Last week-end we had a wonderful blessing. We made a trip to the Oregon Coast with some of the last remaining members of my family. We rented a house in south Lincoln City for four couples. This was the beautiful view from the deck of the house.
We rested, we visited, we remembered (a lot!), we worked on a jigsaw puzzle, we read, we ate (a lot!), we took pictures, we played a crazy funny game, and we loved each other.
Left is brother Joe and wife Cathy, right is cousin Beckie and husband Tim,
cousin Bill and wife Sandy (Beckie's brother)
and us of course!
We all brought food, and teams were in the kitchen fixing up some great meals.
We had a great long table that accommodated all of us with a beautiful view besides.
Some watched the Daytona 500 on TV...
While others had political conversations.
We watched the ocean almost non-stop. Big waves this time of year, but no whale watching yet. Still in Mexican waters I hear. Lots of fishing boats out, and even some paddle boarders in wet suits. It was sunny mostly, but very chilly. We did wrap up in coats and blankets and sat in these chairs in the bit of weak sun we got. We also climbed down the cliff (95 steps) and a rusted metal ladder at the bottom to walk on the beach and revel in it.It was great!!
My brother and I, and our cousins Bill and Beckie grew up together like siblings almost. But as life does, we got busy in work and families and have not had extended time like this together in our adult lives. I can't say enough what a blessing it was to me. We talked about our parents (now gone) and their large family now almost all gone. What a great family we had to grow up in, and our family get-together's were wonderful. Lots of Aunts, Uncles, and cousins to enjoy. Our memories are sweet for the most part, and very precious as we enter the senior phase of our own lives.
We were blessed with a full rainbow ending in the ocean right in front of us. WOW! God's pleasure and promise to those who walk with Him.
I only hope we will get the chance to do this again sometime soon!
** As my grandchildren grow up and leave home I hope they will remember to get together to share their own memories of growing up and family!
Somewhere lately I saw a copy of Desiderata. As I re-read it, I was reminded of my college days, where I first read the poem. I looked up its history and found it was first titled "Go Placidly Amid The Noise And Haste." Both titles rather entrance me. Here is my favorite quote:
"Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth....whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul." Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
And so, I thought maybe I would share a few of my favorite quotes today on the blog. I have been reading more since the Christmas rush is through, and jotting down items that strike my fancy....
"The air smells of frost. The house is making the soft breathing sounds very old houses make at night." Gladys Tabor "Grammy's house is the perfect combination of technology and old-fashioned taste." Samuel N. Jones
"Who loves the rain, and loves his home,
And looks on life with quiet eyes.
him will I follow through the storm,
and at his hearth-fire keep me warm;
Nor hell nor heaven shall that soul surprise
who loves the rain and loves his home,
and looks on life with quiet eyes." Frances Shaw
"If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation." Edith Schaeffer
"Traveling is all very well if you can get home at night. I would be willing to go around the world if I came back in time to light the candles and set the table for supper." Gladys Taber
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." Edith Sitwell
"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, til the summer comes again." Lewis Carroll
"The wind was blowing, but not too hard, and everyone was so happy and gay for it was only twenty degrees below zero and the sun shone." Laura Ingalls Wilder
This has been the January of all Januaries...hasn't it? We broke a lot of records with the snow, with low temperatures, with ice and ice dams, with buildings caving in and damaged, with bad driving conditions, and with snow, snow, and MORE snow! But this post for me is about the January of my dreams. There were so many magical days of standing at a window, my nose pressed hard against the glass, watching thick fluffy snowflakes pouring down, or wind-driven small icy snowflakes slanting fast and thick to the ground. I watched the inches pile up and up, and the snow begin to engulf things like bushes, sidewalks, rocks, patio furniture and benches, and finally cars. I loved watching the insurance man jump out of bed of a morning, throwing on jeans, boots and a jacket, to rush outside to shovel snow yet again (he likes it), while I got to snuggle down deep, in my cozy bed, and watch snowflakes still falling.
Were you one of the many I've heard complaining about the snow? I get it, I really do, at least my practical self does. It's hard to get to work, hard to deal with no school yet again because of snow days, hard to get groceries and supplies, just plain hard to drive with all the other folks having a hard time of it too. Everyone dealing with the aftermath of of our many snow storms...like dirty snow, ginormous piles of snow and ice, very icy patches and many injuries as a result, and deep snow ruts in the streets.
But, if you are blessed as I am, you can pretend to be snowed in for days, while others go out to work, to school, and to the store, or to shovel once again. My schedule suddenly fell down to nothing booked for the day. I had one day to sit, read my current favorite book, snuggle by the fire and dream of snow drifts, snowmen, and long white unbroken patches of snow. On another day there was bustling, cleaning and cleaning out, sorting and bagging, all the while watching out the windows, enthralled with the birds and how they were surviving by cleaning up just like me, but cleaning up every leftover juniper berry or crab apple left on my trees. And yet another day found me mixing, baking, roasting and simmering, trying out some new recipes, steaming up the windows and making the whole house smell delicious. Everything I do, even the laundry, seems more fun while watching the mounds of snow growing outside.
Being 'snowed in' is going to be one of my greatest pleasures of 2017, I just know it. And now it's time to say good-bye to the January of my dreams and wishes. Time to say good-bye to deepest winter with all the joy it has brought me. For today, we say hello to February, and just a tiny crack of hope for spring. But wait, January is not yet ready to let go....it snowed again last night, and it's still snowing outside my windows. So it's spilling into February...and I will just continue secretly smiling while others are complaining!
It's hard to quit writing about snow. Snow is what we have, what we see every morning, every day. We are all but engulfed in it here in Central Oregon.
I love snow, and it does look like a ski resort around here.
My chair is almost full, but not quite. It's fluffy one minute, icy the next and foggy and icy the next. It's hard to drive in, but if you get to stay home like I do, it's wonderful to watch.Beautiful, enchanting and amazing. Since we only have this kind of winter once every 20 or more years apart, it's fun to take photos and document the winter of 2016-2017. No one here can remember a more severe January. One day 'they' will be saying remember the winter of?... Possibly a century storm.
The geese struck me as funny going for a walk to the gas station one morning.
This is a random photo of Bronwyn about two years ago. Isn't it a beautiful picture? I love the repose it suggests, and our weather looks much like this outside. We have so much more snow than in my last post...it is amazing. A winter to remember and a time for solitude and reflection, just like Bronwyn.