A friend was reaching out to me to break as gently to me as possible the news of Alicia Snavely's death Sunday. It's a difficult chore. People have done it for me; I've done it for them.
(I want to be asked "Are you sitting down?" when there's major good news to pass along, damnit. Yes that does happen.)
That conversation changed the shape of my day, because my mother was on her way to visit. We were going to go get food and shoot the breeze before the ash (from fires northeast of us) got too heavy in Portland. It meant I'd been processing the news for only a few minutes when Mom arrived. I had her come in and asked her to sit down. I said it confusingly and I think she thought I asked her to wait until I'd sat down. But we sat, then I told her.
We talked briefly, and agreed I wasn't up for going out. She walked to Space Monkey for a sandwich, then returned and drove home.
Now. I mentioned the ash. Portland has started a wind-and-ash emergency: winds from the east have really picked up this afternoon and evening. We've already had lots of power outages in the area, plus blowing dust lowering visibility on at least I-5 near Salem. We have devices charged up in case we lose power.