Portland Family Time


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As I sit beside my craigslist driver on the three hour car ride to Portland this Memorial Day weekend, I find myself wondering why I make such efforts to go home. I’ll miss the concerts at Les Schwab Theater, won’t get to paddle, and most of all be away from the Mic-ster (my dog). Don’t get me wrong, the drive is gorgeous, and typically, I am able to get rides from friends, or in this case, a repeat crigslister. Plus this weekend will be the first time in almost two years that all my siblings are all in one room together.  Here are some examples (data gathered over the last 24 hours) of “PORTLAND FAMILY TIME”.

1. Life through the eyes of a 15 year old: Staying up into the wee hours of the night watching re-runs on Netflix via a jenky projector from China purchased over the net by a young man who makes prime time a pri(me)ority. During these evenings, we laugh so hard I fear I will pee my pants. Typically the line up could include any of the following; The Office, COPS, and my personal favorite, RENO 911. Again, just for the record, I don’t have a TV at home, this something I only do during “PORTLAND FAMILY TIME”.

2. Dancing with my Dad: I never would have thought (in a million years) that my dad would start taking dance lessons, go to 80s Video Dance Attac at Lola’s Room, and want me to dance the two-step with him to George Micheal’s FREEDOM whilst my sister salsas with an unidentified lad. I am not sure if my Dad’s favorite part of the evening was the two women who assaulted him through dance as he arrived or the dude dressed as “Jam Master Jay” from RUN-DMC who danced in front of the video screen to “Tricky”. We speculated, based on his dress, as to whether the look-a-like might have requested the song himself. Although I didn’t drink last night, I definitely have a sleep deprivation hang-over. Who would have thought I would have later nights out with my Dad during “PORTLAND FAMILY TIME” than I ever have in Bend.

3. Eating mass quantities of salt: I will confess, in my regular life, I eat to much salt. However, this bad habit is taken to new extremes at Dad’s house. Food consumed today: Iceberg lettuce salad with Potato Salad with a side of Juanits and salsa, nachos with lots of chips and salsa, a hamburger (no bun obviously) all the fixings with tons of potato chips and baked beans. Also two cokes and to much coffee. Coke? Really? “PORTLAND FAMILY TIME” food is less than my ideal healthy diet.

4. Car Time: Those who know me well know I don’t own a motorized vehicle and prefer to get around by bike in Bend. When in Portland, I have enjoyed my new past time of bumming rides with my teen-aged brothers and their friends. This is spectacularly different than riding with a person over 25 years of age. I get to listen to all the latest dub-step music at 10 decibels above the volume of the average passenger, I get to incredible entertainment value from watching my fellow passengers and sometimes driver talk to strangers out the windows of the car, and I get to participate in boarder line illegal behavior every time the driver accelerates and far exceeds the posted speed limit.”PORTLAND FAMILY TIME” has away of reminding me what it was like to be young.

Maybe the moral of the story is that “PORTLAND FAMILY TIME” is really “KRYSTAL’S GUILTY PLEASURE TIME”. A space where I can be free to stay up to late, watch to much TV, eat badly, ride recklessly, all with the people who love me either way. For this I am filled with gratitude. I love my family.

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