I am tired of the rain and cool temperatures, but I keep reminding myself that it’s normal for where I live, near Portland, Oregon. After moving here, I noticed that it often dried up the day after Independence Day; Mother Nature cruelly making sure to ruin our holiday celebrations first, and then finally relenting. I imagined my morose rumination original, but while scrolling through TikTok videos complaining about Portland rain today, I saw many comments from people who said things like “I’ve lived here for 49 years, and the rain doesn’t stop till July 5th.” I might have been clever, but not original.
But it does seem especially wet and cool this year, and it turns out it’s not my imagination: Portland is experiencing the wettest April, May and June of the past 81 years. Local mariners, city planners, and infrastructure managers are keeping an eye on potential Columbia River flooding. If you consider how huge the river is, that would be a serious flood. Local totals measure 12.23 inches of rain since April 1, and the average is about 5 inches. AND, it is raining at my house at this very moment.
Ok, so, since it’s too wet to go outside and do yardwork like I should be doing (the grass is SO deep out there), I have time to think about something else, like maybe a long overdue couple of blog posts. You know what I haven’t done yet is tell y’all what I did on Mother’s Day! It was over a month ago, but I’ve been so busy with school and all my other things, I haven’t written about it yet.
Tara and I have a tradition of camping on Mother’s Day, rain or shine. Since Tara graduated, they actually had time this year to camp for real (last year all they could spare was time to go on a picnic) and suggested two nights instead of our usual one. Just for fun, we decided to rent a yurt, like Pedro and I had done for his birthday in February. So we did and we had a blast. And it did rain, but not all the time.
First, I drove down to Albany, Oregon and picked Tara up from work at the Historic Carousel Museum. They had handed out carnations to moms early in the day, and Tara had nabbed one for me, knowing they would all be gone by the time I got there. T handed me my flower and told me to get in line. It was Sunday, Mother’s Day, and all mothers were invited to ride for free. I definitely accepted the invitation!
I arrived just before closing on purpose, and rode the carousel and walked around and took photos while Tara cleaned up and closed up and locked up.
I take so many photos every time I visit Tara here, because I think the animals are amazing. I’ve never even heard of such a variety before and I really love it. Tara and I then began the beautiful drive to the coast, where we would spend the next two nights.
We stayed in a yurt operated by South Beach State Park near Newport, Oregon. I had reserved it online. When we arrived at the park, we stopped at the visitors’ information building where I signed a form and was handed the key. We drove into the campground and easily found our yurt.
This yurt was not as spacious as the one I rented for Pedro’s birthday in February. As with all Oregon State Park yurts, you must bring your own bedding. We brought sleeping bags for simplicity. The fancy one in February had a small kitchen and a great bathroom, and this one did not. It was still spacious and dry and had electricity, so we cranked up the heat and made a nice toasty cocoon for us to return to when we were cold and wet. The bathrooms, with showers, were a short walk away.
With the three photos above, you can see that it is a comfortably large space with a futon that can be made into a bed, and bunk beds. It would comfortably sleep five people. The construction is evident in the photos as well: a frame of thin wooden slats, covered with a waterproof tarp. Let me show you the roof:
We chatted incessantly until nighttime. Both of us were ending an exhausting week and soon settled into silence.
The next morning, we took showers at the nearby bathroom, and it was not too bad. Our location was such that we did not have to walk past any camps at all, to get to the bathroom, which I appreciated.
We spent the next two days exploring the area. Tara knows it well due to multiple field trips with their geology classes at Oregon State University, and then multiple pleasure trips with friends and their partner Cameron. But I’ll cover those explorations in a future post.
Tara and I had recently clashed on the topic of their future employment, and both of us are strong-willed and ready to fight for our own interests. We hate fighting with each other though. I am struggling to sever the parenting ties. I still want the best for my child more than ever, so it’s hard to let go and let them make decisions that seem unwise to me. Tara, at 24 years old, has every right to make their own decisions, but it can be hard for me to accept them. We had made up by that time, but my heart was still aching over the fight and it was good to be together for a nice long time to salve the wounds.
There was a lot of rain, but a surprising dash of sunshine here and there too, so we got a little bit of everything and had a marvelous time catching up.