stories about my home

fallsMultnomah Falls, the time we didn’t miss the exit!

I’m going to go a little off script because all the good stories I know* are not about my home, but a place I love near my home has been in news stories of late and has been in my heart and on my mind.

My beloved Oregon, particularly the magnificent Columbia River Gorge has been burning up this summer. Most of my friends and family report little or no rain for months. And now fires are raging through the state. The Eagle Creek Fire, according to one report, jumped the river at one point. I’m not quite sure how that is even possible, but I can’t stop thinking about the horrific photos I’ve seen of the raging fire even as (reportedly) here in Utah I breathe in smoky particulates–remnants of the once-majestic age-old trees from home.

Somewhere along that same forest, my oldest son lost his first tooth. We were visiting family and had stopped to take in a scenic view at the top of a ridge somewhere along the Columbia River Gorge and we were simply sitting there enjoying the overlook when Luke pulled out the tooth he’d been wiggling all the long drive from Utah. I’m sure he was a surprised as we were when it finally popped out. Now that’s a story to tell.

We meant to stop at Multnomah Falls on our way home in June. But usually we stop on the way west, and I had no idea that traveling east the exit is on the left, not the right, so we drove right past the exit before realizing it and, as it was raining then (perhaps that was one of the last times?) quite heavily we opted not to turn around. It’s hard not to regret one last look.

The story today is a better than I initially hoped. But the truth is it will never be the same.

Still praying for rain.

*The best stories of my childhood were about the Bear Lake Monster–kin to Nessie, I was always sure. I was both terrified and enamored with the Bear Lake Monster. I swore I felt the gentle brush of a fore-fin across my ankle one time when I was eight. But she did me no harm.

[Day 165 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

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