This is a special edition of Three Beautiful Things covering my trip to Vancouver, WA from 02/12-02/15.
1. Green curry and drunken noodles with Jane. We hadn't seen each other since Rob and Sluggo got married in 1974 in Wallace and today we spent five hours over lunch remembering Bruce, Rob, Sluggo, Dennis, John, Joy, the Fishermen, NIC choir, our choir tour, Liz, lost loves, fun stuff, stupid stuff, regrets, old friends, painful memories as well as sweet ones. We talked about the present, too and how we got all the way from Coeur d'Alene and the Silver Valley in 1973-4 to Planet Thai in Vancouver, WA in 2010. A staggeringly enjoyable lunch!
2. Jake and Carol and Joni and Ed and Sharon arrived from Osburn, Spokane, Liberty Lake, and Kingston. The wine bottle corks were popped, chili and cornbread muffins were served, and the stories, laughter, ideas, plans, and barbs begin to fly.
3. Saturday morning, after an early morning drive to Spirit Mountain and some gaming, Ed and I met Hudson, a guy devoted to guns and rifles, who lives in Hubbard, but used to live in the Silver Valley, at the Newberg Dairy Queen and Hudson hands over a .22 automatic rifle to Ed to take back to Cataldo for Jim. Hudson is confident that in the case of a disaster, when it's every man for himself, that his collection of firearms will all but guarantee his survival.
4. Saturday afternoon Ed, Carol, and I drove to Camas to a NAPA auto parts store for replacement bulbs for Carol's Subaru's headlight and I swear no trip to a parts store, a convenience store and to Fred Meyer was filled with more laughter than our trip. You had to be there.
5. Another wave of partiers who used to live in Kellogg: Rick. Patty. Mike and Ken . . . so did Amber and Rod...wow! when did I last see Amber? I don't know when she last came to a reunion...I can't remember...wow! she tells great story after great story about life as a principal's secretary, her battle with Wii toe, and more and more, doing different voices, making the stories theatrical, adding laughs and entertaining drama to our party.
6. Music. Cranked. Up. The dancing begins. Ed appears in his big as cinder blocks slippers that look like tv remote control devices, puts on a you're so vain hat, strategically dips it below one eye, whips on cheap sunglasses, and, with his pajama bottoms on, looks like a washed up, out of work pimp from Kingston. Classy. Hilarious.
7. Sharon's never been to Oregon? Oh. My. God. She's never seen the Pacific Ocean? Oh. My. God. Ed, Ron, Carol, Sharon, Joni, Patty, Rick, Ken, Mike, and I pile into three cars on Sunday and head to Lincoln City. It's gray, bleak, rainy, misty most of the way over and then, as if God were smiling on Sharon's first trip to the Oregon coast, the skies opened up, the rain stopped, sunshine poured out of the sky, and Sharon had a gorgeous maiden voyage to the Oregon coast.
8. Ken's sister, Linda came over to the party. Cheryl drove up. We had plenty of spaghetti sauce from Saturday night leftover and we kicked it up a couple of notches and the stories, barbs, mockery, witty remarks, laughter, serious side conversations, cribbage games, wine drinking, music all resumed with the dancing commencing, when? 10:00? I don't know...but I was nearly in tears when "Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers came over the speakers and my relaxation and hanging back ended and it was time to let it rip on the dance floor.
9. I drove home listening over and over again to Bill Davie's superb CD, "Phobia Robes", letting all the memories of Bill performing at Whitworth, in my living room for house concerts, different places in Eugene, in Yachats, Corvallis, and Seattle wash over me and I let all the many thoughts and feelings his songs inspire in me all go their own way. It made the drive home a deep pleasure, just as the drive to Vancouver had been as I listened to "Phobia Robes" and "Gravity" to get my heart and mind in the right place for my great weekend with friends.