Lent and Letting Go

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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. 

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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

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

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The Wagon Train Cafe found in Truckee, California.

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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.

Made It to the Sacramento Valley Train Station

I made it safely to Sacramento. After I got off of the Greyhound Bus, I opened the Google Maps App on my phone to find the directions from the Sacramento Greyhound Station to the Sacramento Valley Train Station; it was just over a mile walk.

Turns out the walk to the train station wasn’t my smartest move, as I passed the Jesus Saves Mission with scores of homeless people hanging out and tents of various sizes and shapes along the way. Perhaps with my bags, I looked just as homeless, because I wasn’t bothered at all on the walk. The sun was going down for the evening. The street lights were on when I started to become uneasy about how I thought this short leg of the trip would go. This feeling crept up on me slowly yet at the same time as the speed and pace of my walk picked up.

All is well, I made it safe and sound.

I did have to produce a valid ticket to the train station security guard after I had been hanging out on the train station benches for two hours or so.

I’m looking forward to boarding the “Midnight Train to Oregon,” because I will finally be able to rest.

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the journey brings.

Traveling South into Sacramento

The sun is going down ever so slowly. The Greyhound Bus has made two stops since Truckee…to Colfax and Rosedale.

Excuse the electric lines…this is a shot outside the Greyhound station is Rosedale, CA. I know we’re headed deeper into California when I see palm trees.

I’m working on a hand pieced quilt project while enjoying visiting with my seat mate on the bus. She is on holiday from London. It’s a joy to meet people from different walks of life and share a moment feeling ‘caught’ in the same travel predicament at the same time.

On the Greyhound

I’m on the Greyhound Bus today. We are making our first stop at Truckee, California. Love the name of the cafe in this picture…Wagon Train Cafe; it’s name holds all of mystery of roaming West of the Mississippi River.

Another picture of Downtown Historic Truckee, CA.

-Molly

The Journey Begins

This is part of a wool felt art display at the Portland International Airport. I was traveling with my grand daughter today to take her back to Reno, Nevada.

From Reno, I am taking the Greyhound Bus to Sacramento, California. Then I will be taking the Amtrak Train to Salem, Oregon.

I will be posting about this trip over the next few days. I hope you’ll join me as I explore the West Coast from a new perspective. I am going to be reading Richard Rohr’s book Everything Belongs, taking pictures, doing some spontaneous writing-posts, resting, and working on a hand pieced quilt project.

I’ve had a wonderful time with My grand daughter, Matilda. She’s turning out to be a fun travel buddy.

‘O Happy Day

~Molly

Choose Life

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Georgia’s New Shoes

So, the question is…Do you buy new shoes when a family member is 95?

My Mother-in-Law, Georgia, came to visit for a few days.  Georgia is 95 and still kicking about life; she shops, goes out to eat, and walks well with a little aid.   She kept telling me how much she liked a pair of shoes, just like the ones in the picture, we bought together some 22 years ago.

Life is about choices.  When the word, “choice” comes to mind, I am reminded of the Bible passage from Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call the heaven and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

When I thought about shopping for new shoes for Georgia I was struck with the idea of choosing life…choosing what was life giving, choosing what would bring more life to my mother-in-law.  My vote was to buy new shoes.  When we checked with the store, the shoes Georgia wanted needed to be ordered. When her new shoes arrived, she was so tickled; she wore them everywhere.

Late one evening during her visit, I looked across the room and saw Georgia sitting quietly reading with her new shoes on; she was content and happy.

It’s the little things in life that make a difference to others.

Happy Wednesday!

~Molly