Sunday, October 25, 2015

Back to the Promised Land

OREGON!!! trees Magnificent trees. OREGON!!!!! carpet of leaves Oh how I miss the carpet of leaves beneath my feet this time of year in Oregon. road trip crafting A little road trip crafting for our dear friends that are really more like family. vegan candy corn ice cream! Vegan candy corn ice cream!!! Need I say more?

The following photos were taken by Taryn. photo by taryn photo by taryn photo by taryn photo by taryn

The next batch of photos were taken with my friend Holly's Nikon camera. She is letting me borrow it at the moment (you'll see why below). This was the first time I used it and I couldn't figure out where all the setting were. I have no clue what I am doing! :) OREGON! walking our old street (I took this photo with Holly's Nikon, I have no clue what I am doing!) Walking up our old street to see our old Oregon house. OREGON! another photo taken with Holly's Nikon OREGON! K's Oregon nature finds (taken with Holly's Nikon) K's nature finds from the walk on our street leaving Oregon :( leaving Oregon :(
Last weekend my family and I took a rather spur of the moment road trip back to the promised land AKA Portland, Oregon to celebrate a special birthday with our dearest friends and to attend Portland Waldorf School's annual Harvest Festival. We only had two days to spend there (along with two days of driving) but it was worth it for us, we needed to be back with our friends and community after two years of isolation. Our friends (aka family) were very brave in allowing our family plus our four big dogs to stay with them for the trip. What a treasure that was. Our children had late night slumber parties the whole visit, taking advantage of every minute together - our families really do love each other so.

I had plans of rekindling my love of photography (which has fallen to the wayside since we moved to Idaho - lack of inspiration, perhaps?) and capturing all of the mesmerizing beauty that is Oregon but  a moment cast by fate changed all of that. Our first day there I dropped my camera and jammed the lens so badly that it would not work at all. Of course my first reaction was fear of not being able to follow through with those plans of mine. Then a calm came over me and I realized I was meant to be fully present this trip and to take it all in with my heart instead. And so I did - the fantastic pumpkin patch party, endless amounts of beautiful autumn trees, the Harvest Festival, late night games in front of the fire, the children putting on plays for us, my friend's youngest child falling asleep so peacefully in her lap, a visit to our old house in the big woods... I won't forget them.

Little L and I even had the honor of meeting some very special people in person for the first time while we were there. My talented friend Taryn, someone I felt I have known forever but we had never actually met in person, and her son Bracken who is one of Little L's pen pals. Those two boys instantly hit it off and played for hours at the harvest festival, giving Taryn and I lots of time to talk. She is truly the warmest and sweetest person. I am so happy they made the long drive to see us! You can see Taryn's post about her trip here.

It felt so comforting and refreshing being back with all of our amazing friends, and even making new ones. I finally had the sense of home I had been missing since we had left. I admit I was a bit anxious over the trip. As much as I wanted to return, I was a bit afraid it would make my family and I even more homesick and sad back in Idaho. Thankfully that didn't seem to happen. It lifted our spirits and recharged our hearts enough to get us by these last years we have left here. I feel reinvigorated with our homeschooling and way of life after being around our friends, teachers and the school itself. Plus our close friends already have plans to come see us again in the spring and we are hoping to try to return there in the late spring/early summer (after seeing that the drive wasn't all that bad).

I try, I really do, to be happy with where I am at and what I am given. I want to always be grateful for the simple gift of being alive, but as you know I have struggled since we moved to Idaho. The isolation from like minded people has taken it's toll. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that this pregnancy has been harder on me than usual. I normally feel my best while pregnant but not this time around. My doctor actually has me scheduled for all kinds of blood work to see what is going on but I might have an idea now. While we were in Oregon, my appetite came back, my energy came back and I felt ready to take on the world. Then when we came back to Idaho, although feeling reinvigorated,  I went right back to not being able to eat, barely getting out of bed and so on. I am beginning to wonder if I might be suffering from a bit of depression here. But just as the Tomten says as he dreams of summer while enduring the long winter,

"Winters come and winters go,
Summers come and summers go,
Soon the swallows will be here."

Soon we will be back to the promised land, and that hope is enough to get me by.

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