Monday, May 24, 2010

A weekend outing

For my birthday/Mother’s Day, daughter and son-in-law L&A gave me a wonderful getaway to a bed-and-breakfast in Parkdale, at the foot of Mt. Hood. 

Saturday morning we drove east through the Columbia River Gorge, always a delight.  We stopped at Crown Point and reviewed the history of making the highway through the gorge, complete with tunnels and bridges, and we took pictures, as always.  10-05-22-09-31-02H






The forecast for Parkdale and Portland was dismal, dismal and more dismal, so I was grateful for every moment I wasn’t actually getting dripped on.  As it turned out, we actually had sunbreaks and saw Mt. Hood in the afternoon.

We drove along this remarkable stretch of highway which must have a blog of its own one day.  The waterfalls and stone walls are wonderful. 10-05-22-10-25-19R The Queen Anne’s Lace was blooming abundantly, heads the size of dinner plates.


We stopped at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel for lunch.  We had stayed there twenty years ago and it was lovely to be there again, just as charming.


10-05-22-11-26-10R The view from our table ^


We walked in the gardens there:

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Then we headed into Hood River for some antiques shopping.  Alas, we found no antiques but we did find a book store to support.  I bought Ifferisms an anthology of aphorisms by Dr. Mardy Grothe because I had written a college paper on the subject and it seemed quite amusing.  And a beautiful children’s book, of course.


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Our money still in our pockets, we headed to Parkdale through the miles of apple and pear orchards.  Hood River orchards provide 75% of the nation’s pears, I learned.

10-05-23-10-30-03R 10-05-22-15-18-47H Our suite was the O’Keeffe (Georgia) suite, and on the door her quote was “It was June before I needed blue”, which amused me.  I had just seen the new movie on O’Keeffe which addressed some of the complexities of being an artist and a wife both, and raised questions in my mind about the nature of fame in art circles, so it was invigorating to be surrounded by her colors and prints in a cozy environment.

A cheesecake was on the table in our room when we arrived!  At 6PM a fondue tray with breads and fruits arrived.

It was so lovely to sit and read with no street noise, no telephone or cells, no voices asking for anything.  Just quiet.  Just reading together, Popsy rubbing my feet.  Later on, I took a nap.  On purpose: not one of those dozing off in the chair naps.  The kind where the absolute peace and lack of agenda calls you to stretch out across the bed sideways with an afghan and just close your eyes.  Mmmm.


From our windows you could see Mt. Hood, and doesn’t it look good considering the “dismal” forecast?10-05-23-08-43-59H

Bouquet on our table from the yard.  Love those shadows!10-05-23-08-43-21H

Not so fuzzy with a flash, but no shadows, either.

After breakfast the next morning we dallied in the garden.  I enjoyed our innkeeper’s umbrellas:



In Mary’s garden:

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And as we came around Mt Hood on our way home, guess what we saw!

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Can you see the snow flying onto the windshield?  It’s May 23, for pity sakes.



And so we leave this mini-adventure with some tales untold and with hearts full of rest and peace.  A lovely inn, a lovely innkeeper,  an indulgent husband, and 2 wonderful kids who sent me out to see the world.  Thank you!

There was love, all around

I am a May baby.  So were my two brothers.  We were born May 3, May 6, and May 9 three years in a row.  Growing up we had combined birthday parties with the family which usually included Mother’s Day as well.  When we were older and had “friend parties” we alternated turns.

I still share my birthday with Mother’s Day, and this year they were on the same day. But this year my special day was a decade turner!  I heard some whispers around me but didn’t inquire what was being planned—so it was a lovely sense of anticipation that I enjoyed being tortured by!

My grown daughter and her husband hosted a wonderful dinner in their brand new home, which meant they spent a lot of time hurriedly unpacking the rooms and finding a big enough dining table and chairs.  Everything was just perfect and since their debut they have had 2 more gatherings at their house (that I know of) so they are enjoying being in a place where they can  have friends over.  Thank you, thank you.

At our wedding time I wanted nut breads and sweet breads, not wedding cake.  In the past 3 years we have had 3 children marry and I have watched them go to cake tastings to choose favorite fillings and frostings and cake flavors.  So for my birthday I told my long-suffering husband that what I really wanted was to have a birthday cake of my own designing, not a Costco cake that says “Happy Birthday Holly” on it.  And certainly not one that says “Happy 60th Birthday”!

Do you want to see?

Lily-of-the valley is the May flower of the month, and I have always thought it very dear.

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10-05-08-18-39-03R           With my daughters (missing two)10-05-08-18-29-08H10-05-08-18-28-53H With my girlfriends (who got a big kick out of making old lady jokes at my expense)


Hollys Birthday 60 054                                 The guys Hollys Birthday 60 078                         Dad reads a sentimental card


                             Let the presents begin!

What made it so wonderful is that there was love everywhere!  Love to me, love to each other.  My husband loving me enough to indulge in such a splendid birthday cake, my daughter and son having such a wonderful dinner, my friends and their husbands coming on the first warm Saturday of the year to celebrate with me, my Dad feeling tender at what the years have brought, and my children enjoying each other, my friends and kids enjoying each other and having good talks…and in all the jokes about aging, there was lots of love, because I know they’ll still be there for me down the road.

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Two weeks later, the roses from the birthday table had not dropped a petal—isn’t that amazing?  And that is just the way my memories of the evening are, holding fast and fragrant with the pleasure of it all.