recording of it that struck me as capturing the raw emotion of the lyrics – wonderful lyrics by Hal David.   The music is by a composer I hadn’t thought of in years but one who wrote the soundtrack to the lives of many my age, Burt Bacharach.

I don’t believe in heaven but I do, and always have, let my heart lead the way.

Take a minute to listen (I hope this link works; truly wonderful recording.)

Always, T


Sep 14 2012

Music of the Street

Much as I relish music, I often find hours have gone by without the equivalent of spinning an album.  Is that the expression?  Or should I say, plugging into my iPhone music app, clicking on Pandora, streaming from… whatever. You get the audio visual.

Today temps in my flat at the Wyatt reached 80 degrees as the sun began to set to the west.  I closed up the windows and doors that I daily thrill to having flung open year round and I set both thermostats to COOL. 

The silence was deafening.My experience at home, at work tremendously altered.I felt there was a barrier between me and all the life outside my windows.

I cannot begin to imagine how I will miss the symphony of sounds of Portland’s Pearl District. There is the clink of silverware on a plate 11 stories below at Bridgeport Brewery, the jarring sound of a zillion glass objects  far, far too early in the morning being picked up and dumped into the trash trucks retrieving recycling at the ASA high-rise just to the south.  The barks of not-so-patient pups tethered outside Safeway or one of many neighborhood spa/salons, the engaging beat and musical strains of entertainment  from Pink Rose on Thursdays that pleasantly drowns out any attempt in my living room to follow a crime drama on TV. And the regular bosorius arrival of the Pedalongue party bike making the microbrewery rounds.

And did I mention the scents?  The dryer vents from other units that suggest a tropical island close at hand, the aroma of bacon cooking this morning that positively drove me to distraction while I ate fruit and Greek yougurt at my desk.

During the commercial breaks on Pandora a Fred Myers Grocery ad asks, “Have you ever woken up and said, “I live in the most wonderful place?”

“YES!” is my answer.  And then there are the sunsets. Oh…and street cars!

Sep 1 2012

Foster Grants

Talking to someone in sunglasses, for me, requires extra concentration.  Usually when I’m looking in a mirror I am the one doing the talking.

I like to make eye contact during a dialogue. This is why my hiking buddies usually insist I not be in the lead when telling a story on a narrow trail.  It may also explain my aversion to telephones.

When it comes to the most intimate communications lovers are supposed to be star-crossed not cross-eyed, but don’t you at some point make eye contact when making love?

If we all wore shades on the window to our souls, think of all the connections we’d miss. Or maybe I am just not using my imagination. This tip from Foster Grant  ( has me thinking the RiteAid 2-for-1 sunglass sale may have opened up  a bold new world to me!


Jul 16 2012

North Star Golden Ruby Adventures.

Shimmering golden seas spanned the globe.   The last of the afternoon’s sunshine spilled through the nearby window, highlighting the globe slightly, understatedly.  My eye was drawn to it repeatedly.  A story certainly accompanied it.  It occupied a space in a home packed to the brim with such items, each clearly given floor space because of rich memories:  Balinese doors from a family home of decades past, walls of wooden African musical instruments, prestigious community awards stacked many frames deep against the baseboards and mountains of travel books earmarked and filled with scraps of notes protruding from their borders. It was a home filled with mementos of many adventures.  One would spend days exploring and still miss something.

This visit I picked the globe, with ruby red crystals dotting countries, to ask my hostess about. 

“Our kids gave it to us for our 50th anniversary.  The rubies mark each of the countries we’ve visited,” she explained as she gently spun it counter clockwise “Oh!  There are a lot of countries we’ve visited since then,” she exclaimed.

Add the task to a very ambitious to-do list!

I was the guest of a woman who graduated from a Chicago law school in the mid-40’s – 1940s.  Though in love, she at first resisted moving to Oklahoma.  “I wasn’t sure I could live in a segregated community,” said the Chicago native.  Her two female classmates in law school – both young African American women.

Her Tulsa bred suitor cleverly proposed with a challenge. “Marry me and change it!”

It was a marriage that would launch a lifetime of marvel and incredible contributions.  And the globetrotting hasn’t begun to stop!

Jul 15 2012

Jumbo size. Small thoughts.

Each person has a story. Most yearn to be told.  Each deserves a limelight. Without such tales I wouldn’t have a job or cocktail conversation.

This afternoon I passed the magazine rack at Safeway.  My eye fell on Fast Company.


I wish these articles had been written in the 80’s when I had a bit longer runway ahead of me and could have been inspired by the sisterhood instead of momentarily discounting my less extraordinary accomplishments.

How, I wonder, do male readers respond?  Do they think, “Ah, my equal at last!” or “I’ve done more, where is the story about me?” or “Great.  Another ball buster.”

All this thought took a fast moment, mind you. I had gone to pick up bathroom tissue and was quickly on to comparing carrying an economy pack through the streets of Portland to exiting a drug store in Tulsa in the 80’s with boxes of tampons.  With all my powers of observation I have never (thankfully) seen a fellow buying condoms, hair growing tonic or… fill in the blanks, as you most likely know more than me.

When I lug 6 bottles of wine home in a carrier, I build semi-athletic looking arms and  most everyone strikes up a conversation:  “Where’s the party?”  “Your evening looks more promising than mine.”

Carry a 30-pound bag of dog food several blocks and you get smiles all along the way, but bathroom tissue… nothing but silence and averted eyes.  Still I buy the economy pack.  The JUMBO one that fits in no brown bag yet made.

Last time I made such a purchase, Pepperidge Farm cookies were on sale.  Now that’s a backbone-building combo when one unexpectedly walks home from Safeway with a handsome, younger male neighbor.  Of course I didn’t think to look in his shopping bag.  Wonder what I would have found if I wasn’t being so typically self-conscious.

Jan 2 2012


“Do you have a tattoo?” I asked.

“Of course.  Do you?”

“Of course not!”

“I am going to design one for you.”  he said, very matter-of-fact in his tone. The statement was characteristically spoken in his deep whisper of a voice that had already drawn me to the edge of my seat, leaning forward so as not to miss a word.

I was game, curious to see the design a man familiar, not with me, but cooking and football, would dream up.  Could he also draw?  Did he know I was a Scorpio or see me as a ladybug or some complicated abstract being?

Though I heard from him again, tattoo art never materialized.   Quite honestly I’d forgotten about it until today when I was thinking about butterflies.  A butterfly image would make me smile, as well as serve as a reminder to let things go. A hummingbird would draw a similar sense of awe.

I first sought out a butterfly image on the Internet.  Finding one magnificently transparent, I printed it and tucked in my wallet.   Next to my Southwest VISA it will also remind me not to spend more money further feathering my nest but to fly.

The butterfly was photographed by Eddy Van. Another of his images led me to a blog with another charming reminder of the delightfulness of butterflies. I’ve included the link below.
Always, Trix
PS As I write this a seagull is making wide circles in the air outside my window. He and I are 11 stories above Portland. His flight is as mesmerizing as that of a hawk making lazy circles in the air over Oklahoma.

Dec 30 2011

Fork in the road.

Do the most significant directional changes in our life come about by design or chance?  By accident, impulse, peer suggestion or careful consideration?  Five years ago, would you have imagined yourself where you are, doing what you are doing and focused on what has your attention today?

What can we truly control and direct and how much do we wish to do of either?

I find myself loosening my hold on the reins, becoming more fluid, choosing now over no and never.  Still seeking a home, a safe harbor for my golden years but increasingly content with an interim nomadic lifestyle and lightening the load of possessions.  Treading more softly and stretching further.

Daydreaming has lost its allure, replaced by exploring – with enthusiasm and the expectation of delightful finds.

Enjoy the freshness of a new year.

Always, Trix

Nov 27 2011

A lot is the same without Carl.

November 27, 2011

Find a few old letters and you’ve got rocket fuel for a trip in a time machine. And you may just like getting to know your younger self.

Three times one recent Sunday I loaded up a bellman’s cart with donations for the Salvation Army and headed for the lobby collection point.  I had scooted a good 100 to 150 pounds out the door before finding a crate of letters saved from the basement flood last December.  I dove in.  I was lost in memories before I had settled comfortably on the carpet.

A quickly scribbled draft of a letter later tidied up and mailed read:

Dear Carl:

Did you ever you make it to LA during mud season?  I keep forgetting to ask. Your lazy summer days in Steamboat are inviting. Are you painting at all?

I am writing from Cleveland – enjoying a break from stockings, hairpins and the Oklahoma heat for cooler, relaxed afternoons playing with my young nephew and niec Today we saw a Chardin exhibit downtown.  I liked his subjects and mood, for the most part, but eventually had my fill of images of dead rabbits nailed to the wall. And I have to say, I still really prefer to see art somewhere other than in a museum. Afterwards we stopped at the Westside Market. THERE I could spend HOURS strolling among the stalls.  Many have been in families for years.  Great faces, stories – so lively!

The trip and staying with family has been a nice break after indulging my appetite for solitude during my first two months living alone.  I am somewhat eager to get back to my place – a high rise flat.  I really like where I live.  My flat is small but the whole north side is one big window. I keep the drapes open to a view of hills and city lights.  Safeway, the library, the river, work – everything but school is within walking distance. Couples I knew in the building before moving in have gone on to buy houses but I meet plenty of new neighbors just coming and going  …

The letter was dated 9.2.1979.

Today the windows in my 11th floor Portland flat frame views of the West Hills and downtown.  A Safeway is next door and I am, again, relatively new to living alone. Neighbors still come and go and I regularly visit the Waterfront to spend time strolling through markets, taking in all the stories, sights, music, people. After years of involvement with the arts, I still view vibrant museums as those flinging open the doors for events with living artists and could-be patrons and I seek out galleries in a new town before paying admission to museums.

The girl who wrote to Carl was less than half my age. At first I felt shamed to have spent 3 decades seemingly going nowhere.  Then it struck me.  Many days I feel 21 again – in a good way.

Nov 25 2011

Bit slow on the pickup.

November 25, 2011

This Thanksgiving I was grateful for an unexpected booty call.

It took me nearly fours hours to recognize it (some very specific dialogue finally tipped me off), a few minutes to consider it and several more hours to find the words for it.

I’m usually faster on the pick up. Also known to misuse and misspell slang, this morning I goggled “booty call.” Per Wikipedia:  A 1997 comedy film with bad boy Jamie Foxx.  I looked further.

Urban Dictionary: A late night summons — often made via telephone — to arrange clandestine sexual liaisons on an ad hoc basis.

Hmm. “Liaisons” rolls off the tongue much the same as does one of my favorite words: “lagniappe,” Southern for “a little something extra.” As for “ad hoc” – first known use in 1659 – it rhymes with Bangkok, bedrock ….  ah, the sonnets and snippets that could come of a tryst!

Sometime around 7 am I drifted off to sleep, satisfied. Though tempted, I’d chosen not to get any but simply enjoy learning that at 53 I’ve still got “IT.”  And my text buddy? He’s probably equally fine and chuckling.  In the wings he had two younger options with more expansive vocabularies, better rested and still eager to hook up.  As is my nature, I believed him.

Oct 24 2011

Touch base with your best friend

Didn’t have a high school sweetheart. Not even a college romance. No teacher really stood out in my educational period.  Mentors for a woman in business in the early 1980′s weren’t plentiful but in 9th grade I met an incredible young woman just around the corner from my parents’ house. Her influence I would count among the top 5 people in my life.

I was always the new kid on the block.  I wasn’t accustomed to welcoming anyone to the neighborhood but I tagged along with the gang of teenagers who lived on Delaware Place and visited the Keegan’s home in early summer 1972.  I met Glenda. Glenda wrote to her daughter Lisa that night, “I’ve met your best friend.”

Indeed when Lisa arrived in Tulsa from a summer trip and we met on August 9th we started a year together in Tulsa as the best of friends.  Lisa moved away August 10th, 1973.  Her father had been transferred back to New Orleans.  Glenda thoughtfully allowed us our “first anniversary of meeting” before heading south.

Since then, for 38 years, we have stayed in touch (am I doing the math right?).  At first we wrote daily, doubling up on Thursdays so Monday’s trip to the mailbox would yield 2 letters to make up for no delivery on Sunday. I visited New Orleans regularly in the early 1980′s and Lisa met my son when he was still in diapers and we were in our first house.  But I’ve never met her daughter, a lovely woman – like her mother – and slightly older than Lisa and I when we first met.

Minutes ago I booked a November trip to see Lisa for the first time in more than a dozen years. Family and business kept us both close to home during the 1990′s; we met once for a lunch in Dallas at the Mansion on Turtle Creek.

I hope the dates will fit her schedule.  The trip is one I’ve delayed far too long.

And you?  Isn’t there someone who should hear from you TODAY?

Always, Trix