Hubby and I decided that for our 7th “Wandering Wednesday” we would drive along the backroads north of our town. It’s a gorgeous area and was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for appreciating the quiet and the slower pace of life (and driving!). When we came home, I decided to put together a music video of our day, with my photos and Rodney Atkins’ song, Take a Back Road. However, as nice as it was when I put the show together, I can’t post it here due to copyright laws. But his song was a perfect one for our Wandering this week!
When we go for a drive on a summer afternoon, we will often head south from our new home and drive through the beautiful neighboring county of Yamhill. For our 6th “Wandering Wednesday,” that’s where we headed, along backroads through the farmlands and past wineries, through small towns (the town of Yamhill is where Beverley Cleary’s early childhood home is located!), to the Yamhill County Historical Museum and Research Library in Lafayette, just south of McMinnville, Oregon. Beautiful countryside, and what turned out to be a very interesting destination!
We had a lovely volunteer docent who accompanied us throughout the museum and research library and who told us story after story about the artifacts and special exhibits for almost two hours. I tried to take photographs that would accompany the stories she told, but although it would be impossible to retell all those stories here, the photos do tell a story themselves. We were particularly fascinated with the stories from the Oregon Trail, seeing some of the quilts, clothing, cooking utensils, and even a chair, that were brought by families in covered wagons. We loved the stories of early settlers of the county, and she unrolled a long parchment diary of a man from China who was somewhat of a local legend and who wrote a narrative of each day’s events in a fine hand. The beautiful old piano belonged to the daughter of a local family, a lovely and talented young woman who tragically lost her life in a rip current while on an outing with her fiance to the ocean. The blue bottles are an old collection so creatively displayed in the window.
Our lives are made up of stories, and each individual story is what makes history so fascinating to me. I grew up in a family with many stories to tell. My Dad was an historian and librarian at heart, so he kept an extensive “Family History” which chronicles the life of our family in both photos and narrative. On trips or drives, my Dad would inevitably pull over at each “Historical Marker” (my brothers and I dubbed them “hysterical markers”) along the way, so we could read and learn about the stories of that area. I still love to stop at those few that remain when B and I travel.
So it was an interesting and educational “Wandering Wednesday” this week, and I felt very grateful to our guide who spent so much time sharing many of the stories that are close to her own heart.
To put it simply, my June reading has been delightful. I’ve been reading and listening a lot, re-reading old favorites and enjoying them in new ways. I’ve always loved “children’s literature,” which included all books that weren’t categorized as adult level reading, so many of my June reads are “children’s” books, for the child in me, as I said in my previous post, and it is a lovely way to spend a summer afternoon on the porch.
There are still a few days left in June for finishing up some old favorites, but here are the books read so far this month:
My summer reading this year is very reminiscent of my summers of reading as a child. Without planning it, I am recapturing those pleasant hours of freedom, the pleasure of walking to the library and coming home with books discovered on the shelves, the enjoyment of re-reading favorites, the joy of reading outdoors and being distracted occasionally by the beauty of clouds or by watching jet trails cross the sky. This is my first full summer of retirement, and for the first time since those long ago summers, I now have time to allow myself to completely reconnect with that child reader who loved books and stories and libraries and who filled many summer hours with reading.
For our fifth week of “Wandering Wednesdays“, we chose to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland, Oregon. What a beautiful morning spent exploring and experiencing the different gardens within that walled city block. Beautiful, peaceful, inspiring…it’s a lovely place to visit and learn.