Coming back to where I was me is a good thing. I missed the place, and I talked about it a lot. I kept saying I wanted to come back to see the place again. Been way to long since I was last down there. Who can blame me for not wanting to get a way from all the pollution of other nasty events in my life. I was not running away, was getting away to clear my though patterns. I need the valley’s reminder of my strength again.
The drive from Seattle to Ashland Oregon is an eight-hour drive down the interstate 5 freeway. Out the windows the car passed forests full of thick trees, flat valleys, farmland, and old pioneer homesteads. It seems like every time I come back to this place its like the past staring back at me. The modern city turns to quiet country towns out in middle of nowhere. The thing is, it all looks like a scene out of the Little House On The Prairie books. You expect to see Laura herself. The Rouge Valley is where my Father was raised, it is where both my parents met and married. Also this is where I spent my summers of childhood here with both sets of grandparents. This is where my family settled during the Western Expansion on the Oregon Trail. This is where I go when I want to escape to clear my head from all the madness of the city. And now this is where I went for a week to clear my head and heart from a breakup three months ago. I needed to go back to my roots, a place where I was the happiest and carefree. Oregon has been a safe haven for me. A place where I can keep some of my best kept secrets. As I drove along, I’m reminded of how carefree life seems to be around here. A place unlike Washington’s hurried and fast paced life. This time I’m coming back to bury my Grandma, but to bury the pain and the hurt that has built up for so long now.
Death in the family is supposed to be a somber time, but to me it’s like a peacefulness has crept upon me. I believe this has to do with the two most recent events that has happened in my life. I seem to know that through it all, Grandma is with Jesus now. No more pain and suffering from Alzheimer’s anymore. As my parents and I went to the funeral home to pick out the last of the last-minute details, it occurred to me how little my Grandma wanted for her burial. Grandma was a simple pioneer girl who liked everything to be just country simple. How expensive all of this is to bury a love one. The good news is, at least Grandpa’s will have most of the arrangements done through the Veterans Administration. While out I saw my Aunt Jan who looks like she too is going down hill fast. At least Grandma did not have to see her suffer too from the effects of Polio. Seems death is hanging in the air of recent. Death of a horrible job, death of a two years relationship, death of two love ones, and the death of the old me. Seems to be new growth, new beginnings are coming around the corner. Like all things under heaven, everything has a time, a place and an ending. Maybe God has done this for a reason. Maybe I needed to come back here again to remind myself who I really am.
Day 3 Morning:
As I sit here looking out the window at the clouds rolling off the mountain hills, the sight strikes me by how even here after a rainstorm things renew. I’m an outdoor girl, even in the city. I long for the wilderness and the quiet tranquil of the sounds of nature.
Being here again is strange due to all of my childhood memories come spill through the unseen veil of my childhood. Last time I was here I was twenty, now I am twenty-five, grown up, seen the world, know hardships, know all toys must be put away, and all the joys are to be held on to. I come back with new eyes. Eyes as an adult, eyes of a person who is trying to forget the painful memories of a person who I thought loved me, eyes of a person who needs a few days with her old self again. Have to start healing the my heart all the way now.
Day 3 Afternoon:
The day was spent in much relaxation and waiting for Nana to come back from Wallowa Oregon. Through out the day there was nothing but the weather I left back in Seattle. Sun was out one minute, then the next the clouds with wind all of sudden come across the valley. Later walked the irrigation ditch after dinner up the hillside. From here the valley spreads out in a panoramic view from below. Just a peaceful day with nowhere to be.
Military surplus store here I come and there I went. I bought a metal ammo container to store my valuables in. They are the best thing since most people who want to steal would not want to touch one of these things to begin with. I was tempted to buy an Army digital camo jacket, but through against it. Up in Seattle people will mistake you for a real army person with or without the patches. Being the old girl in the store was a plus. I had so many guys asking me if they could help me find something. I love it!
Afternoon was spent at Lithia Park in Ashland walking the trails. Been awhile since I have been there. The duck ponds now look better and now the person can see the bottom of the pond. We all had a late lunch at Sesame, a pan Asian cuisine off the park. The food was good and I would recommend it to anyone who is in town. Late in the evening we all went out for an ice cream at the local bakery.
Today was the day Grandma was laid to rest with her family in the pioneer cemetery at Trail Oregon. The funny thing about this, all the occupants are all dead. The town is a ghost town now with its own postal code. The funeral was done grave side, with some of the chairs sitting on resting places of our family previously buried there. The service was small and intimate with an all the family that were very close to Grandma. The minister who did the service did not know Grandma personally but he made the service something Grandma would want to have and all of us left would remember her by. He did play a few songs by guitar for her, a real western like feel to it. Very heart warming for all of us. I did see some of my cousins I had not seen since they were babies or very small. Now looking at them, I feel very old. A few were cousins my Dad had not seen for over thirty years and more or a few that some how had dropped off the face of the earth until today. The drive up was not as bad as we all thought. The one time Nana, Mom and Grandma went up, it seemed like a long drive through many back roads. We did not see the old homestead up the road this time. There is nothing left of it anymore due to Verizon taking over it for the hill access for the cell towers.
After the ceremony Nana, Mom, Dad and I went to Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland Oregon for an early dinner after the service. I had my first real beer since three months ago. Wonderful end to a day filled with remembrance for a special person that the world will greatly miss.
On the road again to Seattle. Rain from Grants Pass to home this time. I wished for some sun at least when I came home, but like weather in the Northwest, you have to live with what you get. Coming home renewed a fresh was great. Seeing Maddie kitty welcoming us home was a wonderful end to a nice vacation. Now off to do come cleaning and laundry from the trip.
Books I read: The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin and The Well Traveled Casket, Oregon Folklore by Tom Nash, Twilo Scofield and Don Adkins
Music listened to while typing: Somewhere, Memories by Within Temptation; He Wont Go, Rumor Has It by Adel; Nothing Last Forever by Natalia Kills; She Country by Jason Aldean.
Gallery of Photos taken while there: