Monday, October 5, 2009

Crossing Bridges

In my last post I described (in detail), the excitement and difficulties in leaving my last and youngest child at a University 992 miles away from me. Yes, hmm, this is a big question I am about to ponder, now that my children are all on their own, who am I? what do I do? Well, I have 992 (more now) miles to think about this on our drive back home. Oh dear can I just go back a few years until I am more prepared for this?

For now, I cried.

My poor sister Lindy.
She lent me her shoulder and then she came up with a great idea. We would go buy cheese! Yes, on the Oregon Coast you will find one of the finest dairy's in the country. Tillamook Cheese is made right here in Tillamook, Oregon.

Apparently we weren't the only ones who wanted some cheese, this place was popular. We took a self guided tour, and giggled a lot at how funny it seemed to be waiting in long lines to buy cheese and other dairy products.

It did the trick, I forgot to be sad. Look at this cheese making assembly line. Does anyone else think this is funny? or was it only Lindy and I? I'm sure I saw the cheese makers smile :)

Our next stop was to visit our Aunt and Uncle and then another Uncle who all lived on the coast. Where was it though? according to our map we were right next to it (there wasn't another road), instead we passed lovely little lakes and rivers,

crossed over many little bridges (nibbling our cheese), until finally...

The Coast!

Someday I'll come back when there is time to explore that magic light, but this photo would have to do, we were on our way to our Uncle Paul's and he was waiting...

Uncle Paul is a cool and interesting Uncle. Look at his all his finds from beach combing. I really liked all his stuff, when I looked around his place I knew I belong on this family tree.

Let's go have a look inside, but first i'd like to admire his gardens a bit more. See the mushroom? that is only a weathered beach stone he's set on a post. He is one clever man.

And look at these gorgeous rocks?! these are his agates. He's collected zillions and tumbled them all in his little rock tumblers until their smooth and polished. They were on every surface, I'm not kidding, they were piled across the kitchen counter, the dining room table, every where (he is a bachelor) who doesn't cook I assumed. Lindy and I just stared. They are so pretty. He told us to take some. Choose a few he said. But if your like me you can't, there were so many and each unique in it's own way, I couldn't choose. Eventually I think he got tired of us staring and he just grabbed a handful and said here!

We went down to the ocean, I still wasn't convinced it was really there. I mean one minute you are in a forest, and the next there is the sea. Here is the beautiful Pacific Ocean that my Uncle lives near.

My Uncle and I

We went to dinner at this place right on the beach. I had scallops and clam chowder. The food was delicious and I was still forgetting to be sad.

We watched the sun set, then took our Uncle back to his cool home, hugged him and thanked him for our rocks and glass floats and dinner.

We'll see you before too long!

Next, we were on to our Aunt and another Uncle's house. They live on the coast too. We stayed the night with them, my sister Lindy and I sharing a room with twin beds and unicorns on the walls and stars on the ceiling. Which we found funnier than the cheese and giggled till we fell asleep. There is no noise at night on the Oregon Coast.

The surf is the only sound I heard.

I liked the quiet.

In the morning we went to breakfast. Can you see the view from our table? My Aunt worried that we'd not get a good table. They all looked good to me. While we ate we were being watched...

Hello Mr. gull, I would give you some of my yummy pancakes, but you already ate most of my sisters.

We said goodbye, we'll see you soon. I have a feeling we'll be seeing alot more of this coast.

It's simply beautiful.

(and my baby is up here.)

With directions in hand we set out on the road. Lindy said she needed to get home, she had work to think of, we shouldn't dally. Oh, right, I agreed.

That lasted about five minutes. We saw a sign for Cape Foulweather, a lookout it said. We couldn't pass this up!

We see it out on the cliff, let's get closer...

we followed a path through more trees

(right on the ocean, I can't get over that) it's really spectacular...

Here it is! Cape Foulweather. It is a lovely old house which I think was once an observatory. Now it's a gift shop and a sort of visitors center. I bought a book, but mostly I just admired the little house and looked out the windows.

Come inside and see.

Oh my, could you imagine living here and being a lookout?

Standing right here at this window several people saw a whale spout. We missed it. We couldn't see it. Even though we were standing there too :(

But isn't this a fantastic place to say Thar she blows!

Once again, heading for home. Shortly, we saw a sign for a glass blower. By now our car was reading our minds and was turning of its own accord, while we laughed and said, who are we to argue?

Who would have guessed that that modest little house in the photo above held all this amazing hand crafted beauty?

Here is where all the work is done. It was already over 80 degrees outside, can you imagine how hot that area near the furnace is ?

So this is where my Uncle got all his glass balls. These were all over his house. He had given us one of these also. I told you he was cool.

Which would you choose?

We are not in the glass blower shop anymore. No, now we are at the wood carver. It really is the last of our (unplanned) stops, we told the car,

so it knows.

I forgot to take a photo of the little bears. If I didn't have a child (or four) in college I might of bought one. Maybe.

This is one of our planned stops. :)

Our Uncle told us about this place where we could view sea lions.

There they are, hundreds of them. It made me dizzy to watch since you have to lean over a steep cliff to see them. Right before we waved goodbye to the many sea lions, we saw a spout out at sea. Whales!! We saw them after all. A family heading south for warmer waters.

It's always a thrill to see.

Heading east now towards the interstate that will speed us home. And to the very last of our planned stops. We are looking for elk.

At the official elk viewing area, we knew we were probably going to be out of luck. It was the middle of the afternoon and hotter than well, hell. Those elk are smart and would be bedded down in the shade

somewhere out of our sight.

Here is what we'd hoped to see.

oh well.

We'd keep our eyes open for the next several miles and maybe...


you'll have to trust me here, they really can't be seen unless you have a pair of binoculars. But I did, and they are there. Several females were lying in the tall grass in the shade. Yipee!

Now we can go home. :)

We Passed a forest fire in Southern Oregon, good luck firefighters...

I knit a pair of slippers for my sister. We found a cute yarn shop in Portland where I found this yarn, a blend of alpaca and wool, soft, warm and pretty heh? These really do only take one day, two if your looking at whales and elk.

And another wild fire, this one in California, only about twenty miles from home. It was very unnerving driving straight towards something like this.

The fire was to our left, not in the road like it looked! Luckily no (people) homes were harmed (this time) but I can't say that about the wildlife.

This is the last photo, and we are at the end of a journey I had looked forward to and dreaded for so long. I figured out one part of the question I asked myself at the beginning of this post, what would I do?

Well, I won't be sad. I'll look at this as an opportunity,

for Hannah and for me.

Exciting choices are ahead, yes indeed.

If your reading this darling, don't worry about me my girl,

I(we) can do this.

I Love you,


Love to you too, thank you so much for all the wonderful

comments of support and love,

Lori ♥


  1. Hi Lori ann

    I enjoyed your trip home and all the stops you made for family sustenance and interest...
    I think that your uncle's glass balls are old buoys, before the days of plastic...they used to wash up on the coastal beaches...

    Now you have that exciting future opening out in front of you...Life is a joyfilled adventure...

    Happy days

  2. I love all the shiney things in this post :)
    I'd choose the blue glass ball.

    Sometimes we just have to feel lucky to have people so close to us that we miss them terribly when they're not so close.
    What I mean is... lucky to have people we love :)

    You're beautiful Lori and thanks for all that you share :)

    xoxo Ribbon

  3. Your trip back looks like you had a very good time and I think your daughter is reassured by that too :o)

    I love the sea lions, we used to travel across to Los Lobos to see them when we lived in Spain, very beautiful tame creatures. You are so lucky to have seen whales spouts... I saw dolphins last year, it was amazing.

    I want to learn to knit your slippers looked amazing and so did the hat from the last post.

  4. Your post was eye candy for my little soul. :) All those wonders to see and feel. Thanks Lori, you know that I know that you know. You know?

    lotsa love.xx♥

  5. Good morning, Sunshine! Here I've lived in Oregon four+ years and haven't seen as much as you did in one round trip. Your photos and the stories that go with them were so much fun to see. The cheese factory reminded me of Willy Wonka's candy factory.

    We are trying to fit a drive over the Cascades to the coast (depending on driving conditions) during the time relatives are in Bend. After your post .... it's a MUST.

  6. Hi Lori,
    I enjoyed the tour of Oregon with you. I love having unplanned stops during outdoor trips. They are lot more fun and surprising. Speaking of which, I had a plan to post something similar. Maybe i'll do it sooner.

    I guess when babies fly from the nest it is very hard for the parents. I remember my Dad crying like a baby after my wedding. Even after almost 10 months he still misses me and gets annoyed when I dont call him up.

    Now that you have time you can do so much! Everything you ever thought of doing but could not.

    Its a beginning of a new phase in life.

    ♥ Chaitra

  7. I love to able to just stop anywhere I like during a travel like the one you did. The stops must have helped a lot to overcome your sadness.

  8. Lori - what a wonderful little adventure you made out of what could have been a miserable,sad experience. I think it is great you chose to notice the opportunity for all of those unplanned stops. LIfe is like that -- presents all sorts of possibilities if we chose to take note. Thanks for taking us along on your trip! Enjoyed every minute of it.

  9. Hi Delwyn,
    I am keeping that in the front of my thoughts all the time, the adventure of it all, we are blessed.
    My Uncle had both types of balls, the old fishing buoys (we used to find them when I was a child!)and the purchased ones from the glass blower. He told us he couldn't help himself and kept going back to buy more and those are the ones we were given!
    Hi Ribbon,
    What you've said is the truth and the best way to look at it. Thank you for reminding me to always count my blessings. It's you who's beautiful dear Ribbon.
    your right exactly, after my last post made her cry I so wanted to reasure her, I hope this did it!
    Sea lions are so entertaining, I love them too only when I'm on dry ground, not when i'm in th ocean or in a kayak!
    I wonder if I can teach you how to knit on line? let me know if you'd like the patterns, they are really simple to do.
    I know ♥
    Happy Birthday again, did you get your card yet?
    Hi Helen,
    Haha! that's it! Willy Wonka's, i knew i'd seen it somewhere.
    I hope you do get to make that trip, well if you have chains you can drive even in the snow I heard. The elks are near Reedsport and everything else we saw was north of there. Oh my gosh Oregon is pretty, you are lucky to live there!
    Dear Chaitra,
    You are right about the time and the phone calls. You have no idea how excited I get when I see one of my kids is calling!! of course I try not to bother them with too many, it's a learning process for sure. I'm really looking forward to your post and don't forget to call your Dad!
    Going with my sister helped alot since we both love to stop at the same places, and she helped take away my sadness. I am so blessed to have her.

  10. Hi Lyn,
    thanks so much, it is my pleasure. Luckily my sister had some flexability with work and i'm still out on disability so we could take the extra time! Still, it was a relief to laugh alot more than cry!

  11. What a lovely way not to be sad. And cause no doubt you'll have to do the trip lots in the next few years then the beauty of the journey will take care of you. As how can anyone be sad with blowing elks and sitting down wales!!!!

  12. Lori Ann,

    I want to go on a road trip with you - you make every thing so much fun :)
    Your uncle is so super cool - I just loved his place. Loved all the pictures - but most of all I loved the slippers that you knitted for your sister. I want to knit a pair too. Do you know of any online patterns?

    Lastly, I admire how you handled your daughter going away to college. I might need to borrow some of it one day (I guess not too far in the future - my older one is 12 - so another 6 years)


  13. Wow, what a stunning virtual tour, Lori, thanks so much for sharing so much beauty! Oregon looks to be a stunning part of the world!
    And as for you, dear heart, you will be fine, there is a door that opens with every one that closes, an opportunity that awaits around every corner. xxx

  14. You can so do this. You are doing this.

    You write so beautifully Lori Ann that I know that you must talk beautifully too.

    Grab my hand.

    Love Renee xoxo

  15. Ohhh Lori! You did it again! Fabulous trip thank you for bringing us along. I like cheese! And bdrms w/ unicorns, twin beds, & stars! My Sis, Julie & I would have been giggling too! I love that you connect with your Uncle. What you said about being in the same tree... I love that!
    What a beautiful place. I love the photos!
    Your Baby will be fine. I miss mine way more than she misses me (which means I did my job well). i get to see her and her sis this weekend! Yea Me!
    Love to you my Dear. Been thinking about you.

  16. Lovely trip. You made good stops and saw the real Oregon. And Hannah will discover more and share with you.

  17. Hi Lori, this is a first time visit here for me via FireByrd. Thank you for sharing a milestone in your life so beautifully and for showing such a memorable trip shared with those you love. I enjoyed it very much.

  18. Thank you for sharing this journey of delivering the last child to college and looking into the "What now's?" A grand photo trip, so very interesting too!

  19. lori ann--my friend!!!

    what a trip. you are a first class travel guide. i would follow you anywhere. i read this and i envied your sister for getting to share this with you.

    plus you made the same stops i would have--planned and unplanned--just another of my secret confirmations to myself that you and i are tied, ah, i mean connected haha, in some sweet way.

    i haven't forgotten the story of my life. but for now i've enjoyed this slice of yours so much i am off to bed happy for you.

    btw, you're doing better already, right? and hannah is doing fine?
    i'm glad.


  20. would be awesome to have you on my next road trip (which is to visit V) - what a doublewhammy that would be!


  21. I told Hans this was a MUST for him to read, and he did and enjoyed it! No wonder you two get along so well, he said. This afternoon I`ll have the time to write you a long mail! (Everything everyone said is true!)

  22. Gorgeous virtual tour, Lori! thanks for taking us along, I enjoyed every minute,as ever x

  23. Hello Lori, thanks for leaving me a comment yesterday*!* I've enjoyed your happy sad trip, such a beautiful and interesting coastline, your daughter and other family members will be pulling you back there for plenty more visits I'm sure.

  24. The way you share your trip, the amazing photographs, the description of your feelings are so intense, Lori! Thank you for sharing , I really loved the Coast scenes , the blue sky is gorgeous! And what a beautiful family you are!! Have a blessed day. xo Mina

  25. I enjoyed the trip on the Oregon coast - even recognizing some of your stops! So fun. I just love Oregon - we just returned home yesterday from Portland.

    I would love to make those slippers. They would be my Christmas present to all. Alas, I need to take that knitting class first.

    You will survive. It takes some time, though. Be kind to yourself. An empty nest is a new beginning, but it takes adjustment, for sure.

  26. Lori, one day, somewhere down the road, your children are going to take the opportunity and look back at all of these memorable posts of yours, and realize the true meaning of unconditional love. You have painstakingly created such a marvelous scrapbook of your combined journeys. A treasure trove to be cherished to say the least. You are an amazing lady.

  27. Mandy, right?? that's what I was thinking! There is a lot to look forward to, all of it. Hope your foot is healing just fine!
    Wouldn't we have fun? A bloggers road trip!
    I have patterns galore. If you want I'll email you the hat and slippers one, they are simple and fun, your daughter might even give it a try (if they don't already). I'll write you.
    your absolutly right. I'm keeping my chin up and crossing my fingers my girl does too!
    Oregon is even better in person, maybe you'll go someday?
    I talked about you to my sister, she loves you too.
    you are so lucky! you get to see her already...thank you so much for the sweet words, I know you know exactly what it is I'm feeling. So glad you liked the trip post!
    I think your right, she's already finding her way around. She really liked seeing this part of Oregon(my post) that she missed.
    Welcome! and thank you. How kind of you to say such nice things. I am really glad you enjoyed, it is my pleasure.
    thank you, you are so kind, considering you live in such a spectacular area, Oregon is beautiful though heh?
    Oh I am really glad you enjoyed this, I had a feeling you would. We do have so much in common, I've felt that from the start. Does this part of the west coast remind you of where you live there in the east? Hannah is doing fine, fantastic even, I am alright, going to be great!!
    Janet, I swear I think i had Chuck considering it for a minute. Where is a magic carpet when you need one? and well, a money tree as long as we're wishing! haha.

  28. Geli,
    I loved your mail, and your last post too. Yes, I do believe you would have fit in to a tee with Lindy and I. I know you would love her.It's my turn for a real mail, i'll get to it over the weekend!
    thanks, it's quite different than where you live! and did you notice all the driveby photos? haha! I can't seem to leave those out.
    Oh, the pleasure is mine. I am so glad Ribbon asked us to go visit you. I love your birds, the kookabura is charming, i'll be back!
    I hope you have a blessed day too my dear friend. I also hope you are all settled in your new home. I love the photos you shared!
    you were just in Portland!?!
    If you knit the patterns are really simple, I'll send them to you if you like. There's plenty of time before Christmas.
    Thank you for the most lovely comment I think I've ever recieved. That is what I'm hoping for most of all. That's why I'm doing this. I am very grateful to you.
    Thank you again.

  29. So picturesque.....especially the Cape Foulweather lookout...gorgeous. And the agates? lovely :)

  30. What a detailed and outstanding post. Thank you for sharing so many deeply personal experiences.

  31. lori, how did i overlook telling you how great your photos are? however, even with your terrific eye and the natural beauty of the coastline, my favorite is that little pair of slippers.

    there is something so precious about that shot that it makes me almost want to cry, in a good way.

    it is my intention to write you a goodly sized email before the weekend's over. you feel like a real friend, and i quite like that!


  32. Hi Lori, I e-mailed you hope you received it!

  33. Sssssssssupppperb post; one of the longest I've ever seen! And how lovely the photographs are!! Wonderful!!!

    Thoseghar Waterfall

  34. ♥ Braja,
    Thank you, I love Oregon, it's all beautiful. The agates my Uncle gave me are always in my pocket or my hand, they have a wonderful feeling to them.
    I'm glad you enjoyed, I am never sure if anyone will be interested in my journal but when it happens it makes me happy. I hope someday my kids read it.
    you know what? your comment was precious. thank you dear friend.
    by now you know I mailed you back! I'm hoping you can get your aunt to teach you if you've not tried before. It's simple, I know you can do it!!
    Hello Bhavesh,
    Why thank you so much! your right though, it is a bit long.

  35. I absolutely loved the trip home with you, Lori. Oh, how wonderfully completely perfect.....delicious cheeses; a very cool Uncle (wish he was mine as well!); the most beautiful country to drive through and there were whales and sea lions and elk. Your photographs, as always, are a delight.

    Life after children - not easy letting go, but Delwyn is right of course. It is an unknown road, but think of all the discoveries you'll make round every corner! Sending you flurries of love, sweetest Lori. xx

  36. That was such an enjoyable trip to Oregon, thanks for taking me along.
    Best wishes to your daughter on her new journey (and you too).


xoxo lori