It is Friday, which is my typical weekday off from work. This week I only had a three day work week, beings that Monday was a holiday. Today has been a pretty busy and very productive day. This morning I got my grocery shopping done. I got my groceries back to the house, and put away before going and meeting up with a friend of mine for treats and tea. I picked her up and we went to my favorite bakery, and then to the tea shop next door. This was my first time going to the tea shop. It’s like a typical coffee shop in atmosphere but serves tea rather than coffee. It is this cute little shop that I had been by more times than I can count but never took the time to go in. I plan on going back again. At the bakery I got a gluten free & vegan blueberry lavender cheesecake as well as a gluten free & vegan chocolate muffin. At the tea shop I got a cup of pumpkin spice chai tea with coconut milk. I am thankful I have been living somewhere for the past 4 years that has so many options for those who have food intolerances. There are so many varieties and variations on the gluten free/dairy free/vegan fares. While I am not full vegan, I tend to gravitate to the places that have vegan options because then I don’t have to worry about dairy. When I am cooking, or know what I am getting into, I have no problems with eating meat, fish, eggs, or honey (I have had all of the aforementioned foods except for fish to eat at some point in the past 24 hours).
When my friend and I were wrapping up our tea and treats, we got talking about what to do afterward. Beings that we had done treats and tea which was as far as I had gotten in plans, she wanted to go clothes shopping, I resisted for a good bit, as I hate clothes shopping unless I absolutely have to, but I eventually caved. We went to Cascade Station out by the Airport, and had gone to Maurices, where I had actually made out like a bandit. I found a couple really cute button down shirts as well as a really cute sleeveless middle layer shirt and a couple tank tops (one of which, matches the blue in the two button downs I bought), and they pair well with the middle layer sleeveless top and the button downs. The middle layer top, I came to find out after I got back to the house goes with most of the button down shirts I already own. The past few months, especially, my clothing style has changed a bit. During high school and college I was totally into jeans and a tee shirt or jeans and a sweatshirt. It worked well for me during that period, but I have been out of college for 5 years already have realized that as I have grown up, my style has changed and has needed to grow up with me. Beings that I now have a steady income, I am working on adding items to my wardrobe that fit my current style that is more age appropriate to being in my late 20’s. I am still waiting for my Old Navy orders to arrive, but between those orders, what I picked up today and what I already own I feel like I have a solid base for my wardrobe. The middle layer top I bought today I absolutely love, and it goes with so many other tops to help make more outfit options for me. Lately I have also understood on a different level why dressing modestly is important. Modesty is an issue that I just want to touch on, and could be an entire post of it’s own, but I will keep it to my own experience. I was raised with the understanding that modesty was important, but it didn’t mean that I had to look like I was Amish, Mennonite, Radical Mormon or the Duggar Girls from the era of “14 kids and pregnant again”. Especially once I was in college, I realized I could look and dress “normally” but also be modest, I just had to keep my eyes open, and look for clothing that was modest. I found that it is possible with some work and shopping around on my part to make it happen. Part of why I love fall and winter (in addition to the cooler weather, awesome scented stuff, awesome decorations, and the best foods), is that the stores start caring the warming clothes that are more modest.
After we finished up at Maurice’s we went through Banana Republic and Dress Barn quickly just to scope things out before going to the Bath and Body Works, where I got some hand soaps and a wall flower warmer, for my stash of bulbs that I am holding on to for when I get my own place. We also went to Ross for a little bit, but by then it was around 4:30 pm and I was so over and done with shopping, and had filled my quota of shopping for the next three months. Beings that I have never lived so far out in the boonies that coming to the city meant an all day shop till you drop marathon, I have a very low shopping tolerance, especially when it comes to clothes. If you told me that I had a day, the money and had places like the Body Shop, The Bath and Body Works, Old Navy, REI, a shoe store, and Barnes and Noble and told me that this was all I would get for the next 6 months to a year, I could spend all day shopping and getting what I would need/want for the next several months. Even when I was in college and living in a small town in the middle of farm country, the nearest mall that wasn’t in the heart of downtown of a decent sized city, was half an hour to 45 minutes (depending on traffic) away, which is only a little worse than going to the closest mall is to where I currently live. Even then, going to the mall that I am used to here in the metro area, with normal traffic would take about 75 minutes. So in the scheme of things I could go to a mall pretty much whenever I wanted to, which I did maybe once a term if even that.
I haven’t forgotten that it is September 11th, and while it has been on the hearts and minds of American’s, I haven’t forgotten, but have also chosen to not dwell on the past. It has been 14 years since that day. It has been fourteen years since I was a thirteen year old, eighth grader in Portland, Oregon who woke up to seeing the events unfold on the morning news. It has been fourteen years since that eighth grader, who was old enough to understand what was transpiring nearly 3000 miles away. It has been fourteen years since I watched the second plane hit the second town, and watched both towers collapse on live TV all before going to school. It has been fourteen years since that eighth grader had to go to school, and try to get through the day while trying to get as much information as possible throughout the day, while some teachers allowed us to listen to the radio, while others chose to proceed with business as usual to try to keep our minds off it, but how could we, this was my generation’s Pearl Harbor. It has been fourteen years since the world as we know it had changed forever. Like the children who were too young fourteen years ago, or have been born since then will never know a Pre – 9/11 world, the same can definite be said about those who were too young to remember, or were born after the bombing of Pearl Harbor that we will never truly know what life was like before it happened. The events of 9/11 are a lesson, much like that of Pearl Harbor. While forgetting about and not learning from it would be a mistake, to dwell on it seems to be unproductive. Today I was wondering, for how many more years will the 9/11 ceremonies and reading of the names of those who lost their lives on that day continue, it can’t and won’t continue forever. I know I probably sound disassociated from it all, largely in part to the fact that I didn’t know anyone at the time who was there, and have only met a couple since who were in the area. I was young when it happened, and I also was at the other end of the country, so yes to some degree disassociated from it. I have been by ground zero, and I have no doubts that it was tragic for those who lost their lives, for those who lost loved ones, and for the nation as a whole. It has had an effect on my life. Time and distance has created that disconnect, like Pearl Harbor, none of my grandparents were even married when Pearl Harbor occurred, and yet, in school I learned about it, and am reminded that December 7th, 1941, “A date will live in Infamy” – FDR, of the events that brought my country into an active role in the Second World War. Having visited the U.S.S Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and seeing the sunken Arizona, as well as being abroad the U.S.S. Missouri (where the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed) made the History, made the history that has transpired many years before become more real. As much as I hate to be the one to say it, like Pearl Harbor, or the Gettysburg Address, or July 4th, 1776, the more time that passes, the more it will become a chapter in history textbooks that students will read because they have to, without any of the emotional and personal attachment to the events that transpired. Today, in my part of the world and in my life, Today went on like any of the other Friday’s have had in the past six months, Life as usual.