Sunday, May 29, 2011

Arriving Home & Heartbreak

The final entry, ending our Mexico travels . . . brings me, at long last, home. Awwwwwwwwwww, home. Such a simple word, but how very much it holds with in those four letters. Little does one value nor realize what "home" really feels like until you are away ... for a good length of time.

We left Redding, nesting along familiar routes and sites. Often we travel south from Jacksonville towards California so it's like seeing ole' friends driving this road. As we pass the agricultural fields freckled with olive trees, some cherries and stretching fields, one of my hallmark sites is Mt. Shasta (can you see it there, far in the distant horizon?), her first sighting here in this sketch, top left. Once weaving thru the mountains and over the Siskiyou Pass, we coast down into the Rogue Valley. My heart begins to relax, soften. An anxiety begins to disappear. Sights like the pink mornin' fog across the valley from Ashland, makes me smile. We stop in Medford and unhook the RV from the PT Cruiser, thinking it would be easier to quickly back in the RV into our driveway. This affords me a quiet, wide vantage point and I nearly cry seeing the joyful giant poppies crafted and planted by Cheryl Garcia ( in the South Stage Cellars vineyards just south of Jacksonville. Of course, this view went into my journal! I'm happily home.

The adjacent page is a less joyful statement. Some conversations about Mexico and the possibility of moving there have caused some tension and very personal introspect for my hubby and I. This illustration hopefully gives you a "feeling" for my experience. I relish these kinds of emotional posts (not the painful part) but the invention of how to express outwardly, my inner. You can see I've incorporated an actual needle and (from my wonderful "Assemblage Artist Friend, Dale Muir) an actual porcupine quill! Love to hear what you, my readers take away from the image - to see if I was successful.

I remain . . . blessed and loving being home. Appreciate your traveling all the way to Mexico and back with me. Now my daily adventures here in Southern Oregon begin. You see . . . the lessons n-e-v-e-r end :)

Nor do I want them to . . .

Saturday, May 21, 2011

At Home Garden Planting ~ Finally

Those of you avidly following my trek back home to Oregon from Mexico, I'm sorry, I just have to do a current post of life here in J-ville, Oregon.

Its been a long time coming, seemingly, this thing called "Spring"! We continue to get teased ... one day beautiful like these photos, then the next is "light-a-fire-in-the-wood-burning stove" chilly and grey and wet! For a week we've been aching to get outside and get to our Hanley Farm Garden plot #10 to dig in the dirt. At long last, the day came.

We'd collected all our plants. Some basil, tomatoes, peppers, okra, melon and eggplant with protective marigolds interspersed to fend off bugs! We head out with all our tools and green kids, and arrive at our plot.

One additional thrill at being in the garden is that adjacent to Hanley Farm is another large plot of land where beautiful horses run free. Today, this spirited blond ran up and down the fence, whinnying. At first we thought she was welcoming us. But as time went by, we noticed she was unsettled and looking for someone, anyone at the gate. Later, when all of her friends were being returned to the pasture to join her, she calmed down. She'd just been lonely.

But we get busy, amend the soil and dig lil' holes for the wee, green ones, tucking them into their nice, neat rows. Next we put in the water system, timers and the soaker hoses. We test it out and all seems a "go"! As we clean up, putting tools back into the car and stretching tall, we look around. It just takes our breath away ~ LOOK at the beauty all around us!!

Indeed, it is so grounding to be home and soaking in the freshness of Spring! Hope you get out to remember all the gifts our planet Earth offers us on a daily basis. Now, if we'd only see . . .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Next Step Home ~ Thru the Desert

Once we've left Marana we are headed past Tuscon early in the morn and into the desert. That word "desert" always makes me think of my mom. She said the way she remembered the difference between "desert" and "dessert" spelling ... was that you always wanted two of the "dessert" ... therefore the two "ss"! The farther we got into the desert, I knew for certain, that I did not want two of this! There was subtle vegetation changes but still endless, arid stretches with hardly distinguishable variety in the color of the hills. Somewhere near midway across we stop at the exit hosting the "Desert Fox" Museum and are nearly blow over by the powerful wind. Forget it, I'm staying in the RV. Returning to the freeway I catch sight of these once-upon-a-time Palm trees. Look at the poor things ... their green parts were totally blown away. Literally!!! My attempt at finding a pretty side of the desert emerged with this lil' sketch ... that's the best I could do.

Finally we begin seeing signs of humanity. Actually, more signage was one of the first signs, then eventually, one of my favorite sights of welcoming, the friendly, waving wind turbines! They seem to be just so glad to see you they have to stand up and wave "hello"! Went painting the scene, I just couldn't help myself from continuing the colorful road directional all along, forming a partial border on my page!

After a rather dismal nights stay at a "not-to-be-revisted" RV resort in Cathedral City we head north. After Mexico and the desert (with one "s"), the extravagance and commercialism of the LA area is overwhelming. We hasten thru the smog, the Grapevine, and finally landing near Los Banos. There we have contacted a dear friend who drives over to have dinner with us. What a treat ... so I end this page with the three of us hugging as we exited the restaurant. Another quiet night of slumber in a large parking lot.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our Next Step Leaving Mexico and into US Borders

Next step in my Mexico journal, takes our last footprint in Mexico and travels us back into the US Borders.

This last page of Mexico images bids a fond, but relieved g'bye. This odd out-of-focus bird was one I'd struggled to photo all along the highway south of the US border. Finally, I'd gotten a decent image to work from . . . like an obsession finally satisfied. Another sweet idiosyncrasy we noticed more and more in the state of Sonora, were these roadside chapels. This was the most elaborate we viewed and I had to record it. That night, we made to San Carlos, exactly where we'd stayed on our trek down into Mexico. This was the lovely sunset that warm, balmy evening. The last to be spent in Mexico.

Next morn, we travel thru what seemed a plethora of small villages. All with numerous speed bumps and characteristic vendors at those bumps. Finally, we start seeing announcements of surrendering vehicle permits and then, over a long down hill decline, we form in line at the back of the Border crossing into the United States. Here's the sunny, concrete surroundings at the crossing. Although we had to move into an adjacent parking lot and have a US Border Guard kindly tour our RV, we passed into our sweet borders with a sigh, and a smile. We pull off in Nogales, to have our favorite Starbucks Chai and travel on into Arizona.

Once traversed across Arizona, we had aimed at Marana for our overnight site. We'd stayed in this lovely, well, at least convenient Walmart parking lot and knew all the ropes. I trekked over to the nearby Post Office to mail some letters picked up from RVers in San Carlos - to go to US addresses and then, relaxed til dinner. We did the most "American" think we could do there, eat at the "Chilies" across the street. It actually, was decadently delicious and we loved joking with the amiable register assistant. I was overjoyed, and unbelievably relieved to be back in the States.

The evening melted into nightfall and we savored the pink glowing sunset above the quiet parking lot. Silly as it may sound, it was "Home, Sweet Home". And we nestled into a restful slumber.