I have been feeling rather sentimental lately- call it hormonal, menopausal. Call it a check-in moment, a look at where one is in one's life. Call it a life-is-too-short-moment- so you really want to be doing what you want to be doing as much as you possibly can... call it really missing being somewhere where you feel the urge to go, where you feel some place is calling you. Call it a connection between people, between families, between the lines on a map and your front porch and the ocean.
My maternal great grandparents built a summer home on the coast of Oregon. I was raised in New York State but my parents were from Oregon and so my memories of summer growing up were traveling by car in the Country Squire station wagon (and later a VW microbus) all the way across the country to Oregon, where we visited relative in Portland and this summer home in Yachats.
In 2006 I cleared money from a savings account and took my children and I to Oregon to see family I had not seen in 40 or more years. The summer house was as I had remembered as a child. It was eery yet familiar.
This summer I am in the midst of redesigning, recreating, rearranging spaces, both emotional and physical. I want to clean out, clean up the garage, make some changes in the rooms in the house now that chldren are mostly gone, and do some other things that will allow me to continue with this burst of creative energy. Which leads me to wanting to share this with you.
My great grandfather was a self taught artist. He painted in oil but I think also made jewelry from rocks found on the beach. I have had in my posession some of those paintings of the Oregon coast which are soon to be finding a home on one of my walls.
There is a little building, a little shed in front of the house where I believe my grandfather used to paint. I don't recall whether I was given his paintings before or after my trip but, looking at them now I can imagine him being in that shed, amidst the smell of lindseed oil and the ocean. Literally, one could walk from the shed across the highway,follow the path bursting with blueberries and you are standing in front of the Pacific Ocean. Feeling very small.