More poetry

More poetry October 31, 2010

I have been on the road a lot over the past few weeks and more of the same is ahead of me as I head back to Bend this week to hear Annie Lamott at the Nature of Words event. Then off to DC for the Veterans Day events the following week, which means heading back to Spokane, where I’ll fly out.

I was just in Spokane this weekend with daughter Ashley.

And Sister Tater and her daughter Tay.

And a gazillion other women from 19 states. Okay only 5,500 but still.

This gal and her crew came all the way from Montana.


But this lady on the left? She only came from the valley. Her name is Ruth Ann. She has a daughter named Connie. I have a daughter named Konnie Ruth. Her brother is a Vietnam Veteran. She has been mentoring a homeless woman for the past 5 years. I learned all that during the half-hour I stood in line with Ruth Ann, whom I met by saying, Hi, I’m Karen, or something cheesy like that. That’s what happens when you go places with somebody like me. I walk up and down the lines just introducing myself and trying to learn other people’s stories. In the case with Ruth Ann, our stories were like poetry. God’s poetry, again.


We were all waiting around to hear this woman.

Opps. I mean this woman — Beth Moore.

Sister Tater has been to 13 Beth Moore events. This was my first. I’ll write more on that this coming week. But one of the other poetic things is that Moore talked about going out to eat at one of the local establishments, Picabu Bistro, 14th & Monroe, and introduced the folks from the Bistro to us. Daughter Ashley had suggested to Sister Tater that they eat there before the event. She had already taken me to the place on one of my trips to Spokane.  At first blush, it doesn’t look like much. It’s located in a strip mall on the South Hill. Just a small corner bistro. Not much in the way of seating. But there’s wonderful artwork on all the walls and the food really is good. Moore was effusive in her praise of Picabu and the staff.

I’ve been eating out a lot myself lately.

Just the week before, I’d joined with these folks.

And these pretty people.

For a fundraiser at Santiam Christian in Albany, Oregon in honor of The Redhead. I don’t know the final tally but they made a bunch of money and Victoria timed me. They had given me 5 minutes to speak, in hopes that I would stay under 10 minutes, according to Ed and I came in at 7 minutes. Or maybe it was 8. Ed said I was pushing 10.

C.J. & Rachel surprised Ed with a Mike Riley signed ball and tickets to an OSU game. Something they bid on in the silent auction. Outbidding Ed, I think.

We didn’t get to hang around to see Ed get his surprise because Konnie was with me and she had just had surgery the day before.  She and Shelby came along because they didn’t want me driving back over the pass at night by myself. A good thing, too, since it was very dark and rainy and a windy road and when that weasel ran out in front of me and stopped, head in the headlights style, it totally creeped us all out. Having never encountered a weasel in broad daylight, much less dark of night, none of us had any idea what the furry creature was. We thought it was a ferret in the wild at first. But thanks to Konnie’s Droid we were able to figure out what sort of woodland creature had come out to scare us.

Otherwise, it had been a perfectly lovely day and as you can see, Konnie is doing just fine. Thank  you for your prayers.

But before I go, here is a favorite from Poe — the writer, not the Demon Dog — Happy Hallow’s Eve:

By the lakes that thus outspread

Their lone waters, lone and dead,

Their sad waters, sad and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily,

By the mountains- near the river

Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,

By the grey woods, by the swamp

Where the toad and the newt encamp

By the dismal tarns and pools

Where dwell the Ghouls,

By each spot the most unholy

In each nook most melancholy

There the traveller meets aghast

Sheeted Memories of the Past

Shrouded forms that start and sigh

As they pass the wanderer by

White-robed forms of friends long given,

In agony, to the Earth

and Heaven.

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