Vacation Recovery

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Isn’t it funny how vacation is sometimes more exhausting than the real life world you are escaping? All of last week, I was chuckling to myself as I collapsed on my hotel bed from sheer and utter exhaustion from a full day adventure.

It all began when I traveled to Oregon with a friend where we embarked on a series of adventures that took us through Portland, Willamette National Forest, the Pacific Coast, and the Columbia River Gorge.

I saw more of Oregon than I ever thought I would thanks to a combined sense of curiosity and fearless exploration. And we have to multiply this combination by two because when my friend and I travel together we are unstoppable! On one day, we drove almost 400 miles tracking down waterfalls, collapsed sea caves, and snow capped mountain peaks.

While the adventures we shared were incredible, both of us came out of it realizing we are no longer spring chickens. I would’t call us out of shape, but rather victims of the aging process. When I was younger, I could engage in active travel (hiking, walking long distances, etc) for extended periods of time. Now, four days of driving, wilderness hikes, and city walking sent me home with an injured foot tendon and multiple strained muscles. This from a person who trail hikes nearly every day at home!

Still, I can honestly say the pain is worth it. Oregon turned out to be an incredible place. I think part of the reason I pushed myself harder than I should was because I didn’t want to miss what was around the bend. Whether it be a hidden waterfall in Willamette National Forest, Spouting Horn (aka Thor’s Well) on the coast, or a funky corner in Portland, I was completely under Oregon’s spell.

Of course, now I’m limping around like a cripple.

And yeah, it’s still worth it.

Here’s one reason why …

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Multnomah Falls, Oregon, c.b.w. 2015

With a view like this, the pain doesn’t matter. I’ll heal. 

More pictures will be posted in the coming weeks as my muse was greatly inspired by Oregon’s beautiful scenery and the quirky awesomeness that is Portland. The taste of Voodoo Doughnuts still lingers on my tongue.

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c.b.w. 2015

Wreck This Journal: Memories

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Wreck This Journal started as an individual experience, but it didn’t take long for my friends and family to get involved as well.  The phrase, “the more the merrier,” has never been more true.  As I look through my journal, I turn pages that hold multiple epiphanies and pages that hold memories for which I’ll always be grateful.  Creativity is as much an artistic endeavor as it is a human experience.

At one point in the journal, there is a page that says, “Give away your favorite page.”  I have been the lucky recipient of two favorite pages, both of which are securely fastened to my journal.  One comes from my good friend Rita, with whom I have fond memories of writing together and completing Wreck This Journal.  Her page always makes me smile as I think of the friendship, inspiration, and moments we have shared.  As a bonus, trees have always been a special source of inspiration for me (even as a child).  Fate always pulls us in the direction we need to go and Rita, my friend, I will always be thankful I fate brought me to you.

The second page comes from my grandmother and has recently taken on much more significance. When I first started this journal two years ago, I bought one for her too, so we could have something to do together.  She’d had a stroke the previous year, so it was important to keep her active and exercise her mind.  Besides that, my grandma loves to play and go nuts with crayons and markers (its my favorite thing about her).  Every Friday, I brought my journal to her house and we worked on our pages – laughing and experimenting happily the whole time.  When it came time for her to give up a favorite page, she gave me a page that asked her to “Sample various substances found in your home.”  She got it mixed up with the page where she was supposed collect random objects, but we had a good giggle over that mishap.  As we always say mistakes are “what makes it homemade,” (long story, family joke).

Grandma’s random objects are strange and have no relationship, but at the same time I can see her in every item she chose to attach to this page. She got the sandpaper from my grandpa’s tool bench where he builds his model trains, the safety pin came from her sewing “tomato” pin cushion, the button came from her sewing table, the Snicker’s wrapper came from the candy pile we devoured while working on our journals, the matchbook came from the kitchen drawer, the gum wrapper from her purse, and the copper “tag” came from her craft box.  Any stranger would deem these objects as worthless, but to me they are priceless.  Over the last year, I’ve watched my grandma slip away as age and dementia stole little pieces of her until there was hardly anything left.  I still go see her, but like everyone else in my family, I hold on for the little glimmers of her humor and feistiness that still poke through every once in a while.  When I see her page, it’s a nice reminder that when she’s gone, my memories of her will be beautiful and full of love.

I know my Wreck This Journal posts are usually much more lighthearted, but when art and human condition collide, emotions tend to run deep.  Yes, its crazy to rip, tear, mutilate, and destroy, but at the core is one simple truth – All of this nonsense really does mean something.

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For previous Wreck This Journal posts, please visit my sidebar and Tag Cloud.  Stay inspired!

c.b. 2012