August 11, 1997

I'm all nut brown, today.

Spent Friday and the weekend just being happy. Which is a very good thing, indeed, all in all. Took most of Friday to just find a little breakfast, get packed, take care of some plants and then go south, where we dropped Fezzik off to be boarded and then went much further south. To Portland.

I know, I know... all you folks in Portland that are reading this, yes, we went there, no, we didn't contact anyone. Just holed up with just ourselves in the Governor Hotel for the whole weekend, explored around the city center for three days and were just with each other for the whole time. It's been a while.

That was how we felt our tenth year anniversary should be spent, and it was very, very good.

The nut brown bit was that we were in the Stoat, which is the Land Rover with no top on it, so we were open to the sun all weekend. And it's a three hour drive down and back, so we had at least six hours directly in the sun, which was innervating, but also very tanning, even with SPF 12.

I also had fun arguing with a flower lady for half an hour telling her that my intended recipient for a dozen roses of all differen colors would *love* it and that she was wrong that he'd want to return it and it would be perfect and I knew best. And I did. John loved the dozen roses... that was very keen.

We wandered about the city a lot, explored Powell's for hours and hours, sniffed most of the International Rose Test garden, wandered to the market and saw lots of fun stuff there, and ate at Jake's Crawfish House, Good Dog Bad Dog Sausages for everyone, the Portland Pretzel Company, and had a great time with Maya's Taqueria, the first Mexican food I've had in the Northwest that was authentic in all senses. We sat out on the grass by the Willamette River and watched people walking by with dogs and kids and kites and odd bikes and keen stuff, watched the two bicycle policemen get cornered for pictures from Japanese tourists, and had fun just reading and listening to the life, soaking in the heat of the summer and drinking iced mochas to cool down. And walked so much that my legs are sore today.

It was a marvelous, lazy, lovely, hot weekend, and the best thing of all was that when we got back home, I was able to use our new bathtub and draw a cool, clean rose scented bubble bath for me to just sink into and cool off in... Yum... sigh. It's very, very nice. And the kitchen is all together now, and usable, and the gas range made cooking quickly such a snap it's a real joy to have, now.

One of the keenest things is that we have these halogen lights up on wires... the wires are threaded around the upper space, as the vaulted ceilings don't help at all in anchoring lighting. But the lights are all strung on those wires, so they don't block the light from the sky light. At night, though, the skylight is completely dark, and when we turn on the lights it's a lot like a string of extra gnarly Christmas lights shining brightly across the whole of the kitchen.

John says that the kitchen is our anniversary gift to each other. It's a gift that is well representative of our first decade together... spacious, utilitarian, beautiful, and without shadow.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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