Hello sweet friends!
It feels like a million years since I've been here, updating you on what is new here on the lake. I am going to do my bestest to make this a weekly thing... to sit down, look back at the past week, and share my life with you. I hope you'll hold me to it. Please leave me a comment at the end and let me know you're here and listening – I'd love to know what you'd like to hear more about!
Summer has been spectacular but also it went by too fast. As the cool mornings and evenings make their way to the lake, I find myself longing for those long, warm, summer days. At the same time, I always look forward to autumn... the cool, crisp air, the changing colors of the foliage, and the peace that comes when living in a vacation town after Labor Day. Can you hear that? Me either! It's the sound of silence. (Sorry for the earworm if you're already singing Simon & Garfunkle. Just know that I am doing it too!)
This past week was productive, fun, and painful. I love working for Travel Southern Oregon Coast as their Content & Communities Manager (fancy title for managing social media, website, e-news, etc). On Tuesday last week, our tiny team met in person for the first time in months. We call the meetings "Meeting of the Minds" – when we get together, our ideas always spur more ideas, and we have the best time! I'm now working on a holiday campaign to encourage shopping local over the holidays and I'm very excited. I love creating and executing marketing campaigns that help other business owners out, especially during the holidays. Our area is filled with tourists from May through September but it's much harder for our local businesses to stay afloat during the winter months. Local support is vital to keep them open and thriving. I'll share some of the content when it gets closer to the promotion!
Life isn't complete without some play time and I really got a brilliant play date with my friends and sweetheart this past Saturday. We attended "In a Landscape" – a classical music concert, overlooking the ocean at Shore Acres in Charleston, Oregon. This was our third year attending (me and the sweetie person) and this year was the largest group we've had yet – there were 16 of us! We all brought picnic foods to share. Our friends, Betty & Gerry, got there early and staked out a picnic table for us all – they even brought blankets to lay over the table so that we didn't have to deal with the splinter-ey-ness that is a wood picnic bench in the Pacific Northwest. haha!
There were so many delicious goodies. Terry made curry chicken on crescent rolls topped with her homemade apple-pear jam – wowza! Betty (our on-the-lake-chef) made pumpkin-pineapple-chocolate-chip bread – MMMM! She also brought a roasted chicken and wine. Laurie brought tortilla roll-ups – I didn't have any of those though... they had cream cheese or mayonnaise and I'm not a fan of savory, creamy white stuff. (Get your mind out of the gutter, lol!) But they did look very yummy for folks who love that sort of stuff! Laura (yes, we have a Laurie and a Laura in our friend group) brought the most adorable, tiny sandwiches with cute, little onion buns. So adorable and delicious! I brought cheese, crackers, bacon-crusted turkey slices, hummus, pita chips, triple chocolate cookies, and more wine. There was a smorgasbord of treats and we enjoyed them thoroughly prior to the concert beginning.
Once Hunter Noack (the classical pianist) began to play, the whole mood shifted. I could sense that everyone, including me, fell under his spell as he lulled us into a state of peaceful bliss. We're provided with headphones prior to the show's beginning so that we can hear the piano at its full volume. You can choose to turn it up and drown out the other sounds or you can set the volume to a level that still allows for the sounds of nature to be the backdrop of the concert. I prefer the latter. I love hearing the ocean waves dancing below the cliffs and hearing the sea birds cry out their applause for the beauty of the day.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Blue skies, not a cloud or bit of coastal fog in sight. And so warm! We were there until sunset and I didn't even need my sweater. At first, we listened to the music from the picnic table. Then we wandered over to the sea cliff wall to sit and stare out at the ocean dancing across the rocks – splashing, crashing, and sometimes oozing over them. I cannot express in words how it feels to watch the natural ocean sync up with the music, but it happens every time, and every time, I am astonished. It's pure magic!
After some time on the sea wall, Susan and I decided to take a walk through the little woodland park next to the stage and event area. The woodland is covered in 100-foot trees sprouting up to the sky and a forest floor of ferns, salal berries, huckleberries, and pine needles. There is a cool, old, craggy tree stump along the trail. Susan and I always have to stop and take a photo there – and by always, I mean we did it last year and again this year, lol! We walked the path over to the little private, secret beach that I'd never seen anyone at. There's a cave there in the side of the rock and I am always searching the water line for sea lions but alas I've not seen any there to date. Each time I've taken this walk – the first time with my sweetie, the second time with Susan and my sweetie, and this time with just Susan – it felt like I was in some fantastic movie. Between the incredible piano playing happening over the headphones to the surreal beauty that is the Southern Oregon Coast, I become enveloped in another reality. A dreamy landscape, with beautiful music playing, and sweet people that I love with me. It's one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. It reminds me of that magical feeling I would get as a child when everything just felt "right".
What is beauty without pain, my sweet friends? I imagine it's not nearly as wonderful, that is for sure. A few weeks ago, my sciatica came back and it was really bad. I hadn't had a flair-up in years and I was so disappointed to know that I had "done something" to make it happen. Try not to laugh, but I know the exact moment when the nerve got pinched – I was washing a fork and I leaned over to put it into the silverware strainer, and BAM! Ouch! It hurt immediately but then seemed to resolve itself throughout the day until I went to bed that night and repeatedly awoke to the pain in my lower back. All I could think was "how did a fork do this to me???" and resolved to never wash a fork again. hahahaha!
It took about a week and a half to subside completely but within a few days, I was back to work and doing things. I was feeling great when I went to Bandon for the meeting. And felt great when we went to In a Landscape this past Saturday. But alas, Sunday morning I was working on tiling my little outdoor pub table that has become sort of a "gardening headquarters" when I'm on the deck near the cabin and I felt my back get that light tinge of pain again. I worked the rest of the day and felt okay but upon going to sleep that evening, my back and leg were so sore! I woke up on Monday, hardly able to get around. Looks like it might not have fully recovered from the fork-washing a few weeks prior and it only took the tiniest movement to pinch the nerve again.
I've been slowly – VERY SLOWLY – recovering all week. The worst part is that laying down to sleep is the most painful and after a few days of sleep interrupted by pain, I'm ready to sleep SO hard. Meanwhile, I'm drinking tons of water, doing my yoga stretches that help with sciatica, and taking my B vitamins (apparently being deficient in B vitamins can make a person more prone to sciatica and carpel tunnel syndrome – I just learned that this go-around). I know I'll get better by walking and taking it easy. Sitting is the worst thing for it and I sit a LOT for my job. Definitely, time to get back to taking walks every day again especially now that the busy-ness of summer is winding down and I'll have far fewer outings with friends as we all hibernate for the winter.
I hope all of you are living a back-pain-free week, finding a balance between productivity and play, and finding the magic in your everyday moments. I'll be back next week! Ta-ta for now!
Fall is in the air and I've been creating lots of fun fall fashions, like these adorable leggings!