Although I spent last week in Portland, I technically spent very little time in the city. I actually spent my time in Hillsboro with the Allred family. We also went to the coast on Saturday. I will let the pictures tell the story.
I flew in Thursday night. But Friday morning we went to the library for story time. After it was over we walked around the park outside the library.
Salli was holding Megan, and Sadie couldn't get enough of the ducks.
We then spent the rest of Thursday lounging about. We watched Anne of Avonlea, which Sadie loved. She even called Captain Harris the spooky man, which I have always thought he was. We even watched the Osmond clan on Oprah. It was actually very interesting to watch. There is so much I have never known about the Osmonds. Here are the girls, just hanging out.
It was about this time that Sadie discovered my bag, with all the treasures inside. She took everything out of my wallet and played with all the money and cards. One of the privileges of being the friend is that I can let kids play with my cell phone and wallet when parents can't, especially since I was only there for a short amount of time. Here are some pictures of Sadie enjoying the contents of my bag. She loved my reading glasses, lip gloss, and sunglasses. I guess I have good taste.
The next day we headed out the coast. We first went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
Where we saw the cheese factory in action. I was amazed at the process.
Who knew cheese production could be so fascinating. I kept wondering what it would be like to work in a cheese factory. Salli said it might be a good job for Richard because he loves cheese so much. But, I always wonder if you would soon tire of it if you had to work with it daily.
Although in Utah we usually only see Tillamook cheese, they also produce ice-cream, yogurt, butter, and fudge. We couldn't pass up an opportunity for ice-cream, fudge, and of course cheese. I bought fresh cheese curds to bring home to the family. They were the squeakiest curds I've ever had--and the most delicious.
After the factory, we headed to the coast. We went to Cape Meares and Oceanside Beach. I was taken back by the beauty. I first saw the Pacific Ocean when I was 17 and on an art history trip to San Francisco. I later returned to spend two summers on Catalina Island off the coast of L.A. I loved all of those adventures and I have a fond love for the Pacific, but what I beheld in Oregon was breathtaking.
I have always known that Oregon is known as a green state. But, I realized that it truly is so much more than their wonderful environmental awareness. I have never seen so many hues and textures of green.
I love that green seemed to attach itself to everything. It didn't matter what or where, even the air seemed to be rich with green. It had rained a little, so all the vibrancy of the smells were at full force and intoxicating.
And more of the splendor ...
We also saw a slug, some great toadstools (at least some woman told us they were toadstools), and a light house.
And then we actually went down on the beach. Where the beauty kept intensifying.
Sadie loved playing in the sand. We kept telling her to look up and see the larger view, but she was enjoying the sand and rocks right in front of her face. She enjoyed them for what they were on her terms, not on what we saw as beauty. She found her own bit of beauty that afternoon. She never grew tired of gathering sand and chasing me with it. We played and laughed all afternoon. She reminded me that sometimes we just need to enjoy what is right in front of us without worrying so much about trying to take everything in at once. So often we can only see what is right before us, but we must learn to enjoy it for what it is.
The water was cold, but not so cold that I didn't let it wash over my feet. The tide was low, so there was so much beach to explore. I never tire of watching the water interact with the beach. I love to watch it come with such force and then reside with ease. Perhaps this is how life is, it often comes at us with so much force, but we have to wait for the release. And of course, the whole undulating process smooths everything it touches. The pebbles are so smooth, but they have undergone the push and pull so much.
I couldn't help but feel renewed and refreshed as I walked the beach, especially since I got to walk it with Salli. Sipping beauty while conversing with dear friends can help ward off all kinds of sorrow. I was glad we opted for the coast as opposed to the city. I am sure I will go back some day when I can explore the urban landscape of Portland. But I found what I went for. I feel most myself when I am immersed in the larger beauty of the earth. It reminds me that patience and faith are required to create such glories.