The time before iPhones, Computers, and TV

When I posted this picture of me and my sister, what you don’t know is I really wanted to post this picture:

Me and My Sister

Ha ha ha ha ha!  But really, look at those crochet outfits!  Uh, what’s up with the skirts?  You can see right through them! What in the world was our mom thinking?  If you look really close you can see my tights (I’m on the left) are too big and are sagging around the knees and ankles.  And Karin has added a bow to her blouse.

But the kicker here is that my mom made those outfits.  That’s right.  Or at least I think she did.  She could have bought them but I doubt it.  I doubt it because she made us matching clothes all the time.  Many times including herself in the mix so all the women in the house matched.

That’s not all.  On holidays (like Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter) we would wake up to find a new matching outfit laying on the end of our beds that she had secretly made while we were sleeping.

How did she do this?

Where did she find the time?

Where did she find the inspiration?

Where did she find the patience?

My mom worked full time.  My mom cooked healthy home-cooked meals every day.  My mom made meringues filled with homemade raspberry jelly.  My mom picked peas and made hot-cross buns on Easter.

The Whole Family (minus my dad who is taking the picture)

And she still to this day has more energy than anyone I know.


Where is Home?


I grew up in Vancouver, WA just across the river from Portland.  At the time Portland seemed like a long ways away; a big city with no tax and traffic.

As a teen Portland was my destination du jour.  I  fervently dreamed of living in cool Portland and not oh-so-boring-and-suburban Vancouver.   Portland was The Place.  It housed Skoochies, Pioneer Square, and 82nd Ave.  All very cool, very gritty, and oh-so alluring “meeting places” to an angst ridden teen trying to shake the suburban vibe.

But now that I live in Portland it’s just… oh, I don’t know… cool?  Yeah, it’s that.  But it’s also home.

When I’m back in Vancouver my ears are pricked and my eyes dart around each corner hoping and dreading I’ll see someone from my past.

I never go to Vancouver un-showered.

In my mind there are two parts of Vancouver.  “Old Vancouver” is where I grew up (my neighborhood), downtown (The Old Library and Marshall Center), and where I held my first “real job” (Vancouver Bolt).  It’s also where my dad still lives.

“Old Vancouver” feels like a well loved book with a good story and velvety  pages.


“New Vancouver” is where we moved when I was a teenager.  I liked it, but it never felt like “home”.  Visiting New Vancouver brings back memories of high school, friends, and learning to drive.

As I think about it now, New Vancouver holds memories yes but Old Vancouver holds my heart.

What about you?   Do you like going home?  Does it always feel the same or has it changed?

David Soul and the Art of Despair

I have this new playlist on my iPod. I actually stole it from The Fonz and I really like it. I’ve been listening to it super loud, repeatedly. I just can’t get enough of these songs!

I’ve done this play-it-over-and-over thing since I got my first record player. It was blue and white and it played 45s. It was sooooo cool! I think it looked like this. But now that I see it, it coulda been orange and white, or red and white. Either way… this is what it looked like:

old plastic record player

This is the record player my sister played Donny Osmond’s “Puppy Love” record on over and over and over with her friend Jennifer. Or it coulda been John, or Kayleen. Either way…

I don’t remember a lot of specifics from my childhood. But I do remember music. And I do remember where it all started. It started with this:


This baby was golden! See those discs? They each played a song like “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, and so on. It doesn’t matter what they played. What matters is I was in charge! And boy, did I like that! Because I was in charge I could play what I wanted, when I wanted, over, and over, and over again. And I did.


Until I was too old to do that anymore. Then I graduated to the blue and white supreme model. And when that happened my world opened up! Specifically it opened up to “American Pie” by Don McLean. I listened closely, with paper and pencil at the ready, writing down the lyrics until I could sing along all the way from beginning to end without reading my paper.

And then I turned 12. At 12 I fell in love.

I fell in love with a blonde fellow that most of my friends didn’t notice. You see it was his best friend who drew their attention. My Love sat in the shadows making music and making my heart swell with longing. My Love’s name was David Soul. The famous sidekick to “Starsky” from the show Starsky and Hutch. In case you don’t remember this dynamic duo, here’s a reminder:


That’s David on the right. The brunette is Paul Michael Glaser aka “Starsky”. Now doesn’t David look like the kinda guy a 12 year old flat-chested, greasy haired girl with a bad perm should crave?

If you’re thinking “no”, you obviously haven’t heard his heart wrenching (to me) song titled “Don’t Give Up On Us”.

I remember lying in bed crying (this is not a lie, nor an exaggeration, I sobbed) because I knew in my heart of hearts that I would never really meet David. Oh I cried!

The pain! The agony! The despair! The lost love!

There I was in my blue antiqued trundle bed with the matching quilt and curtain set, begging God to please bring David to me!

But he never came. And I stopped watching the show because it was summer time and I was busy playing. And I forgot David.