Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Places of Peace and Beauty

On our last day on the coast we went again out to a lighthouse.  We drove through swirling fog out to the Cape Meares Lighthouse and took a short walk down to the edge of the cliff

The views were spectacular...

as was the lighthouse.

View from the other side of the cliff.

The next day, we got up, drove through the Tillamook Forest through Portland, across the Columbia River and into our new life in Washington.  We got Elisabeth from her TCK camp at Multnomah on Friday and started to pull our live together.
Honestly, it's been hard.  It's hard to re -acclimate to what we know but don't know.  People have been gracious and kind but we are in a kind of in-between stage of our lives.  We are settling in but it just takes time. We have heard that it takes about 18 months to really re-adjust.

Today we got some unsettling news.  By "happenstance", I saw an ad for The Grotto in a tourism guide.  The Grotto is a Catholic Retreat and Prayer Grounds in Portland about 10 minutes from our home. So Elisabeth and I got in our borrowed van and drove over.  We both felt the need for some outdoor beauty in a peaceful place.

We sat in the chapel for a while and prayed.

We walked and saw beautiful gardens with trees, bushes and flowers.

We took this very odd elevator to the top gardens.

Most of the statues were very oriented towards Mary the mother of Jesus.  As a non-Catholic, they didn't have a strong meaning for me.  But some of the others, such as the above, were quite beautiful and well done.
I am finding these times of quiet and peace more and more necessary in my life, especially in these times of readjustment.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Middle Aged People on a little vacation.

We are slowly meandering up the coast of Oregon, breathing in its beauty.  Elisabeth is still at the TCK re-entry seminar in Portland so it's just the two of us...which is pretty fun.

We stopped for lunch at this beautiful little inlet.

There were many, many crab....cages? traps?  What are they called?

We went to a place called Devil's Churn in Cape Perpetua.  Where did I learn about Devil's Churn?  Pinterest!  I saw a picture  of it and looked it up.

The water rushes into the little cove really fast and furious.

It the devil!  It was really fun to watch.

We stopped overnight in Lincoln and then drove up to Tillamook. We have a love for little museums so we stopped at the Tillamook Pioneer Museum.  There were plenty of pioneer artifacts but upstairs is the room of  things to scare your children to death with...seriously.  It was taxidermy heaven!

"Children, if you don't listen to me, you'll have to go behind the glass with the yak?  Buffalo?  and the polar bear and the bear....they will teach you how to behave."

Oh my....just wow!

Then we drove over to the Tillamook Cheese factory where we saw loaves of cheese being packaged...the two pound loaf and the smaller one.  They were being cut right about here.

All the workers had these funny t-shirts on and they were friendly and waved at the people gawking at them from above.

They also had fantastic ice cream.

We headed over to hike up to a beautiful little waterfall (only 1/4 mile so didn't work off the ice cream).  These are salmon berries.  I've never seen salmon berries or heard of them.  I just heard a girl on the trail say they were salmon berries and either she is right or she was showing off to the boy she was with.  He ate one and seemed okay.

The waterfall..that is as close as you can get.  It was stunning.

The moss on the trees was incredible-like being in a dinosaur movie.

Paul on the trail.
Tonight is our last night of our trip. We are going out for crab and then to a headlands that has a lighthouse.  We will have a beautiful drive back, stop off at Multnomah to bring Elisabeth a belt for her dress that she needs for her banquet on Thursday.  Then we will cross the Columbia to Vancouver....and start figuring out our new life.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New blog

I'll still be blogging at Walking to China for a while, especially as I hear about our sweet little guy.  We did hear that he is walking even better and can hold up three fingers when asked how old he is....he is three in China even though he is 2.5 in America.
But for a while I've wanted to do a more reflective blog about some things that matter to me.
Here is the link.   I've just begun but I love to have some followers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where we have been the last few weeks.

Elisabeth and I flew from Shenyang to Korea to San Francisco about two weeks ago.  She was so sick on the plane, I was afraid we'd be quarantined. The day after we arrived, we went to the Palo Alto Urgent Care  Clinic where she was diagnosed with strep throat and an ear infection.  To quote the doctor "Wow, that's a lot of pus in your ear" and "Wow, that's a lot of pus in your throat."  They gave her an ibuprofen shot to ease her pain and put her on anti-biotics and prescription pain meds.  It's been a slow recovery for her.  I don't think I have ever seen her so sick.  So if you flew from Korea to San Francisco a few weeks ago and got, so sorry. I didn't know.
So our first week in the US was pretty quiet. We rested, bought some books and saw some friends. We also went to an advising seminar for Elisabeth and she signed up for her first quarter classes. Paul flew in on Friday. Saturday we put Elisabeth on a plane for Portland where she is currently attending a re-entry seminar for third culture kids about the start college.  Sunday night, Paul and I drove to Fresno where we spent five days doing our own re-entry seminar.
It was five days of doing hard soul work.  We talked about China, our sweet little guy, Elisabeth, expectations for the future and more. We talked a lot of about grief and how to grieve well. The grief of not having our little guy is our life is powerful and overwhelming.  As much as I have written about him, I just can't write about this.  It feels sacred and private.  We have grief..and we have peace.
The time there was very good and the people were very kind, helpful and gentle.  It was well worth the time.

We also drove up to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. I don't even have words for how beautiful it was.

When we were finished at Linkcare, we drove to Sacramento to see dear friends that we have known....forever!  It was fun and refreshing to see them and I hope that now we will be on the West Coast, we will see them more often.
Today we drove from Sacramento to Crescent City, Ca. Look on a map to see how far that is.  We will continue up to coast tomorrow and get to our new place outside of Portland later this week. The drive today was also spectacularly beautiful- golden hills, to fir trees to ocean, to ferns to....well, here are the pictures.

Rest stop outside of Humboldt, CA

Patrick's Point.  I camped here 30 years ago.

Volcanic Rock formations at Patrick's Point.

Wild waves and beautfiul sunny skies.


Crescent City volcanic rocks in the ocean.

The Lighthouse Keeper feeding Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (All my friends who grew up in the 70's know who that is!)

The Lighthouse where the Lighthouse keeper lives.  I want to live here, see whales, feed gulls and occasionally talk to visitors.  It's my new life goal!  It's spectacular.
Tomorrow- the Oregon Coast.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Things we (and others) say in China that we don't say in America.

*I have to put more money on my phone.
*Do you want to bike or taxi?
*I am going to Beihang-do you need butter?
*There is cheese at Metro-do you want some?
*That is so much mafan (Trouble).
*I am going to be late to school because we have to register at the PSB (police security bureau).
*  I am going to late to school because I have to go the visa office.
*  _______is going to be late to school because he is flying in from Korea.
* School is closed because a. no water. b. no electricity. c. no heat.
*Are you going to Thailand for Chinese New Year?
* Can you ask the ayi to make tortillas?
*  Shen me? (What?)
*  Ting bu dong. (Don't understand)
*Can you call driver Ji to take us to the orphanage for vaccinations/ DeJi Hospital for the orphan care clinic or the airport?
* How much was that?
*Can you make that a little cheaper?
* Can you get me a straw for the yogurt?
*I don't feel well- can you go to the pharmacy and get me some anti-biotics?
*  You are going to Thailand?  Can you get me (what ever medicine is unavailable in China).
*Where is fellowship this week?
*I am going to Beijing for the weekend.
* I've all ready been to the Great Wall.
*What tone is that?
*I can read 3 out of 5 characters on that sign.
*What's the security code to get in your apartment building.
*On a cell phone to a friend with better Chinese "Can you tell the taxi driver how to get there?"
*Let's have Chun Bing for dinner!