Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stockings and Updates

Well, this week has been eventful in it's own right, which follows last weekend which was full of fun, love, and entertainment.

David and I took the Amtrak Cascades train to Portland last Friday and spent the weekend visiting Frank and John, and of course, Rachel. We had nice hot weather (and muggy), and we all took advantage of it. Having been away from Portland for so many years, it's fun to rediscover my native city, and really fun doing with our kids.

Frank and John picked us up at Union Station, which has been the train station in Portland since 1896. It's beautiful, and believe it or not, comfortable. From there it was over to Podnah's Pit for real pit barbeque. The sandwiches are huge so I opted for the brisket sandwich sans bread. It was still a LOT of food. It did my heart good to see this part of North Portland coming alive again. It's a neighborhood full of character, lovely old homes, narrow streets, and history.

After lunch we headed over to Kennedy School. It was an elementary school when I was growing up in Portland, and is now a hotel/restaurant/brewery/bar/theater thanks to the McMenamin Brothers. The character of the school is still there, with the theater in the old auditorium, and the restaurant and bar in the old cafeteria. The bathrooms haven't changed much either. Most of the toilets and sinks in the Girls Restroom are low, and I understand the urinals in the Boys are a bit small as well.

Time to go to the hotel for a nap.

David and I then took Max to downtown Portland, got off at PGE park, and walked over to the Pope House Bourbon Lounge to meet up with John, Frank and Rachel. Now what does one do on a warm muggy September evening but find an outside table and order a whisky. Makers for me and Jamison for David. While I was sippin on the Makers, I did some knitting on my July 4th sock. It's always COLD on July 4th in the Pacific Northwest so I decided next year my wool socks are going to be stars and stripes forever socks.
After drinks we went next door for dinner at the Blue Olive Restaurant. We had wonderful conversation, great food, and a lovely wine with dinner. Needless to say, after dinner, it was a cab back to the hotel. Full and a bit tipsy.
Late Saturday morning (we needed to sleep in after the food and beverage of Friday night) David and I took Max back into Portland and went to the Saturday Market. It's been over 30 years since I've been, and guess what? It hasn't changed a bit (time warp again) except it's larger, and the portion of the market on the Waterfront Park is nice. I didn't find anything I needed or wanted, but it was interesting to watch some of the people.

From there it was Pioneer Courthouse Square and watched a protest parade get underway.
After that it was off to Powell's Bookstore, then the bus to Frank and John's for dinner.

Sunday we came home on the earlier train, rushed home to say hello and feed the dogs,
Poor babies! After they ate, had a romp outside, and snuggles on the laps, we said good bye, see ya' later, and headed out to Chateau St. Michelle [must be at least 21 to enter this site] winery to see Harry Connick Jr. in concert. The concert was amazing, so amazing that no one noticed it was raining, and raining hard.

The week started with one of my favorite activities. The monthly meeting at the Eastside Knitting Guild. The members are delightful, kind, generous, caring, and just plain fun. It seems like this Guild is always supporting several charities at once, one of which is Operation Holiday Stockings. If you live in the Bellevue area, stop by next month. You will love this group.

The president of the Guild, Susan M. (we have five Susans, need to include the last name initial), has set a goal for herself this year. She is knitting one stocking per day for Operation Holiday Stockings. She has it down to a fine science, and each stocking takes an 75 minutes. So far she has stockings completed for January through July. Look at this!
Other knitters are knitting stockings for OHS. I am so amazed by the love and beauty of each stocking.
Knitters are wonderful people, and they are everywhere. Jan in Barre, Vermont sent 75 stockings that she knit for us this year. Jan's son is currently deployed so we are praying for his safety, and ask that you do the same.
I do look at each stocking as they come in and am in awe of the love that goes into each. These knitters don't have to do this, there is always something else to be knit. They choose to do this in support of our troops, and to let the troops know they haven't been forgotten.

We have about 360 stockings, and some stocking stuffers. Now is the time for us to really crank up the needles, turn on the sewing machines, and start collecting items for the stockings, and donations for postage. We are going to need about 2000 this year, and we will do it. The group behind OHS is serious about what they do, and what they do is work hard to tell the troops we love them, support them, and want them to have a little bit of home for the holidays.

Well, I'm off to go prop my leg up again. I have a bug bite that has gone very bad on me so am having to do what I can to make it go away.




  1. Susan M. is such an awesome person it does not surprise me that she is so dedicated to this project.
    Where can I send some money to help with the postage?

  2. Susan is BEYOND the AWESOME. She is the "knitters Knitter" and touches peoples hearts wherever she may be. Go Girl!! Steven needs a size 10 for his old feet. I will "stuff the stocking" with drummers toes. Lovesssss.