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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Portland, Indiana

Aloha Everyone,

Portland is located 90 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The resident population is less than 6,000. A peaceful Midwest city, Honu drove on well-maintained state roads amidst fertile and productive looking farmlands.

The motto of Portland is "Preserving our past, improving our present, protecting our future." The strongest asset, according to the city's website, is their citizens who participate in their churches, civic clubs, and recreational programs. 

Gary, Pam and Julie recognized Honu even before J.J. & I stepped out to greet them. Our daughter-in-law's parents and her sister welcomed us to their city with gracious hospitality. Lots of stories and photos of Jenny growing up kept us in rapt attention.

We also enjoyed hearing details about Gary's travel to China. A retired high school teacher of American and World literature, his 3 trips to China made a profound and personal impact. He fondly recalls how friendly the people were. One night. Gary followed the sound of music and came to a square where several hundred people had gathered. Some were playing musical instruments, others were singing and dancing. He stayed until 2-3 o'clock in the morning enjoying the merriment.

Gary is learning Mandarin so that he would be able to communicate with his Chinese friends.

Pam and Julie took us to Asbury United Methodist Church where Julie has been working as the Youth Minister for the past 10 years.

Our visit with them was too short but their gracious hospitality will remain with us until our next visit.  

Pam and Julie packed two large shopping bags with fruits and vegetables to keep us fed on the road! J.J. and I find love and kindness everywhere. Seeing the place where Jenny grew up make us appreciate her self-reliance and independent "down-to-earth" Midwest up bringing.

We have visited at least four cities around the country named Portland. But for J.J. and me, there is only one Portland and it's in Indiana!

Aloha -- Cathi