Monday, May 14, 2007

Gardens and Waterfalls

Talk about a weekend adventure! After shopping and dancing Friday night, I had a busy Saturday and Sunday too. Saturday morning I cleaned the house for my parents before I left. They've been gone for a week to Missouri, and I thought coming home to a clean house would be a nice treat. Of course, with an OCD mother, it doesn't really matter how good of a job I do, it still isn't good enough (which was kindly proven to me tonight).

As if shopping for lingerie Friday wasn't enough, I needed new jeans as well, so I dinked around in Salem at the mall while waiting for TH to get into town. I'm a bad shopper: I ended up spending more than half my time in a toy store looking at kid's games and decks of cards. Part of me never hopes that changes about me... :)

TH finally got into town, so I picked him up and took him on a drive through French Prairie, north up to Hwy 219, over to River Road, and back down to Keizer. The grass fields are as green as ever right now, and the orchards look fabulous. I wish I knew what all the different crops were, but I knew a few... even if he was bored, my spirit was recharged in the rolling hills of north Marion County.

Dinner out, then some conversation. Unfortunately, I had to be home by 11pm to let my parents into the house when they got home at midnight. My sister and I ended up having a long, deep, thoughtful conversation, and I think we bonded about a few things important to us. While I didn't get to see TH much that night, I am glad I was at home for the experiences I had.

Sunday dawned entirely too early, and I was in Salem again around 10:30am. I coerced TH into joining me at the Oregon Garden for some exploring and learning. The Garden was quite understated and beautiful in it's simplicity. I was a bit disappointed that fewer plants were in bloom, but my allergies were otherwise thankful. No matter where I went, birds called all around me, so many kinds... while such clatter annoys me at home, I found it pleasant there. The overcast weather and slight breeze made the walk refreshing. For someone who usually thinks "plants are only good for salad," I definitely enjoyed the Oregon Garden.

Knowing that the Willamette Valley isn't all about grass and flowers, I decided that TH needed to see some trees too. I drove us out to Silver Falls State Park. The waterfalls here did not disappoint anyone. The restroom facilities left something to be desired... like a hazmat suit and biohazard cleaning chemicals... but they got the job done. We took off down the trail and walked at least four miles on our loop.

I had my first all-out panic attack at one point on the Canyon Trail. We were walking along a cliff edge when it hit me: shortness of breath, vertigo, trembling, chest pain... my biggest phobia is of heights. I wanted to be anywhere but on that ledge, and after a while, the little fence keeping me safe ended into nothingness. It was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. Ugh, I hate heights.

Our hiking adventure was not all bad: we both got a bunch of great pictures, and we couldn't have asked for better hiking weather. We both got a lot of good exercise and fresh air, and I didn't spend my weekend sitting here on my bloggy--a great change!

I'm exhausted now, though. Hopefully I'll get pictures up soon... like, after I sleep for a week...

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