Wednesday, June 29

A far green country...

So Oregon was absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea that such incredible scenery existed but one state over! I'm not sure what exactly i was expecting. The climate in Portland is one of my most preferred...rainy, cool, clean, and almost painfully green and lush. The famed Pacific Northwest! I wish i had had more time to enjoy it...but mom and Sarah and i were a bit busy...well...trying to hold a wedding together! The first day we go there, Wednesday, we picked up our rental car...a Sebring convertible!...and drove through Portland to the house we'd spend our first couple of nights in. It had just rained, and the sun was pouring through the dark clouds; so we put the top down and enjoyed and soaked in the beauty of the city. The neighborhoods were like nothing i had ever something out of a faery tale. With the wet climate, there's no such thing as a brown lawn, a dying shrub, or an ugly yard. The vegitation in Oregon is lush and vivid and wildly happy. Moss gave vibrant color to rugged stone walls, flowers burned our eyes with reds, blues, purples and yellows...i had no idea Hydrangias could get so huge! When we finally arrived at the house, we all caught our breath(s?) and gazed upward.
The House
There's Sarah sitting in front of the gate.
Boasting 3 stories, a beautifully attended yet fully grown and sprawling garden, and a 40 foot cherry tree in full fruition, we were a bit taken aback! Inside were grand staircases, rooms whose walls were covered in tooled leather, antique fixtures, and intricate handiwork in mouldings and windowpanes. One of the best features of the dwelling, in my opinion, were the numerous bookcases overflowing with hard-bound antique books. A bit less exciting were the even MORE numerous shelves lined with literally hundreds of romance novels...owned by the elderly mother of the woman who owned the house. The house was built in 1910 and belonged to a friend of my mom's, Liz...a collector, artist, and proud owner of 4 cats.

And therein was the problem. I have a terrible cat allergy, and by the next day, i was in a fit of sneezing, itching and battling a bad case of asthma. So as much as i loved being there, i could really only enjoy myself on our excursions into the very artsy, bohemian shopping areas close by.

By Friday, i was miserable. But by the grace of God, my aunt Susan (the mother of my cousin who was getting married) booked us rooms at a B&B close to the wedding site, Husum Castle, which was about an hour and a half outside of Portland, in Washington. So that was something to look forward to!
That morning, we were to meet Kat (who was getting married) and Beth, her half-sister, and my first cousin, at Kat's apartment, from where we'd drive on over to the Castle. The exciting thing about this meeting was...i had never met Beth before. My mom's side of the family is extremely messy and tragically dysfunctional, resulting in the alienation of a great many people and the breakdown of far too many relationships. On the way there, mom stopped and snuck out of the car and clipped flowers off of the bushes in people's yards to use in the wedding bouquets...because not enough flowers had been ordered. Stuffing them through the windows to me and my sister, she would jump into the car and speed away from the scene of the dastardly crime. Off to see Beth and Kat.
So we met...and it was lovely. It funny to think of Beth as my first cousin because on my dad's side, my cousins and i are extremely close.

I went with Beth and Kat, and Sarah went with mom, and we made the drive up through the amazing countryside you see in the above picture. Once there, we got straight to work. Mom, Beth Sarah and i all went out to collect even more flowers for the bouquets.Picking flowers

There they are!
Once back at the castle, Mom got to work...
Mom working hard

That night soaking in the hot tub outside of the B&B was heaven. Once again, i was blown away by hte beauty of our surroundings. Here is the unbelievable view from the place we stayed...mountain
Lord, you're amazing.

That night i shared a room with Beth. A night light shone softly in the darkness of the room and the gentle rush of a waterfall outside the open window lulled at my sleepy brain. But i laid awake in bed listening to her soft breathing next to me, and i was very happy. I pushed away the thoughts of how insane the next day...the wedding day...was going to be, and eventually fell asleep.

to be continued...


JohnH985 said...

Very beautiful. Here in New Orleans the highest land is a speed bump, so mountains of any kind are a wonder...they were so beautiful. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Ariel said...

Congrats on a solid travelogue. The mountain pic reminds of Montana.