Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How Long Can I Say I'm New Here?

This is my world right now.
When the clouds lift a little between periods of rain.
It looks magical, really.
I don't mind the rain.
I'm getting used to not carrying the new umbrella I bought--
to be more like the local "Eugenians"--
think boho-meets-homeless
and that is a fair description of most of the people I see--
wet, damp, crumbly--
on a daily basis.
I did see a most unusual sight the other morning
after dropping the kids off at school--
Jack Sparrow on a bicycle!
I mean CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow. On a bike.
In the middle of traffic.
Tall, lanky guy with long dark hair tucked into pirate scarf tied to the side, long twisty beard,
huge black coat, puffy pants tucked into boots, a tattoo over a cheek, dark circles under his eyes--
it was AMAZING!
I wish I'd taken a photo.
I was describing this to someone else the other day--
"I've seen that guy!" they replied.
Totally validating my description.
Captain Jack Sparrow lives in Eugene, Oregon
an hour from the coast
where I logically presume,
the Black Pearl is awaiting his return in the shadows of the sea.

I love that the autumn season is long and stretched out over months
like it should be.
Seriously, it's a full-on season here
compared to the two weeks of fall we get in Colorado.
Excuse me, we got in Colorado.
I love that there are still trees yet to lose their leaves in gold and red.
That is the second thing that the Pacific Northwest has completely wowed me with so far--
the beautiful autumn.

Just today I realized I lost track of how many weeks we've been here.
I want to say 7, but it could be more.
And that realization makes me wonder how much longer I can say,
"I'm new here." when meeting someone new.
I'm learning how to get around, less dependent upon my GPS.
Meaning, I still get lost, take a wrong turn, writhe in agony when I miss my exit--
but eventually,
I see something familiar and find my way home.
I have a 100% Success Rate of sleeping in my own bed every night
so that's kind of a big deal, right?

So I'm not [new] here.
I know where the Post Office is.
More importantly,
I know where Home Goods, Pier One Imports, Ross, Marshalls are at--
and can stop by Trader Joe's on the way home if I want.
What isn't here is my whole heart.
I left that sucker in Colorado.
Pikes Peak is holding onto it until I return.
If I could, would be tomorrow,
I'd be packed up by midnight, no kidding.

Of course, I'd be homeless once there because our house sold
and the closing is on Friday.
Friday is gonna be hard, not gonna lie.

SO autumn leaves, misty magical foothills and Captain Jack Sparrow
are three things to keep me steady.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This morning after I dropped the teenagers off at school,
I decided to stay in town rather than drive straight back to the apartment.

As far as apartments go, it's decent.
Nothing special about it, except that they allow our behemoth dogs and it's newer than 1960--
which is saying alot in a place like Eugene--the land where time forgot.

Instead, I drove to find a place for a quiet breakfast by myself.
For years I have craved alone time at home
but now that I'm not working,
I have all day long to paint or read or do whatever--
I feel like I'm missing out on something.
The other part of that, is of course
that my friends are hundreds of miles away
and now that I have more time to play,
I have no friends to play with...bummer.

So I stopped at Panera and treated my self
and then wandered across the parking lot to Hobby Lobby and Marshalls,
just scooping up Christmas gifts for grandbabies
and little Christmasy decor for our tiny apartment,
that seriously,
I have no idea how we're going to fit a Christmas tree inside.

From one store to the next,
I noticed these dark stencil-looking shapes
all over the sidewalks.
Like ghosts of former leaves
they scattered and melted with the rain.
I had to bend down and get a good look at them
with my "watercolor eyes"--
affirming that Mother Nature is the best artist.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Divine Design: Where We Live is No Accident

An A-HA! moment came into light.
We are not called to a Place,
we are called to a People.

Thinking about our recent move to the PNW,
feeling like a fish out of water here,
wondering why we're here and all that
I was reminded that we are here
after years and months of intense fasting and prayer--
by ourselves, our family, our friends all over the world--
that we would be employed again, 
and remembering too, 
my spiritual impression that we'd be moving to the PNW
which began in early 2014--
ALL of this came to light 
and brought with it, 
"the peace that passeth understanding";
we're here in answer to all of those prayers.

And it's not the place that will be part of our journey,
it's the people.
Isn't always about the people??

Doesn't it just make so much more sense?
It does! It does!
I was just called and set apart as the Relief Society Secretary.
I can do that, easy peasy.
We have a work to do and lessons to learn, 
and this is the best place in the whole world 
to accomplish that.

We went to the Portland Temple yesterday--
I couldn't wait to bring my family there
as I'd been there the week before with sisters in my new ward
and I loved it so much.
Yesterday was my 39th anniversary of being baptized into the LDS Church
and going to the temple
just made it so great to celebrate the decision of my 16 yo self!

So that's it.
Eugene, Oregon
you're an answer to our prayers.