Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

some of my favorite things

One of the things I like about winter is how it offers time for dreaming and planning. Longer nights help the first and inclement weather is good for the latter. It's cozy inside, a good time for fires in the fireplace-- if the wind is right. If it isn't, the smoke drops down around our house, creeps in through the windows. I am super sensitive to woodsmoke in terms of sinus problems, so that creeping business is not a good thing.

Because it's lambing season and we can't really take off for a long week-end, my mind is wandering to where we've been and where I want to go when the last lambs are born. And because this is a day where love is the topic, I was in the mood to share some of what I love. Take for granted that I love my family. They are at the top of any list and right after family are our cats. But there is something else I love-- nature and place.  

Maybe because I grew up on a farm, land has always been one of my loves-- and that means this farm. I am fortunate enough to live where I love. But I also enjoy getting away for a few days or weeks-- and when I have dreams of doing that, it's always places in the American West. So long as it doesn't go too far east of the Rockies, anywhere can qualify for a satisfying daydream. 

There is a beach house I love at Seal Rock, well just south of it. We had rented the house about once a year-- and then one year it wasn't listed. When it returned to the listing, it had been rebuilt into a luxury home. It is obviously much more expensive but still worth it for the view it offers of a small, private cove-- great wave action and a wonderful place to watch birds of all sorts. 

It's easy to get to the beach down a trail where exploring tidal pools and taking photos is the main activity. It's one of those places that to just be is enough. Just being is one of the best parts of nature.

Another place I can imagine being right now is a cottage in Mitchell, Oregon. In the summer, its garden is full of flowers and gives a delightful sense of seclusion to the house. It's older and attached to another small cottage; so a person can rent both or just the one half. Nearby are the Painted Hills where we have taken tons of photos and I've done some painting.

It has been a few years since we've taken the ferry across from Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C.  We used to go every year. I miss it. I like Victoria and Vancouver Island. On the Pacific side are some of the most gorgeous and wild beaches I've ever seen. Victoria itself is a pleasure to explore with an outstanding museum. I also enjoy the ferry trip that connects us from here to there. I am not sure it's going to be on this summer's agenda, but renting a house there would be great-- especially if we could take the family with us. 

No daydream is complete without imagining a trip to Montana. I was first there in 1990. It was summer, and we were mostly sleeping on pads in the back of our Astro van, which made it very free-wheeling. 

I've seen a few questions where they ask-- if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? My answer was always-- sun on my back, sitting on a big rock on the Madison River while my partner was fly fishing nearby. It would not have to be the Madison River as Montana has many gorgeous places I could imagine being right now and feel a sense of peace coming over me.

This fall, we have reservations at Old Faithful Inn for early October, most years a wonderful time to be in Yellowstone. If we go, we will take the trailer for time in the Lamar Valley where the wolves and grizzlies roam. 

Except... then we began to remember another place we haven't since 1999-- Chaco Canyon and New Mexico. That would require taking the trailer also and meandering down through Utah, wonderful red rock parks and maybe this time getting into Hovenweep, which for some inexplicable reason, we have never done... or would Monument Valley be better? We enjoyed it very much the one time we stayed there, which also was more than a couple of years ago.

So many choices, so many great memories. I love the American West and find myself always with so many places I'd like to be that it's not tempting to go beyond it. I'm glad that everybody does not feel the same. Some of my favorite places to be have very few who feel likewise, which make them even more delightful to spend time.


Linda Kay said...

Loved your pictures. We have some great ones of the California coast that have the rocks and the sea. Love them as well. Happy Valentine's Day to you.

robin andrea said...

I love this list. The places you love are all beautiful in so many different ways. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Such lovely photos Rain....I always love seeing the Momma's and Babies this time of year....They are so very sweet.....
Lots of Beautiful places to go, my dear.....

Tabor said...

I do love the West, but I have come to love parts of Europe and Asia and the South Pacific where I lived shortly. I can live and visit many places now.

Rain Trueax said...

I think to find a place that speaks to your soul can be anywhere for different people.

I am not a carve a notch for making it to this or that scenic site (even in the west) where it's all about hurrying from place to place to say I'd been there. To me it's going to places that connect with me and staying there long enough to feel the place and experience its energy. It's why I like renting houses or now the trailer where I set up my own house anywhere I am.

In years past, I have been around quite a bit of the US, but have some places I'd still like to go. Of course, I use what I see and feel in my writing; so I do have an ulterior motive to sticking to the west for now. I don't have time to do it all :). If I had less desire to write, I'd have more time to travel even to the places I love out here :). That day might yet come. I am a big believer in life spirals

Right now I'm editing the first of the Oregon historicals and feeling a little down. Editing is not my favorite kind of writing. It drains instead of builds. I had been putting off what I thought would be its final edit but am now not so sure.

Tara Crowley said...

any one of those places, please. we do live in a beautiful land. you're lucky to be able to travel, even with the ranch and its responsibilities. Not the American West, but our Cuba trip is coming up in March and I look forward to the warm temps, friendly locals, and rum drinks. And, of course, photos galore!

Rain Trueax said...

I am looking forward to the photos and descriptions of what you experience in Cuba, Tara. I've read so much of what this one or that felt when there but a lot of trips in the past were choreographed. Yours being around photography should be very interesting.