into place

Hello again.  It's been many months since I last made a post, and I've really missed being here.  Life got very busy when we decided last spring to fix up and sell two houses in Oregon and move to a small town in Washington state in pursuit of the slow life I've often written of here.  For many years now we have taken steps toward less complication, less consumption, less waste (many kinds), wanting more time together, more time with family, more time outside, really just more time focusing on things we really care about.  For us, that meant letting go of a lot of things - some that meant a lot to us, but many more that we were more than ready to let go of - and relocating to a place that would allow us to live a smaller, simpler, slower, more intentional life.  

So ... we got rid of more than half our things, bought a house half the size, and moved away from the city that has been home for most of our lives to start a new chapter.  It feels like the best thing we have ever done.  We absolutely love being here, and in light of unforeseen family issues, it feels like everything just fell into place for us to be here right now, right when we should.  We've spent more time with family in the last month than we have in the last several years.  It's so incredibly wonderful to feel like we are a welcome part of gatherings and in the community.  The way we have been embraced and shown love here has been truly amazing.  I hope we can show the same and give back as much as we have been given.

Last weekend we went out exploring and found the beautiful hike pictured above in the Umatilla National Forest.  We were a bit unprepared for how cold it was and therefore didn't get very far, but I'm so happy we found forest and fog (two of my favorite things) on our first outing.  It also made us very happy to have my sister Lisa along.  She lives just up the road a way from us now (!!), so I hope she, and my other sister, Vicky, who lives here as well, come along on our new outdoor adventures here.  

I hope to post more regularly from now on.  I'm excited to settle in more - both back here at o notes as well as our new tiny town - and to be taking pictures again.  I will see you again next week - have a great weekend.  Get outside and do something you love with someone you love.  ♥︎♥︎♥︎ - Lori


the uncluttered lightness of being

Easter morning was quiet and slow.  We had an egg hunt for Thor in the back yard and then headed to the river.  We went to one of our favorite spots along the Clackamas and soaked up the beauty and solitude.  Seeing our little tech junkie get completely lost in the riverside worlds, to the point we had to call to him to go, was very heartening.  We all needed this time away from technology and our familiar daily tasks and surroundings to unclutter our minds and prepare for the week ahead, lightened and enlightened.

The past few weeks I have been working on a thorough sweep of the house, letting go of more things.  It seems like we are always doing this, but this time it's not just the little things or bags of clothes.  It's the things I always keep around just in case, or just because.  The things that just sit in the dark, that get in our way, that we never use, that we don't even especially like.  We took a pickup truck load to a donation site last weekend and are hoping for another this weekend.  I've always said that when my house is cluttered my mind feels cluttered.  Lightening up and letting go of so much stuff feels like such freedom, physically and mentally. (I also just really love a good project - up next is working on the yard, the never-ending project...)

Happy weekend!


siren song strong

Rain on the windshield.  Sleepy silence in the back seat, steamy coffee curls and npr in the front.  These pictures were taken over a month ago now.  It was one of those days we felt pulled to the coast, its siren song strong.  We got coffee in Gearhart at a favorite cafe, then headed to Battery Russell and the wreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach in Fort Stevens State Park.  My husband and I both have so many memories of this place from when we were kids.  My family used to take our beloved 1960s camper here for weekends with church/school groups, and my husband had (and still has) many a family adventure here as well.  It still mostly felt like winter, but the Scotch broom was starting to bloom, and we sat ever so still in our car as a coyote walked the edge next to us - a magical moment - filling us with a joyful wonder and anticipation of spring.  We then drove to Astoria, found a charming delapidated old blue house on the hill we almost bought right before we got married, and then ate at a vegan cafe where I had the best tempeh sandwich.  We drove a back way home, passing through Scappoose and a part of Portland we don't normally see.  Oh, Oregon coast.  Oh, family.  Oh, memories.  A pretty-close-to-perfect day.