1. After I took a stroll to the Starbucks on 7th near the Washington/Jefferson interchange and returned with coffee for the Deke, she and I walked toward St. Marys Episcopal Church. The Deke didn't join me for worship, but I was very happy to walk into the church and immediately see a host of people I've known for years and have some time to chat. Once situated in a pew, the Troxstar joined me. Some mornings I experience the liturgy and the Eucharist as an old, familiar duvet of comfort and lose myself in the folds of prayers, Scripture readings, the sermon, hymns, and the words of Eucharist. Today was one of those mornings.
After the service, the Troxstar and I found the Deke at Vero Espresso House across the street and we moseyed over to the High Street Pub a couple of blocks away. For me, going to High Street was a return to the source, the place where I was introduced to locally microbrewed beers about twenty-one years ago. I ordered a Hammerhead, put it to my nose and let the memories rush in: suddenly I was seated inside the pub, drinking a Hammerhead, listening to the Who's album Live at Leeds, at about 10:30 p.m., having hopped off the LTD bus after another Wednesday night of teaching Shakespeare at LCC; I was at Edgefield, marveling at the paintings, wandering the halls of the hotel, and, later, sitting on a comfortable chair on one of the huge porches, sipping a Hammerhead; I was in NW Portland, at the Blue Moon, on Father's Day, 2011, watching Rory McIlroy win the U. S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, near where I live now; I was in Rita's living room, drinking Hammerhead from a bottle; I was at the High Street bar, relaxing with a Hammerhead and a side of fries after a Friday night run through of another Shakespeare Showcase.
I had a good life in Eugene and in Oregon and so much of what I enjoyed was connected to St. Mary's Episcopal Church and McMenamins Hammerhead Pale Ale.
2. Another dimension of my good life in Eugene was regular coffee meet-ups. Today, seated at a table on the sidewalk outside Perugino's, Margaret, Michael, Nate, and I enjoyed about two hours of conversation, talking about books, family, Paul Simon, and a host of other topics and interests.
While we were yakkin' away, to our great surprise who should stroll up to our table?
Margaret and I have known Jane for at least twenty-five years, dating back to when Jane, as a retired school teacher with a great interest in LCC, took courses from us and was deeply interested in the projects around learning communities at the college.
Today, Jane was strolling back to her residence after a trip to Down to Earth and it was both thrilling and touching to see her again and have some time to talk with her and see how well she is doing. I think I last saw Jane over scones in her apartment on December 9, 2014 when we talked about aging parents in relation to their children, a discussion that poignant at the time and lives in me all the more powerfully today.
3. Michael dropped me off back at the High Street Pub where the Deke and her band members were meeting to map out a practice schedule to prepare for their show this coming Saturday, enjoy some drinks, and eat dinner together. Patrick was there and so was Katie's daughter, Sam. Our table filled the shaded area behind the pub with laughter, stories, ideas, planning, and fun. I mostly listened and enjoyed a flight of McMenamins whiskeys and a snifter of the Unicorn Dreams Double IPA which I'd never drunk before, and a tuna salad sandwich. Not long before we left, Patrick took a picture of the Babes with Axes. If you are unfamiliar with the band, starting on the left and moving upward, you'll see T. R., Laura, Katie, and, on the right, is the Deke.