By the looks of the gold and red leaves, summer slipped away and Autumn is here. Yay for October, my favourite month!! I leave tomorrow for two weeks in Jordan with everyone’s favourite travel-partner: Sassy, fashionable, California-girl Margaret. I’ll do my best to keep up with the blog while traveling.
Summer was unseasonably wet this year, and the winter rains started early. However, there were a couple of dry breaks in there during September, and I was able to do a final lawn mowing job. The bee people came and removed their bees September 30, so I had a chance to cut the grass all around that part of the lawn. Needless to say I had been giving the bees plenty of space all summer. If the grass continues to grow during October, I’ll just have to leave it alone because it’s too muddy out there for my little Husqvarna tractor. It doesn’t usually snow here, and doesn’t freeze very often, but thankfully the grass does stop growing during the winter.
I don’t make it into the big city (Portland) as often as I used to. When I do, I have fun noticing all the extra things to look at. Graffitti always catches my eye, traffic patterns, how the sky looks when I leave the forest and there aren’t trees in the way, and I even notice my car itself, which does not get enough love from me. Thank god it beeps at me and blinks messages on the screen when it’s time for an oil change or that might not ever happen. When I’m rich, I’ll hire someone to take care of my car, ha ha. Until then, I’m sorry Jeep.
Once the rains begin, that means it’s bonfire season for me!! I love having fires at my place. The first one of the season is often the best, because I’ve been piling up branches all summer, and the wood is nice and dry. When I set that thing alight, it usually causes an inferno. The rest of the bonfires for the winter will be when I have collected saturated branches (branches blow out of the trees all year long in storms, and I collect them and burn them to keep my land clear). Success then will be a matter of whether or not I can get all of the wood to burn. Sometimes I can’t even get it to catch fire to begin with, the wood is so wet.
And as well as a fabulous performance of In The Heights with my friend Heather (at top), I also was fortunate enough to catch a Portland Symphony Orchestra performance. There was a trombone choir outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and then I went into the gorgeous venue for the symphony.
I made a couple of short trips recently. Since my friend had made the long drive down to Portland to do the sensory deprivation tank with me, it was my turn to drive north and meet him at his stomping grounds in Olympia. It’s the capital city of Washington state and I had never explored it. We walked up and down streets on a gorgeous day, seeing the sights and the people. We ate great barbecue, bought art in a gallery, smelled sea air at the marina, talked to protesters at the Capital steps, and more. It was a long fun day.
A week ago I headed up to the Canada border to subject myself to an interview for the Department of Homeland Security and become a “Trusted Traveler.” With all my travelling, can you believe I had never even heard of this program till a girlfriend mentioned it two months ago? Well good heavens, better late than never. Fill out an application, pay a fee, get an interview, then badda boom – skip the horrible security lines at the airport!! And skip the customs line coming back!! Yay!! The interview seemed ridiculous – not sure exactly why they needed to see me in person. They asked my full legal name, whether I had used any other names (I had used a hyphenated surname during my first marriage), what my current address was, and my current phone number. That was it. I assume the content of the answers was not the purpose of the interview – probably more like comparing the photos on my passport and driver’s license to the woman standing there. The best part about all this hassle is that it’s all done in time for my trip to Jordan. Sweet.
I drove through Seattle to get to the interview, so I picked up my brother and he shared the day with me. Thank goodness because it would have been so boring otherwise. The border is 2 hours north of Seattle, and we talked for 2 hours going north, for an hour while we waited for my interview, and for 2 hours going south. I stayed the night in Seattle with my brother and his girlfriend and their super sweet cats. I always love the view from the guest bedroom.
I can’t tell you how eager I am to leave all this rain behind me and head out to the desert! I am very sad to leave for two weeks during my favourite month. And I am sad to be on airplanes during my favourite holiday of the year: Halloween. I will spend 28 hours on airplanes or in airports, before I arrive in Portland at 9pm. One silver lining is that it will be the longest Halloween of my life. Because we’re travelling “backward” around the globe, it’ll be Halloween the entire time.