OCW Week-end

Henry, a old friend of my Mom's. Conversation took us back to the 1930's.

Henry, a old friend of my Mom’s. Conversation took us back to the 1930’s.

Friday morning, eleven o’clock, and Karen and I are headed out of Seaside on Highway 101. Portland is ninety minutes away; our first stop, to pick up a banner for the OCW conference.

Then it’s on to Salem for a two and a half day marathon of historical research in the farm country of Independence Oregon followed by a Saturday filled with Davis Bunn, lunch, classes, and finally dinner with friends we hadn’t met yet.

Then there was Sunday; Breakfast with Davis Bunn and friends for good food and conversation. Early afternoon found us at Subway for coffee and a two hour conversation with a friend we hadn’t met yet. Shopping in Woodburn finished our weekend as we headed back to Seaside—exhausted.

You might read this and think I am crazy—and that may be true—I am a writer. So my wife Karen must be crazy too as she travels with me on this writing adventure. In reality she is not crazy, just committed to my pursuit to be a great writer. So this is the price we will pay, because without passion the dream dies.

Early in the game I discovered (as it is with all things in life) success comes with persistent learning and doing and believing; learning from successful writers, writing and more writing and more writing, and most of all, believing that what I have to say folks like you will want to hear.

On my journey, so many have made it special. Davis Bunn is one of those. Thank you to all who have been willing to invest in the lives of so many new writers; and thank you Oregon Christian Writers for providing a wonderful platform.


Salt Sprinkled Memories

The frantic splash of tiny feet move in a blur through the thin layer of surf, just ahead of a foam-crested two foot wave. A seagull squawks, out of tune, against a blue-gray noonday sky as the children’s laughter hitches a lazy ride on the quiet breeze. I smile in wonder at the two young children in silhouette; the emerald Pacific serving up an endless backdrop to their fantasy world of salt flavored air. The sand is warm beneath the oversized, multi-colored, striped beach towel. Karen leans in, her head on my shoulder and the gentle squeeze of her hand in mine speaking words without a sound.

Twenty-six years seems but a moment in passing. Our children are grown with children of their own. But the memory lingers like the fresh, sweet fragrance of a favorite flower. Karen and I weave a pattern through the sea of happy faces along the Promenade before turning east down Broadway. It is spring break in Seaside Oregon as moms and dads, kids and dogs make memories to last a lifetime.

I have often wondered: Is it the roar of crashing waves or the sun burning orange against the endless liquid horizon at day’s ending, or is it the bite of salt drenched air breathed in? What desire of the human heart connects us so deeply with the ocean? Maybe it is our beginnings—the fluid world in which our journey starts.

Or maybe life’s craziness pushes us hard toward a child’s world of simple wonder, bathed in beauty and mystery; beyond a need to understand.

Maybe it’s all of this and more.

As Dorothy would say: “There’s no place like home.” Seaside is our home; has been for almost ten years now, and a famous line from the movie, “Field of Dreams”, pretty much sums it up for us.
“Is this Heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.”
Seaside, Oregon may not be heaven, but it’s the closest Karen and I will come—in this life.

So, if it’s a day, a week, or maybe a lifetime, drink in all of Seaside; let it take you to that happy place where memories are made to last forever.

From our house on the hill we watch the sun set over the mighty Pacific as the lights of Seaside grow brighter against the waning colors of an evening sky.

2009-7-20 Ruth & Naomi 001