"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Crafting a Welcome to Autumn and You!

 "Of all the roads both East and West, the one that leads to home is best!"  After traveling 8000 + or - miles in the last two months, last Saturday night I landed in a very smokey Portland, Oregon. Rainy days during this past week have helped to douse the forest fires around us and clear the air of smoke.  Mt. Hood has even collected some early fresh snow.  That my mind is still awhirl from traveling was obvious to me on Thursday when I showed up for a meeting that is not scheduled to happen until next Thursday :)  However, I am settling back in, and have put out some Autumn decorations.  The first day of Fall I made some vegetable chicken soup sprinkled with hot Italian sausage crumbs and sweet potato chips.  What is the last soup you made?

I at age 66, drove with my sisters Carolyn, age 75, and  Margaret, age 73 from Portland, Oregon to the Omaha, Nebraska area in July.  We stopped at Little Bighorn National Monument and were sobered as we thought of the lives lost in the battle over land rights between Native Americans and the US government.

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, we stopped to admire the mountain in the background that is being carved in the shape of the statue in the foreground to honor all Native Americans, although conversely, some feel that the project is dishonoring Native American sacred ground.

We drove to Nebraska, near Omaha to visit Carolyn's oldest daughter and son-in-law at their farm. We managed to get all but one of their children in this photo. 

Although Nebraska is known as the Cornhusker state, we were very impressed that they are growing a pineapple in their kitchen :)

From Omaha, we flew to Boston and met Margaret's youngest daughter, Holly, who drove us around the area with great care.  One place we stopped was the Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine, where Holly took this photo.

In the Fox restaurant nearby we had fabulous lobster dinners.  I like lobster best boiled without anything on it, or in a salad with a little mayonnaise on it.  Do you like lobster and if so how do you best like it prepared?

In Lawrence, Massachusetts, we saw the Ayer woolen mill where our father worked as a manager of a drum carder nearly a hundred years ago.  The clock tower is just a bit smaller than Big Ben in London, England.

Then Holly drove us to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where we visited 97-year-old Uncle Arthur. During the visit, he mentioned that our dad helped him get hired at the Ayer Mill which was news to us.  Uncle Arthur told us again of being on a plane assigned by the Airforce to get photos of the horrible devastation in Hiroshima after it was bombed in WWII, which still seems a vivid memory for Uncle Arthur.   We are grateful for his service and grateful for the love he has given us always.

After visiting Uncle Arthur we boarded a ferry and floated over to Nantucket Island south of Cape Cod to take a bus tour of the island.

The Hydrangeas were especially beautiful on the island.

Holly took this photo of us.  In the background, you can see the old brick and cobblestoned streets that were bumpy and challenging to walk on during rain showers. 

Delightfully, while on the Cape, we were able to dine with Holly, her older sister Heather, Heather's husband, Jeremy, my grandsons Aron and Kenny, my great nieces, Maddie and Lauren, daughter-in-law, Julie, and my oldest son, David.  David and his family drove back to NY where they live in Bayside and all the rest of us flew to Michigan from Boston to visit the family of my brother-in-law, Larry, for the first time since his death this past winter. It was a sad, but sweet time as we celebrated his life.

Carolyn and I then flew back to Omaha and spent another two weeks on my niece and nephew's farm.  We attended the county fair, went out for lunch one day and helped out where we could.

We left on August 21, 2017, and saw the total eclipse from a farm west of Lincoln, Nebraska.  This photo was taken at the time of the full eclipse...a time of brief twilight!

We drove over many miles of wide open spaces that helped us feel wonderfully free, and we admired gorgeous cloud structures, like these in Fort Bridger, Wyoming.

The cliff in Fort Bridger, Wyoming was especially striking to us.

Once back into Oregon, we had a wonderful stop at Cascade Locks where we ate lunch and admired the sternwheeler and the mighty Columbia River, never dreaming that days later a forest fire would scar the land, destroy homes, and rob folks of their livelihood. 

Along the way, I finished crocheting a new pocket for my cell phone. With Lizbeth size three cotton thread I chained for the width of my cell phone and then single crocheted around and around until the pocket was big enough.

With this bargain cotton thread that I had made my first cell phone pocket, I made a tiny facecloth from the leftovers.  The first pocket I made for my phone is in a safe place...[lost on the trip :( ].

Carolyn and I spent a week at my house in Boring, Oregon, and then Margaret flew us down to her home in Burbank, California, to help her celebrate her birthday.  We had a wonderful time together this summer, visited cousins, and sites I have not shown you but we made memories to treasure and I hope you have made good memories this summer, as well.
This morning as I meandered home from church I stopped in Sandy, Oregon, at Jonsrud viewpoint to get a photo of Mt. Hood with its fresh coat of snow to show you.  It is a gorgeous early Autumn day with a just right temperature.  I hope you are having a lovely day wherever you may be!

Thanks to those of you who checked up on me because I have not logged entries on my blog for several months, nor visited your posts.  I look forward to visiting with you soon!

In these times of forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, mudslides, and political discord, may you know the Lord's peace; love and support everyone you can; and enjoy loving creative pursuits.

:)  Gracie xx


  1. Loved seeing all the places you visited. :) Glad you had such a great time with all your friends and family, as you say, such wonderful memories for a life time I am sure. Wishing you many blessings. ((hugs))

  2. Welcome back, Gracie!! What an amazing summer of travel and sister and family love you had! So many neat memories for you all. I enjoyed each photo and all the stories of your fun time. I am.. however.. glad to have you back as my swim friend! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Hi Gracie! I loved reading this post. You had such a great summer, so many happy family times and wonderful places to visit. I'm so glad for you. You look very happy and contented in every photo. Thank you for sharing, and welcome back!

  4. Now that was quite the epic trip and post. Great photos!

  5. I'm glad you're back from your interesting and fun trip with your sisters. Thanks for sharing your photos and highlights of your trip. One of these days I would like to photograph some east coast lighthouses. Bucket list! Have a blessed week my friend!

  6. What a joy to visit today and read about your wonderful Summer. You certainly clocked up those miles and showed me places I can only dream of. The last soup I made was a sweet potato and carrot soup. Take care.

  7. What a glorious post! Don't we live in a beautiful country? What wonderful photos of it from end to end.
    There must be good genes in your family - you a ll wear your years very lightly! Blessings on Uncle Arthur.
    So glad to hear that the smoke is gone. It's been such a devastating late summer for so many areas. That is a lovely photo of Mt. Hood.
    P.S. That is one tempting-looking birthday cake. :)

  8. Hello Sweet Gracie! It's so good to see you back visiting with us. I enjoyed reading about and seeing all of the places and family that you visited. What a memorable trip to be able to take with your sisters and visit so many people you love so dearly. I'm flying into Omaha on Tuesday! Wouldn't it have been fun if we had been there at the same time? I told Teresa and her last post to give you a big hug for me to welcome you back home.
    Welcome back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

  9. Gracie of course I have emailed you but wanted to also post comment here. Love that you had such a wonderful time and caught up with so many family members which sure adds to our heartfelt memories over the years 😀😀 Lovely you saw Uncle Arthur too....we were catching up with Pauls uncles in the Uk 💙💙💙💙

  10. It's good to hear from you and to know that you had a wonderful Summer. You certainly went to some beautiful and interesting places. Best of all was being with family members delighting in special moments together. Wishing you well as you settle back home. I'm also settling back into a homely routine after being away for a while. Soups are being enjoyed. My husband made a good chicken soup the other evening and last night I made a tasty minestrone soup.

  11. Welcome home dear Gracie. What a wonderful adventure you have been on. I loved seeing all the beautiful sites you visited. And, how nice to spend time with your dear sisters and family. Hopefully the forest fire will be controlled soon. It breaks my heart to see the devastation that happened. My best to you. Hugs, Pat

  12. Glad to see you back Gracie, it looks like you have had an amazing summer travelling all that way and with family too, what could be better. Bet it feels good to be home now. Lovely photos :) B x

  13. It is really lovely to see you back - I missed you here in this space. What an amazing summer you've had! It is really nice to catch up with family far and near and I am very happy for you that you had such fabulous summer trip. x

  14. Welcome back from your travels Gracie, and thank you for all the photos. I do love Mount Hood, it is never the same twice is it?

    No lobster for me, they are boiled alive which is extremely cruel. You know us, if its got a face we don't eat it!

    God bless my friend xx

  15. So lovely to see you back dear Gracie. I really enjoyed this post and travelling about with you to all those fascinating places. It sounds like such a heart warming summer as well as an exciting one for you and your lovely sisters. So glad you had a good time. xox

  16. You've had a lovely summer, Gracie, visiting loved ones and seeing so many wonderful places. So thankful for men like your Uncle Arthur. How amazing that he looks so good at 97, and with sharp memories, too. Glad that you are back and sharing the sweetness of life with us once more. xx K

  17. Oh Gracie, your family and friend time looked so sweet. You look SOOOOO happy. I want more information on that crazy cake!

  18. I've also started making soups as soon as the evenings grew cooler. I've just made a celery soup with corn and it is light and lovely, a keeper.

  19. Gracie! Arthur has such a kind face. Bless him. Im glad you all thanked him for his service. Haunting memories It sounds like. That pink birthday cake looks amazing! Your photos show joy and family resemblences. Thank you for highlighting the trip for us. We've missed you.

  20. Hello Gracie, how lovely to see you back and to read and see all about your amazing trip. I love the cake :-) I am not a soup maker, once made pumpkin soup with my D's.I.L - we were all away together and had bought a pumpkin as it was the end of October. Carved and scooped it out and wanted to use the flesh. So we experimented and it tasted good. I should do more soup making.
    My Summer has had highs and lows and I feel a little drained now. DH and I did have a lovely week in Wales, last week. Take care. Hugs Anne x

  21. Wow! What a trip! I bet there were a lot of laughs on this trip. Looks like fun. The last soup I made was a big pot of chili, last weekend, for 25 people. And I don't care for lobster. I found your blog through a comment you left on my blog months ago! I've been going through some old e-mails. What can I say. Life has been busy!


  22. Hi Gracie, it's good to have you back and to enjoy reading about your fantastic journey over the past two months. You have been so busy and seen some amazing sights and had lots of family time too. It must be good to be home again, as always it's good to see Mt. Hood again. Sarah x

  23. I wondered why you were not blogging---now I understand. You were having too much fun traveling the country!
    I hope you can settle in to autumn and your routine again. Welcome home!

  24. Glad you are home safe and sound and what an interesting post. I just love your almost empty open roads which I'm sure makes driving less stressful than our congested roads.


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