Thursday, July 26, 2012

another unexpected journey

On Monday morning, our plucky heroine answered the phone. A dear friend was direly ill and in the ICU. It was the decision of a moment to drop everything and head north to OlyWa - Sharon and I have been friends since we met in 10th grade, many decades ago.

The fastest way to get north, without an auto, is by train. Most fortuitously, Ariadne was heading south about an hour earlier, so Mr Dawson was at the train station anyway, and waiting an hour for my train to come in, on a summer afternoon in the beer garden outside the Olympic Club McMenamins was not a hardship for him... Of course, despite the troubling nature of my journey, the trusty camera was often close to hand, and a few images were worth sharing... the coffered ceiling of the train station in Portland is beautifully carved and painted

sometimes, looking for security has you heading straight into a stone wall

this was nifty - on the new trains, there are monitors in every car that show the position of the train in realtime, and the expected time till arrival at the next station on the line

The house at Fjords End is one of my favorite places to stay, there are always interesting creative things going on, the folks who live there have been friends of mine for years, and there is also Toshi, beloved and goofy Akita dog, here seen in a patient "waiting for adventures" pose

On Monday night, met with my friend in her hospital room in the ICU - The nurse woke her up, but she really woke up when she realised I was there - I watched her self come back into her eyes... we had actual coherent words back and forth - slowly, but coherence. She is very very sick with an uncontrolled infection. I did get to talk with her in a kind of between moment, and am grateful for that... if all goes well, or if it does not, at least I managed to get up there and let her know how much I and many others love her, and she was conscious enough to hear that during the time I was there.

the cars pass through the night, while Maeve and I walk over the bridge, taking Toshi on one last walk before bedtime.

just outside the front door, this wild pig sculpture, carved by John from Tenino sandstone, waits to have his righthand tusk repaired

While there, an afternoon walk to the beach was a needful counterweight to hospital time. There is a public access path that winds through the industrial and private lands... a walk that was new to me, but very familiar to my pals, the pathway was installed long after I moved away from Mud Bay... here and there along the path, there are vistas through the trees

some feral apples, not quite ripe, along the path to the beach

There were other wild foods, dewberries, and salal, ripe and tasty, well, the dark ones are ripe, also along the path

Some tiny pink wildflowers, I do not know their name...

and saskatoons, ripe and unripe... had never tried these before, they are sweet, a little bit bland, a little bit flowery and a little bit mealy, but definitely edible

out at the beach, the lines across the mud are the pilings of old log docks.
There was glasswort growing all in the tidal zone, it tastes a bit bitter and a lot salty, would be a good garnish to a salad

On Tuesday young Clover was there, visiting her dad. Chalk art in the driveway was most entertaining. Travis drew a chalk lion for his daughter...

Guess who drew this chalk horse...

After two days, was time to return home. The medical situation up there remains very dire. Indeed as of tonight, despite the best efforts of the doctors there, the infection is still uncontrolled and I am sending healing wishes to my dear friend. I told her that Smokey had the watch on the otherside, but that Smokey says not to hurry and visit, that there will be time for that later...

dog has the watch

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