September 16th, 2012

In Eugene I met up with harpist Donna Mast and her husband Steve, a metal sculpture artist. They took me sailing the day I arrived…and yup, that really is their last name!






I also visited the Jazz Station, where I sang with the band, and a nice outdoor gig at the Fifth Avenue Market. My friends pianist John Crider and his wife Nancy, a singer, had told me about these places, and now they are back in Oregon, singing and playing there again!
From Eugene I headed back to Portland to pick up Rob, who was accompanying me for the last week of my trip. Our first destination was Unity by the Sea, the tiny church in Gleneden Beach that this whole trip actually started from.

Several years ago, I was contacted by someone who wanted to know if I had a songbook for my album, “Dreamsong.” I  didn’t, but when I finished The Traveler project (which includes a songbook) I thought, “I wish I knew who that was who contacted me about a songbook…” Well, of course, the next day I got an email from Meredith, of Gleneden Beach, who said “I was just wondering about that songbook…”  She then ordered all the products for her church, invited me to come out, and actually also motivated me to go ahead and make a songbook for “Dreamsong!”

“Out of all the people we have who come and do music for us,” she told me, “Yours are the best songs for our people to sing.”

Once I had made the decision to go to Oregon, all these other things just fell into place—other churches to play at, people to stay with, Arts in Medicine opportunities…So, everything was quite magical. But my experience at Gleneden was really special.


The first day we got there, they gave us a key to the place where they were putting us up for the night—a beautiful little cottage right on the ocean! We sat on our deck having a glass of wine and watching the sun set against the dramatic Oregon coastline.



The next day, as I gave my talk on James Dillet Freeman, Sandra Combs, the minister there, shared her own stories about James. Framed, signed, and hanging in a place of honor is James’ poem of dedication and blessing for a new church. This was the church he created that blessing for, and now it is used for Unity churches everywhere

Later that day we headed up the coast for the annual International Kite Festival held on the beach at Lincoln City. It was a clear, sunny, windy day, and the kites were dazzling in the sparkling sunlight. People come to this event from all over the world. It is televised by major networks, and you can find many videos on Youtube. It’s well worth watching!









Before heading back to Portland we visited harpist Beatrice Rose, who’s been living basically off the grid with her husband for about thirty years. They have acres and acres of land, beautiful roses, miniature horses, an outdoor clay oven, an amazing greenhouse, and a garden full of home-grown goodies that included the makings of the best strawberry-rhubarb pie I’ve had in decades! We also had a great time making music together.








Rob Feeds the Pony!


Our last weekend was spent back in Portland, where pianist Sydney Lehman Steen accompanied me in a wonderful jazz concert at Unity of Portland. We celebrated TWO GREAT American traditions–the American Songbook, doing songs like Our Love is Here to Stay, There Will Never be Another You, and My Funny Valentine—and ICE CREAM! We had a great turnout—about 150 people—and everyone had a lot of fun.

Blurry blonde pianists play in Portland!


Every Unity church I went to was different, yet of course some things are the same everywhere. It really helps to maintain that sense of family and being at home, yet also it’s inspiring to learn other ways of doing things. I’m very grateful for my worldwide Unity connection, my harpist friends, and my own family for supporting me so lovingly in these endeavors. This week, I’m off to Unity Village for Sound Connections, the annual music convocation!

Some of the landscape at Unity Village is like
old English countryside…

Leave a Reply