Another stop Sunday on our drive along the Clackamas River.  An old favorite spot near the Fish Creek Trailhead.  The water is that gorgeous color that rivers around here are blessed with, and the long simple form of the wood boat ramp & staircase is such a thing of beauty.  A grand entrance into the grand blue and green theater.

We spread our blanket on the rocks by the water and were all drawn in different directions.  My husband hopped rocks across and back over the shallow creek that meets the river at the bend, Thor started collecting flat rocks in his quest to master the skip, and I started taking pictures and picking a wildflower posy.  We saw several snakes and lizards when exploring upstream, and the boys, amazingly, found three snake skins that we brought home for our nature table.  

I think about the boy, how many times we brought him here when he was little (last photo).  How he used to stomp around in the creek in his cut-off jeans and toddler sandals, blonde hair glowing in the sunlight, delighted laughter with every splash he made, every rock he was able to stand on, every insect he found.  I watch him now.  So independent, so creative, so stubborn, so beautiful.  My heart, it almost bursts, I love him so.  I love that we three are once again here together, new memories in the making. 

But, even long summer days end, so home we went, our lungs full of fresh forest air, our eyes sparkling with river reflections.

A most welcome reprieve from the heat came Sunday, and we decided to follow the Clackamas River into the Mt. Hood Forest for some exploring.  We pulled off the winding mountain road and found a nice rocky shore through the woods.  Thor made a cairn, and he and my husband made a "rockman" complete with stick arms and a rock-drawn face.  I hunted blue-green rocks, wildflowers, and fallen feathers.  Time seemed to stop for a while as we soaked up every detail.  Mist in the treetops, the vague scent of a campfire, the sound of the river, my boys at my side .... these are a few of my favorite things.  



We are gradually settling back into our home.  There's still so much work to be done, but it feels more like us again every day.  I am remembering the quirky little things, like exactly where to step on the hardwood floor between our room and Thor's room for minimum creak at night.  I'm remembering how much I love to be in this house, how much I love living in Portland. 

We've gotten out and about a bit amidst the moving in process - to the beach at Fort Stevens on the 4th of July, to the park for several cousin play dates, down Division for eats (Division has really changed in the last six years!), and up the mountain for nature therapy.  I'm hoping to take Thor to an outdoor community pool in the next week or two (he's a little fish but doesn't want to take a swimming lessons), and at the end of the month he's taking a tennis class through Portland Parks.  I don't know where his thing for tennis came from, but it's pretty much the only sport he's interested in.  There's a long list of places I'd like to take him, and OMSI is at the top of his list, so we will definitely do that soon!

With Thor and my husband both sick last week, we had to cancel a family rafting trip last minute that was planned for Saturday, but we did drive up Mt. Hood's way in search of cool air and a mountain stream.  Though it felt just as hot up there, the chance to go into the woods and just be for a while, with the sound of the stream, the happy hum of insects, and not a box, a household cleaner, or wrench in sight, was like medicine.  We came home restored and recharged.  
by mlekoshi