Posted in 365 Day Log, tagged Colbie Caillat, Cold Play, fairytales, Fishtrap, golf, Jason Mraz, Lake Oswego, LPGA, Manzana Rotisserie Grill, Mt. Hood, Safeway Classic, summer in Oregon, Viva La Vida, writers workshops, writing on June 20, 2008 |
1 Comment »
Thursday, June 19
It was a beautiful day today. The kind that makes you suspect, wondering just how long it’s going to last. You truly become a weather cynic here. While tomorrow marks the first day of summer, it doesn’t usually go into effect until July 5, which is common knowledge here in western Oregon.
But, I’m not going to complain. I’ll just be grateful for the beauty that’s been the past few days.
I had to run by Fred Meyers in Newberg this afternoon to pick up some cheese for a media tasting at the winery, and while I was there, I picked up a copy of Jason Mraz’s new album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, and Coldplay’s latest release Viva La Vida. I got $3 off each CD, thanks to coupons. Both CDs are great! I especially love the duet Lucky with Jason and Colbie Caillat. I do have a little crush on the Mraz-man.
After work, I met Susan at Lake Oswego to walk around the lake. It was so perfect out. Driving into town you come down this hill and see this crazy beautiful view of Mt. Hood. We met this ornery guy who showed us the Sailing Club private residence – very cool historic houses that extended over the lake. As we continued around the lake we found ourselves in the most charming neighborhood we have ever seen! I fell in love with it. Every house was unique and magical with incredible landscaping, towering old trees – I felt like I was in an enchanted fairytale neighborhood that Hansel and Gretel would come out, and Humpty Dumpty would be sitting on a wall. There were lovely cottages and full blown mansions. It was just gorgeous. We decided we wanted to be neighbors and live there, right on the lovely water. It reminded me of a tiny Lake Como!
After our walk, and daydreaming about living up on the hill by the lake, we had a salad at Manzana Rotisserie Grill. It was fast. I’m not really a fan of chain restaurants, and the quality of the ingredients wasn’t great. Much of the lettuce was wilted, the dressing was too sweet. We get spoiled at our favorite foodie eateries around and about town. But, I guess you get what you pay for. For $15 it was what I expected, to be honest. Turns out the Pearl District Manzana location is getting ready to shut down. It truly gets lost in the amazing range of foodie destinations all around.
When I got home I got some information in the mail from Fishtrap, regarding my summer workshop in July. I am very excited. It’s going to be like going to camp. Writer’s camp!
learned that the Safeway Classic LPGA tournament is right here in Portland in Oregon. I made a note to myself to get tickets. I think it would be cool to go see part of the classic, to cheers on women’s sports and see what I can learn.
Read Full Post »
Posted in 365 Day Log, tagged Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Cut Bank, family history, fishing, Glacier County, Glacier National Park, Great Depression, Hiking, John Steinback, Montana, MT, Of Mice & Men, oregon, rafting, Recession of 1937, Scandinavian heritage, The Grapes of Wrath, Whitefish, zip wire on June 20, 2008 |
Leave a Comment »
Wednesday, June 18
I found out a couple of days ago that I might go to Whitefish, Montana in August for a wine event. I haven’t been to Montana yet and have a little family history there. For years I thought my dad was born in Eugene, Oregon. Only, I learned he was born on a Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. My grandfather was a cowboy and then a sheriff in Cut Bank in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression. In fact, the year my dad was born was during the Recession of 1937, which deepened the Great Depression. It was especially torrential for farming communities, as depicted in John Steinback’s The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice & Men. That’s kind of how I envisioned my grandfather and my grandmother’s decision to stay in Cut Bank, where he could find work. By the time my dad was a toddler they were in Eugene on the family farm, near the rest of the Jorgensen and Thorson clans.
My paternal family history has more holes and empty spaces for me than anything. Part of the reason I moved out to Oregon in 2004 was to connect with my family out here and to fill in the blanks to my family history. Both of my dad’s parents died before I was born, so I never got to hear the stories, from their perspective, the kind that fill you with knowledge about people and places and moments that ground who you are. I never got to try my grandmother’s best dishes and pies – my dad said she used to make amazing pies. I never got to hear my grandfather’s stories about being a cowboy and sheriff. I never got to learn about my Danish and Norwegian heritage. It troubled me.
But since I’ve moved to Oregon, it’s as is synchronicity kissed my forehead like a loving grandparent. I’ve been to the gravesite in Eugene a few times. I’ve cleared the seasonal debris that sometimes blows in and over my grandparents’ bronze marker. I’ll bring flowers, pray and then talk to them. I know it sounds silly, but I tell them things I’ve always wanted to stay, but couldn’t. I got to know my dad’s cousin and while I’ve only met her three sons once, I really want to return down there and get to know them better.
The single best thing about moving out here was getting to know my uncle, my dad’s older brother, my aunt and my two cousins and their families. That has been almost enough to give me what I had longed for and needed all of these years.The opportunity to go to Whitefish presents a whole other chapter in my family history research. Turns out Whitefish is in very close proximity to Cut Bank, both towns are located in the northwest corner of the state. I’m thinking about tacking on an extra day out there to comp working through the weekend. While out there, I’d like to drive to Cut Bank and see what I can discover about my grandfather’s time out there as a cowboy and sheriff. Just to be there, to see the place where my father was born, where my family’s life was settled before they ended up in Oregon is priceless.
There are also a ton of cool outdoorsy things to do in that region. I’d love to go fishing, hiking and rafting – and there’s a place where you can go on a zip wire – which looks like so much fun. I wish my dad would fly out there and meet me so that we can explore this area, especially his birthplace and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, together.
Cut Bank is part of the Glacier County, which 70.85% of the land area lies within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and another 20.58% lies within Glacier National Park at the county’s extreme west. The balance of the county is centered around its largest city – Cut Bank. I’m really excited to discover this place!
Read Full Post »