There are so many surprises that lead me into new places and discoveries.  Carolyn is one of my many friends that encourages and participates in such adventures; and if you follow my Facebook posts recently, you know that we (with several others in Carolyn’s web of interesting characters) decided to sponsor a Water Protector.

It happened rapidly.   We linked up with a group ready to leave for Standing Rock in just under 2 weeks.  A list of necessary items to properly equip them was developed, and shared amongst friends.  We called upon our friends and family to help, and posted to social media specific items we needed.   Carolyn’s home was the warehouse as she met with, outfitted, and stocked the vehicles.  Reassessed, and updated us for what we still needed.  I’d hope to meet my Water Protector, but that seemed impossible in the flurry leading up to; and I only spoke briefly to Sam by phone just before they took off.

And then, she sent me a message – someone dropped out.  I’m going.   Don’t tell anyone.


When she returned, only hours before blizzard conditions set in at the campsite in North Dakota, so many things happened in the anticlimactic conclusion of this chapter.  Holiday’s arrived, family and friends arrived.  Carolyn got really sick.   And over morning 20170101-dscf0678coffee, I had a vision.   It was easy, really; the Pendleton mug I drink my coffee from is the All Night Meeting Legendary Mug.

It seemed perfect.   I would wash it up, find the original box and give it to her.   Perhaps.  As the days rolled on, the word Potlatch came to mind.   No, I wanted to give her a blanket.

So as we often do at the end of the year, when we spend so much time indoors, and looking at those cabinets, cupboards and closets of TOO MUCH STUFF, it occurred to me.  There was a robe that I had never worn.  I liked it a great deal, but it wasn’t the right size or look when it hung awkwardly on my body.  2f00a48b7b0e270b3ae2111be18e8318

The perfect occasion for such a share was the only thing required now; and sure enough – while I was angst just thinking about driving my too large, shaky throttle, way too American rental car across town to a very familiar and comfortable group of friends home in Laurelhurst – Carolyn suggested we go to the Sobriety Anniversary Pow Wow.  At 6pm.  I packed the car for a possible sleep over, should the predicted snow and ice make my plans to get home dangerous, and contemplated a night of sobriety on New Years Eve.   Well, if anything, that’s was probably a very good idea.

Camera’s in hand, there was a break in the Native American dance, drumming, and celebration when we got up to look for some of the Elders, and it was there, at the stage that the big boxes containing Pendleton Blankets were being handed out.  Quietly, without any fanfare, or announcement.  The Potlatch was happening.  That’s when I presented Carolyn with the Pendleton Ranch Wrap coat, which fit like a glove.  Beautifully.  A combination of a favorite tribal blanket, seamed and tailored.   Carolyn was wearing the coat as it was meant to be, as I slipped out the doors and headed up the hill to a snow covered Sylvan.  The Sylvan exit off 26 is guaranteed to have snow even if it’s the only spot in Portland.  And so it was.

The All Night Meeting mug represents a meeting traditional among Lakota, Nakota and Dakota tribes, a gathering at which members drum, pray and meditate.  The seven figures in the meeting and the seven Water Birds represent the seven Fires shared by the peoples on their journey to the Plains.  This morning I enjoyed sipping coffee from The All Night Meeting mug.

Francene has over 40 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. Connect with her on Facebook for Portland-centric updates and news or subscribe to her newsletter to receive monthly resources and tips just for locals. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, contact her today to schedule a consultation and find out more about Portland mortgage options.