Welcome to my landscape and mindscape INTO THE WOODS.
I am a whiskey sipping, trail trekking, tree hugging, animal loving, river rockhound who grew up in the Midwestern United States in the 1960s and 70s. At the age of 20, I left Ohio and drove across the country to the West Coast, where I spent a long layover in the sloburbs of Southern California before moving in 1991 to the awe-inspiring Pacific Northwest. I live in Portland, Oregon, with a good dog, several potted perennials, a fabulous rock and marble collection, a basketful of feathers, a bottle of top-shelf bourbon or scotch always on hand to share, and books of poetry and stories that I have read and re-read many times. I like things that age well.
I work as a communications, community outreach, and public information professional for a local government agency. The work of government is often about solving problems people do not know they have in ways they do not understand. My job is to raise awareness, provide information, help people understand, and engage them in the decision-making process. I have also worked as a K-12 language arts teacher and a community environmental educator. I love words, the natural world, and public service.
And I love the Pacific Northwest. While it offers limitless possibilities for new and exciting kinds of adventure, I have a passion for the simple kinds—road trips on dirt roads and scenic highways; long hikes in wooded parks and forests; rockhunting along rivers and streams; snowshoeing on the slopes of Mt. Hood; scenic rides on historic steam engine trains; hikes around mountain lakes and on wetland boardwalks; tent camping in Mt. Hood National Forest; midnight moongazing in my neighborhood; and peaceful strolls through Japanese gardens designed with nature. My most frequent companion is my dog Daisy—an 11-pound Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua rescue who is an extraordinary hiker, log vaulter, puddle jumper, and rock climber.
After my dog Pasu died in February 2017, I began writing this blog to share my grieving process. It turned out to be a game changer in my life. Over the past few years, I have written about dozens more topics. At the core of each is self-discovery in my ongoing effort to create a sense of space, stillness, and balance. I am grateful for small favors, good deeds, honest counsel, forgiveness, love, kindness, a good laugh, and nature’s wondrous beauty.
Peace of mind is worth any chore.
from the song “Still Believing,” sung by Mary Black, words by Thom Moore