Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Of Kindred Spirits

Gotta love the blackberry juice on K's face!

A couple of weeks ago (wow, I really am behind,huh?) marked a meet up in the making for at least a couple of years.Ok, I will try to make a long story short here as my posts have been quite a bit lengthy this week!

I connected many years ago (while still living in Virginia) with my dear friend over at Rain Blissed through our mutual friend Marina. We chatted back and forth via the computer whenever we could. Her thoughtfulness and sincerity always seemed to just shine through to me. When I told her we were moving out to the Pacific Northwest, we talked about getting together. Then life got in the way and it just didn't happen. We tried again this summer. We had tentative plans to meet up for berry picking but we never were able to pull it off. Finally she just decided to drive on down to Portland and we were able to get together with our little ones. Although Kevin swears that anyone I happen to talk to on the phone or via the computer does not truly exist and is just part of my imagination. I was hoping this meet up would make him see otherwise, but alas, he still thinks I am talking to myself. What a goof!

Anyways, we met at a quiet park down the road from our house that is surrounded by wild blackberry bushes. A nice little place for expending energy and berry picking all at once.

It was such a wonderful day. The weather was cool and crisp (unfortunately none of us were expecting that beautiful weather and didn't dress accordingly - we got by, though.), and once my girls got past their shy phase - our little ones seemed to really enjoy each others company. They fed Arthur's (pretend) snake flowers, picked and snacked on blackberries and even threw a tiger party (I think that's what it was, anyways).

She floored me with her never ending thoughtful nature by bringing me beautiful gifts for my birthday. She gave us some garlic as well as some delicious chocolate mint from her garden, some homemade nettle vinegar (a good source of calcium which is something I am in need of right now), a cheerful sunflower towel (that we've been using quite a bit) and some organic maple syrup. The syrup came with a story. She got it from a Vermont native who is currently attending college out here on the west coast. His family runs a farm in Vermont. He has them ship their family made syrup out to him so he can sell it at the local farmers market. I think the story was more detailed than that, but those are the details I am remembering right now. I love hearing stories like that and knowing more about where my food came from exactly.To make it even sweeter, his family puts a Laura Ingalls Wilder quote on the tag:

"...they could eat all they wanted, for maple sugar never hurt anybody."

That made me smile. A farming family after my own heart. Thank you, again!

Arthur and his flower eating snake

I had little sleep the night before so I was a bit absent minded and out of it that day, but thankfully they put up with me anyway. I planned on having them over to our house after the berry picking but with all the chatting, laughing and playing, time somehow got away from us. We ended up spending nearly six hours at the park. Even so, I could have spent many more hours with such a kindred spirit, there is so much I forgot to talk about... Next time we meet up in Portland, and there will absolutely be a next time, we'll have to play at our house. We hope to make it up her way sometime soon, as well. Kevin and K have already been up that way for Daddy/Daughter one on one time with soccer games. C, Baby L and I, on the other hand, have yet to leave our Oregon border since we moved here.

I have to say I was a tiny bit nervous meeting up after all the years of anticipation. I didn't want to disappoint them. I hope I didn't! The wait was worth it to me though, they are just as I imagined they would be yet 10 times better. I look forward to spending much more time with them in the future.

You can see her much more timely photos of our day here.

I wonder if Marina is seeing this post and noticing the dress K is wearing in these pics. She sent it to us around this time last year. She finds the best dresses!

After our long, fun-filled day we walked home to make dinner. The girls sat at their table drawing and playing while I made dinner. Baby L, as usual, was along for the ride. For some reason or other it suddenly started to get to me that I have no photographs of my little ones and I together. I am always the one behind the camera, never in front of it. I decided in the middle of cutting up veggies that I needed to fix that straight away. I grabbed my camera and tried to take a self portrait of Baby L and I. The thing is, a 50mm lens doesn't zoom out and needs a good distance to focus, so trying to take a picture of yourself while holding the camera in your own hands is pretty darn hard. I think I will have to learn how to use my camera's remote next time.

I adjusted my camera settings to where I thought they should be at, set it to auto-focus and held it as high as I could over my head, keeping my fingers crossed that I was actually aiming it at us and even in focus at all. I ended up with these two shots and then threw in the towel... for now.

Baby L looking at his Mama like she's crazy

and then finally having enough of the madness. We'll work on it!

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