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A Celebration of Friendship . . . . . . . . . a Wonderful Time
Saturday, March 20, 2004 at 4:00 PM marked the beginning of the Smiths party given to us as a gift honoring our change in living status. What a busy time led up to that start.
We invited most of our friends that shared the belief that marriage vows should be allowed for any two people who are in love, so, no, we did not expect anyone to be there who wouldnâ€™t enjoy the event. But it did turn out to be splendid. It was as fun as any celebration possibly could be.
We had to clean house and prepare food here because we thought there would be six of Markâ€™s cousins staying with us after the party. We just â€œhadâ€ to prepare a little of the food that was to be there. Mark was â€œallowedâ€ to fix Humus Dip since he seems somehow to have that food item down pat. Well, we went ahead and made Karenâ€™s Cheese Ball (Yummy) and some Cinnamon Cookies as well just for the heck of it.
The hosts of this party, our wonderful friends Baird and Karen Smith did a lot of work to get ready for this event and much of the success of the party is due to their efforts. When we took the food we had over early, the house looked wonderful. It was loaded with balloons and white bellsâ€¦.we didnâ€™t expect that. We came back home and the cousins arrived, well at least four did. Cousin Jenny from Seaside didnâ€™t make it. But here was Bruce, Nancy, Jay & Govinda Purvine ready to be with us through the night of celebration.
We took off about 4:00 for the Smiths and were overwhelmed when we went in. Gourmet Food all over the place that neighbors had prepared, a Harp Player from the Portland Symphony playing her mighty instrument in the living room, and there was that fabulous Julia Childs Genoise Cake brought by Kaye & Arnie! So, with our friends there, the three hour affair went as warmly and smoothly as we could have ever imagined.
there were two of these cakesâ€¦â€¦â€¦the otherâ€™s not in the picture.
Food recipes were being asked for before THIS was over. Frank & Carol brought some baked mushrooms so wonderful in taste I canâ€™t describe them. Austin & Alissa brought a unique tasty Salmon Dip, Nancy brought grilled fantastic prawns, Peter fixed some prawns that were dipped in some wild pesto sauce he fixed, Jeannie prepared some unique and delicious deviled eggs, Karen prepared meatballs, Ham, and cookies, and we brought the Humus, Cheese Ball, Cookies. I KNOW Iâ€™m forgetting lots more. Some items were devoured before we got around to eating. The Genoise Cake was a huge hitâ€¦â€¦â€¦.I know we both had two huge pieces.
The Symphony Harpist seemed to add quite an atmosphere. She didnâ€™t just play classical music but a mix of jazz along with classical and did it very skillfullyâ€¦.. The Smiths had also put out a bubble machine â€¦..so here youâ€™re looking out toward the north valleys listening to harp music, watching bubbles passing by the windows, lots of Very good food, and a house full of fun people. Whew!
Eran made a splash with his home-made cookie cutter with end product being: Same Sex Cookies! Lots-o-laughs on that one and I canâ€™t forget Arnieâ€™s question when he saw one, â€œCan you eat these in the closet?â€
We were honored that Karenâ€™s parents came to celebrate with us. In their eighties, Keith and Helen first acquired their Cannon Beach Vacation Home WITH two Lesbian Women (although at that time, the subject really wasnâ€™t discussed for years with them). That friendship lasted a lifetime. So here, these fabulous people have never known any prejudice toward gay people and thatâ€™s really not common for our parents generation. We love them a lot.
We had said NO gifts, but a couple were given and are truly special gifts. Nancy G had somehow gotten a few stone roof tiles from the old Presbyterian Church downtown and used them to write poetry on them in a beautiful Calligraphy fontâ€¦..we were given one, a gorgeous piece. Carol D, an artist well known here gave us a molded stone piece that looks like the simple alphabet but she highlighted a cryptic little code that makes it special for our occasion. Beautiful. Liz and Jason gave us one of the new power tools for opening wine. Seemed timely for this event, eh? Really though, of the two cases of wine brought, only about 6 bottles were used for the 46 guests, so the â€œgood timeâ€ canâ€™t be blamed on anything but the real Joy being celebrated.
As though three hours seemed to be three minutes, we were walking home suddenlyâ€¦.about 7:15 with the Purvines, cousin Nancy Minor, daughter & husband Elissa & Kris Rust, and Rodgerâ€™s OHSU friend, Pete & Sonya Smith. All were coming over to get some of the Corkscrew Willow that had fallen in Januaryâ€™s ice storm. Well, we got that cut and into some cars, and the Minor family left. The Purvines all, and Smiths came on inâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦for a bit? The next thing you know, Pete & Sonya said they had to come because the baby-sitter had to get homeâ€¦.it was: 11:00. Theyâ€™re great peopleâ€¦.. then the next thing you know, we looked up and it was 1:00 am when some of us had to go to bed. Rodger and Jay stayed up until 3:00 talking! Whew. SUNDAY was a SLOW dayâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..but beautifully sunny, and a Fabulous time to reminisce on the last two weeks of a fabulous adventure.
Wednesday, midweek, but not such a regular week. Songbirds are waking us up now, mostly Song Sparrows but they have the most beautiful clear call when they’re calling out territory. Robins are beginning to chatter and argue about who’s roosting where in the evenings and BEST of all, hummingbirds are beginning to return. We’re up to four feeders now and birds are being spotted at all four….which probably means we’ll have 2-3 feeders to add by the weekend. They don’t look any worse for just having made a 1000 +/- flight from NM or AZ or even Mexico.
This weekend marks one unexpected event being given for US, of all people: a celebration in our honor given by the neighbors. Lots of food and drink, and lots of friends and family will be together and we ARE honored. After the party, the Workman group of siblings and cousins (6) are staying with us overnight (that also portends to be a fun time). I can’t even describe verbally what this means. Today, 1300 hours, I will be at the Rochlins to help Arnie & Kay, who offered to make four decadent Strawberry Genoisse Cakes for Saturday! What a fabulous gift………
Mark has been working on the pile of Pine Logs on the edge of the driveway by the garage, logs given to us when Peter & Lisa across the street had their old pine cut down. Some are 16-18 inches across and have been too green to split. Sunshine for two weeks however, have helped, and he’s been working on that pile, a tough sweaty job for a weakling like Mark. Along with the splitting is moving the pile as the work progresses plus moving the seasoned wood from near the edge of the hill into the woodshed for next winter. The second day, he went out to find the stack in the woodshed that he’d built the first day had collapsed so had to begin again stacking then moving, then splitting and moving. Some of the remainder of the pine logs are still too green. Whew! Good to get the excercise.
On a downer note, however, poor arthritic Tucker, who was “working” behind the scenes of the wood pile work, you know, sniffing out any invader on the property, took a tumble down the hill when a mole hill collapsed under him at the edge of the slope. He howled as he rolled over injuring his shoulder. So far, it’s mostly been the rear hips that are so badly decayed with the arthritis and now he’s severely crimped even getting the front part to move. Mark had to pick him up and help him get to level ground, and today we’ve begun the doubling of the arthritis miracle, Derramax, plus, adding Omega 3 Fish Oils plus Olive oil to the diet hoping it will help him heal. Hopefully, he’ll recover once again, but it appears his stick chasing days are over…..and that makes us sad. Apparantly he won’t be able to pour the punch for guests at his parents Celebration this weekend.
So I’ll post this……………..and prepare for cake-making! ! ! ! !
Spring? Is it close?
A big week in the yard because the weather was so beautifully sunny is what happened here! I had to replace the mower battery but once that was done, things ran beautifully for the first lawn-cut of the season that also showed me how many active moles we have. So immediately after mowing, six traps were set and have caught 3 by today, Friday. After a shower Wednesday while brushing my teeth, I see the reflection of the year’s first hummingbird. There he was sitting right at the spot the feeder always is seemingly saying, “Hey, Mister, get that thing out here, I’ve come a LONG way to get here and I’m hungry, damnit!” I had food cooked, cooled, and in feeders at three spots within two hours, and did see a male and female during the day. Nothing yesterday, but today a male, female, and a big Anna’s MALE! FUN.
I brushed out the birdbaths and filled them with clean water….boy, did the birds go crazy immediately including robins…I had to fill the big one twice Thursday.
I began today by taking in Rodger’s pickup for a service then stopped at Best Buy on the way back with a load of gravel. I spread that around on the holes where the ice storms hurt the driveway.
I also found out the logs from Peter are dry enough to begin splitting, so worked on that, moved last year’s fresh wood into the woodshed to cure more before fall and by now, am completely stiff. Taking a nite off to relax. . . .
Dear friends the Smiths are hosting a celebration for us next week, Saturday, March 20, 2004 at their home. So far, it looks like 46 confirmed and almost that number that can’t come for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the short notice. But we DID want to have this thing while all the events are fresh in everyone’s mind and hopefully before the process gets shut down. Just today, the State Attorney General has announced his opinion that thye’re illegal marriages ! ! ! We’ll seeeeeee………
Dear Family and Friends:
I hope this little event announcement (which, really, shouldn’t be scary, it won’t affect anyone’s little earthly existence but ours) doesn’t upset any reader. We have entered into this little ceremony of disobedience to be part of history in the grand view, but maybe also to feel a little more legitimate as all our married friends and family feel by having uttered those words of commitment some time ago. So here’s the details:
On Tuesday evening as Rodger arrived home from work he asked me, “So, do you want to get married?”
I replied, “What?”
He explained what had happened downtown. On Tuesday after some clandestine, secret and very un-public meetings, the County Commissioner and 3 cronies (the liberal women commissioners – – – all social activists) publicly announced that Multnomah County would begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Wednesday morning at 10:00 after a 9:00 Media Announcement at the County Headquarters in S.E. Portland. The one commissioner left out of this is a conservative Baptist who long ago has made public his disdain for such horrific acts, so of course, with four of five votes in hand, and after consulting attorneys, the women forged ahead knowing it would cause great public debate in Oregon.
My response to Rodger, by the way, was, “Hm… gee, this is too sudden (15 years later)…I’ll have to think about it.” Of course what my mind said was I’d have to absolutely absorb this huge change in our actual world, and possibly consider just what WAS going on downtown.
At 0600 Wednesday morning I began to watch the downtown local news on all the channels right up through about 10:30 am. By then, the County Building was surrounded by Gay Partners hoping they could do their bit of civil disobedience if you will. The reward for that action would result in a legal marriage for a tiny bit of time before the holier-than-thou’s could get their grasp around the change in events. I was astounded how peacefully things went..there was a total of two absolutely crazy and disturbed protesters. TWO. One of those was temporarily detained after spitting on one of the couples after getting their certificate.
Until 7:00 PM we had sorta kinda begun to think how this could be done
in several ways: 1) Plow downtown and have an instant wedding and be
done, 2) get the license and then have a ceremony here at home with friends in a couple of weeks after some thoughtful planning, 3) Wait and see what happens with the legal and emotional wrangling after the anger from the right subsided. We could just go to join in the fun, or make the decision based on taking part in a bit of history in the
making. We could make legitimate the claim we’ve long made that we
love each other.
By 7:00 PM last night after watching the very upset Bible and Evangelical ministers hiding behind their “Consultant” spokesman pronounce the fight ahead, seeing Lon Mabon appear out of nowhere after years of lawsuits and silence to say he had “warned Oregonians” that the gays were out to destroy them, and seeing the Governor say he was upset how this had been secretly brought about……….we felt decision time was at our door knocking. Would we or wouldn’t we? So MANY thoughts!
Boy the clock began to speed up. By 7:40 the decision was in. We were taking option number 1 because we weren’t sure that the window of opportunity would stay open through the weekend here in conservative Oregon. If we got the license then the marriages were
disallowed in two days, it just wouldn’t be the same. A couple of calls were made to family, friends, and boss until it was too late to call and be polite, and we went to bed.
Hence, we were up at 0600 Thursday morning, on the road by 0700 and in the line at about position 120 by 0800 when the doors opened.
Words cannot describe the thrilling energy and joy-to-the core feeling radiating from such an over-joyed crowd that we were sharing this moment with. On this day, couples and families exchanged conversations and cheers with people you would never have actually talk to in other situations. The celebratory mood carried through with cheers as each
couple left the building with envelopes in hand. The process was handled beautifully and efficiently with smiling County Staff, Sheriffs, Clerks, Lawyers, etc. But Basic Rights Oregon volunteers were the true stars. They had the process streamlined and were always available to answer questions and direct you on your way. They are the best wedding planners you could ever ask for!!
There was one screaming protester at the whole affair and he was surrounded by some wonderful cute girls all carrying placards opposing his hatred for everything that wasn’t born-again Christian. On the back of his sign these are some of the folks going to the burning hells-o-fire (along with us marrying â€œpervertsâ€: “Mormons, Muslims, Adulters (sic), Rebellious Women, Drunkards, Pot-Smokers, Gamblers, Atheists, Liberals, fornicators, homos, perverts & Evolutionists”. The couple in front of us had been together 15 years. Their suggestion on the picketer’s sign was that we play Bingo and see who could rack up the highest score of offenses to get into Hell. Mark of course would win as he once was a Mormon and the rest had no religious affiliation. Go Mark!
Oh, yes, we heard on the news later that one fellow equated our relationships to a pet-like relationship apparently since he brought in his dog and tried to get a license for them as a
pair. He was ignored.
We knew we wanted to get the whole thing done TODAY so we motored immediately to Keller Auditorium right downtown where wedding ceremonies were being conducted by a large group of licensed ministers from various backgrounds. Once there we were paired with a cute Female Couple (with 10 month old son Xander in tow) to be our witnesses (and we theirs) and the Minister conferred with us about the vows we would use. We chose an ancient, Pagan
“Handfasting” vow partly because variations of that exchange WERE used in same-sex ceremonies long ago. We went first and believe you me, for a couple who never thought we’d be able to stand together and make those same promises all our family and friends make, it was a tearful few minutes that brimmed with love and warmth. We then witnessed Kathy
and Alaina Zipp’s ceremony taking pictures for them all the while.
We stood there married. I’ll be damned! We were met with congratulations from others as we went back down two floors and exited the building into a sunlit and beautiful moment in the Portland morning. We grabbed some lunch, and full of unmitigated thrill, we hit a few Jewelry Stores and actually bought a pair of wedding bands before we returned home.
What a DAY. . . ! As we live and breathe! Fifteen years and this is a thrilling moment of literal commitment and publicly showing that OUR love is legitimate.
We’re still considering the mini-party celebrating this event…what a
day ! ! ! The pic may not look like much, but meant something to us:
This was the view from our wedding spot.
The beginning of the old ball and chain life.
Standing in line outside the Multnomah County Buildling with 200 others.
The couple who were our witnesses.
The great 4 kids from U of O â€¦â€¦the girls grew up in Sisters, and the guys were from Seattle.
In all the excitement that happened immediately upon our return to Portland from a Morgan family reunion always held in concurrence with the Ripon, CA Almond Blossom Festival, our little side-trip to that event got completely forgotten and we must enter a little diary note about that trip since itâ€™s always fun.
We hadnâ€™t planned to go since Rodger had used up all his time off during the ice storms in January. But a web airline special opened up at the last minute that was too good to pass up. We left Thursday evening and stayed with cousin Karen in Modesto that night. Karenâ€™s family has been in that part of California for generations and sheâ€™s thinking of doing some history research. She still has displayed her Great Auntâ€™s Baptismal dress from the early part of the 1900â€™s:
A beautifully detailed piece of clothing. Her great grandmotherâ€™s wedding dress is in the house as well and on the wall, a framed collection that includes the handwritten note written by the great great grandfather giving permission for her daughter to marry her intended:
Lots of other memorabilia have been preserved by Karen, and we relished hearing the stories about them. Karenâ€™s kids are doing well too. Lorie and Fireman Husband Jeremy are just buying their first home and waiting for the close date to move in. Jennifer is already preparing for her Senior Recital at college and is practicing every day on Steinway pianos for hours. Karen got us a copy of her Junior Recital and we were a little stunned to see how far sheâ€™s come in the last ten years.
On Friday morning we drove to Ripon to surprise Aunt Paula, the host of the annual event, but not without first stopping at the Hershey Plant in Oakdale (Oakdale, â€œCowboy Capital of the Worldâ€ – – How many towns claim that in America?). With Karenâ€™s generous help via the employee discount, we got a fair portion of chocolate including packages of cinnamon chips that are not available in stores here in Oregon (yet). That was fun, but then again, on to Ripon. Karen went into Paulaâ€™s ahead of us to â€œprepare the wayâ€. Eventually we were signaled in and Paula was completely surprised by Rodgerâ€™s arrival. Uncle Mike was there from TX so we all had a merry hello. So the next day or so was spent getting ready for the arrival of all the family members and their friends for the Festival that is centered about a half block from Paulaâ€™s house at the Community Center. Mike kept busy at his new craft: beadwork and had made several people necklaces or bracelets. Even Mark was the recipient of a bracelet that will be worn often. That evening we visited the Craft Presenters at the Community Center and enjoyed carnival food cooked in glorious frying pots: Funnel Cakes, Sausage Sandwiches, etc. Whew!
Saturday was a busy morning as Paula made us a huge breakfast all the while doing last minute work which one has to be forceful to even be allowed to help. By 10:00 people were arriving and the next 12 hours would stay busy with people in and out, parade watching and all that goes with the festival. The parade is long and in classic western small town style: High School Bands, Mounted Horse Groups, Cars with all kinds of royalty passing by and somehow, groups of little girls all made out in brief costumes and makeup as parents seem to want to make them grown up all too soon. Some cars go by with people unknown to us, but they just appear theyâ€™d be fun to know:
So the day went! At Paulaâ€™s lots of feasting on Baked Hams, Potato and Macaroni Salads, a Mountain of Cookies and lots of other treats. Itâ€™s a good thing we had to come home Sunday for the health benefits.
But we had a great time seeing Rodgerâ€™s family in this wonderful atmosphere and all had a great time, even though some spent perhaps a little much time at the carnival. You KNOW thatâ€™s suspicious.
Hereâ€™s Mark, Wendy & Rodger in the back and in front Rodgerâ€™s Dad Chet & Sis Cheryl in front:
So much for a quick California Weekend. It was back to Portland for the surprise of our life when we saw the news on Tuesday at the County Headquarters (earlier post).
Well we were in California for the weekend and Mark came home with a head cold. I’ve been swamped at work since the big guy has decided not to travel for the next few weeks while we work on a major grant. So…you’re just going to have to wait a couple days for an update on the trip.