Last week my sweetheart and I went away for a few days. Our travels took us to a place where we lived many years ago - a favorite place of mine. We spent time with family who recently moved near there. One day we travelled a few miles from their home to show them where we lived so long ago. One of the special things I couldn’t wait to see again was my favorite lighthouse. It’s on the Southern Oregon Coast – very close to the home where we lived back then. The Umpqua River Lighthouse, just across the Coquille River from Bandon, Oregon, is definitely my favorite.Our current bathroom is decorated with beach decor. Many years ago I saw a little replica of this lighthouse that had a light inside. Since then I’ve dreamed of having one in my bathroom. I knew it would be the perfect nightlight! I’ve looked everywhere on the Oregon Coast to find one and, finally, right there - in a little shop in Bandon - I found exactly what I was looking for. So, I bought a lighthouse! It came home with me and now it sits on a special jewelry box my father-in-law made many years ago. The light shines bright at night and lights up the room.I smile every time I walk into the bathroom and see this little lighthouse. It’s a nice reminder of times past and our recent trip to the beach.
After nearly four months of continual care and supervision of things for my dear, little mother, my sweetheart and I were able to get away for a few days at the Oregon Coast. When the weatherman forecast winter storms we knew exactly where we wanted to go. We wanted to stay in a quaint little vintage motel cottage high on the bluff above the beach so we could watch the storms. And we weren’t disappointed. The day we arrived was nice. We were able to enjoy a bit of sun on the beach when we first arrived. Things began to change a bit as time went by. We enjoyed lunch at a favorite place and then we checked into our little cottage by the sea. These motel cottages were built in the nineteen fifties and, although they’ve been updated a bit, the charm of that era is still obvious. This view from the living room window was why we chose to spend our days away here. Beautiful knotty pine covered the walls of the living room, kitchen and dining area. I noticed a little door on the wall between the living room and dining area. Being the curious person I am, I had to open it to find out what was inside. I carefully opened it and found an ironing board. Imagine ironing while you listen to the waves not far below! The cottage had a nice-sized kitchen with nearly everything we needed to fix whatever we wanted to eat. The cabinets fit the vintage style of the cottage.The kitchen includes a dining area beside a big bay window. Another great view!
The bathroom still had features from the era when the motel cottages were built – soft green tiles on the walls… And a shower with a pink tile floor and glass block walls. A storm began to roll in. The waves grew bigger and the skies got darker. It wasn’t long before the wind blew hard and the rain poured down – but we were safe and snug beside a warm fire. My sweetheart and I didn’t go to the beach alone – Joey went with us. At first he was quite intrigued by the new place but he wasn’t too sure what was happening when the storm winds began to blow. Then he saw me put his favorite soft throw on the sofa and he knew that’s where he wanted to spend most of his time. Most of the time he seemed completely unaware of the incredible view outside. Raindrops on the window didn’t seem to bother him and it wasn’t long before he was settled in for a long winter storm nap. The rains beat hard against the windows and the wind howled down the chimney all through our second night there. At times I wondered if we would float right off the bluff and head out to sea! The storm relented a bit the next morning and we enjoyed the view while we ate breakfast. Then, just before we left the cottage to go to lunch and head home, the skies brightened a bit. It was a good last memory of time spent away from home - a sweet retreat - in a quaint, little cottage by the sea.
If you've been following my blog very long you know I love daffodils! If not, my story is here. They are always a sign that Spring is almost here - a new beginning, fresh and bright. Over the past few weeks we’ve had a lot of changes in our weather. One minute it is pouring rain and just a few minutes later the sun comes out and the sky is blue.Not long ago we had snow on the ground – in February. Now I know that’s not uncommon in some parts of our continent, but this is Western Oregon and, while it’s not unheard of, it’s a bit unusual most of the time. Snow was piled high on the little birdbath that’s just outside the double doors in our bedroom.It was on one of those snowy days that I ventured to the grocery store and I could hardly believe my eyes – right beside the door was a bucket of daffodils! The price was right and, of course, some of them came home with me. I put them in a sweet, yellow depression glass vase from my collection. I loved having them in my kitchen window. I love the contrast of the Spring flowers and the snow outside the window.Not long after that I had a not-so-good day. My sweetheart was out and about and when he saw these, he brought them home to brighten my day. I put them in a new-to-me cobalt blue vase in the kitchen window. They lifted my spirits and made me smile.And then there's Daffodil, my little vintage trailer. She has been under wraps for the winter. We had planned to work on her while she was warm and cozy under shelter but that didn’t happen. When my dear, little mother fell and broke her pelvic bone - with all of the care she needed afterwards – we redirected our focus. It was as it should be and we have no regrets. Now that my dear mother doesn’t need constant care, we are beginning to refocus on Daffodil’s restoration. My sweetheart is outside working on her as I write this post. I’ve signed up for several campouts with camping girlfriends so we have some deadlines to meet. There is more structural work than first thought and we know she won’t be completely finished before the first get-away – or even the second - but we have a plan. Enough will be done for me to sleep inside at first, then we'll make more progress before each of the campouts until she is completely finished. Inside and out! She will be a showpiece by the last campout in the Fall. That's the plan. I'll share it all with you on her blog, Daffodil's Journey. Here’s a bit of what she looks like today. Please come back again soon. I can’t wait to show you the progress of my little, vintage trailer as she blossoms and blooms and becomes the beautiful Daffodil I know she will be.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for me through the loss of my dear cousin. There are no words to express what your love and support have meant to me during this time. In the rush of everyday life – and in the times when the road is rough – if we look, we can always find a bright spot. A place to stop and breathe and see things from a different perspective. A week ago today I had such an experience – a time to step out of the reality of ‘now’ and step back into something sweet. Shortly before the end of last year a dear friend of mine bought me a ticket for tea at a place I love. You’ve seen this place many times here before. It’s a place where time seems to stand still and the reality and rush of life outside its borders almost ceases to be! That place is Historic Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon. Just a short drive from my home.
Photos were taken on my cell phone (or borrowed from Deepwood’s Facebook page) so the quality is not quite the same as with my camera but I think you will see just a bit of the time we shared at Deepwood's Downton Abbey Tea. Some of those attending were dressed in period costume from the era seen on television. Some were dressed in their Sunday best and others were fairly casual. Dress was not the focus, although it was hard to miss the wonderful finery present there. Guests were seated in the formal dining room. . .In the parlor. . . And a family celebrating the mother’s birthday was seated together in the living room. We were greeted at the door by the butler, Bailey, (seen in the background below) and tea was served by the housemaids. I was seated at this table in the parlor. (You can see where I sat - my purse is on my chair.)
The food was delicious. The tea – delightful!
On the menu:
Double Gloucester Cheese and Onion Scone
Leek and Potato Soup ~~~~~~~
Wild Mushroom and Fontina Tart Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad Chicken Curry Tea Sandwich ~~~~~~~ Apple Charlotte with Earl Grey Anglaise Chocolate Eclair Strawberry Rose Meringues ~~~~~~~ Black Tea with Rose Petals
My cup and saucer were breathtakingly beautiful!
Conversations around the tables included introductions and discussions about tea and things we love to collect. Other topics were discussed and time went too fast. It wasn’t long before it was time to go. The ‘butler’ led tours of the mansion to anyone who was interested. The gift my friend gave me was more than time for tea. It was a gift from her heart to mine. When it was scheduled there was no way to know how much I would need this time away. It was a day to step away from the cares and pressures of the last three months of care for my dear, little mother and the recent sudden loss of my dear cousin. It was a day to relax and smile and realize – again – the importance of time taken to step away from the cares of life. It was a day to treasure a precious gift given from the heart of a true friend who understood that the meaning would go much deeper than fine food and tea. It was truly a gift of the heart! A gift I will always treasure.
Earlier this week I flew to Southern California for a few days to join family and say goodbye to someone very dear to me. My cousin, Mr. A., has been a special part of my family – and a dear friend. He was like a brother to me. We had many adventures as we grew up and there were tales to tell whenever we were together. He was a very talented artist. Plans were in the works for him to retire later this year so he could pursue his passion and share his talent with others – something he had done in the past. He planned for his retirement years to be spent not far from my sweetheart and I and we had begun to dream of more adventures than we ever dreamed possible together. A few months ago Mr. A. spent his vacation with us. His stay was sweet – almost two weeks of time to share things we enjoyed and a chance to take him to places we love. He and I sat and shared for hours – our hopes, our joys, our dreams – and we made plans for his return for vacation just a few weeks from now. During that time he was going to look for a retirement home. We ‘talked’ by email almost every day - sometimes several times a day. He was a rock, a source of strength when life felt like it was falling apart. His words often seemed profound, yet his incredible sense of humor came through just when I needed a laugh more than anything else. He was an avid reader of this blog - he always longed to join me on the adventures I shared here. He often sent an email asking me to ‘put that on the list’ of things he wanted to do when he came to Oregon. His passing was sudden. Unexpected. And hard to comprehend. But he leaves behind people who loved him more than he ever knew and a rich legacy no one else could give. He was a private person. Because of that I have chosen not to share his photo here – he would have hated that! I have chosen to share a bit of Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, a place he loved the moment he saw it when we spent a day there together late last summer. He and I planned to go back again this spring to explore every nook and cranny open to the public. He ‘found’ things there I had never seen in previous visits to the lodge. I saw Timberline Lodge in new ways. The artist in him taught me to look at the artwork in ways I will never forget. I miss Mr. A. more than words can say. He was more than a cousin. He was a soul-mate - a kindred spirit. His spirit and legacy lives on. He had no idea how many lives he touched deeply or the difference he brought to their worlds. He left behind something special in each of us who knew and loved him. His spirit will live on in our memories forever.
I felt the ache of emptiness this world could not relieve My heart has lived in poverty that no one else could see Until I found the sweet restoring stream that changed my life He called to me, ‘Come and Drink’ and my need was satisfied
Tomorrow I could rise to find that everything has changed This way of faith could take me to some unexpected place But in all the twists and turns of life I’m sure of this one thing Where the road seems so uncertain my God will go with me
My God will always be enough for the longings of my soul He alone can fill my cup till my spirit overflows From a well of living water He renews me with His love My God will always be enough
The last days have not been easy. There have been twists and turns but God has sent reminders that He is always there – and He will always be enough. You can hear this song here.
Song: ‘My God Will Always Be Enough’ Words and music by Kevin Stokes
Recorded by Karen Peck