No Hard Feelingsby the Avett Brothers has been my solace for the past year, though at times I’ve had to skip it on my playlist because it almost always makes me cry. I lost my mother-in-law in August 2017, then my Mom in February 2018, and today my dog, Loretta. Yes, I understand there are huge differences in losing a pet vs. a person, but when one comes on the heels of the other it is just nearly too much.
The song begins
“When my body won’t hold me anymore And it finally lets me free Will I be ready?”
I wasn’t ready to let any of them go, but in Loretta’s case, I think SHE was ready. She had a good life and enriched ours in so many ways.
“When my feet won’t walk another mile.”
My dog, Loretta, hit this point so suddenly last night I can’t wrap my head around it. She was fine and peppy one minute, then lethargic and unresponsive the next. She perked up once for a few minutes, a sort of last hurrah I guess, then just could hardly move. My husband carried her to our room where we’d made her a soft blanket “pallet” to lie on. We finally fell asleep, but both awoke at 2AM to sit on the floor beside her as she drew her last breath. I can only guess it was her heart giving.
Listen to this song – more than once if you can. It is overflowing in meaning and may be a balm for YOUR spirit.
Mr. Kohlah (after losing an eye) said that was all right. “One eye is sufficient for the hings I am looking forward to seeing,” he smiled, touching his wife’s swollen belly. Whereas, he added, the ugliness of the world would now trouble him only half as much – from A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
I am thankful for the two eyes I had to take in the beauty of the redwoods. Pictures just can’t do justice to the sheer hugeness of these gentle giants.
We drove back north a ways to begin the day at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Here we got upclose and personal with the big guys.
I always love when I stumble upon something someone else has made or left behind, such as a cairn.
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
After enjoying the redwoods, we headed for Crescent City. Although we were able to find some pockets of beauty, this little town was a disappointment as far as my expectations went. Perhaps it would be better to visit this area in the summer.
Crescent City, CA
The lighthouse I was hoping to explore was unreachable. I should have read this:
“Visits to the Battery Point Lighthouse and Island are only possible at low tides. Extreme care and caution should be used when crossing the two hundred feet between the mainland and island anytime wave action may cover the crossing area. Sneaker waves at any time can threaten visitors standing on or near the rocks and the shore of Battery Point Island. ”
Battery Point Lighthouse
I did read more about it after the trip and there is a fascinating story HERE about the time Crescent City was hit by a tsunami in 1964.
We still had fun exploring a bit …
and I spotted Sasquatch near the lighthouse!
Crescent City, California
We also went to The Trees of Mystery, but I’ll save that for another post.
On day three we started with another wonderful morning in Medford. Breakfast included poached pears, French toast made with a thick cinnamon bread from a local bakery, and some good coffee roasted in nearby Jacksonville, Oregon, where we were headed.
On our way out of town we had to stop at the Harry & David Store. Hubby had never heard of Harry & David – can you imagine that? If we lived closer I’d be going there often. We got some yummy snacks for the road and headed to Jacksonville.
Jacksonville is a really cute old town with lots of little shops. We found a used bookstore and made some good finds. Across the street was a thrift store where we happened upon a perfectly good $8 carry-on bag with wheels – perfect for taking back our purchases. I usually just carry-on, but since Southwest allows two free checked bags, we figured, why not? Then we headed to Good Bean Coffee for a cuppa, plus three bags of beans, since now we were going to have room to transport them.
Before leaving Oregon we made one last stop at Foris Vineyards. This is a place that you do not find by accident! Our GPS led us to the right place, partially down a dirt road, but it turned out to be some good wine.
I was excited as we got on the road towards California, but still not prepared for that first view of the Redwoods! Just amazing! And then the first view of the west coast – so different from the east coast where I grew up.
We spent the next three nights in Klamath at a Holiday Inn Express. With a Casino attached. Hubby earned our “Lunch Money” one night. Well, that’s what he called it, but $7 doesn’t buy much lunch. It did, however, almost pay for that piece of luggage we’d purchased.
““… for music alone can abolish differences of language or culture between two people and evoke something indestructible within them.” – from Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
St. Johns River 2014
I was introduced to the music of JJ Grey and Mofro, many years back by my daughter. I’ve only seen him in concert twice; once in concurrence with the Jacksonville Symphony (with my daughter) and then again in Birmingham (with my husband). On my many trips from Jacksonville to Tampa I’ve driven through Lochloosa and I always think of Grey’s love for Florida.
View from the Buckman Bridge – 2013
My father-in-law had a little trailer in Astor on the St. Johns River for many years. The pictures below are from a trip I took up the river with my brother-in-law and niece back in 2012. We went out to Lake George and stopped at Silver Glen Springs. It was one of the most relaxing days I’ve ever spent.
St. Johns River – 2012
St. Johns River – 2012
This song, The River, grips me every time I hear it. Growing up minutes from the St. Johns in Jacksonville, I never appreciated it like I do now. As a kid, it was just the river we crossed to get to downtown. Now I understand a little more about the vastness and beauty it contains. I long to get back to this river someday.
This year I will turn sixty. And then we’ll celebrate forty years of marriage. So, even though it’s a few months early, I planned a trip to celebrate. I’ve always wanted to see the Redwood trees and trees we saw. Lots of trees. And it never got old.
We flew into Medford, Oregon via Colorado in two pretty small United Airline planes. We spent two nights at the White House B&B, built in 1906, where Kathie was a wonderful hostess. Our room was comfy, even with no air conditioning – it wasn’t needed. Kathie had a pitcher of ice water ready when we arrived and made coffee fresh in the morning, which hubby brought upstairs to me on a tray. Her breakfasts were wonderful and kept us fueled up for most of the day. I’d never had a poached apple but now I want to try it at home. We had some good conversations at breakfast with Kathie, though she was pretty absorbed the second morning in the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing on TV. 🙂
After unloading and freshening up that first day, we headed to Edenvale Winery. We had a tasting and then enjoyed a glass of wine in the lovely vineyard. After that we headed to Porter’s for dinner, where I had a most delicious pork tenderloin. Porter’s is housed inside the old train depot and is beautiful as well as a great place to eat.
The next day we headed to Crater Lake. On the way we made a quick U-Turn to hit up a bookstore in Shady Cove. There hubby found another Michael Connelly fan in the store owner. She grew up in California but has been in Oregon for years and loves it. I can see why!
Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake is gorgeous! I have never seen anything like it! We drove around the rim, stopping all along the way to enjoy the views. The blueness of the water reflecting the clear blue sky was absolutely breathtaking! I never knew there was so much beauty in Oregon.
C.S. Lewis was was a novelist, poet, academic, literary critic, essayist, , and . He is probably best known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, but he wrote numerous other works, including The Problem of Pain from where the quotes in this series were taken.
“God is both further from us, and nearer to us, than any other being.”
That is a thought that needs to be pondered. In all our human understanding, God is far away, far above us. We know we are not equal to God. Yet, He speaks to us through His Word and is within the hearts of Christians.