If you are new to my blog, you may wish to read these posts in chronological order. I have numbered all posts to facilitate this.
Our last morning in Cannon Beach was spent sitting on a log on the beach, eating a bagel, drinking coffee and watching the locals take their dogs to the beach for early morning exercise. I don’t think I’ve ever seen happier dogs than those prancing around on a beach.
With our return flight only a few days away, we left Cannon Beach and my giggly, girlhood memories and headed back to Seattle. We arrived back at Ellen and David’s place to another warm welcome and another great meal. At dinner we recounted our tales of Indian residential schools and bike trips along False Creek; of Caffe Mingo’s meat marinated in espresso and wine, the good karma at our apartment in Portland and our meeting with Lucille and Julian; of John Steinbeck and Charley and the redwoods; of wool spinning, Indian tribal dances and Joe’s Deli; of lazy days in Bandon and job interviews at sunrise; and of chocolate-covered sea foam and bubble-gum cigarettes, Tilt-a-Whirl’s and Haystack Rock. We obviously needed a debriefing!
But lest you think that my nostalgia trip had come to an end, there was still one more meeting scheduled for our last day in Seattle. Debbie, my eldest sister Carolyn’s best friend from our days in Portland, was a constant presence in our family. In fact, it was difficult to talk about Carolyn without mentioning Debbie, they were so inextricably linked.
Debbie is a nurse and has lived in Seattle for most of her adult life and we had arranged to meet at Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Shop on Sunday morning. As we walked to meet Debbie, I told Hans Einar about her. Debbie was one of the first tall women I had ever met and I remember being somewhat awed by her towering elegance. We arrived at the Victrola and I scoured the place for a tall blonde woman. No, Debbie wasn’t there yet. So we walked outside and, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted her, walking toward us with a big smile and asking “is it you?”. On hugging Debbie, I realised that, like Raleigh Hills Elementary School and our apartment on SW Vermont Court, she “had gotten smaller”. Of course, Debbie was still the tall, elegant woman I remembered but now I met her, eye-to-eye.
We spent two lovely hours reminiscing and filling in the more than 40-year gap in our lives (in fact, we had seen each other 12 years ago at Carolyn’s wedding but, with all the wedding activity, had not really had time to talk).
Having moved around a lot in my life–I have lived in 11 cities in 6 countries–it is rare for me to meet up with people other than my family who knew me as a child. Debbie is one of those people and it was heart-warming to know that we have shared memories. Debbie remembers our apartment at Vermont Court and the pool and my parents and Mamar and it was fitting that my trip down this part of memory land ended with her. Thanks Debbie, for linking so many bits and pieces together for me!