I was recently searching for quirky or witty things to say about Portland, Oregon and the things that happened to surface the most in my google inquiries were how people “up there” (that is, the Pacific Northwest, particularly in the Portland area) are “granola people”. This made me chuckle. Mostly because the same claims are often made about my neighbors not to faraway from me in Boulder, Colorado. And those claims, I have found, are often true.
And so grandpa and I are off!
We are sitting at Gate 40A at Denver International Airport for our already delayed flight to Oregon.
Our 5-day trip encompasses a couple different states for one unified mission: see Jordan Wilson play NCAA College Basketball. Jordan, my cousin, for those of you not in the know, plays for the Nanooks at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. And she’s pretty dang awesome – a starter and leader in most categories. She’s also only a freshman. I’ve watched her you-tube clips and followed her stats online, and it makes me proud to have a cousin with such amazing athletic ability and impact.
You can read more about her here: Jordan Wilson. *she may or not even mention me in her bio, cute thing she is!*
I’m proud of her. And I’m pretty dang lucky. The whole reason I have packed my new red-hot purse and Western-style duffel to see her play is because Grandpa and Glenda generously offered for me to come along for the ride. Needless to say, I didn’t need to say yes twice.
Our travels will take us to Portland. We will then drive to our hotel in Salem, and tomorrow will hopefully explore the area before driving about 20 miles to see Jordan play at Western Oregon in Monmouth.
Friday is a free day but we will travel on to Lacy, Washington (just outside Olympia) for Jordan’s Saturday game. We’ll cross state borders and enjoy the cool, but allegedly gorgeous drive for about 120 miles.
I’m looking forward to a few days on the road with Grandpa, taking in new sights, enjoying the company, and sharing some good meals.
I recently read a quote from The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufock, a T.S. Eliot classic that I was once force to read and “dissect” for an American Poetry course I took my junior year at Hendrix. I thought it was awful at the time. I mean, imagine, gathering around in a circle in a liberal arts school classroom with an overdose of “hipsters” and “literary experts” and trying to unpack Eliot’s poem. I didn’t really appreciate it back in the day.
But now? Well, I’m a nerd. And I’ve re-traced a lot of the things I have previously dismissed in my life as “strange” or “a waste of my time” and have found a great deal more of meaning.
So, yeah. That’s what I’ve been doing reading poetry again. I found a line from that poem that really speaks to this particular trip, but also why we do anything in our lives at all:
“Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’/Let us go and make our visit.”
I don’t know much about Portland. Or the Northwest. Or really, about women’s college basketball, to be honest. But, you go because, why the heck not? You do these things because you love people. And my grandpa loves me, and I love him, and we love Jordan, and so that’s the reason we go and make our visit, thank-you-very-much, Mr. Eliot.
Well, the plane has arrived from Salt Lake City. It’s being defrosted (I find this disturbing) and so I best finish my small cup of Caribou Coffee before we really rolling.
Granolas: here we come.