Today we made a little trip into Portland to escape the Tillamook rain. We enjoyed a spur of the moment lunch date with a dear friend and her son in Northeast Portland, complete with bubbles and mud puddles and dirty, happy kids. After lunch we drove by my old house and through the changing face of MLK and our old hood. Then we met up with Doug’s sister at OMSI but ended up opting instead for a long walk along the river and across the Hawthorne Bridge when the sun made a stunning afternoon appearance.
Portland is a great city for walking and people watching, and the kids loved all the people and dogs and crossing the river on the bridge and watching out as bikes whizzed past around them. We ended our trek with delicious Umpqua ice cream on the waterfront, and the guy who scooped our ice cream got a two dollar tip from Doug for his generosity. I am pretty sure my cone alone could have fed a family of eight.
A sober moment came as we came up from the bridge crossing and walked along the beach. A man emerged from the beachfront holding a big clipboard thing, and he stood there strangely as our family passed. Doug was the last to pass him, and I heard the two of them exchange a few words before Doug caught up to us and said to me: “Get the kids to the other side.”
“Why, are they doing a d-r-u-g b-u-s-t?” I had sensed that the clipboard man might be with the authorities even though he wore no uniform, and there was a shady group of teenagers not far from where he stood that looked like they were dealing.
“No, they are about to bring up a d-e-a-d b-o-d-y.”
We walked quickly urging the small ones along, and as we looked back we saw a team in plain clothes lifting a body wrapped in white plastic from water’s edge.
The kids remained clueless, but Doug, Sarah and I were of course fully aware of what was going on behind us. When we made our way back after ice cream, there were kids playing and people swimming in the spot where the authorities had been.
After dinner at Red Robin, we made the journey back to Tillamook. The boys slept soundly after the day’s adventures while Mercy sat wide-eyed listening to the Wicked soundtrack that Sarah had loaned to us for the drive, clutching the Red Robin balloon Aaron lost in his sleep.