Saturday, December 3, 2011

Portland Makes Me Smile

Today didn't start off with a bang.  My asthma seems to be winning this fight even with 5 different drugs I'm throwing at it.  And then the washing machine downstairs died AFTER Tim put the liquid detergent in and inserted the coins.  Not an auspicious beginning.

The 7/11 and/or the credit union also made my list for the day.  Tried a different 7/11 to deposit a check.  This is a selling point with the credit union - you can do all your banking at the kiosks in the 7/11.  I tried to deposit the check, following the machine's prompts.  After putting in the account number, swiping my card, telling it what credit union I'm from, I got the equivalent to a "sorry we don't want to play with you" message.

So off it was to the issuing bank (gasp - Wells Fargo) to cash said check for shopping.  Finally we were off to The Village Free School for their holiday fair.  We were able to get a few things we needed immediately and even a couple of gifts from the various vendors while supporting the school.  Things were improving.

After grocery shopping at New Seasons on Interstate, we saw about 10 Santas getting off the Max and walking down the street. Hmmm.  Kinda weird even for Portland. Shortly afterwards at the next stop light, an entire regatta of bikes of all shapes and sizes rode past - most with carts attached.  We made our turn and followed this strange parade to discover that they were moving someone.  On bikes.  I guess they do that here.  Take that Allied Van Lines and U-haul!  Their ingenuity and act of community made me forget about ATM's that won't cooperate and broken washers.

When we got the groceries squared away, I volunteered to take the laundry to the laundromat.  As I was unloading the car, there they were again.  Santas.  I looked up and down Lombard, carrying the clothes, to see that Santas were quite literally everywhere. Probably over 50 people.  I attended to the task at hand, started the washer, and tried to sit like a grown-up.  I couldn't sit still.  Curiosity won the moment.  I went outside and walked to the nearest corner where many Santas were gathered.

"Excuse me.  What's going on?"  In front of me stood a Jedi Santa complete with Yoda backpack and Jedi sword.
"It's Santa Con."
"We didn't have Santa Con in Wheeling, West Virginia."
 "I bet not."  A Santa with antlers walked past and hugged a Santa with multicolored hair.
My Santa continued, "Thousands of Santas all across the country gather together.  It's cool."
"Yeah. Thanks."

As I was preparing to leave, my Jedi Santa said, "Oh wait."  He somewhat awkwardly got the Yoda backpack off and reached inside, "Santa loves you" and handed me two Hershey kisses.  Now who couldn't smile at that.

Today I saw the face of Christ in simple acts of kindness from home movers on bikes and exotic Santas.  I love Portland.

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