"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 6 To Scapoose!

On Sauvie Island

I had an awesome time with my friend, Chuck Pierson's writer's group in Vancouver Washington on Thursday morning, then Dotti and I headed on to see her cousin, Cathie and husband, Phil, who live in the mountains near Scapoose, Oregon. 

We had to go on to St. Helens, about 7 miles from Scapoose, to find a motel.

Then we went out to Cathie and Phil's place.

Cathie and Phil's place in winter
Cathie prepared us a wonderful lunch of fresh fruit, and a zucchini and cheese casserole that was to die for. (I got the recipe) While Dotti and Cathie visited, I talked to Phil about what it's like to live in Oregon. Very interesting folks.
They live on 40 acres of heavily wooded land.  Phil had recently sold some of the timber.  He said 92 truck loads of trees were taken out.  In Oregon, when you cut down trees, you are required to reseed. So Phil will hire a crew to come in and plant new trees. The land owner is also responsible to clean up the mess made during the logging.  Phil was hard at work most of the time we were there.

We stayed a while, then headed back to our motel in St. Helens, with an invitation to come back tomorrow for breakfast and some sight seeing.

After we had breakfast, Cathie took Dotti and I out to see a Hari Krishna Worship Center in the woods near her house.

Cathie is an energetic 69. It's hard to see in the pictures of this place but the hills and the trails on them are STEEP. Cathie hikes them all the time with her "walking" buddies. I'm the youngest, but I'm standing below them, using taking their picture as an excuse and opportunity to stop and catch my breath.  Dotti is the oldest and if she's not complaining, I'll be darned if I will. So I snap this shot and off we go again. 

Cathie in the trees
Cathie tells us the history of the Hari Krishna site.  When the HK's bought the land, they had problems with getting it tax exempt, I believe is what she said.  The State of Oregon didn't recognize the site as a "church".  So the HK's built shrines to many religions in separate areas of the tract of land.  There was a Christian worship area, Jewish, Native American and several others.  We had a map but couldn't find the Native American site.  Cathie showed me pictures of it later. The HK's had built a towering Eagle with it's wings spread -- all out of wood.  There were benches to sit on an reflect.  Beautiful impressive place -- all of it.

Cathie said all were welcome as long as they treated the area with respect, so we parked her car at the entrance to the HK property. When we got out, I slid my purse under the seat.  Cathie and Dotti both took theirs with them.  Being a little bit out of shape, I knew I didn't need the extra weight of my purse.

We by passed the gate and went in.

I don't know what it is about being in the woods, but I always experience  a feeling of  distancing myself from the rest of the world. Maybe its because we don't have many large wooded areas at home. Whatever it is, it is always welcome. Even with Cathie talking about all she and her buddies have seen there on the HK trails and other places around there, the woods were quiet.

Most of the trees are some variety of pine, so I could hear them whispering.  I love that sound.  I think it's why I try so hard to keep my one pine tree at home alive -- so occasionally I can hear it whisper to me -- "all is well."

So we walk up hill and down hill, and we are huffing and puffing -- Dotti and I are -- not Cathie --and I hear her say, "The bad thing about the Hari Krishners is while people are out here exploring their meditation center, they may be rifling through the car."

Oh, crap!

I didn't say anything though.  If it happened, I'd deal with it, but my gut feeling was that everything was fine, so we went on.

Dotti finally started complaining, (she's a tough old bird) so then I felt okay with agreeing that I'd had enough, too.  It'll probably be a cold day in hell before Cathie invites these two old gals to walk with
 her again.

Next, Cathie drove us out to Sauvie Island, close to Scapoose.  This was a wonderful place of fresh fruit, veggies and flowers. I found some Marion berry pies, marionberry syrup and jelly.  I also discoveed that Marion berries are a cross of two different species of blackberries and were named after the county in which they were developed. Did I say delicious?

This pickup and the yellow one at the top of the page are the only pictures I got outside one of the farms on Sauvie Island.  There was an antique seeder  several tractors all of which had flowers growing in them some place.  It was a beautiful and unique method of creating yard art.

On down the road, we saw a farm that grows viburnum bushes.  They were outstanding but my phone had died and I didn't have a charger with me == so what can I say?  No pictures

wild blackberries from Cathie's road
When we got back to Cathie's, she fed us AGAIN and we ate one of the Marion berry pies . Yum Yum! She also had cups of fresh picked blackberries from the wild patches on her road. I'm sure the Oregon State "pain in the ass" is wild blackberries. They are EVERYWHERE. It looks like the state keeps them mowed down along the flat right of ways, which are few and far between here. You can literally stop and pick your own just about anywhere but the thorns are killers so the wildlife doesn't eat them either. (I picked a few when we were at Rooster Rock)  I have seen whole fields of blackberries mounded up well over 6 feet tall.

As a thank you, Dotti gave Cathie a crocheted doll she had bought from our friend, Doris Lackey. I gave Cathie and Phil a copy of both my books.  Phil made a point to tell me that during the summer, he didn't have time to read, but that when the winter sets in, he will sit down with them.  I much appreciated his honesty. When I wrote the books, I figured women would like them, but it's been very rewarding to find that many men enjoy the stories too.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed meting Cathie and Phil, and seeing their wonderful home!

We left Scapoose about three o'clock, heading to Seattle!