it’s fine… everything is fine

This photo was taken just 5 days ago… ignorance was bliss at 7:30pm on Monday.

You would think, with all of this time I have on my hands not commuting to work each day, that I’d have all of the time in the world for hilarious, life changing blog posts. The same could probably be said about cleaning the bathrooms regularly, or vacuuming the house, or mopping the kitchen, but alas. Those things sit and wait and I pretend not to notice.

Okay okay, before you worry that I’m living in squalor, I assure you I am not. It stays clean around here but my habits haven’t changed from my life pre-COVID. Unemployment started out with a long list of things I could get done now that I had more hours in a day away from work. A few of those things were accomplished but this blog was not one of them.

I could blame the jewelry business. It’s done well… quite well. I’m thrilled but also a bit disappointed it took me so long to get back to it. That’s a typical reaction for me… “OH, this is wonderful… why didn’t I do it sooner” or “OH, what a great vacation, we should have done this last year” or “OH, this restaurant is superb, it should have been in our rotation for years”.

It’s hard for me to be satisfied in the moment and let that satisfaction live on its own. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that you really should enjoy the moments. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Case in point…

This past weekend, my husband and a couple of our friends decided to set out in search of adventure for Labor Day. You see, my husband and I typically are at The Gorge Amphitheater for 3 days of Dave Matthews Band during Labor Day and our friends were supposed to be out east for a wedding and 40th birthday trip up the coast. As you can imagine, neither of those things were happening this year. So we headed south to Crater Lake National Park and then on to the Redwoods in northern California. We stayed in a very sleepy coastal town and people were few and far between. It was breathtakingly beautiful everywhere we went.

On Monday, we headed up the Oregon coast to return home… only to get some weather notices on our phones about historic winds coming in. Those warnings turned into a late night race across the coastal range, surrounded by tall trees and densely wooded forests on a two lane highway that winds cars around hairpin turns for 40 miles before dumping them out in a valley. We dodged most limbs, but not all, all of our stomachs were inside out and we all lived through that with a level of adrenaline only reserved for the tallest, steepest roller coaster drops. Fire trucks raced past us heading to fires on the verge of devastating some of our state’s most beautiful areas… but we didn’t know that at the time.

Driving out of the range left us faced with road closures due to wild fires… fires that didn’t exist when we left town 5 days prior. We all made it home to downed limbs, torn up patios and debris filled neighborhood streets… and little did we know it was only going to get worse. That was Monday night, since then, fires have spread, uncontrollably, towards multiple populated areas in Oregon and the Portland region is no exception. Those friends we went to California with have had to evacuate their home, with their mother and dog and fled to safety here… and hopefully it remains that way. The evacuation line is creeping closer to our address, but for now we’re safe.

I don’t write all of this to complain… rather to document how I’m feeling about it now. I’m frustrated that a trip all of us needed more than anything has been overshadowed by this catastrophic event and I’m frustrated that I feel that way. There’s been a loss of animals, homes, towns, lives… the friends staying with us are worried about their home… I’m worried about our home. We keep half joking at the end of each month that we can’t imagine what 2020 will throw at us in the following month… but I’m over that tongue in cheek joke.

I’m so over it.

I’m also ready to breathe air that isn’t thick with smoke, ash filled and orange.

Is that really so much to ask for?

In brighter news, I have a job interview on Monday for that job I’ve been waiting for since April. My fingers are crossed… won’t you join me in that?

6 thoughts on “it’s fine… everything is fine

  1. Oh, Erin! I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you were far, far away from there. Stay safe, and pick up the pieces later. (Learned that from Harvey.)

  2. Thank you! Not far away… unfortunately but safe for now! I think things will turn away this weekend.

  3. So many feelings!!! I’m so glad you’re making again, don’t care how long it took to get there. I’m SO glad you made it home safely, and that the friends can stay with you. As I told him, I’m sending good thoughts of lots of rain your way. 2020 can’t end soon enough, but then I am not confident 2021 will be any better…

  4. I’m so sorry you just keep getting punches thrown at you left and right. The trip sounds like it was great, so that’s good. And definitely crossing my fingers for your job interview. Good luck, and stay safe!

  5. What a harrowing experience in an already horrific year. Yet through the smoke and hardship, your strength and optimism shine through. Hoping for better days ahead for you, Rocky, and your friends staying with you, as well as everyone else impacted by this. Stay safe! Also, I want to let you know I’m crossing my fingers for you on your upcoming job interview. You’ve got this!

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