Happy New Year! And what a great way to get 2017 started, with a surprise snow storm in my home town of Portland Oregon.
If you’ve never been to Oregon, the stereotypes are normally dead on, in that it rains A LOT. But this year has been off the norms across the board. Summer was 90-100 degrees on a regular basis, fall was warm and dry, and now winter is throwing us all for a loop with several snow and ice storms in a row. It’s been about a month of this on and off snow/ice situation that has shut the city (and schools, sigh) down much of December and several days already in the New Year. Continue reading “Portland Snow Day!”…
Holiday traditions at the Christmas tree farm. Every year my kids and I head to the country to cut down our tree, its one of my favorite rituals of the holiday season.
For the past few years we’ve gone to Helvatia Tree and Lavender Farm in the beautiful countryside west of Portland Oregon. It’s nestled between rolling hills, overlooking surrounded by farmland and grazing alpacas. Yesterday the parking lot overflowed with urban yuppies in Hunter rain boots and flannel shirts, toting babies bundled like snowmen. The paths were muddy, and the fake snow was twirling through the air over delighted toddlers. It smelled of pin and sawdust, and every few minutes you’d hear the sound of a chainsaw trimming the bottom of a tree.
Kanen, being the man of the house, grabbed a hand-saw and tarp to kneel on and we set out in search of our perfect tree. Izzy spotted it first, spinning with delight in her bright red cap that we’d picked up from a street vendor in Venice. It was perfect. It took all three of them to get it down, but we did it!
When I was eighteen years old I saw the movie Only You, and thus began my lifelong obsession with Italy. I remember being transfixed watching Marisa Tomei’s face as she took in the glory of Venice for the first time, and thinking; “One day that will be me!”
Years passed, life happened. I married my high-school sweetheart and settled into an “normal” American life, letting my dreams of seeing the world slowly fade. Life was hard, bills went unpaid, our home got foreclosed on, we had three kids… dreams seemed selfish and ridiculous.
In 2008 my world collapsed in an instant when I discovered my husband was having an affair. Our twin girls were just a year old and our son was five, and overnight I became a single mom. I’d been a stay-at-home mom for several years and found myself suddenly with nothing, and no way to even provide for my children.