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As I sit in Ontario Canada on a bit of a grey day, it seems a good time to get started sharing about this experience. I am choosing to start with the travel. The history of the decision to do this is vast and will fill in on other sections of our blog as time allows. For today, I am inspired by having cleaned out my purse to find the postcard advertising the Portland Umbrella Festival, April 19-28, 2013.
We left Santa Rosa in a flurry of packing last minute items and sharing goodbyes. Lovely friends who stopped by to lend a hand or give a hug found me having not really packed any of my clothes. I am grateful for all the support and gentle guidance I received.
We had planned to drive up to Portland to see our sons for a few days, and were on a schedule. With the help of a few special women I got myself packed and we headed out, only about three hours after our plan. We spent a pleasant night in Mount Shasta where the view of the beloved mountain was out our tiny bathroom window, the water tasted exquisite and cold and our cartop carrier was safely in view from our window.
That evening we arrived in Portland where our kids are (temporarily) housed together, while Logan looks for other lodging. It all still felt like going on a trip, with no real sense of not ever returning to our home in Santa Rosa. Noah and Frances’ home is familiar from our last visit, though it was a bit strange to be visiting Logan, who had been living with us until less than two weeks prior.
Shortly after our arrival we learned that Matt, whom we had known since he and Noah were in utero in our birthing group, was in town. Matt and his partner, Ember, are traveling performers, a part of the “fringe theater arts” movement. They travel around the country performing their physical theater, currently called Button Wagon, .
Backyard-bar-b-que-gatheringWe spent time with them, Noah & Frances, and Logan, along with Jaime (another friend from Noah’s childhood and dear to us). Then we were treated to a performance, by Matt Poki McCorkle and Ember, at the Alberta Rose Theatre, just blocks form our airbnb lodging. I commented that this was a great choice of entertainment to be able to pull out of the air when the parents come to visit.
The show and the audience abounded with circus performers, acrobats, vaudeville style performers with all sorts of talents. We learned about a whole field of performance we knew nothing about and got to see another one of the kids grown up and on an unusual path. Matt is a master at hoop work, which I learned was a skill he teaches at the Hoop Convergence, a gathering I found online. Check out Matt and Ember online and be sure and see them perform if you get the chance.
The internet being what it is, I also found one of the “kids'” friends, Misha Miller, was the person responsible for their photo promotions. You can see Misha’s work at
I love seeing what these interesting young adults have done with their lives. Stay tuned to see what we 50 and 60 somethings are doing with ours!

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