Happy November!  We have now been here more than a year.  We have celebrated our anniversary (16th this year), Thor's birthday (14 this year), and Halloween all for the second time here.  For Thor's birthday we had a little gathering of family here at our house again, and it was so wonderful of everyone to come and give so generously of their time and resources.  It made my heart feel so full, and even though he doesn't get too excited or say too much about anything, I know it made him feel very loved.  Halloween was very relaxed this year.  We carved seven pumpkins, and then my husband and I  watched the Roku '80s music channel while Thor handed out candy.  It's the second year he hasn't wanted to dress up or go trick-or-treating, and I admit I'm more than a little sad that those days are over, but I get it.  

We have really been making getting out for hikes every weekend a high priority.  These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago when we were exploring some side roads going over the Blue Mountains.  I can't get over the larch trees here.  Their autumnal color and the way their delicate, soft needles fall in the wind is pure magic.  The undergrowth and forest floor is so different than western Oregon.  So many plants I don't know, different light, different smells, different wildlife (and there is such a strong feeling of being silently watched).  It will be such a gift to get to know the woods and its inhabitants here, one we will take our time with to slowly unwrap.  



It's been almost two weeks ago now that my husband surprised me with a whirlwind trip to Lost Lake.  The occasion was our 16th anniversary, and it was the best possible gift he could have given me to be back in our favorite forest together for a few hours.  We got up at 4 and were out the door a little before 5.  The sun rose in the rearview mirror as we made our way to Hood River.  We stopped in town at our usual coffee shop and then drove ever closer to Mt. Hood, past apple orchards and homesteads, until the the ferns, the scent of woodsmoke, and the tall trees, all of which I have missed so much, finally surrounded us.  We were home.  

Home:  A place where something flourishes, is most typically found, or from where it originates.    

But also:  Him.  Home can also be a person, and he is my home.  "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."  ~ Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights.

by mlekoshi