I walk outside to the garden early most mornings, and with a loud squawk our resident scrub jays fly in. They perch on a trellis or tree branch across the yard but in plain sight, and cock their heads at me. I sigh, go back in to grab the peanuts I'd forgotten, and scatter a few on the patio.
We haven't seemed to gin up the energy to do what it takes to get the grandkids out camping. I'm daunted by what it would take, and it feels like a big push, looming larger than when we camped with our own kids. I have to admit, I'm slowing down. But Oregon is a camping paradise with so many possibilities near rivers and lakes, in forests and mountains, and by the ocean.
When I visit California it's with one foot firmly planted in the past. This is how it all used to be, this highway, those hills, that beach, this restaurant, that friend, the place I used to….
I could have been a teen mom. Or one who used a coat hanger or Lysol or worse to abort a baby I didn't want. I could be dead. But between Planned Parenthood and Roe v Wade, I had agency over my life, and a choice. I could create the life I wanted.
I'm not a big fan of air travel. Noise, discomfort, crowds, and TSA put me on the grumpy and impatient side of being the old lady I am. And I've probably watched too many plane crash movies. But looking down from up high fascinates me - the contrasts, the geography, recognizing places I've been, and the impacts of time and weather.
As self-appointed nature guides and outdoor fun seekers with the grandkids, we recently drove out to a new nature park... Rosa was not thrilled." Good luck!" her mama called gaily, closing the front door firmly.
The pandemic highlighted how important it was to all of us to have this music-based community, to recommit to one another, to hold each other up and cheer each other on, and to know that these friendships would be here when we return. The ultimate intimate connection for me is the music. When words fail, there's music.
The long drive gave me lots of time to consider, and go over lyrics of songs I hoped to lead in the jams. I immersed myself in the scenery flashing by, and realized as we left the urban boundary, that this was our first drive so far south on I-5 in 999 days.
Going to Ridgefield Wildlife Reserve is all about birdwatching really. But flowers and landscapes are what my camera can do.... Also BBQ, writing, the backyard, and more.
I never tire of crossing over the Columbia River into Washington. It has everything: a bridge, a river, another state, and another point of view. I hear constant birdsong during my four hour hike at Steigerwald Refuge. My troubles dissapate, and float away with the river.