My tourist trip to visit Lower South Silver Falls, Silver Falls State Park, Portland, Oregon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Falls_State_Park
I’m just back from an amazing two weeks visit with my adult son, Christopher, and an old yoga friend, Christine B. Since I was always traveling Oregon to see my oldest boy and I decided to take a side-trip since I was just five hours from this friend. I carved out a few days to visit her on a mule ranch in Burns, Oregon and take in the sights in her area.
My friend and her beau.
I visited a horse ranch and shared equine Reiki with Captain.
For a homesteader like me who works the land from morning-to-night on a five-acre parcel with no close neighbors, the contrast of urban to rural was a profound one.
A day trip to Mt. St. Helen’s in Washington was a highlight for me.
In Portland I was immersed in a highly dense urban neighborhood with tightly packed, single family homes, and most everything you might need within walking distance.
My son’s Craftsman home in the Arbor Lodge neighborhood.
Want a coffee shop? It’s only two blocks away. Need an organic grocery store; it’s just a block further. A local library? Go another block east. And even though the neighborhoods are built very dense, I was surprised to realize in spite of this density my son’s home and neighborhood was quieter than my life on the homestead.
Old shipwreck on Cannon Beach
I walked everywhere; to the corner for street tacos, three blocks to the organic store, to the coffee shop. I also learned to manage public transportation and rode it to and from downtown Portland and for a time I lived the fast-paced urban lifestyle.
Hand-built and restored, round barn near Burns, Oregon
At home I spend my days tending animals, managing a home and garden and spend hours working on preparing high-quality nutritionally dense foods. In Portland yards are tiny, everyone eats out once or twice a day because there is an amazing variety of food that can be eaten and getting it fast, is the name of the game. And the weekends…just how many activities can one pack in two days?
Long barn near Burns, Oregon
And the pace, OMG! Here my single and childless son and his friends pack in two or three activities each day where I might leave the house for yoga, lunch out and groceries just one day a week. Friends stop by often where as I go weeks in-between anyone coming over. That is definitely one of the main contrasts I saw between the urban vs. rural life In Portland after work hours are for going places. In my rural life, afternoons and evenings are for resting and observing nature.
I had a great time there and loved seeing my son’s new home and lifestyle and meeting his friends but I was definitely ready to go back to my quiet little home in the woods. I missed my husband, my chickens, our dog and the slower more-suited-to-me pace of rural life on the homestead.
My son and I in my first ever selfie at Mt. St. Helens, on the 35th anniversary of its eruption.
Apple trees await planting, comfrey slips and lupines as well. I missed watching the daily unfolding of spring arriving; the birds starting to nest and the flowering plants opening and flowering on our property. On vacation in Portland, one drives into the wilderness, visits museums and watches movies to view nature. In my life, I observe and live nature in person, up front and close. I’ve been reminded how much of a gift it is to observe nature in person face to face.
This is the life for me.
Small House Big Sky Donna