a New Baby…a Clock and a Casino..

30Jan07

…and a trip to Portland. Let’s cover Kevin first….

Kevin is one of my oldest brothers. Let’s see if I can find you all a photo of him. Oh here we are….

kevin.jpg

He’s a handsome striking fellow isn’t he? (I take after him except for the handsome part – if you suggest that of me – I’ll punch you.)

Kevin and Emily had just moved over to Portland so I decided to stay with them when the baby was born. What a fabulous hosts these two were. I show up out of nowhere with a quick phone call I’m coming. They make up the bed and feed me a large amounts of food and wine. Dang…. I’m telling you these two should really run a bed and breakfast. They give you movies to watch, a warm bed and have two extremely cool dogs to snuggle when your needing a hug. 

Vinnie one of their pups, a black lab, I swear everything about his attitude continually smiles at you. He smiles at you when he hands you an old sock to play tug-of-war with. The sock is, of course, slimy. He smiles at you while you pet his silky fur all without actually smiling.

I had recently read somewhere that people are constantly putting human attributes onto animals. However, I gotta say in our human defense – there are dogs that smile and those that don’t. And anyone who does not know this does not have much experience with dogs.

Meanwhile, Nicole called me and said, “I’m having a baby.” I missed it by hours.

 payton-little.jpg

Here is the promised baby. Her name is Payton. I minded when Nicole had sex and told me about it. I wanted to kill and mangle the guy she mentioned. Then she did this – and suddenly I was grateful. Nicole for the record because of your beautiful babies; I now officially forgive you!

Seattle and Portland are similar neither city has any logical system to the streets they create. Getting lost is a way of life when I visit. And when you talk with any locals this is how the conversation always goes;

“Hi I’m trying to find Providence Hospital but I’m lost where do I find it?”

“Oh that’s easy!…”

Or, “I’m looking for a Dunkin Donuts any idea how to get there from here?”

“Oh that’s easy!…”

I’d say that if Portlanders had a motto it would be, “Oh that’s easy!” Meanwhile, they send unintended, scared citizens out on the busy streets only to be *sigh* lost once again.

I once even stopped at a mechanic shop and asked the guys there. One guy said, “Oh that’s easy!” I said, “cool fill me in.” He pulled out a map. I’m sure it was created by Dante himself. We talked so long that someone offered me coffee, and I drank while we considered options. Eventually I found out, after being lost for three hours, that I was indeed six blocks from Nicoles house. However, the local mechanic couldn’t find it not even on the map of hell. I think that’s telling.

Oh yeah that’s easy.

You know what? After a day of getting lost in the city streets of Portland I slept at Kevin’s house.

When he woke up he said, “Hey lets go to Astoria,” and I said, “Oh that’s easy.” And it was. It was amazingly easy. Kevin had to call in sick at work. We missed a spaghetti dinner we planned for the family. And his wife – Emily, his ever so patient wife – left work early because we couldn’t show up to pick her up. Still with all that chaos it was a lot easier than trying to find my nieces house. We stopped and ate seafood at a small little cafe and enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. I loved listening to him talk about his life’s frustrations, his goals and his successes as well. I was so proud of him because he was so human – just like me. I guess you could say I could relate.

So we drove back and made all appropriate apologies to everyone. I tried to calm Kevin from mentioning the crab to Emily and tried to think of a way to make it all up to her. Then I realized we had not gotten her a house warming present so……. I would put that off for one day.

Little country gal in a huge city. Beautiful people, like my niece, her hubby and babies, my brother and his wife they should not be trapped in a big city. It seems like a maze of confusion and crazy. I read a lot in the Smithsonian about how people should not buy off country land – it’s tough for cougars and bears and etc… Never understanding, because most likely it’s being written in a cubical in New York somewhere, how really tough it is on people not to.

So Kevin and I escaped to the country version of the coast and it was so nice. I didn’t get lost once.

Meanwhile, that night Emily and Kevin took me out to dinner. Emily fronted me and Kevin with five bucks a piece and we hit the casino. I would have busted out in the first five minutes but two things happened that kept my head above water. First, Kevin while he was winning slipped me two bucks. Then a lady who I guess saw my indecision told me the dealer was going to go over so stay on my cards and don’t take a hit. When I looked at her like she was crazy she offered to pay me back if I lost. I did she paid me back and I magically stayed in. Then I started to win while Kevin had been winning all along. It came up to about thirty bucks.

Kevin is smart – it felt like I was just getting the game down when he put his hand on my arm and said, “were ahead let’s go.”

We gave the cash to Emily (that’s logical she fronted us the cash after all.) It felt fabulous to win alongside of my brother and to give it all to the one who fronted the money. He is really good at the game. For the record we played 21.

The next morning we went shopping for the baby and a housewarming gift for Emily. Kevin picked out a clock and assured me it was exactly what Emily wanted. Turned out later that Kevin had really wanted the clock. I had to laugh, he got me, not the first time nor would it be the last but I was loving every second.

It’s funny – I had never felt so comfortable in someones home without actually being in mine. They were so sweet and so utterly kind. You can’t buy kindness and I thank God for that. Kindness by the way seems like a commodity that the rich don’t have a ticket in. They are so busy putting out the right towels and telling you the lamp they ebayed is a real Tiffany that just sitting down and talking honestly with people is lost in translation. At least my translation.

Don’t get me wrong they made sure I had towels and such and were impressive hosts however it was kindness that stole my heart and made me feel at home.

So way back – Nicoles baby is about four months old now – I learned something. That being a good host means caring and kindness and I hope it’s a lesson I don’t forget. I also learned something else too. That my brothers, my husband and my brothers wives are the best friends I’ve ever had. I can borrow five bucks from them to blow on a dealers table and they won’t even bat an eye. I can’t think of a person in my life that would have been cool with that.

Hopefully, in time this blog will tell you about all of them. All of my family and my real friends. Because when you know them I believe you’ll know me. Well….. that’s assuming your interested.

ps. all the way home my mom, me and my sister turned on an oldie station and sang our hearts out. We laughed we giggled and we had a complete and total blast.

In summary; My cup runneth over.

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One Response to “a New Baby…a Clock and a Casino..”

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