weekly gratitude

thank you gold shoes for being the snazz in my st. patrick's day outfit

When I first moved to London in 2005, I remember getting a crash course in "How To Fit in With The English" (meaning "How To Not Be That Annoying American Who Complains That The Beer Isn't Cold Enough").

One of the first things, I was told, that tends to come up in conversation when talking to a Brit - and this was soon corroborated by first hand experience - is the weather. 

(It's a cliche for a reason)

So is it any wonder that life in Portland, a city that often reminds me of my beloved London, isn't much different? Not hardly. 

We are obsessed with weather here, but not in the good way (at least not this time of year). While friends in Indiana and California are busting out their shorts and sandals, we're just happy to be wearing simple flats instead of insulating our feet in rubber and leather (good lord people, I'm talking about BOOTS... What did you think I meant when I said rubber and leather?)

What I'm getting at here is that it's mid-March and the forecasts are still threatening snow. And while the Californian in me is still mildly thrilled at that (snow is so much fun when you don't have to deal with it all the time!), I'm kind of over feeling so sleepy and cold and... pale.

(enter tan lust) (also enter me using the last of my spray tan appointments before I go down to LA)

But enough complaining... There is much to be joyful about...


1. Thank you for a wonderful - nay - spectacular St. Patrick's Day! Even though I worked yesterday, the festivity would not be contained and I was that person - the one walking around like the Irish flag (green pants, white shirt, orange cardigan - when you're a veritable UK mutt it's only proper to represent both your Irish AND your English heritage). The plan was to meet Robin, Dean, Jared, Shamoo, Frankie and Matty over at Dublin Pub, but as it were, by the time I got off I would have been walking into a packed public house and a $10 cover - meh, no thanks. So I met The Camaraderie over at Dean and Robin's and was met by a can of Guinness and Shamoo wearing a tiny red baseball cap with chin strings that I'm pretty sure was intended for infant use only (insert joke here). Our buddy Mike (not to be confused with Michull) made it over and became the perfect addition to the evening when he picked up Robin's guitar and began the serenades. Everyone was feeling groovy by that point and Dean was about ready to go on a spree if Robin and I didn't stop playing Beatles records (can we take a moment to talk about the fact that she has an original pressing of Abbey Road?) so when Mike strummed out the first chords of "Wagonwheel" there was a sudden calm. Or rather, a sudden realization that he was playing our song - and so we sang (as we often do) loud and proud into the night, every word of that beloved tune we know so well. 

Something happens we the voices of friends meet together in the middle of a melody - would it be too dramatic to say time stands still? Even so, it's at the least something akin to that perfect moment when, no matter how out of tune, no matter how thrashed your voice already is from yelling across the room, no matter how hard you laugh when you all simultaneously forget which verse you're on but the guitar just keeps on trilling... It's perfect. Also perfect when, at midnight after two men have already gone down for the night (side eye at Jared and Shamoo), the remainging crew decides a burger sounds really good, you end up at a 24 hour diner giving the waiter something to laugh about tomorrow with his friends. We are so good at life. 

2. Thank you for spontaneous dinner parties. Friday night after work, with a rumble in our tummies and a lot of leftover wine from a slower day in Ye Olde Tasting Room, Jodi invited me over for dinner. She and Scott have a quarter of a cow and an entire Carlton Farms pig in their freezer so, being a fellow omnivore, I felt it my duty to join them in the massacre of pork chops with an AMAZING onion & pinot pan sauce and some roasted brussels sprouts that melted like butter in your mouth. Top the night off with catching the tail of of "Prisoner of Azkaban" and Brinks' (100 pounds German Shepherd) constant hounding of Lancelot (15 pound cat with seven toes) - entertainment for all! Oh, and anecdote time! So a couple weeks ago Jodi got a text at work from her dear sweet husband informing her of their new chicks. Yeah. Baby chickens. Four of them. Well, a few days ago one met his maker, so Scott said he'd go to the store to get a replacement. And came back with two more. TWO. In case you're not counting yet, that's now FIVE chickens living in their backyard now. I can't wait to con them out of some farm fresh eggs come summer. 

3. Thank you for uncommon and unwarranted kindness. Much as I adore my church, it wears on me a little going alone each week. It's a warm community, but you know how it is... It's not the same as going with someone you know and love. Still, it all happens for a reason. And with the instiution of something that started as a sort of half-joke came a new Solid Rock tradition: before we get into the Scripture, John Mark throws up - I kid you not - a four minute timer on the projector screen so that we can take a solid chunk of time to actually get to know the people around us rather than the quick, impersonal "hellos" or "peace be with yous" of standard church lore. So a couple weeks ago I met a woman who, from the second you start talking with her, makes you feel as though you've know her for years. Her delicate (I think Australian) accent makes your eardrums dance and her overall demeanor lets you know immediately that she is a mother (turns out she has a daughter about my age). We chatted and learned some basics about one another and before I knew it she had pulled me in for a hug that, at the time, I desperately needed. Today, just by chance, she sat down next to me again and wouldn't you know, gave me another hug that was definitely needed. We learned a little more about the other and soon she was pulling out a little notebook. She asked my full name so she could pray for me, pray that God would help me through all the tangles and put peace in my heart. It meant so much to me. We are still rather strangers to one another and yet she is taking time from her life to go to the mat for me. How can you explain that? It's amazing.


So... Another week down, another on deck.

Here goes nothing.

Go forth!


  1. Love that last one!! Your blog is fabulous. Newest reader!

  2. Aw, thank you! God is so good - so glad he is watching out for all of us!