My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Simply Gorge-ous Weekend

After somewhat of a rollercoaster week, Jeff and I headed to one of our favorite locations to reconnect and relax. Hood River is a quaint little town in the Columbia River Gorge, nestled between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. The weather was perfect - we started out at the Saturday Market where there is always something of interest. Years ago, this was the first place Jeff had ever tasted “real” kettle corn, so of course we had to continue the tradition. I had fun trying to sniff out the best lavender lotions and finding that perfect pair of earrings. Then we hit my favorite shop - a French country boutique that always soothes my senses as soon as I walk in the door.

We spent much of the afternoon lounging at the outdoor pool and walking along the Columbia River where there was plenty of kite boarding and windsurfing to keep our eyes entertained. It was beautiful! Our dinner, also on a deck overlooking the river, was fabulous with some of the best sourdough bread and lobster tomato bisque (and the only lobster tomato bisque) I’ve ever tasted. Jeff isn’t a bisque man, but was well pleased with his french fries! The breeze wasn’t bad (as you might expect on the gorge) so we hung out and watched the evening turn to night - and just as we were ready to leave I saw the most amazingly close and big shooting star ever.

It was good to be out and about, doing something.
The next day was a bit more difficult emotionally (my moods can change like the tides) and it was more work to stay distracted. Though we did find a great place for lunch that we want to return to in the near future with friends and Kati - A great pizza joint with wonderful salads, open air seating above the sidewalk, fun atmosphere (relaxing and playful at the same time), great food and a movie theatre. Since Hood River is only about an hour away, this will be something easily accomplished. Our last stop in town was at a local toy shop where we found the perfect gift for our Kati.

We decided to take in some views on our way home, and the views of the Gorge, Mt. Hood and the falls were wonderful. We loved Rowena Crest - a viewpoint similar to Crown Point, but facing the east end of the gorge. And with vacationing on the brain, we found a campground that we might spend some time at next summer. Close to home, yet a beautiful location. That’s what I’m talking about!

We even had a few moments of adventure when we spotted this remote camp on the Washington side of the River. My uneasy feelings were dismissed by Jeff who was sure it was public property since there were lil’ campsites, restrooms, a boat ramp and even a fish cleaning station…. A couple of run down residential campers didn’t phase him as odd… until we saw the NO TRESPASSING - FEDERAL LAND sign when leaving. We had been trespassing on federal Nez Pierce reserve land unknowingly. I have to admit, the sign was small and easily missed coming in…. and they sure had a great view of the mountain!

Soooo….Kati did great and greeted us with some of her and Grandma’s delicious choco chip cookie bars. She was thrilled that she was able to keep in touch with text messaging (with Grandma’s help of course!).

As I reflect on my last post, I am reminded of His promise from Psalm 37:4 -
“And He shall give you the desires of you heart”.
Truly we were blessed this weekend.


Barb Majors said...

I'm so glad you were able to get away and reconnect with Jeff. He really is a nice guy (Mom made me say it!). We continue to keep you guys lifted up in prayer.

Much love to you...Barb, Gary and "the cousins"!

SharonK said...

Dearest Celeste,
Nature can be a great healer! I am so glad you were able to get out and enjoy such beauty. As I look out my window and see the leaves already falling I am prompted to say to you-bear patiently your grief. God is merciful and reminds us that spring is hidden in Autumn. God loved you so, to give you Chelsea and Chelsea loved you so, to come to you and share her noble journey. And wasn't she magnificent!!
Persist in gratitude and trust His plan like Chelsea who reminded us.."no dissing God!" (I smile at that comment)The path of gratitude is not an easy one. It is the path of tender heroes like Chelsea, who whatever happened to them, kept true and on course. Suffering in its clearest motive is a treasure for it conceals mercies. Chelsea shared with me some of the wonderful acts of kindness from people. And still those she chose as family continue to walk with you and pray for you and uplift you in some small way. I was so struck by the special people in your life who I met at Chelsea's lively, joyful memorial that painted a perfect picture of your beautiful, fun-spirited daughter. I will never forget a moment of it.
It was pointed out that Chelsea worried a little that others might perceive her as perfect by the Caring Bridge site for here was a child in all her wisdom and faith, who still needed to call out to her mother and father for comfort.But the most saintly and revealing beauty within Chelsea was the fact that she knew prayer is not just for supplication or time on your knees but to prolong that state of absorption always, to keep heart in a constant blaze of adoration within- while asleep, awake, laughing playing or suffering. In all circumstance a perpetual rememberance of making your life a constant calling down of the presence of God in everything. That is light upon light. Chelsea never wavered in choosing to walk in the light and certainly in this she was perfect.(and because of such others will choose to follow) In her sweet, sassy way her heart remained illumined, she remembered her true essence and her spirit prepared for fulfilling her mission and she has busied herself with it. I know she will be there for the rest of us who will follow and her face will shine like the sun and we will be made glad and peaceful then for all of it.
For now, be patient, lean on others, trust the plan like Chelsea did and blog away my love!
You are an amazing woman and you really bring it home to all of us when you write. So many gifts will continue to reveal themselves to you through your daughters life and her journey. I will look to them all.
I love you,
Aunt Sharon

Lori said...

I kinda hate to follow Aunt Sharon. Wow, she has a way with words! Can I just say ditto?

I just finished saying that grief, like cancer, is a roller coaster. One day...even one minute can feel different than the one before. And the emotional moments seem to come out of nowhere. Praise God that He is right by our side throughout every bump and twist. When the desperately sad moments threaten to overwhelm us, we can rest in His strong arms.

Nancy Watts said...

Sweet Jeff and Celeste,

I am so glad you were able to bask in the Lord's Beautiful Columbia Gorge. We know all to well the rollar coaster of emotion and how the Lord Heals our heart with our deepest desires that we sometimes don't even know we desire ourselves until he gives us his wonderful gifts. Know that we love you dearly and are praying for you every day!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Dearest Celeste,

How wonderful that you and Jeff were able to go and be with eachother. I found this and soooo thought about you.

This morning when I wakened and saw the sun above, I softly said, "Good Morning, Lord, Bless everyone I love!"

Right away I thought of you, and said a loving prayer, that He would bless you specially and keep you free from care.

I thought of all the happiness a day could hold in store; I wished it all for you because no one deserves it more!

I felt so warm and good inside my heart was all aglow-

I kow God heard my prayer for you He hears them all you know.

Just letting you know I am always thinking of you!! Love you!!


MARISSA said...

Hey Celeste,
Just wanted to tell ya' that i'm thinking of you today and i'm praying for you!
Love and hugs to you all!