{Thank You Mom, Thank You Universe}

I’m lucky to have a mom who is wise, brave, resourceful, adventurous, chill, and really dedicated to continuing to raise this offspring of hers.


Hike showing mom the big trees

Recently, I was also lucky enough recently to have my mom visit me in Oregon for two whole weeks! I wanted her to come out; we had talked about it for a while imaging that the trip would happen at a different time. Finally, the timing was right, and I really needed that mom time. But two whole weeks? When she suggested that I had to be honest and say, “Thank you, that’s a long time, let me think about it.”


Wanda’s Cafe south of Manzanita

Think about it I did, and I decided to trust that it would be awesome. Mom and I have driven cross-country to Santa Fe together, jetted off to London for Thanksgiving together (though of course they don’t celebrate it there), visited San Francisco together while she was at a conference, seen Savannah together, and probably countless other mother-daughter trips that aren’t on the tip of my brain right now. Short version? I know mom and I can travel well together. (We travel with dad too, and as a family have some great away-from-home-routines like afternoon quiet reading time.) I knew it would be good.


Wanda’s again

While mom booked her flights, I contacted some friends and fellow travelers who run a couple of spectacular Airbnb locations in Portland. (Maker Flat is larger and filled with the work of local artisans for sale, Zen Loft is smaller and beautifully renovated with a wall of window-doors and a hot tub – consider them if you are in town, they are worth it and in a great location in Portland!).


Best rainbow we ever saw

Mom and I stayed at the Zen Loft for the first week or so, and then headed to Cannon Beach on the coast to (re)unite with Chris for a few nights – he had been there with the Cricket. When we returned to the city, Chris spent a couple of days at Maker Flat with mom and I before I took him to the airport for his own adventure to Alaska! And then mom and I had a few more days in the city.


Chris cooked these for us!

What did we do with all this time? Most days began with a couple of quiet hours at “home” followed by some coffee shop time (mom & I liked this boulangerie best) and then either a walk or bus ride to some sort of destination.

But that’s just the tourist stuff (as great as it was). The thing we REALLY did, was talk. What else to do over daytime walks, happy hour drinks, dinners out, sitting in the kitchens of our neat local apartment spaces.


Yummy bagels with salmon, matcha cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, yum yum yum

Yes, mom and I have traveled a lot together. Yet I realized during our visit that it had been TEN YEARS since our last trip like this, just the two of us. 

It was good to do.


Ira Keller Fountain Park

We talked in ways different than we do when we are “all together.” We also got deeper into conversations as we returned to topics again and again. It was different than visiting my folks at the Connecticut Farm.

We talked about her life, her sisters and brothers, her marriage, her first boyfriend. We talked about the safety of traveling alone (I was soon to head off on a solo jaunt). We reminisced. One night she made a joke about me “going clubbing” that I knew right away was a reference to a London trip, when I was 17 or 18. I had recently told Chris this particular story, in fact. (The story is about mom not allowing me to go clubbing, sane parent that she is.) But Mom and I realized that we remembered the details differently! So interesting, these conversations.


Being reflective as the waves crash

She said wise things. Drinking Belgian beer and snacking on a big bowl of olives in neat brewery, she said, in response to something I had said, “there’s backing down, and there’s shutting down.” It was a useful distinction. We talked about it in work contexts, in relationship contexts, all around.

By the end of mom’s visit I know she was ready to go home, to see dad, to chill at the farm again in her own routines. And I was glad to get back to the Cricket and Chris. That’s a good part of vacations, I think, being glad to go home. 


Happy Hour at the Veritable Quandry

I’m really thankful for the time we spent together, enough so that I said to her on one of our last nights — “This has been so great getting to know you this way (for all the reasons we had been discussing) — do you think dad would consider coming out to see me somewhere during these travels?”

I am so glad that dad’s response, several days later, was, “a seed has been planted.” 

We’ll see what grows!


Rocky Exploring at Cape Perpetua

In the meantime, I keep coming back to all the good times mom and I had hanging out together in Oregon. I am very grateful that this bit of luxury is possible in our lives, that she was willing to do it, and that we have a relationship in which the idea of such a visit sounds like (and is) fun.

Thank you mom. Thank you universe.


cricket small