Tag: Small Town LIfe

American Honey

What is more All American than Baseball, Grandma’s Apple Pie, White Picket Fences and the Fourth of July?

The concept of what is “All American”, is a bit of a foreign one to me, that I have tried to grasp at different times over the past decade.

The closest I have gotten was while I was in college, living in a small town in the middle of farm country, in the summers when I didn’t come back to the city.

Songs like “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood and “American Honey”, have made me wonder, do these small rural towns, especially in the Heartland, still, have that “All American” feel, or is it something that was left behind in the 1950’s.

Anyone else know what I am talking about? The whole white picket fence, front porch sitting, lemonade (or sweet tea) sipping on a hot summer day, barbequing burgers on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, watermelon on the Fourth of July, Fourth of July Parades, Fireworks, Going shootin’, muddin’, 4 Wheeling, Going to the lake or the river on a hot summer day, knowing your neighbors, and the town turning out for the Friday night high school football games, way of life? does it still exist? if so, Where?

Growing up in a city that had the nickname “Baby Beirut” in the 1990’s, where Old Town, China Town, and North Portland were places you didn’t want to venture alone during the day, and not at all past dark. Portland has changed over the years, but some things haven’t changed for the better. The homeless problem has only gotten worse, There are still Protests on a semi-regular basis (just not as often), some that still turn violent (even less often, but they still occur). Portland has become less punk rock/alt rock/grunge, and way more bougie and posh, with the Pearl and Nob Hill, and Goose Hollow. The Hipsters have taken over and turned Portland into a city I don’t recognize. If I ever find my way out, I would only come back to visit my family and for Bob’s Red Mill, my favorite bakery, and the Tea. Portland was never one of these places where the whole, White Picket fence, knowing your neighbors, Fourth of July Parade, block party’s and barbequing happened.

Like I mentioned earlier, the summers I stayed in the small towns I lived in while in college were the closest things I had to having the “All American” lifestyle. I would like to get back to that way of life, especially if I ever get married and have kids.

Advertisements

Setting Out in Search of Roses

Hey Everyone!

The last few days I have been wanting to go out and visit some of the various rose gardens in the area since this part of the country is one of the best places in the country for growing Roses. The city I live in is also nicknamed “The City of Roses” since it is one of the things we are known for here.

There was this one rose garden and store/nursery store that had a great variety of roses that I had visited a couple years ago. I went back out there today and they were closed to visitors, and all the roses they had planted in the ground for visitors to look at were gone. It was sad, and I was very disappointed. I had even looked it up before I left the house since it is a little bit of a drive to get there from the city. While I don’t mind the drive so much, I am sad that all the roses are gone.

I will be going back out and going to rose gardens here in the city, that I know are still in existence and open to visitors at some point in the next few days.

IMG_3506While I was out, I went to the little town of Saint Paul, Oregon. It is one of these little towns kind of in the middle of nowhere. The only thing it is known for is the rodeo that takes place there every Fourth of July. It is a cute little farming town here in the Willamette Valley.

IMG_3502

This little church, is in the heart of Saint Paul. I had seen it once before, when passing through the town of Saint Paul, after the previous trip I had been to the rose garden that no longer is open to visitors in the area. Beings that I knew the church exists in the town, and I love older church buildings, I wanted to stop by again and take more pictures.

On my way home I had also gone through the town of Mount Angel, which hosts an amazing Oktoberfest every year. I had wanted to stop at the Catholic Church there in Mount Angel, but it’s right next to a school, which was letting out for the day so the area was pretty busy and an inopportune time for pictures.

I love driving two-lane country roads, that aren’t that heavily traveled. They are so pretty.

Over the past twelve years, I have fallen in love with the small towns of the Willamette Valley between here and Corvallis. While I  am not a huge fan of living in the city or even the metro area for that matter, I do love living in the Willamette Valley. This is Home for me. While I would consider moving if I found a job I could support myself on elsewhere, there is also a huge part of me that wishes I could find a job somewhere here in the valley (though haven’t had much success in the eight years I have been looking and trying……). I know what grows here, and what doesn’t grow in the valley, that I would want for canning and eating either grows in the Gorge which isn’t too far away, or in Southern Oregon and finds its way up north.

 

Angel Eyes

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday I had gone down to the area I had lived while I was in college, for an adoption party. My good friends had gotten the adoption of their daughter finalized just after Christmas, and had the party yesterday. Little Miss also recently turned 5.

I still love the area there, and it was my home for four years. I fell in love with the area, and being in and around small towns in the middle of farm country. Having lived there will always be a part of me and who I am. It has been almost eight years since I lived there, and for a while I wanted to move back.

In more recent years, I have come to terms with and accepted the fact that I will likely never live there again, but it will always be a part of me, and I left a little piece of my heart there. I will also have the memories I made there.

I have had the song “Angel Eyes” by ABBA stuck in my head for the past few days. Really since I figured out the title of the song. I had been hearing it on the promos for Mamma Mia Here We Go Again (the sequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia). I remember the summer of 2008, and having gone to see Mamma Mia in theater like three times. When you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, going and seeing movies is one of the few things to go do.

Earlier I mentioned that I know that realistically moving back to the towns I lived in while in college isn’t going to happen. That being said, the small town & country life is more the life that I am called to than the city life is. The city is fun to visit on occasionally, and with having family still in the area, I know I will be back here to visit. Moving somewhere else, is what I am being lead to do. The west coast is so expensive, and realistically (based on my eight years of trying to find a full time job here), staying here isn’t possible. So I am definitely looking at moving elsewhere. I am ready to move and see what else is out there. This country is so big, and I have only seen a handful of places. I love adventures and seeing new places and new things.

Still being younger, single, and nothing holding me here, I am ready to see what is out there, and take life by the horns and take you all with me on my adventures.

Not living here, will make visiting, going for treats and tea on Alberta, and going over to NW to go to the tea shop there and get tea, and then to the Stash Tea store, and Bob’s Red Mill that much more special.

Content with Small Town and Country Life

Content with Small Town and Country Life

Hey Everyone!

The past three weeks have been pretty busy, with the ladies retreat, and preparing for that as well the Rend Collective Concert last weekend, family coming to town to visit, and then Easter this past weekend.

There have definitely been a couple of times where I just needed to get out of the city,  and kind of regroup before throwing myself back into the city life.

I grew up in the city, so it was what I knew until I went to college. Even then it never really felt like home or that I belonged here, I just never knew why. I went to college in a small town, and it hit me like a ton of bricks as to why the city life never felt right or normal to me.

I came back to the city after college because of not having a job lined up in the small towns I was in and around, so I was forced back. The past eight years have been all about trying to find a long term job, and figuring out who I am, and all that kind of stuff.

While I have been figuring out who I am, the whole finding a job thing has been a bust, and hasn’t happened. Which has lead me to really consider moving, and looking for work in other parts of the country. Life doesn’t always work out the way you would hope it would. Dreams change as people grow and change.

I have been really trying to make a better life for myself, and live a simpler more meaningful life. Not being someone who is in the High Tech, IT, Medical, or Outdoor Wear, or Craft Beer fields, I haven’t found a place to fit in here, and have not had the opportunity to get my foot in the door on a career here, since there are so many other people who are unemployed and underemployed from the recession who have more experience in the “entry – level” fields than I do. So that has really push me to seriously consider moving someplace else to at least have a job. In addition to that, I would love to have new places to go exploring and hiking in.

As I have gotten older, the city life, and the increasing influx of people has been wearing on me. It has helped me to realize who I am, and the type of life I want to live, and that is a simpler life, away from the constant hubbub and traffic of the city. It has taught me what I am capable of, and that is more than I ever though I was. It has taught me that I am tougher, stronger, and more self sufficient than I thought. There is more to life than putting up with a life you hate, just because it is familiar. A life that has meaning and purpose is a life worth working hard for and fighting for.

Cabin Fever; The saga continues

Hey Everyone!

2018 has been a rough one so far for illness. I am sick for the third time this year and we are really only 2 months into the year.

All I want is to be healthy again and some half way decent weather so I can go hiking again.

The conditioning cream and the insoles I bought for my hiking boots came today, so I was able to condition my new hiking boots this afternoon, since they are full grain leather. I definitely want to protect them and have them last as long as possible.

Even though I am sick, today has been productive. I got some laundry done, and got my boots conditioned. I have gotten several blog posts written on a couple of my blogs, including this post. I have also been looking for a job.

Today has already been a two cup of tea day, and is about to be a three cup of tea day.

I will be giving essential oils a try here in the near future, to see if they help me stay healthy, help with my allergies and with stress. I am going to be trying a few blends.

I have too much going on this month to be sick again. I have a ladies retreat in a couple weeks that I will be attending as well as a concert the weekend after and I want to fit in at least a couple hikes before Oregon Spring Break.

I have also been sorting through some stuff, and seeing what I can get rid of, especially of things that don’t fit right or don’t fit period and I won’t wear. I am also trying to simplify what I have, with the exception of a few decorative things (even that I am trying to keep simple), I am trying to not have excessive amounts of material things that I don’t really need. If it is something functional, that I am currently using (or will for sure use when I move out on my own again) I am keeping it for now, but other things are just taking up needless space.

While I have no burning desire to living in a tiny home, I would rather live on acreage, with a modest farmhouse, bungalow or cottage, than a big house in the city. The one thing I would like though is a kitchen with decent counter space so I can have room to cook and bake, as well as a table that can seat several people, for family gatherings and such.

Just Can’t Catch a Break

Hey Everyone!

This weekend was a busy one. I was feeling pretty good after having a cold last week. So I had gone about life as usual over the weekend.

Then yesterday I feel like I ran into a brick wall and had taken a few steps backward in the illness department. Last night was rough, my tonsils were pretty swollen all night and have finally gone down as the day has gone on. I definitely picked up another bug.

I shouldn’t be surprised beings my weekend was busy and I was just getting over another bug. My immune system hadn’t completely recovered.

Fortunately, I am able to stay home for the time being, where I can rest and drink plenty of water.

I had a good weekend at least. I got to spend some time with a good friend of mine as well as being in the part of the state I consider to be home.

Time is Flying

Hey Everyone!

What a week.

Last Tuesday was very busy, and I slept the rest of the day.

Last week was one of those weeks where I ended the week exhausted after the week I had had.

Saturday, I went with my family to the annual Greek Festival at one of the Greek Orthodox churches here in Portland. We aren’t Greek or orthodox, we go for the Food.

I had Monday off, which was nice. I had needed the extra day off. Monday afternoon I had started packing up my room at my parents house. I have been going through what I want to keep and what can go, so whenever I am able to move away from here, I will be going as minimal as possible.

Working on living a more minimalistic life when it comes to material things, has been a goal of mine. I don’t want a lot of material things holding me back from living my best possible life or making it harder if I were to move half way or completely across the country.

As I have been getting older, I have been learning the value of memories and experiences are more important than a lot of material things that you don’t use everyday.

Don’t worry, I am not getting rid of everything. I am keeping my kitchen stuff (how else am I going to be able to cook and bake stuff up to post about on Simple Homemaking), my knitting stuff (my favorite hobby), my books, my autumn decorations and my Christmas decorations, among other things.

I have learned that I don’t need a big house, and lots of material things to make me happy, give me a comfortable pair of hiking boots and a beautiful day outdoors with a home to come back to at the end of the day and I am happy.

Simpler Way Of Life

Hey Everyone!

How I want to live my life has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t want to let my life slip by, or be adrift and one day wake up and be like “how on earth did I get here?”

I want to live my life with intention, and have a purpose for how and why I do things. 

I am very much someone who has to work with their hands, whether I am knitting, or cooking, baking, canning, gardening, fishing or building things. I am very much Homemaking inclined, but not in the modern sense of the word. More so in the traditional, pioneer, frontier sense of the word, where women very much did tend to the home, as well as spent time outdoors. They gardened, gathered berries, raised chickens, and possibly helped with the other farm animals they raised. 

While I have the benefits of electricity, natural gas, solar panels (for solar energy), as well as indoor plumbing and the internet, I am at a point in my life where if I had the opportunity to live on some property, and be more self sufficient, I wouldn’t miss living in the big city all that much. 

I know I have written about having lived in a couple small towns in as close to the middle of nowhere as you can get in the Willamette Valley while I was in college. I loved being out there, and going for drives through farm country. That was were I was living the most true to who I really am, that I have to date. 

Even if I can’t have as big of a garden as I would like, and have to live in town, without the animals; being able to live in a small town in a more rural setting, but am still able to come to the city to get the variety of dairy free & gluten free food I am used to, I would be fine. 

I have loved learning about how common, normal women lived their daily lives between the 1930’s – the 1950’s. I loved hearing my grandmother talk about how life was during the Great Depression and the Second World War.  Hearing about how when something broke, you fixed it. They fixed it because either a) replacements for said items weren’t available, b) they couldn’t afford to replace it, or, c) both a and b were true. I had gotten thinking about that today when one of my sock needles broke. I am unable to purchase a new set at the moment, and without the needle that broke, I wouldn’t be able to continue working on socks. So I had to fix it, and fix it I did. 

I am working on living a more intentional life, where I have a job where I can work with my hands, and live a simpler way of life, and not need to have so many new things, and fix what I can, and build from scratch. 

Small Towns are where I am meant to Be

Hey Everyone! 

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Between being busy and sick, time just got away from me. 

I haven’t been to the beach since my last post, which is weird for me during the summer. The beach is seriously more my home than the city. Small coastal towns have their share of problems but I have never felt unsafe there or that it is worse than the city. 

I was out the other day and spent most of my time sitting in traffic, and was reminded of why, even though I was raised in the city, that I am not a city girl. It took me about as long to get to the bank (three miles away) as it does to go from Tillamook to Garibaldi (10 miles) or Rockaway Beach (15 miles). 

So that is what I have been up to lately; working, being sick, missing the beach, wanting a home of my own, and comtemplating my future. There is a huge part of me that misses small town life. I don’t need a Costco located 15 minutes from where I live, or a mall. I would be fine with a Safeway 10 – 15 miles away and making trips to the city for all the other stuff and see my friends here while I am at it. I totally thrived while I was in College, and the closest Fred Meyer was in a different county, and driving 20 minutes to the chain grocery store on occasion for a larger variety, and stock up. In between stock up trips filling in with the little local grocery store. 

Being in the city is foreign

Hey everyone!

As I was driving to work this evening it hit me hard, that even though I have lived in the city most of my life, city life is still extremely foreign to me. I really feel like I don’t belong in the city. I miss being 30 minutes from the closest freeway (interstate). I felt more at home and that life was normal when I drove 2 lane country roads daily, and only went into the big city (with a population between 150,000 and 175,000) about once every three months. Living in a town where going to the largest town in the county (with about 15,000 people) was 8 miles away and it took about 20 – 25 minutes to get into town. 

There have been many times in the past decade where the city was still completely foreign even though I was raised in it. 

Yesterday I had been missing the second apartment I had had in college, where I had a decent sized bedroom and loved the configuration of my closet. How my room was set up I had full access to my closet and half of it was divided into an upper and lower sections so I had 1/3 more space than my current closet. I loved it.