Friday, August 31, 2007
Home Away From Home
Here is what our home-for-adventure looks like. This is the way we first saw it at the home of the sweet people who sold it to us. They were so kind and generous to us, giving us many accessories that make our little palace-on-wheels safe, useable and comfortable. We bought this little jewel two days ago but we didn't bring it home until yesterday. We needed to take care of the business that goes along with things like this - insurance, a special trailer brake control installed inside our car and mirrors that will let us see if someone is 'sneaking' up behind us on the road. During that time we planned, shopped and packed totes and boxes of things so we could move in as soon as it was in our driveway. I've had fun gathering odds and ends of things at the Goodwill and discount stores so we have some of the things needed to help us enjoy our stay when we're on the road. I have had to fight the tendency to 'decorate' it - I haven't had time in two days to take care of all of the necessities plus the fun things that will make it uniquely ours. So - there will be more fun in the future! An excuse for more garage sales and thrifting expeditions! I can't wait to share some of my trailer finds with you but that will have to wait for another day.
In years past, when our children were young, we spent many hours camping in a tent. We have such fun memories of those times together. My sweetheart has continued to camp in the tent for some of his hunting expeditions and with our grandsons but as time went by we knew it was time to fold the tent and move on to something else. The last two days have been interesting and have brought back a lot of memories as we brought all of the camping equipment into the house, sorted, tossed, reminisced and laughed a lot. Some of those things have been moved into the trailer; others will find new homes and just be part of our memories. A look at the floorplan of our new 'home' reminds us how small our tent was when it was filled with the four of us and a good-sized dog. Especially when it was pouring rain outside! This isn't a large trailer but it's perfect for the two of us - that's all that matters!
We will leave home in a few hours - headed for the Oregon Coast where we will meet some of my sweetheart's family for the weekend ahead. All of them have trailers and we were going to be the only ones in a tent. We haven't told them about our new trailer. We can't wait to drive into the campground and see the looks of surprise on their faces when they see what we have. (Right after we bought the trailer my sweetheart called the campground and changed our 'tent' reservation to a 'trailer' reservation.) We will be in the camp site next to my sweetheart's sister and her husband - neighbors for a few days! What fun we will have!
I will be away from here for a few days but, oh, what tales I will have to tell when I return. Until then - may you have a safe and restful weekend.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Courtroom!
Each time court reconvened we met in the Jury Assembly Room in an adjoining building. Shortly before time for court to begin the Court Clerk came next door, checked the sign-in sheet and counted noses to be sure we were all there. Then he took us to the courthouse where we went through airport-type security and he led us upstairs to the Jury Room just off the courtroom where he left us until the judge asked him to take us into court. The Jury Room adjacent to the courtroom has 2 small restrooms - something we all appreciated, especially during our hours of deliberation yesterday.
Wednesday morning while we waited in the Jury Room several of our group used the restrooms. Close to the time we expected to enter the courtroom I knew I should the same. I turned to the people seated near me and said, "At the risk of holding up the schedule, I'm going to the restroom." Just a couple of minutes later when I opened the restroom door the Jury Room was completely empty! They were gone! I had been left in the restroom and now they were all in the courtroom. What should I do now? Should I open the door next to the jury box, near the witness stand, and just march into court? Had the judge seated the alternate in my seat? At the risk of doing the wrong thing I opened the door.
All eyes in the courtroom were on me! The judge, the court clerk, all of the attorneys, the plaintiff, the defendant and the entire group seated in the gallery. I quietly stepped into the room and walked across the front of the jury box, passed the witness on the witness stand, excused myself as I walked in front of the alternate juror, stepped across the two jurors seated at the end near my seat and quickly took my seat -- right in the MIDDLE of the front row! Fortunately the judge had not begun proceedings. (Later I was told that he had noted the absence of one juror and had waited just seconds before my head appeared out the door of the Jury Room.) I'm sure this isn't the first time this has happened. The Court Clerk knew he had taken 13 jurors in the Jury Room. What he had failed to do was to make sure no one was in either of the restrooms.
As soon as we entered the Jury Room during our next break I said (loud enough to be heard by most of the jurors, "I am going to the restroom - don't leave me in there again!" It never happened again. Every time the Court Clerk entered the Jury Room to take us into court he was sure to do a head count!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Free At Last To Resume Life
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Just Doin' My Duty!
I may be away from here for a few days. I was summoned for jury duty. Today at nearly the last minute, when it looked like I would get to come home, I was added to the prospective jury pool in one of the courtrooms. Following the process of the legal system I was seated as a juror for a trial that is expected to last all week. Fortunately the courthouse has changed from the artist's rendition of the former courthouse above. I'm sure it would not be set up for the modern technology and conveniences that today's court system requires.
The current courthouse was built in 1937 and has undergone several major renovations through the years. I will spend the next few days in the newly remodeled, recently dedicated courthouse that serves the citizens of our ever-growing county.
Monday, August 20, 2007
High Above The Trees
Nestled midway to the summit of Mt. Hood is Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark and masterpiece of mountain lodges. Constructed of mammoth timbers and native stone in 1937, Timberline Lodge stands today as a tribute to the rugged spirit of the Pacific Northwest.*
Timberline (as the locals call it) is on the south side of the mountain, about 60 miles east of Portland. This is a popular tourist attraction where more than a million visitors come each year. The lodge was built entirely by hand - inside and out - at the height of the Depression. It was built by unemployed craftspeople hired by the Federal Works Progress Administration. It is a wonderful monument to the talents of local artists and craftsmen who used materials of the area to express the spirit of the mountain.
Architects provided for even the tiniest decorative detail, using three themes to illustrate regional heritage: hand-hewn timbers and hand-crafted furnishings to pay tribute to early pioneers, carved wood and wrought iron designs to capture the Indian spirit, and carvings of animals and paintings of wildflowers to represent wildlife native to Mt. Hood.*
A broad sloping roof rising up to a central point was designed to harmonize with the shape of the mountain and its ridges. Stone buttressed walls and massive timbers were planned to withstand heavy alpine winds and deeps snows. Blueprints included huge observation windows to bring the mountain and surrounding valleys "into" the lodge.*
Wooden salmon sculpture
silouetted against the view of the mountain above
Hand-carved stairways seen through stone archways
Massive hand-hewn timbers join the stone chimney
Doorway into Blue Ox Bar
(The back wall is a huge stained-glass rendition
of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox)
Mount Jefferson (seen through the doorway of the 2nd-story stone terrace)
Timberline Lodge is a fascinating place to visit. I plan to return again, perhaps sometime in the winter when the snow is deep and winter has changed the views. Perhaps my wintertime visits will be reserved for rainy days in the valley below by way of beautiful books and photos of those more adventurous than I! No matter how or when, I know that I will return to this place above the trees again in the future - if not personally, in my heart.
*with gratitude to Timberline Lodge
Sunday, August 19, 2007
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
Better is one day in your courts
Friday, August 17, 2007
Coming 'Round The Mountain!
After that 'side trip' we began our descent down the mountain toward home. One final stop on the side of the mountain challenged our legs, our hearts and our lungs but it was worth the climb to see a spot that is beyond my imagination. Laurel Hill is named after the native rhododendron foliage that resembled laurel leaves. Laurel Hill was the horrific descent off the southern slope of Mount Hood. Oxen were usually able to anchor the wagons on most declines, but they could not withstand the strain of this hill. Wagons had to be lowered by ropes tied to large trees and lashed to trees and stumps to slow the descent. Some of the pioneers dismantled their wagons and sent them skidding down the chute like a sled. I can't imagine the fear this must have caused in the hearts of the travelers who had chosen this route through the mountains rather than the more treacherous route on the Columbia River where they would have to deal with many fierce and swift rapids before arriving in the valley beyond.
The pathway to see the chute begins with carefully laid steps up a steep incline to the trail above. Once at the top of the steps we walked along a section of the old, now-abandoned Columbia Loop Highway. Asphalt is still in place on part of this trail and, if you look closely, you can see a bit of the old yellow line peeking through.
Farther down the trail we came to the site of a chute where the wagons were lowered from far above our heads to the forest floor far below where we stood. You may be able to see the top of the chute where the sky shows through the trees. It is hard to capture the full impact in a picture. We opted out of the chance to hike to the top of the chute by way of another upward trail. Instead we found large flat rocks where we sat to rest and eat the snacks we had carried up the hill with us. Crackers, cheese, fruit and water taste much better on the side of a mountain while enjoying the fresh, open air! Returning to our car we were thankful for the wonderful highway with a gradual slope that helped us descend the mountain safely. One last look at the mountain brought the same response from each of us: "We had a good time - it was such a good day together!"
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Winds of the Mighty Columbia
A small part of the action
As I stood on the banks of the river and watched the surfers above an older lady walked over and stood near me. I spoke to her and she told me she was 80 years old and her 84-year-old husband was watching from the car behind us. They are intrigued and fascinated by the sport and they go there often to watch the activity. She said she wishes this sport had been part of their town 50 years ago because she would have been out there on the waves! She stood and watched and longed to experience the thrill that seemed to fill the hearts of the participants.
A few minutes later an old pickup parked nearby and my sweetheart and I, along with our family, watched two young men unload their equipment. We walked over to where they were assembling their gear and watched in amazement. We were fascinated and began to ask questions. This young man and his buddy told us a lot of basic information about windsurfing. They told us some things to watch for and how to spot the difference between a novice and pro. We followed them to the edge of the water and observed as they became part of the action on the water.
An up-close and personal lesson
Into the water
Riding the waves at last
We watched until the pair were out of sight and when we drove away from the river that day we were a bit wiser and understood more about what we had just seen. If you ever stand on the banks of the river and watch the windsurfers you won't see us out there - but we might be standing somewhere nearby, watching and learning a bit more about the fascination of riding the waves of the Mighty Columbia River!
Monday, August 13, 2007
Along An Old Highway
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Just As I Am
Charlotte Elliott was born in 1789 in England. As a young person she was carefree and she gained popularity as a portrait artist and writer of humorous verse. By the time she was thirty, however, her health began to fail rapidly, and soon she was bedridden - an invalid for the remaining years of her life. Her failing health brought feelings of deep despondency. In 1822 Dr. Caesar Malan, a noted Swiss evangelist, visited the Elliott home. His visit was a turning point in Charlotte's life. While counseling Miss Elliott about her spiritual and emotional problems, Dr. Malan impressed on her the truth that "You must come just as you are, a sinner, to the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." Every year, for the rest of her life, Miss Elliott celebrated the day on which her Swiss friend had led her to a personal relationship with Christ. It is apparent that she never forgot the words of her friend, for they are at the heart of this hymn that she wrote 14 years later.
Charlotte Elliott’s brother, Rev. Elliott, was planning to build a school for daughters of clergymen. Miss Elliott wrote the text for "Just As I Am" with the desire that it might help financially. As she thought of her weakness, she realized that since salvation was not of works, her Christian life was also to be by faith and trust and that God accepts the weakest person. Taking up her pen, she wrote this hymn of commitment. It is interesting to note that this one hymn from the pen of the clergyman's invalid sister brought in more funds than all of his bazaars and projects combined. In later years her brother said, "In the course of a long ministry, I hope to have been permitted to see some fruit of my labors; but I feel more has been done by a single hymn of my sister's."
Charlotte Elliott wrote approximately 150 hymns. After her death more than a thousand letters were found among her papers from individuals around the world expressing what this one hymn had meant in their lives. Only eternity will reveal the vast number of people whose lives have been dramatically changed through the use of this one hymn from the pen of an invalid woman. It is a hymn that should be used more often than just as an invitational number at the close of a service. Its message is one that we need to be reminded of frequently - our eternal standing and peace with God depends solely on Christ's merits and not our own.
Just as I am, without one plea,
Just as I am, and waiting not
Just as I am, though tossed about
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Just as I am, of that free love
Friday, August 10, 2007
Just Being 'Neighborly'!
Oregon City is also the home to the traditional End of the Oregon Trail. Many of the wagon trains disbanded on Abernethy Green in Oregon City. Today the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - a museum devoted to the history of the Oregon Trail - stands on this site. This area is rich with history and natural beauty. We are so fortunate to live here!