Tag Archives: oregon

Celebrate, we will

We spent $8 and one hour decorating a wagon in red, white, and blue for tomorrow’s old fashioned pet parade.

Although the kids are still pretty little we know they’ll love it. And since we have no idea when we’ll get to celebrate another 4th of July we’re doing it, well, biggish.

It feels like an eternity ago that I was a kid riding my bike in the parade. Dressing in silly outfits and having my own children in the parade was a million miles from my mind.

But here I am, so excited about some old fashioned small town parade and festivities.

We’ll hit up the free pancake breakfast, enjoy the parade, and roam around the park filled with three-legged races, hoola hooping, and other “old fashioned” games.

And though the boys are far too young to understand what it is to be American, they will understand that it’s something worth celebrating.

Celebrate, we will.

Happy 4th my friends.

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you are American, what are you doing for the 4th?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.

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Americans are nice

Living in Australia, one of the things I miss is the level of customer service that’s offered in America.

You just can’t compare the two, and it’s too difficult to explain without experiencing it first hand.

Australians aren’t rude, they’re just different.

Americans have “customer service” ingrained in them. Yes, I know there are exceptions, and you’ll sometimes run into a rude phone rep or server or whatever, but by and large American customer service is amazing.

Today I was in Costo and had to go to the membership desk.

“May I have a coupon book please?” I asked.

“Why yes of course you can!” said the customer service rep. But it wasn’t just her words, it was her tone, her expression, her gesture, her massive smile, and the twinkle in her eye. It was as if she had been waiting all day for someone to ask her that question so she could give them a coupon book.

She was so nice! SO nice.

I half expected her to hand me some cotton candy too.

Yes, it was just a few little words, but it made a huge impression on me. Totally made me grin all the way back to the checkout and then out the door.

Hours later I’m still thinking about it.

Maybe she was a shining example, but to me she was not just a good Costco employee, she was a really nice American.

As much as Americans are known for being loud and large and demanding and confident, they should also be known for being warm and friendly and positive and encouraging.

I love America. And Americans.

It’s good to be home.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you think Americans are nice? Or is it just Oregonian Americans that are so nice?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Pack your bags, baby

I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m packing well in advance of my trip.

And by “well in advance”, I mean four days.

I’m normally a have-all-the-lists-made-in-advance-but-pack-the-day-before sort of person.

But this time, I thought I’d experiment and do it on the weekend since we leave on a Tuesday.

So far, so good.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that it’s taking me way longer. Way.

I have too much time to deliberate about what to wear. (And wonder what people are wearing “over there” these days. And what the weather will be like. And if I will have enough pairs of undies.)

Maybe it’s a little less stressful to pack a few days in advance, but I think I like the just-get-it-done pressure of doing it the day before. (It’s just that I’m learning with kids, the less pressure the better. You never know when melt-downs might strike!)

There will still be plenty of “last minute” things to put in – electronics, toiletries, snacks – but I can say that I already have three of the four of us packed. I’ve impressed myself. (And the fourth one can do his own packing.)

The biggest dilema is the shoes. I hate packing shoes.

(How many pairs of shoes do you take when you travel??)

Good thing I still have three more days to change my mind.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you enjoy packing or hate it?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


I love my Oregon

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” We’ve heard this cliche spoken a million times. Usually in regards to relationships.

But it’s also true of places.

We’re gearing up for a trip to Oregon in two-and-a-half weeks (what?? so soon??!) and my heart is about to explode with excitement about it.

I’ve lived overseas for most of my adult life.

I moved out when I was 17. Took off for Europe when I was 18. Returned to Oregon at 19. Left for Asia at 22. And have been living in Australia since 23.

In the 18ish years I’ve been living on my own, only 4ish of them were actually in Oregon.

But in my mind, Oregon (Central Oregon actually) is this near-perfect place that I always can’t wait to get back to. (Yes, having my family and church and “old” friends there definitely contribute to that.)

I realize that some of my perception has grown out of a longing and homesickness for the familiar, but still, there’s this awareness of just how incredible my little mountain “town” really is.

An awareness that certainly wasn’t there until I “grew up” and moved away.

And I know it’s real because I go back there and it does not disappoint.

It really is that awesome.

Who knows if I’ll ever live there again.

I might live the rest of my days in Australia. Or not.

But I know one thing for certain, my heart is big enough to have two homes (not including my real one in heaven).

I love my Oregon. I can’t wait to introduce the newest Booker boy to her goodness, and my other Booker boys to the glories of her summer.

Two-and-a-half weeks and counting…

until I’ll be home.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you experienced the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” phenomenon in regards to a person or a place?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Confessions of a part-time tree hugger

Every teenager needs a cause, right?

When I was around 16 I decided to become a vegetarian. Not because I was concerned about animal cruelty, but becuase I read somewhere about the alarming rate of rainforest destruction happening in South America to feed America’s obsession with McDonalds.

I suppose it was then that my interest in environmentalism first started.

I put a giant poster of a bright green tree frog on my bedroom wall that said “Save the Rainforest” and stopped eating meat. (I know, powerful, huh?)

Like any other responsible Oregonian, I recycled, I rode my bicycle for short distances, and I even read “earth friendly” books that I had checked out from the library to the children I looked after.

I was “green”, yes, but never super green.

And still, I’m not.

I buy laundry detergent and cleaning supplies full of chemicals. (Though I am slowly transitioning over to the vinegar/baking soda camp.) I wear make-up and sometimes use hairspray. (And probably always will.) Oh, and my vegetarian phase only lasted four years before I had to eat “buff” (buffalo) in Nepal so as to not be culturally insensitive at a dinner I was served. (And now I adore my bacon cheeseburgers.)

But even though I’ve lived in Austrlaia for nearly 12 years, there is still this Oregon tree-hugger side of me that is as alive as ever.

To this day I’m a recycle freak. I’ve been known to carry a can or bottle home from the park becuase they didn’t have a recycling bin accessible. (At home I fill our recycle bin faster than I fill our garbage bin.)

I will often pick up other people trash.

I use cloth diapers for the kids.

I always turn off the water when brushing my teeth. (But I must admit that I have an incredible weakness for long showers!)

I never, ever go to the grocery store without my own reusable bags.

And I can’t stand seeing waste.

My last two houses were almost entirely furnished with things I had dragged off the side of the road during council pick-up weekends and fixed up or refurbished. (The trendy term now would be “upcycle”. *ahem*) It always amazes me that people will through out perfectly good stuff that could be a huge blessing to someone else.

And although we don’t have the equivalent of “council pick-up” weekends where people leave their “trash” on the side of the road here, my current house is half furnished from Freecycle. (You’d never know it looking at our place since the other, more noticable half is furnished through Ikea.)

Some of the things I’ve gotten from Freecycle over the last few years: espresso machine, kayak, crib, jogging stroller, bike trailer, wardrobe, desk, bed frame, waffle maker, vegetable steamer, tricycle, vacuum, chairs, tools, cupboards, dressers, shelves, bread maker, punch bowl set, port-a-cot, camping table and chairs, washing machine, and a million other baby items and household things – both for us and for friends.

And on the flip side I haven’t actually sold an item that I no longer need or want in years. (Including my last car!) I always pass my things on to a friend, or give them away through freecycle myself. (Or donate to Good Will.)

Along with my love of Freecycle, I like to garage sale hop and thrift every once and a while as well. But that’s more for the fun of the hunt and the thrill of finding a treasure, to be perfectly honest. (See that old school busy board pictured above? Yeah, super cool $4 score.)

I guess now my “cause” is less about a cause and more about stewardship. As far as I’m concerned we all have a responsibility to look after what we’ve been entrusted with.

This big beautiful planet isn’t going to last forever. Neither are we.

And it was intended as a gift by the big Gift-Giver himself.

Shouldn’t we take the opportunity to look after our gift well while we have the chance? And in the meantime, shouldn’t we try to be a blessing to those around us by passing on our unused stuff (instead of always throwing it away)?

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” -Old Chinese Proverb

STOP.

Q for you: Are you “green”? What are things you do to help look after the place? And are you as crazy about reusing other people’s “waste” as I am? 

Love,
A

p.s. My phone is dying and I couldn’t access the timer tonight. I was eyeballing the clock instead, which obviously failed. There is no way I wrote all that ramble in five minutes. Just keeping things above board here friends. 😉 It was closer to 8ish minutes I’m afraid. #clickclinkfivefail

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos