Five Treasures Come Knocking

My good friend, Angela, was in the Pacific NW from Chicago a few weeks back. She and her mom, Joan, came to Portland for a visit and I had such a good time showing them around town. I hadn’t seen Angela in quite a long time–I’ve really missed her a lot. It’s hard to believe that we have spent so many more years of our friendship living across the country from each other than the time we spent becoming so close while living in Seattle. We haven’t even spoken consistently or very regularly, but you wouldn’t know it.

Here are some photos I snapped of our trip to the amazing teahouse at the Lan Su Chinese Garden–here in Portland.

I have a handful of friendships like this–where there isn’t ever a pressure or expectation of how much communication you have to have to maintain that friendship. It is always right there waiting for you to pick up right where you left off the last time. And over the years you never doubt that your friend would be there if you really needed them. That is a given. Nobody has to say it and you never feel an absence. You just wish you could see them more often because you like their company so much–their perspective and whit.

When you do get to see each other. You enjoy the time you get to spend filling in the blanks and cheering and/or jeering their hurdles and personal successes. You reminisce about the favorite memories you have stored up–it keeps those moments alive. I think adding new stories to these lists of moments is part of why your friendship will always grow and even get stronger.

Not that I wouldn’t love it if Angela lived here in Portland–believe me–I am really hoping she will someday! I’m just glad that we never let the physical space between us amount to anything beside just that.

It was so wonderful to hang out with Angela and Joan. The dreamy setting of the teahouse at the Lan Su Chinese Garden didn’t hurt either. Joan treated us to a lovely lunch while we all caught up. So much has changed in our personal lives, but it was comforting to find that our demeanor and dispositions were all the same.

Along with tea, dumplings, noodles and yummy MOONCAKES–we shared an incredible dish of strange treats called “Five Treasures Come Knocking”. We took turns having little nibbles of the odd, petrified fruit. I’m positive that the herbal bitterness and perfume quality of the dried kumquats will make its way into our friendship fabric the next time we get to hang out. It was so fun to see their faces get screwed up with confusion while eating each bite–mirroring my own expressions.

Description for Five Treasures Come Knocking:
A dish of seasonal treats representing the five blessings of the New Year, health, wealth, longevity, virtue and happiness. Often includes chestnuts, kumquats, candied lotus seeds and winter melon.

Thanks so much Angela and Joan–I had a wonderful time with both of you. I miss you so much already.

If you live in Portland or have a chance to visit our Chinese Garden. It’s a special place–go with good friends.


All images by me, Jen McCabe. Find me on Flickr and Instagram!


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