dearly beloved

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.
Electric word life, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time, but I’m here to tell you there’s something else.
Mawwiage, mawwiage is what bwings us togefer today.
Mawwiage. That blessed event. That dweam within a dweam…

And so started my first official duties as a reverend when I married my two close friends Ted Sawyer and Tara Byler on August 9th.

We worked on the ceremony together with Tara pulling out all the stops to create the most memorable marriage ceremony I have ever seen. One that truly and completely captured who they are as individuals and as a couple. I was honored, honored beyond words, to marry my two close friends.

I don’t remember the exact moment when I thought of introducing Ted to Tara… probably because there was no need to over think it… the whole thought process you usually go through before you introduce friends – will they hit it off? do they have anything in common? seemed unnecessary.

Both artistic, both passionate, both grounded in tradition (their own interpretation of it of course). Both a little bit stubborn. Both had lived in Italy and were now embracing Portland as their new home.

So it was a typical fall evening and I had driven up from Eugene to visit Portland for the weekend. In much the same way that I didn’t have to over think the idea of introducing them, I didn’t want to overproduce their first meeting. It would be casual and informal and up to them. LIke I said, they each have a bit of a stubborn streak and I know how they each love to “discover” their own paths in life… so why would this be different? Of course they’d want to discover their love. So I just extended an invitation to the both of them (and a few other friends so it wouldn’t be obvious) to have drinks at the Heathman.

Now what would a first meeting be without a little drama, which Tara provided in this case. We’d been at the bar for an hour or two. The party was about to break up and I had a sense Ted was getting ready to leave, but Tara hadn’t yet arrived. I had thought this would be perfect, but it wasn’t unfolding like I’d imagined. I started thinking that I’d just have to try again next time I was in Portland… when Tara entered the bar in a beast fur coat.

I didn’t look at Ted. I didn’t have to.
I knew exactly what he was thinking and that my work was done.

Congratulations Ted and Tara! I love you dearly and will always cherish our friendship.

so you say it’s your birthday

If there was ever a month of birthdays July was it. Though Lee’s birthday is technically in June, we celebrated her 40th with a weekend getaway in Montana. The next weekend my mom and I helped Amy Alice celebrate her 50th… though the cutout “5” on the wall wishing her a Happy 50th kept twisting in the breeze and looked like a “2” more of the time. Ah, to be 20 again even if it is only dependent on which way the wind is blowing. The next weekend I was in San Francisco celebrating the 3rd birthday of Kelly’s daughter Isabella. A big age to be sure. It’s about 3 when you really start to understand the whole birthday concept… ooh, I get presents and cake and people treat me like a princess all day. A girl could get used to this. I’m sure that’s what Izzy B was thinking as her family and friends surrounded her on a lovely sunny day in the hills surrounding Berkeley. So Happy Birthday! It was so much fun celebrating these momentous occasions.

anybody want a watermelon?

It’s not often you see a large truck parked in Pioneer Courthouse Square, but that was the case last Friday when I was walking around downtown during the lunch hour. I don’t do that often enough, but it was a lovely day and I had a few errands to run.

The truck was surrounded by a large group of people that was growing ever larger as a line started forming on one side. Curiosity got the best of me so I walked over to investigate the commotion. It turns out farmers from Hermiston, Oregon were in Portland to promote their produce and were handing out watermelons, potatoes and cantaloupes.

Everyone was so happy and city councilors were being interviewed and people were skipping away with bags of goodies. It was incredibly inspiring in its joyousness so I started snapping a couple photos, particularly of this older gentleman farmer whose personality was infectious. He just made you smile watching him and I was grinning from ear to ear.

No sooner did I lower my camera that he looked at me and said… “here you need a watermelon.” A bit surreal, but made even more surreal when a photographer asked to take a picture of me and my watermelon followed by a reporter asking me a few questions. That was nothing to the scene that occurred just a few minutes later when I started walking through downtown holding a watermelon. It was so large I had to cradle it like a baby, causing people who hadn’t witnessed the impromptu farmer’s market in the Square to look at me like I had two heads. But I didn’t care. I was still smiling and thinking how great a place Portland is to be in the summer.