The big event is almost here, and of course my heart is racing. Tonight I’ll go spend the night in Chapel Hill with family, and in the morning one of them will drop me off at the airport in Raleigh. I’ll fly to Portland, Oregon on Southwest Airlines, over 9 hours with 2 stops but no plane change. I paid for the way out there with credit card miles, so I sprang for the $12.50 early check-in charge in an attempt to get a decent seat. I arrive in Portland at 6:15 p.m., to be picked up by one of my favorite people in the entire world, fed a wonderful locally sourced dinner by her chef boyfriend, then stay in a little AirBnB room. The next morning I’ll bop around on Alberta St. with Cat until Pam Patrie picks me up to deliver me to her advanced tapestry retreat in a cabin overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Cannon Beach.

I have been living for this trip since June. The weather forecast is clear and in the high 60s/low 70s range. And to spend a week with accomplished tapestry weavers – well, that’s something I never thought I’d be able to do. These are people who I can learn a lot from. It seems too good to be true.

I won’t deny that after the cancellation of two vacations this year due to my mother’s health and death I am just a tad nervous and would appreciate good vibrations sent this way for my trip. I need it so badly. And, there will be another big trip west in mid-September that I planned long ago to look forward to after this one! I am sad when I think about not being able to share my excitement and my photos with my mother, but on the other hand, I know that she would be happy for me. She loved to travel too. I’m sure that there will be a huge hole in my life for a long time as I continue to adjust to life without her. Each day gets a little more tolerable, but I still find myself surprised at odd moments when I think of something that I’m going to tell her or show her and I abruptly realize that I won’t be able to do that. She was 90, and she lived a good full happy life, but I honestly expected to have more time with her.

Anyway, I will see you on the other side of this trip on August 28, when I should have some amazing photos and experiences to share!