Recently I went with my mother and oldest daughter to the Oregon Tulip Festival in Woodburn Oregon. It was a blustery day, but while we were there the weather was almost perfect for an early Oregon spring. We only got sprinkled on! and the overcast sky allowed for some gorgeous photography.
Katrina, Joey and their dog Thermite had come for a visit and they were leaving the next day to go home. Somehow we hadn’t managed to spend any time with my mom during the three weeks they were visiting. That is really sad. But at least the one day we had together was a wonderful one.
My mother has always loved the tulip festival and it had been many years since she had been able to attend. In fact the last time she was able to attend was when Trevor and Emi had only been married a couple of years and they were in Portland so Trevor could take the MCATs. He graduated from medical school two years ago, so that meant it had been at least 8 years ago. I was grateful to be able to attend with her. I hadn’t been to the tulip festival since I was pregnant with Trevor (I believe) it might have been Katrina; either way it was way too long ago. Having not lived in Oregon for 26 years did make it almost impossible to attend. I’m really glad I went.
Katrina had never been and it was one of the few things she really wanted to do on her visit to Oregon. I almost tried to talk her out of it, but I bit my tongue and went. I am not a fan of dark weather; in fact it hates me! I have lived with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) since I was first introduced to Oregon winters when I was 11 years old. I am thankful I did. It ended up being a real learning experience. It made me think of all the times I have talked people out of enjoying themselves because of my selfish unhappiness. I am grateful for that reminder and have tried to take the lesson to heart.
Every year is a little harder. Luckily I missed out on several years here and there as we moved around with the Navy. I was so frustrated upon returning to Oregon to find that SAD had been waiting to catch me. And it did so with a vengeance. I was caught so thoroughly by surprise that I was hardly able to function that first winter.
My dear husband was such a help though. He bought me a bank of lights from sunbox.com. I hardly want to leave my studio during the winter, it makes life so bright and shiny. This third winter was the best yet, especially since he installed a 4 tube LED light in the room as well. It feels like sunshine and I do so much better.
I’m so grateful that God has blessed us with spring flowers, they help me to realize that winter has an end. And there are wonderful things in store for each of us. Just as spring flowers erupt out of plain old dirt, we can emerge from the hard times, beautiful and shining. I love that hope every day I recognize it. It gives me faith that I can improve and grow stronger.
And now one last photograph from our beautiful day.