Sunday, December 14, 2014

Part 4b: Operation Survive the Portland Winter

Once I had decided to go to Miami I knew that there was no way I was going to get that close to Durham and not spend a couple of days there as well.  It was more than a little ironic that I ended up flying into a huge rainstorm in Durham while Russ & the kids were enjoying lots of sunshine in Oregon!


As the plane was descending into RDU an almost overpowering wave of homesickness swept over me.  All I could think was how beautiful it looked.


I’ve spent a lot of the last 2.5 years telling myself how grateful I am that Oregon is green like North Carolina is.  And Oregon is green.  But not, not at all, like North Carolina.  I’d forgotten that there is always the feeling that North Carolina is just about to grow right over you.  I’d forgotten the feeling of narrow roads framed by tall deciduous trees, of yards filled with enormous azalea bushes.  


I’d forgotten just how beautiful it all was. 

(I’d forgotten how gross cockroaches are too, but I wasn’t at all sad about that!)


My North Carolina plans were these: a weekend with Alisyn, Ann, and Nancy at the beach, framed on both ends by lunch with Mindy and Nancy.  (How did I live all of those years without ever eating at the Q shack??  I know the answer, but still—so sad!!)


We ended up in a little condo at the east end of Ocean Isle.  Not the best location, but we could see the ocean and it was comfortable.  Nancy had hurt her knee so rested in the condo, but Ann, Alisyn, and I had fun walking around.  Though we didn’t feel entirely comfortable with some of the decorations or rules.


The east ends of these E-W barrier islands are all eroding, and a whole row of houses has been lost or is in danger.  I’d been told by a friend that there were sandbags the size of volkswagons, but that didn’t prepare me for the reality of the situation. 


Just in case you can’t see how big those are, look again.  They were huge!


It wasn’t as green as Miami or as warm as Miami, but it was still beautiful and soothing to my soul.


Two whole days of ocean and conversation was such a treat.  We laughed like crazy and talked about all of our problems.  We ate good food and too much chocolate.  We went to church at the local small town ward which was very entertaining.  (Ethnic cleansing, anyone?  Favorite prophets?)

The next morning we sadly packed up and drove back to Durham. 


It was such a treat to me that the poppies were blooming along the interstate.  I always loved the flowers growing alone the roads in NC and have missed that.


My last escape from the Oregon winter (though it turned out that the Oregon winter had already ended in an unusual turn of events) was decidedly a success.  I returned home tired but so very happy.

P.S.  True love is carrying a dozen boberry biscuits across the country to your kids!


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