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Year Three, Day 218: Smile and Enjoy the Ride

I love riding the Max!

I am on the Orange Line heading to Portland Meadows to meet my daughter, son-in-law and Baby Gracie. We're going to watch a few horse races before heading to their home in Vancouver.

Today was my first time catching the Max from the downtown Milwaukie transit center. We just crossed over the Willamette River on the Tillicum Bridge. It is a quiet, mild day here in Portland. Very few people are out. I am feeling quite calm, peaceful and happy to be alive!

I am feeling like I am taking a train ride through the memories of my life. Looking out the window, I see the Cheerful Tortoise. One of my favorite hangouts in college.

It reminded me of my college days at Portland State University.

Speaking of PSU, one of the choir members of a group I accompany was chatting with me last week. We were talking about grandchildren and retirement. She told me that one of the most wonderful discoveries she made when she turned 65, was that senior citizens can register at PSU and take any class for free! It is audit only. But I was overjoyed! I love taking classes! Now I wish I was turning 65 next month instead of a mere 56!

Anyway, back to my Max journey. We rolled by Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Christmas tree is up in the middle of the square. I have so many downtown memories. It was so lovely to just sit by the window and look out at the scenes as we rolled by, let go, and let the memories flow! I purposely did not look at my phone except to snap a few pics.

As we crossed the Steele Bridge and headed to North Portland, I felt my phone vibrate. I took it out of my pocket and looked at the screen.

One missed call. I had a feeling my inner peace was about to be shattered.

It was my daughter's father
 I decided to enjoy my peace and return his call later.

Funny that he called just then
 He rarely calls me. But when we were together, he lived in North Portland. I closed my eyes and let the happy memories wash over me.

When I opened my eyes, we were on N. Interstate. I found myself looking at the iconic Paul Bunyan statue.

I am quite fond of this statue. I did a quick Google search just husband discovered that he was erected in 1959 to honor Oregon's centennial celebration. That statue has been standing for longer than I!

Shortly after my Paul Bunyan during, the train pulled into the Delta Park transit center. I hopped out and started walking
ttowards Portland Meadows. I was looking forward to seeing Babie Gracie and hopefully making it there in time for the last horse race.

I was feeling so good, I decided to return my daughter's father's call. It went to voicemail. That's always a relief. I left a light breezy message as I walked up to the entrance of Portland Meadows.

I found them easily. I had just enough time to place a bet on the final race. I walked briskly over the horse viewing arena and picked my horse - the one who looked at me knowingly. I put $2 on him to win.

Then I raced over and picked up my happy little grandbaby.

My horse lost. But I could care less. I had my precious, smiling granddaughter on my lap.

On the ride home, my phone rang. It was my daughter's father. He is experiencing a lot of hardship in his life. He has a van he is trying to sell. He offered to sell it to me for about half of what he had it advertised for.

I realized just then that I wasn't interested. First of all, I did not have the money
 I know he was strapped for cash. Secondly, I could have used a car when Gracie was first born. But now she is sleeping through the night. Her mom has a new job which enables get to do a lot of work from home
 And I have figured out my travels on public transportation so that I am saving money and enjoying the ride. I actually wrote most if today's blog on the bus. I don't have to fight traffic, worry about mechanical issues, parking and insurance.

I told him as much. His tone was quite judgmental. He told me I was not being logical. That if I had a car, I could use my time more wisely, be more productive, make more money. I told him I liked my system, my low stress commute. Thanks, but no thanks. 

As we hung up - to be honest, he hung up on me - I smiled.  I really do prefer public transportation. I do not want to work more, be more productive and make more money. I want to be more present in the moment, and be there for my kids, my family and especially my granddaughter.

I feel bad that my daughter's father and I couldn't work out a deal to benefit both of us. He is having a hard time. I wish he was interested in my story.

But at least I have this blog. I know somebody is reading this.

And maybe they maybe they understand.

Or not. But this is my life. And I am determined to not let other people tell me how I should be.

So I am going to just smile and enjoy the ride.

Talk to you tomorrow!



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 182.


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