A (late) farewell to summer

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” 

- L.M. Montgomery

(I tried birthday videos for a while there, but I got so behind…  I’m going to try to do “season” videos for a while.  Maybe 4 evenly spaced videos will be easier to keep up with than 6 closer-together videos?  We’ll see.  Hope you enjoy some of our sweetest memories of a beautiful mountain summer.)  :)

Shipwrecked

“The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River.”

“Sailing from Salina Cruz, Mexico, on or about September 26, 1906, the Peter Iredale was bound for Portland, Oregon with 1,000 tons of ballast and a crew of 27, including two stowaways.”

“The voyage up the coast was unremarkable until the night of October 25, when Captain H. Lawrence sighted the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse at 3:20 a.m. local time.”

“The crew altered course first east-northeast and then northeast to enter the mouth of the Columbia River in thick mist and a rising tide.”

“Under strong winds out of the west, an attempt was made to wear the ship away from shore, but a heavy northwest squall grounded the Peter Iredale on Clatsop Sands.”

“High seas and wind drove the ship ashore.”

“A lifeboat was dispatched from Hammond, Oregon and assisted in evacuating the sailors, who were tended to at Fort Stevens. No casualties occurred in the accident.”

“After several weeks waiting for favorable weather and ocean conditions, the ship had listed to the port and become embedded in the sands.”

“Captain Lawrence’s final toast to his ship was: ‘May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands.'”

- Wikipedia, Peter Iredale

Spending a day with the Peter Iredale was a turning point for me.

It was almost like I could hear the voices of the past.

The tragic beauty struck me.

My birthday is on Saturday.  This year has been a greater mountain to climb than I ever could have imagined.  Seeing this ship, I thought I knew how it felt.

I wanted to read its story, and when I did, I was surprised.  I had expected to read of men suffering and dying, and of great tragedy.  But I didn’t.  I read of help dispatched and of no casualties.  I read of a Captain who gave his ship a parting blessing, as though the wreck were worthy of remembrance.

And here she stays, her bones still in the sand, like the life of her rose and went on and only the shell remained.

We all have wrecks and crossroads in our lives, where we can choose to leave what we once were behind, letting our bones bleach in the sand, and keep on.  My new birthday goal?  :)

New horizons

“Whilst I viewed those mountains, I felt a secret pleasure in finding myself so near the head of the–heretofore conceived–boundless Missouri. But when I reflected on the difficulties which this snowy barrier would most probably throw in my way to the Pacific Ocean, and the sufferings and hardships of myself and the party in them, it in some measure counterbalanced the joy I had felt in the first moments in which I gazed on them. But, as I have always held it little short of criminality to anticipate evils, I will allow it to be a good, comfortable road until I am compelled to believe otherwise.”

-William Clark 

One thing that we have loved the most about our little adventure is the history we are swimming in.

The girls have become fascinated with Lewis and Clark, York, Sacagawea, and, of course, their Newfie, Seaman.  (Seaman gives me hope for our sweet Charlie boy. :) )

We’ve hiked the paths they hiked.  We’ve climbed Tillamook Head, the mountain that Lewis and Clark climbed to find the beached blue whale on the sands of Cannon Beach.

We’ve discovered ancient forests, bursting with life, death, and quiet, peaceful ghosts of times past.

We’ve looked down from the mountain onto the ocean, much as they did.  Even though it was very foggy that day, it was an amazing experience.

We’ve visited the replication of their winter fort and walked through the rooms.

In all of this, the girls have found even deeper reserves of courage and adventure, wonder and awe.

The girls’ sense of adventure fills me and pushes me onward.

(Taking the oath as Junior Rangers at Lewis and Clark National Park.)

I’ve found that what inspires me most in this story is the fact that Lewis and Clark knew it would be hard, but they wouldn’t allow themselves to focus on it.  They kept their hearts on their hopes, and so should we.

“We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trod. The good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine, and these little vessels contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. However, as the state of mind in which we are, generally gives the coloring to events, when the imagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one. Entertaining as I do the most confident hope of succeeding in a voyage which had formed a darling project of mine for the last ten years, I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life.”

-Meriwether Lewis

Haystack, tidepools, and life

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
- Rachel Carson

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”  

- Rachel Carson

 

Secrets of the sea

“My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Uprooted

“All the wild world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go, to highlands or lowlands, woods or plains, on the sea or land or down among the crystals of waves or high in a balloon in the sky; through all the climates, hot or cold, storms and calms, everywhere and always we are in God’s eternal beauty and love.” – John Muir

I have to admit to feeling uprooted.

We are discovering new beauties, places so lush with life that they literally take our breath away.

We pass our days from wonder to wonder.

I do miss the sharp bite of the pines in the air.  I miss the starkly clean mountain air I love.  I miss it terribly, even more than I thought I would.

But for the first time, I am discovering salty sea air.

Thundering waves and whale spouts.

Sea breezes and sunshine.

I met a woman the other day who told me she sits by the ocean because when she hears the crash of the water, she can’t hear her own thoughts any more.

I find that when I sit by the water, the waves wash out my thoughts.  The foam and flotsam sift out, and the pure thoughts remain.  The clarity and peace return.  The knowledge that our path is unusual, but right, returns.

And so, onward we go. :)

To dare more boldly

Spouting Horn – my ocean Old Faithful

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,

When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Thor’s Well

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

– Sir Francis Drake

Finding herself

 

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

e.e. cummings

————-

Best things I have heard this week:

“This is the BEST day of my entire life!”

“I feel like this place has been waiting for me for a long time.”

“If we become super poor, can we just live on the beach all the time?”

“Mom, you feel a connection to the forest, right?  I feel a connection to the ocean.  I feel the sand and the waves and I know what they are feeling.”

– all by my surf-dreaming girl

Saying goodbye

“Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks… While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood…in
Nature’s warm heart.”

- John Muir

No matter how far away I am, this place will be in my pocket, wherever I go.

And so, on our bold adventure we go.

Lessons learned from Charlie

(This is an old post…I’m in Oregon now!  Posts are going to come in bursts, when I can find enough internet connectivity to upload them as they come!)

I’m surprised by how Charlie has changed my life.

In many, many ways, he’s made it a lot harder.  I knew that he would.  We’ve had a puppy once before, and sadly, I couldn’t do it.  I tried.  But it was awful and I finally had to give him to some kids on a farm.

The puppy phase is just hard.  If you’re not a dog person, it can be just awful.

(Trying to convince Charlie that he is, in fact, a water dog.)

Don’t get me wrong…Charlie is an all-star puppy.  He was potty trained in a week.  He is very obedient and incredibly smart.  But he’s still a puppy.  He has crazy bursts of energy and nipping and barking.

But as I have tried to learn everything I can about how to help and fulfill Charlie, I’ve found myself changing.

The biggest thing that Charlie has taught me is to start over.  Dogs don’t dwell.  They don’t rehash about the past, and they don’t worry about the future.  Charlie doesn’t worry about yesterday.  He lives right now.

Charlie is excited to wake up, every day.  He doesn’t think about the mistakes he made yesterday.  What’s more, he doesn’t think about the mistakes I made yesterday.

We could all learn a thing or two from that. :)