Story 31July2022: Sunday

I was feeling tired last night, staggering tired, and decided to stop resisting and fell asleep fully clothed on top of the bedsheets. At 1ish, I awoke and took my meds, and fell back to sleep. I did start early today and signed into the shoe company’s network with my corporate laptop and put up an out-of-office message, and reminded some folks with email and Slack messages. Of course, they can reach me with a call, text, or Slack message. I am always available.

Aside: I did hear this Sunday morning on Kink.FM, how happy Portland folks are to have the Naked Bike Ride back on Saturday night. Having driven in the event as an unplanned addition and fully clothed in Air Volvo, with its hazard lights on, I was surprised to be able to help celebrate. Congrat, Portland!

The day started with me starting, on a Sunday, at 6:15, to write the blog and be ready for church for the 10:30 service at First United Methodist Church, Beaverton. The blog for Saturday is always long, as I try to pack a whole weekend into one day, and it took me more than two hours to write, edit, and post it. I also use Grammarly to edit as I am going and so the text is usually close to being correct when I finish the first draft; otherwise, it would take even longer to write. Despite all the help, there are still some logic problems, poor or missing transitions, and half-started and finished thoughts to still be cleaned up (I get into a lot of ‘-‘ issues now, and Grammarly seems to know the arcane rules for American English–I go with what is says). Lately, Grammarly has been trying to remove some, let’s call it, flair as a problem with conciseness, but I have been resisting. Thus, all the writing was completed by 9:30, and I was at church just on time, 10:30.

Pam Smith, a church member, gave the sermon. I usually keep the bulletin to know the title of the presentation but lost it in all of my travels on Sunday. She talked about how mundane things, in her case, her father’s brand of tobacco, a glass jar for peanuts, and an old pair of scissors, helped her know that God has her back. How friends helped her get through the rough spots by letting her know they were there for her. “You don’t want sympathy but want instead empathy,” she said (I likely getting that quote close to her wording). Pam knows how to use a mic, her voice is clear, and she is a self-assured speaker making it a short, clear, and well-done message.

Aside: Our church has been negotiating with the Oregon version of the United Methodist managing authority called a Conference. We have had no official pastor for about six months and have used a retired pastor, Rev. Anne Weld-Martin, and the members to preach. We are getting a 1/2-time pastor in August. I think we are beginning to think that maybe we did better without the Conference meddling.

I chatted with the music director, Howard, after the service. He changed one of the songs; I was happy as I did not like singing “On Eagle Wings,” and he replaced it ad hoc with “Spirt Song.” Howard is off on break for three weeks, heading to the UK with his wife; she is from there.

I drove Air Volvo a short distance and parked in old town Beaverton, and walked over to another food joint. I was asked about places to eat in Beaverton, and so I was now touring them on Sunday. It was hot now, but I was wearing a Nike polo shirt and was comfortable (we used to have a rule that when it was over 80F that it was Hawaiian Shirts for church–but that is forgotten, but still I switch for comfort).

I selected Top Burmese Bistro Royale, and a highly tattooed and dressed for the weather gal, Emily, I think, suggested I sit outside (I had my mask on), and I agreed to use a picnic table placed outside on the street, on a wooden deck and covered from the sun by a nice tarp. Nathan asked me what I wanted to drink besides lots of cold water, and I asked him to pick it. I got a fresh and very cold coconut! He told me when delivering it that he cracked it himself. It was cold and good for you. As I was sensing a theme, I ordered the vegan okra on his recommendation.

Lunch was hot, and just a hit of spice, but the flavors were good. Okra is not a fav, but when made well, it can be fantastic, and it was both. I enjoyed lunch, and soon the place was hopping. Outside we got the one required, or so it seems, screaming child that was suddenly carried off. With that exception, it was a perfect lunch. I sent a text to Dondrea about the place.

After that, I headed to see Susie at the hummingbird house. I crossed Beaverton, aware of my speed the whole way there, and arrived without incident or distracting naked people, a new local concern. When I arrived there, Susie was finishing her lunch, and so I waited. Rachel was on as nurse aid.

It was steamy hot, 90F+ (32.2C), so we just did the porch and not the park. It was nice there, and the humidity, something we are surprised to feel here, made it a bit sticky–I miss sea humidity from the Chesapeake when we lived in Maryland. Susie and I, and her sister Barb when she lived with us, used to go swimming in the Chesapeake after church. We would wear swimming shoes as the oyster shells would cut a swimmer without you even feeling it. Nets kept the sharks and jellyfish away. I think it was Sandy Point State Park.

We called Susie’s mother, Leta, and Susie seemed to just look into space and was not very responsive. This pattern continued all day. Susie seemed half awake all day. Susie barely said goodbye to her mother.

After enjoying a nice break on the porch, Rachel got Susie arranged in a recliner in the activity room, and I set up for a movie. I asked about a few; Susie was not very attentive but agreed a Pirate movie sounded good. Susie seemed not to watch the movie but to maybe sleep with her eyes open–just staring into space, but her breathing did not suggest she was asleep. Susie usually says a few things during the movie, but not this time. Her reaction was different than yesterday, a new movie we saw on Saturday.

Susie did seem to wake a bit when the movie finished, and it was time for me to leave. She seemed shocked that it was already time for me to go; it was nearing 4PM. I put away the screen I keep in Susie’s. I collected my items and left with a kiss. I will return to hummingbird house on Monday at 10ish; I have the day off.

I was thinking about stopping at Central Taps, having a beer, and playing the solo board game Nemo’s War. But had to buy groceries as I had managed to eat most items available in the house, including various leftovers, so no gaming and beer. I went to the local and nearby Safeway. I was the only person except for a checker that had a mask on. Folks are still staying socially distant, I noticed (I suspect that people do that unconsciously now). I loaded up my cart with mostly food items, as I am not going through paper products or cleaning supplies that fast anymore (it is just me at the house). I was shocked to see the length of the lines of checking, and even the DIY checking was backed up, a total fail for Safeway. I sent a complaint to Safeway on Twitter while waiting at least twenty minutes to check out and received a response including an apology and that the District Manager was informed.

Aside: I am usually more accepting of lines and understaffing, but Safeway has on-purpose cut the number of checker stations to force folks to self-check. This would be OK, and I have used it for smaller loads, but I do not feel this is meant for a fully loaded cart. I will have to return to online-only purchases as Safeway is just not convenient and really not safe in a denied but still burning pandemic.

I picked up some flowers for Susie and put them in water to bring her on Monday. I forgot to cut roses for her on Sunday. Mister Lincoln surprised me and has slipped in another slightly smaller, classic red rose too. The heat and summer weather has reduced the rose sizes. A normal thing for summer roses here in the Pacific Northwest.

I made dinner of pasta, rigatoni, with sauce from a jar, and meatballs from the meat department. And the pasta always makes me think of an Opera song that sort of matches the name, and I love to try to sing: Rigoletto La Dona e mobile. The lyrics are silly:

Woman is fickle
Like a feather in the wind,
She changes her voice — and her mind.
Always sweet,
Pretty face,
In tears or in laughter, — she is always lying.
Always miserable
Is he who trusts her,
He who confides in her — his unwary heart!
Yet one never feels
Fully happy
Who on that bosom — does not drink love!
Woman is fickle
Like a feather in the wind,
She changes her voice — and her mind,
And her mind,
And her mind!

But yes, that is what I dream of when boiling rigatoni!

I then watched a strange movie on cable via Amazon Fire: Waiting for the Barbarians. This is a fantasy story of a long-ago time of empires and the evil they do and the good men who find themselves with no choice but to stand for good. It is a painful movie, but the acting makes you forget it is a fantasy, and you feel the pain and awkwardness of the good man played by Mark Rylance. Johnny Depp, the villain, somehow changes his face so that his mouth points down, and his words and actions set your teeth on edge–well done. A harsh movie, but well done and a warning of the cost of faith.

I packed away most of the dinner I made into little ziplock bags for leftovers and then, as I said, just collapsed into the bed. I made dinner for four or more, knowing I would pack it up.

Thank you for reading. I am sorry I forgot to take more pictures.



2 thoughts on “Story 31July2022: Sunday”

  1. With some pride I will claim originating Hawaiian Shirt Sunday. All theses older guys were suffering in woolen suits and ties in 80 + weather. So I made it a challenge. I continued the tradition in my next 2 churches , though in Nehalem I had to drop the temp to 70. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity


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