Tag Archive | Oregon

Christmas Morning Looking Back

Shortly after getting out of bed on Christmas morning 2012, I looked in the mirror. I saw my ‘little girl self’ looking back at me. I smiled, then laughed. That image made me think of a photo of me taken at Christmas when I was about two and a half years old.

Yes, at that moment, I was my ‘little girl self’ once again.

Me and my doll, Genevieve, having tea on Christmas morning. December 1959

Me and my doll, Genevieve, having tea on Christmas morning. December 1959

Mom must have taken this photo of me. At least Dad and I think so.

We were celebrating Christmas with my Grandma and Grandpa Booth – Mom’s parents, in Salem, Oregon. While I don’t exactly remember this special tea party, after all I was just barely two and half years old, I do remember the tea set; the ‘my-sized’ table and chairs set; my other doll and the cradle; my grandparent’s piano, even the photo of the snow bound mountain hut and the Christmas card tree on the piano; and the special ornaments on the Christmas tree.

I am thankful to have this wonderful Christmas memory. Glad that my Mom saved this image for me.
This Christmas, looking back to that Christmas moment is priceless.
Another way I can still share Christmas with Mom.

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Following a path….

Imagine….. walking in another’s footsteps.

Not just a few days ago or a few months ago.

But years ago. And then, centuries ago.

In mid-March, while on vacation with my husband, I felt the clock turn back to when Mom took my brothers and me on a summer vacation on the Northern Oregon Coast.

Mom took us to Fort Clatsop to see the place where Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery stayed on their historic expedition far into the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. She talked to us about the history, about the people, about the conditions.

After going through the fort buildings at Fort Clatsop, we walked along a path that lead to a narrow space that the Corps of Discovery used as a landing and launch area for their canoes. To think that just maybe we walked along the same path they traveled between their canoes and the fort they built for their stay.

All the while Jeff and I were at Fort Clatsop, I was remembering when Mom took my brothers and me there. Jeff and I were following a path that my brothers and I had taken with Mom and all of us were following a path made by Lewis & Clark and the Corp of Discovery.

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The Payoff

Through example, Mom instilled in me a faith that “things will get better.”  She taught me that not all will be gloomy or be bad, even though it may seem as if.

Mom helped me to see the good side of things. To look on the bright side.

When Jeff and I left for our ‘second honeymoon’ in mid-March celebrating our six-month wedding anniversary the skies seemed gloomy and the Blue Mountains donned a new blanket of snow. The mountains were absolutely beautiful, yet the day before had been a sunny, glorious day. We headed south to catch the freeway. To the east was snow….. to the west… SUN. Luckily, we were ready to head west. Off to the Oregon Coast.

Pulled Pork Sandwich and a Session Black at Full Sail Brew Pub

Amidst sunshine, clouds and rain and after three hours of driving we arrived in Hood River for lunch. A much anticipated lunch at Full Sail Brewery. The three hours plus of a few days of anticipation I endured for their pulled pork sandwich and a Session Black had paid off. Ahhh Bliss. Well worth the anticipation.

We traveled on and arrived in Portland, got checked in to our hotel and made arrangements to meet cousins from my side of the family for dinner. We had a great time. Lots of catching up and laughing. After driving in more late winter inclement weather we were having some wonderful family time.

The next day we made a trek to a local mall so I could make another anticipated stop… this time at Teavana, to accommodate one of my favorite habits, tea drinking. Again, it was raining, but now after a quick and early lunch in the car we were headed to the coast.

More rain. Well, this is Oregon. 🙂

Snow in the Coast Range on March 12Driving out Highway 26 we experienced a variety of weather. Clouds, overcast skies and rain, then more rain. Yet it was a pleasant drive with scenery I don’t remember seeing before. Maybe, I had not been on this highway.

Then, while driving over the Coast Range the rain got thick. Then thicker. Then turned to snow. SNOW in the Coast Range on March 12th. No worries, both Jeff and I had driven through plenty of snow before.

Be careful. Be aware. Drive on.

I had not personally seen snow in the Coast Range for several years when my brother and I had driven to the coast early one May. I knew it snowed in the Coast Range, I’d seen it on the news from Portland.

Through all the variations of weather, mostly winter-like, we made it to our destination … Cannon Beach.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon... from inside Mo's Restaurant

We sat inside Mo’s Restaurant anticipating our first seafood of our Oregon Coast trip, watching the stormy, almost angry surf. As you already know, the rain was falling. There were also lots of clouds and some wind. The tide was high and the ocean seemed as if it wanted to come inside to get out of the weather too. As we waited for our food we watched as some travelers were getting soaked in the rain. Some were even on the beach taunting the waves. I was nearly certain that someone would be overtaken by the crashing waves. The waves did not really seem to want to play.

Ahhhhh…. our food had arrived. Another payoff for enduring something less than delightful. I had anticipated CRAB — in the form of a crab melt. Jeff was rewarded with a bread bowl filled with chowder. We were about to eat while watching the storm from inside, not being out in it. Now, after driving through all that rain and snow and slush, our payoff had arrived.

A greatly anticipated lunch at Mo's, Cannon Beach, Oregon

A Valentine….

to Oregon…. in honor of 153 years of statehood and what a beautiful state she is.

to Mom…. for her love of Oregon and instilling that love in me… for taking her children on trips in Oregon.

to Dad…. for being born and raised in Oregon…. for stories of life in his home state.

to Jeff, my husband…. for also being born and raised in Oregon…. for his love of a never-ending Oregon adventure and wanting to share all those with me.

to myself…. for being born in Oregon and choosing to live in Oregon…. for my love of the beauty that is Oregon…. my home state.

I Love You All

Mom, the Artist

Funny, I remember my Mom as an artisan.

— in the Wikipedia fashion of the definition:

“An artisan (from Italian: artigiano) is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools. As an adjective (spelled “artisanal”), it has been used as a marketing buzz word to describe or imply an association with the crafting of hand made food products, such as bread, tofu, beverages and cheese.”

Especially “the crafting of hand made food products, such as bread,” part. She was a wonderful baker. Her breads, cakes, pies and cookies were hand-crafted, delicious and made with such LOVE; the best ingredient.

I only wish I had some photos of her craft to share with you. Alas, I do not. You see, our family ate her art. (and it was GOOD).

Actually, I should say we ate most of her art.

Mom claimed to not be artistic at all, yet she had a way with a wide variety of art.

She did fine embroidery work and crocheted afghans. Her embroidery work was extraordinary, she learned from the best, thankfully I learned from her. We still have many pieces she did and most of the afghans she made, well the ones she did not give away to family members or someone who needed one.

Besides being an artisan baker and a woman of fine hand-work,  she dabbled in drawing using pastels/chalks. She had done that form of art in her younger years. Not believing she was any good at it, she did not share that side of her creativity with us. Maybe she did not share it was because she was a “mom.” She had three children to raise and a husband to spoil, besides her teaching career.

The last and most impressive pastel I saw her work on was a serene setting of Mt. Hood. In the foreground was a meadow with a cold mountain stream running through it. This lead the eye up to Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest peak. She had drawn Mt. Hood from memory. Of course she could. She’d seen it, passed by it on I-84 and had been on it more than a few times. A more beautiful, peaceful scene of Mt. Hood I had never seen before. She was good, there’s no doubt.

Looking back now, that may have been the last time Mom actually saw Mt. Hood,  the stately overseer of Oregon….Mom saw that peaceful scene herself, in her memory. At that point in her life she was traveling to cancer treatments and blood transfusions, not to take another look at Mt. Hood. So, she used her artistic ability, the ability she claimed to not have, and brought Mt. Hood home to herself.

Funny, I remember my Mom as an artisan. — to me she was quite the artist, in all aspects of her life, quite the artist indeed.