Location: Oregon, United States

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Last Visitor

We have just finished a week with Paul's mother, Anita, and had a great time. More sight seeing - some of the same things like Cannon Beach and Multnomah Falls, but some new things too like the Saturday Market and Astoria. Some highlights:

Eating outside on a terrace at a restaurant in Cannon Beach. This is normally no big deal, but we chose to eat outside because we had the dog along and were not comfortable leaving her in the car at the back of the restaurant. Then the temperature started to drop, and we got blankets and sweatshirts out of the car and scooted closer to the heater. Still cold, but we are from Minnesota and have camped in worse than this, right? William finally got warm enough to give up the blanket he was using and Anita nearly snatched it out of his hand to wrap herself up in it. Okay, so it was really cold.

Five mountain view. Okay, maybe three. Or two. Paul swears he saw all five, but it was pretty iffy. We found out about a viewpoint at the top of Larch Mountain where, on a clear day, you can see five snow capped peaks. It is a beautiful area with a brief hike and a lookout point. We saw Mount Adams and Mount Hood for sure, and we'll do it another day to see the others when it is actually clear. (There have been forest fires on Mount Hood lately, and it has been hazy for about a week).

Blueberry/blackberry picking. We found a "U-pick" blueberry place about a mile away from us - 75 cents per pound! So we picked about four pounds and froze most of them. Then we came home and picked at least four more pounds of blackberries for free in our greenspace. Okay, not for free - we paid with our own blood, literally. I have scratches on my stomach (?), arms and legs and I was wearing a thick long sleeved shirt and jeans. Dang! But I made pie out of both berries, very nearly duplicating the best pie I ever ate at Rick Orred's mom's house when I was in college. Totally worth it.

I have been dreading the day that Anita goes home more than anyone else's parting because she is our last scheduled visitor for the summer. Therefore, from now on we are truly on our own. I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I am confident we will make it. The kids will start school, establish friendships and join activities. I will (hopefully) find a job and be able to plug in some more in the community. On the other hand, I have a very real sense of anxiety about being alone out here with no one to really talk to. Communication with people from home comes and goes in spurts, and feels like it is tapering off - maybe not, but when I'm feeling anxious/lonely, I am sure everyone is busy and can't write. And "winter" is coming, with rain and more rain. How will I be with that? There is no way to know until we live through it. So while I am hopeful about our future here, I am anxious to see how it will all come together.


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