People I know: Noel, Karen, Maya and Ellen


I know, I know, this is the first time I have highlighted a family unit.  This morning I woke up and thought…Noel! I will write about Noel but then I thought but Karen is so amazing too and their girls! I can’t write about Noel and Karen without bragging about their amazing daughters and really this family has been there for me in amazing ways over the past few years and all surrounding me as part of their family.  So here it is…the Lovre-Snodgrass fam.

I bet Noel, Karen, Maya and Ellen soon after I arrived to Rose City Park UMC.  They had been attending for a few years and welcomed me right in.  Noel is a chiropractor on the west side of Portland. Karen is a Japanese teacher in Camas, WA. Maya is in her first year at Pacific Lutheran and Ellen is in high school. I am sure that our introduction to each other was one of us making a snarky comment to the other and the other responding snarkily.  These people are my people in humor but also in life values.

Here are a few stories to talk about these folks…..

  • When I was going through my divorce and all of a sudden found myself living in a huge parsonage with two little dogs but not another human, I got a random text a few times saying, “Oh man, we ordered extra pizza and thought maybe you could help us eat it. ”  They have two teenage girls and one is a swimmer…there is no such thing as extra pizza. Or a text, “Hey, tried making some new Indian food dishes, we need help trying them out.”  But here I was without plans and not wanting to be home alone and they knew it and so I joined them at their family table to help out.  And then we would just happen to go to the basement to watch Gilmore Girls all together cuddled up in blankets and I went home full and not so lonely and well loved.
  • When I was moving to Berlin and I needed a real swimsuit, Maya called me to their house because by some miraculous movement in the world we are close to the same swimsuit size (she is tall and slim with a swimmer’s muscular frame and I am me) but she handed me 4-5 swimsuits to take home and try on because she was going to donate them anyway. I magically fit into one and brought the rest back because generosity is a family value for this family.
  • When I was leaving Portland, this family offered to help pack boxes, move boxes and send me off well as well as the girls taking lead in a church activity of making photo copied versions of my face and hiding them all over the church…many many many of them….plus people took my face and while I walked on the camino they took me on their journeys as well.
  • I feel like each member of this family is a dear friend and important to my life.
  • Coffee is better when truly enjoyed with friends and Karen and Noel truly enjoy coffee as much as I do.  We take great joy in our coffee times and often we acknowledge that we must have a delicious treat with our coffee when in one of our fav coffeeshops.  Wine is also in the enjoy category and I know I can always bring a bottle with me to their house and we will enjoy.
  • When I came home last June, Karen and Noel opened their home and their grill and invited a whole crew of my favorite people to dine together and to catch up.  The girls joined for a bit out of their busy busy lives and I loved every second.  Community is important.
  • Karen and Noel parent their daughters in amazing ways and have always treated them as whole and complete humans and the respect shows.  It also has manifested in the humans they have created.
  • Noel bikes to work and even after a horrible biking accident on a bridge in Portland broke him in half (quite literally) he healed and then got back on the bike and continues to bike commute because our earth and his body is important.
  • Karen takes kids to Japan because learning about our world is important.
  • Maya and Ellen hang out together and with their people.  They are creative human beings. Ellen sings out musicals and creates constantly…because the world, creativity and human connection are important.
  • Noel knows more people than me and uses his connections for others.  It’s impressive to the extent that he knows so many people. Something I aspire to.

You get the idea.  And as always…just the tip…

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