July 10, 2012

a priceless afternoon

freighter going upriver at sunset
I logged into my blog today and realized I hadn't posted since my post about spring break. Whoops! I have a lot of different posts in mind, so please come back for more summer reading! I will also be sharing some little watercolor paintings I've been having fun with.

Last week my kids and I spent at my parents' house, my childhood home, just outside Astoria, Oregon. (Yes, where we also spent spring break and last Christmas, so I hope you don't get bored!) It is not an area known for great weather, but almost the whole week was incredible, fabulous, unbelievable. Truly. I am not making it up. (those who have spent time in the area will understand the emphasis on this!) For example, Fourth of July morning we went clamming at Fort Stevens near the Peter Iredale (more on that later), and not only was it sunny, but there was no wind, and I ended up wishing I'd left my coat in the truck. Northern Oregon beaches are always windy and usually cool, the degree of cool ranging from "somewhat" to "extremely" depending on the season and weather. Anyway, this terrific weather was such a gift to our visit.

My parents will not always live in this house, at some point they will move permanently to a house they recently bought in Arizona. While I am happy for them, it is a bittersweet thing to think we will not always be able to visit my childhood home. So while we were there, I was trying to soak it all up for future remembering (and took a few photos for future digital scrapbooking).

On one afternoon in particular, I sat on the edge of the deck, the sun on my face, just taking it all in. The Columbia River, the geese out in the marshy islands, the freight ships quietly slipping by in the channel far away, the gentle breeze bringing the scent of plants and sometimes a hint of river smell, an eagle occasionally swooping by. Priceless.

Cathlamet Bay of the lower Columbia River

For those interested in local geography and history, my parents' house is situated above the river (a steep private trail leads down to it), near Twilight Eagle Sanctuary along Burnside Loop, about 9 miles east of Astoria just off Highway 30. This area was visited by Lewis and Clark and they commented in their journals about the very noisy geese (and other waterfowl) that are abundant here. The Columbia River is quite wide here, with the main shipping channel on the far side near Washington. This side of the river, which is slow, shallow, and full of marshy islands is called Cathlamet Bay. The main island close up in the photo above used to have pilings near it that rafts of logs were tied to until they were taken to a sawmill by a tugboat (something I remember seeing when I was a kid).

No comments: