|Last night we stayed in the shadow of Mount Hood.|
It's been nearly a month since Erik finished his contract and we left our temporary home in British Columbia, Canada. We've spent these past weeks in Oregon, visiting family and friends and gearing up for our next adventure. We downsized from our 2800 square foot house into less than 200 cozy feet of travel trailer. Remarkably, we were all so excited to be back in our little gypsy wagon. We enjoyed our time in Canada; it was nice to spread out and have plenty of indoor space to roam. It was also difficult to keep up with such a big house! These weeks tucked into our trailer, parked in my parents' yard, have been incredibly busy, filled with errands and visits and unpacking and sorting and repacking. We left Eugene last Sunday, after a few extra days of delay due to car issues. We've spent the week with family and friends in Salem and Portland, and yesterday we finally began our journey East.
Our plan for the next two months is to make our way across the country, visiting friends, family, national parks and historic places. We will make the most of our Harvest Hosts membership, which allows us to stay overnight at farms and vineyards along the way. This was the trip we planned to take last fall when our house sold, but it ended up closing later than we'd hoped. It was too late in the season to go at that time, so we headed south and traveled down Mexico's Baja peninsula instead. We then planned to go in the spring, as Erik's job was supposed to be done at the end of May, but they extended his contract by two months. So here we are, at last, heading into my favorite season, and setting off.
Last night was our first night on the road, and we called ahead to make sure we could stay at Montovan's Berries outside of Hood River, where we planned to visit friends today. By the time we arrived, the sun was low in the sky. We were warmly welcomed by the owner, who showed us where to park and invited us to glean in the blueberry fields. The kids all tumbled out of our vehicle, and it seemed our family breathed out the busyness and stress of the last while and was enveloped in peace. (Peace, not to be confused with quiet!) The kids ran around, hollering, playing ball, and the owner said, "I'm glad to see you guys are berserk, because that's we roll around here!"
I stayed behind to prepare dinner while Erik and the kids ran off to pick berries. My heart filled with joy as I took in my surroundings; a cool breeze blew down from the foothills, while Mount Hood stood just beyond the farm, shrouded in clouds. Past the berry fields, evergreen trees covered the hillsides, and above me clouds raced by. A rainbow appeared for a few fleeting moments, a symbol of God's faithfulness and blessing. I knew in my heart this was exactly where our family needed to be, wild and free, together. When dinner was ready, I walked out past raspberry canes to the blueberry fields. I could hear the kids shouting, enjoying the sound of their voices echoing off the trees. I breathed deeply of fresh, cool air, and felt myself relax into the evening. And this is what I found:
|Could this boy be any happier? Raphi is a hard worker, eager to jump in and help. He worked hard to fill the little container I'd given him.|
|Some people have blue eyes, and others don't. But that doesn't stop them from trying. Peregrine remembered a time he did this with cherries a few years ago and thought perhaps he could start a series of berries-in-the-eyes pictures. Lovely.|
|He also captured the sun breaking through the clouds and the peacefulness of morning on the farm.|
We started the morning with blueberry muffins bursting with fresh, juicy berry-goodness. The kids ran around and played with one of the girls who lives on the farm. She even took them for a ride around in the golf cart! We spent the afternoon in Hood River visiting one of my dearest friends and her family. This evening we're at another Harvest Hosts location, this time a vineyard in Washington. I'm excited to make our way across the country, visiting farms and meeting some of America's hard working people, enjoying their hospitality and supporting them by buying farm fresh produce and handmade goods. I'm looking forward to adventuring along together, learning, exploring, discovering. It's good to be on the road again!