Saturday, July 17, 2010

Peach Pie in Park City

A weekend spent at the house of friends inevitably means there will be pie. This time it's Park City, Utah, with my very good friends John and Laura, and their two kids. Johnnie turns six next month and Athena is nine months old today. Johnnie wanted to make pie, so we did. I would write more about the sweet experience -- Johnnie was an excellent pie student! -- but after the pie was out of the oven the babysitter arrived and the grownups went out on the town. It's hard to write about pie, let alone eat it, after drinking as much wine as we did last night. So I'll let the pictures tell the story while I go in search of coffee.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Team Switzerland Takes the RV

Phase One of my move out of Portland has begun. The RV (aka: The Beast) is on its way to Southern California. But I'm not driving it this time. No. Behind the wheel you will find my lifelong friend from Switzerland, Eve Kamer.In the front passenger seat is Eve's friend and co-worker, the smiling and bouncy Brigitte. And lounging comfortably in the rear are Eve's two teenage daughters, Anouk and Meret.Their plan is to see -- as is often the case with European tourists -- the ENTIRE West Coast. "Go ahead, drive all you want," I said. "Just make sure you change the oil before you set off, and bring it back clean with a full gas tank and an empty waste tank." Clearly my rental requirements are exceptionally minimal. If I seem relaxed about handing off my RV for this marathon road trip, let me assure you I am not.I say this because after Team Switzerland finished one last breakfast (by the way, note the apple pie in the bottom left corner of the picture!) I walked them out to the RV and said goodbye. As I watched the RV pull away, down Aspen Avenue, without me in it -- without Marcus in it -- I had one of those tortured moments, the kind when you have to give yourself a stern lecture in the privacy of your own head. "Let go," I argued with my conscience. "It's just a vehicle. If anything happens to it, it's replaceable. Eve is a good, confident driver. It's going to be fine."

I told a friend later, I'm trying to "practice Buddhism without being a Buddhist." If I am to move forward, to leave Portland -- which, in my twisted little grieving mind also means leaving Marcus -- then I need to practice detachment.

"Let go," I warned myself again. "Let go." So I swallowed the lump in my throat, rubbed the sick feeling that was lingering in my stomach, and waved goodbye as Eve & Co. rounded the bend. "Drive safely," I said again, even though they could no longer hear me. I even added it in German for extra assurance. "Sicher Fahrt."

Here's the good news. Some reshuffling of travel plans means I will be arriving in LA just a day or two after the RV. I will be reunited with my home-on-wheels. And that's a good thing because for now that RV is going to be the only home I have. Considering I never wanted Marcus to buy The Beast in the first place, it sure has come to play a hugely significant role in my life. My new life.

And now, I need to start packing boxes. Let the adventures begin. "Sicher Fahrt" indeed.