Lent and Letting Go


So, I’ve been thinking about what to give up for the Season of Lent this year.  Each year I try to do something different…like drink more water, eliminate chocolate from my diet, eat smaller portions, do quiet acts of service, not buying any new clothes, etc.  Recently while driving around my neighborhood, I noticed the Hazelnut Orchards were pruned.  It occurred to me if the hazelnut trees need to be pruned, maybe this would be a good time to do a focused season of ‘pruning’ of the things…the ‘stuff’…accumulated around my house over the years and let it go.  I plan to do this in a number of different ways.

Yesterday, I went through two extra large plastic bins of upholstery fabric; I’ve been storing this material thinking someday, I would make a ton of cute teddy bears.  And well, no.  It’s not happening.  It’s time to let all of this material go. I emptied the bins and came up with 4 garbage bags full of different fabrics, loaded them into the car, and took them to Good Will. 


Today, I went through the garage and gathered the following items together:  Styrofoam, cans and glass bottles for recycling, cardboard, florescent light bulbs, a broken VCR player, and old window shades.

I loaded the car and went to the Fresh Start Market and Espresso on Center Street and Styrofoam Recycling Center in Salem, Oregon, to drop off the back seat full of Styrofoam.

Next, I drove to the Marion County Recycling Services on Griffin Road off of Route 22 to drop off the blinds, cardboard, florescent bulbs, and the broken VCR/DVD player.

Then, I traveled to the Bottle Drop Redemption Center on River Street in Salem, to take care of three bags of recyclables…which amounted to a little under 10 bucks worth.  Here in Oregon, recyclable cans, bottles, and plastic drink containers are worth .10 cents each.  My son, Ben, makes fun of me for going to the Bottle Drop.  He told me he thinks only homeless people go there.  In truth, I’ve seen all types of people there…soccer moms, teenagers, the oldies but goodies (older people). I explained to Ben why I go to the Bottle Drop Redemption Center.  It’s really simple.  I love when I’m done the machine pumps out the reward of cold, hard cash.  Oh yeah!

It’s nice to know we are at the beginning of Lent, because sadly, I have so much more ‘stuff’ to sort through.  I’m determined to work through this Season of Lent and letting go. It’s time to make space for new things to come in life.

Check back to see how I’m doing and for the creative ways I hope to clear things out of my house. Some of the things I want to go and to never return are a pretty decent leather Lazy-boy Recliner, an oak claw foot dinner table, old paint cans, books, and more.

Will I or won’t I be able to park a car in the garage this year?




Pictures from My Rail Trip


I took this picture outside of Klamath Falls near Modoc, Oregon while on the Amtrak Train.






The Wagon Train Cafe found in Truckee, California.



This picture was taken at 1:50 am.  I’m finally boarding the Amtrak Train to Salem, Oregon from Sacramento, California.

More pictures of this journey can be found at Marionberryquilter.com

I Made It to Salem

I made it to Salem safely after 25 hours of travel. This picture is of the Salem Amtrak Depot and Greyhound Station.

I’m feeling a bit worn out and a little hungry. I can take care of these creature comforts when I am back at my house.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure. It’s been enjoyable to blog about this journey. Time wise, traveling from Salem to Reno, I would say flying is the fastest way to go at an hour and a half flight. Driving second at 8-10 hours and the bus/train combo – 26 hours.

It’s really good to be home!

Eugene, Oregon…Albany…Final Stop for me…Salem, Oregon

We hit the Amtrak Train Depot in Eugene, Oregon. There is a quick stop in Albany. The next stop is Salem, Oregon where I’ll get off. I’m very drowsy, but comfortable. I haven’t done any hand piecing on the quilt project I brought since I’ve been on the train. I’ve read a little of Richard Rohr’s book, Everything Belongs.

I’m glad I took the combo bus/train trip; it’s been a welcome change of pace. I’m grateful for the chance to sit, rest, and simply ‘be,’ and not be in a ‘doing’ mode.

I recommend traveling by train. I hope I have more opportunities to explore the US this way.

Overall, traveling by bus and train was a little cheaper cost wise than flying from Reno, Nevada to Portland by 20-40 dollars. I like driving to Reno from Salem, Oregon best. It is the cheapest…however it is a solid 8-10 hour drive.

Riding the Amtrak Train

I was waiting and waiting for the Amtrak Train last night when my phone buzzed with text alerts to say the train was arriving late, an hour later. The picture above shows the line of people waiting to load the train at 1:45 am.

Glory be…I was tired. I couldn’t wait to get to my seat on the lower level coach area. I slept for about 3 hours so far.

For the rest of the day, I will be on the train headed North to Salem, Oregon. I’ll post some more pictures of the journey.

A train sitting on the tracks while I was waiting to board, but sadly, it wasn’t mine. More pictures to come.