Califoregon – Day Three

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Harry & David’s

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.

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Jacksonville, Oregon

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Music #21

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“… 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

 

 

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.

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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Crossroads

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Friendship Fountain

 

“It isn’t as though we were simply standing at the crossroads wondering what path we should take. It is more like we’ve been grabbed by the ear and dragged down a road we had never meant to travel.” – from On Reading and Writing Books for Children by Katherine Paterson

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Mandarin Park

 

I can’t say I’m exactly standing at the crossroads. It’s more like I’m looking down the road and wondering what’s over that next hill and thinking, will this road lead me back home? And I (we)  weren’t exactly dragged down this road in the first place, but more like told this is where you are going and tried to go with great expectations. Perhaps those expectations were too great, or perhaps we have failed ourselves. I think it’s a bit of both. And so many deaths, some expected, some swift and unforeseen, have taken their toll on my heart. Now, I just want to go somewhere that feels like home.

 

They say that home is where the heart is

I guess I haven’t found my home

And we keep driving round in circles

Afraid to call this place our own

And are we there yet?

Are We There Yet? – Ingrid Michaelson

 

 

 

Monday Music #2

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. Jacksonville, Florida is where I grew up, and I planned this post long before Irma was a household name. My heart breaks for friends and family with cleanup to face and losses to deal with.

 

 

Jacksonville

It wasn’t even in my plan
A week in the sun and some fun in the sand
I was really only passin’ through
It all began on Ocean Drive
Standin’ in line for a burger and fries
Coincidentally, so were you
We took a quiet corner booth

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

I’m givin’ up my walkin’ shoes
While the wind and the waves wash away my blues
And you help me lose track of time
Rock and roll, you’re holdin’ me
Rockin’ in your arms by a rollin’ sea
It wasn’t easy makin’ up my mind
I can see forever in your eyes, your eyes

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

Songwriters: Pat Mclaughlin / Joshua Otis Turner
Jacksonville lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Ole Media Management Lp/

*originally posted @ Carry Me Home on 7/17/17

The video below  from the Weather Channel, where you can see “Winged Victory” surrounded by water from the St. Johns River.

 

 

 

 

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Cathy – Part One

Those friends from middle school are unique. They are the ones you grow up with and make memories with that last forever. I’ve drifted away from most of those, but about six years ago I reunited with Cathy and we became closer than ever. It’s like we fell right back into that kinship that all the years had not erased. We began to hang out a few times a month – it might have been a concert, listening to an author speak, going to a class, poking through a bookstore, or whatever we could find to do. A few years ago we even went to several funerals together. In March I had to go to one alone. Hers.

I don’t even know where to begin to think about Cathy. She was the kind of person who made you feel she was truly interested in you and your well-being.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

Cathy truly stuck close to me, like the sister I never had. I could talk to her about anything. I don’t think I’ll ever have another friend like her. I thank God for the time he gave us.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. – Psalm 116:15

In Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding, Aunt Ellen was described as “…seeming exactly strong enough for what was needed for her life.”

This is so much like Cathy. She had a quiet strength that took her to the end with hope and grace. For the two years we corresponded via snail mail and texts, she never grumbled. Rarely would she mention a hardship, but when she did it was more like she was just telling me about it, not complaining. She would talk about the future, the adventures we would have. When I went home to Jacksonville and took her out, she never let on how long it took her to get ready; how she had to wait for some of the drugs to get out of her system before she could function.

We would go out to eat and she would eat like a bird, then have the rest packed up to take home. But, we would sit at the restaurant for several hours just talking.

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“Books were there… when I found a friend who loved books as much as I did and we could read together or spend an afternoon running our fingers over the spines.” -Mandy Shunnarah, from I Don’t Do It For You: A Reader’s Manifesto via her blog, Off The Beaten Shelf

This was us – we could spend hours rambling around bookstores like Chamblin’s Uptown in downtown Jacksonville. I will always miss my book buddy.

Urban Dreamer

When I saw the prompts for PAD day seven was Urban _____, I thought right away of all my trips to downtown Jacksonville and Birmingham.

Urban Dreamer

Driving in from the suburbs
To the city
Where the homeless and the yuppies coexist
Though not quite rubbing shoulders

I stroll the streets
Sipping a latte
Browsing the bookstore
Admiring history and graffiti
Wishing to be a part of it all

Throwback Thursday – Friendship Fountain

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Anyone who lives in or has visited Jacksonville should recognize these  pictures of Friendship Fountain . The first picture is actually a postcard. I remember as a kid seeing the fountain at night with the multi-colored lights shining in the waters and thinking it was so cool. We would take relatives there when they visited, and years later I took my own kids. And, then even more years later I took my niece, and finally my grandson.

Here’s a little fountain history: It was designed by the same guy who designed the Hayden Burns Library, another staple of my childhood. When the fountain opened in 1965, which was the year we moved to Jacksonville, it was the world’s largest and tallest fountain. It was refurbished in 1985, completely renovated in 2011, and it is still drawing visitors today.