Manzanita Beach

Alan's birthday is as good an excuse as any to gather family at the beach. We've been together forty odd years (both meanings, yes). It all worked out somehow, and here we are, with a family we love, in a new state we've learned to love, and a coastline we've loved since childhood. Now I've discovered my new favorite Oregon beach town. Manzanita is the perfect ratio of beach to town - seven broad miles of soft pale sand, flat and firm, and a short few blocks of town.

Cascade Head

I've been trying to write about our anniversary hike up Cascade Head for a week, trying to strike a balance between the joy of ascent, hard work, and achievement with pain, suffering, and aging. It was a beautiful hike and all's well that ends well, I just didn't like how hard the hike was on my body, and I waver between "suck it up" and "badassery" and "when did I get so oooold? It's made me rather grumpy I must say.

Jubilation

On the right day, which was this one, Cooper Mountain Nature Park is a jubilation of greens and blossoms, prairies, wetlands and woodlands. Layers of texture roll out before us; trees are still bare, or still flowering, or in nascent leafiness, or are evergreen. What a difference a few days makes, when we were just dodging hailstones and driving through hail and slush!

It’s A Brothel Out There

Spring colors have been vamping it up all over town. The gaudy celebratory technicolor blossoms bring unfettered joy. You can't not notice, no matter how grumpy or anxious you're feeling. Then I began noticing the backdrop of the quieter plants, the greenery, the natives. They're doing a happy dance of their own, their desire on parade, just not as flashy as the flowers...