I know we have all been stuck at home, I'm not alone in that. I take so for granted my ability to move freely! Having been raising kids for 26 years now, summers are the scheduled free time that I habitually look forward to as the time I can make plans. The structure of school is a blessing, but summer freedom has always felt great, and made me appreciate fall when it was time to get back to the "grind". I have just one summer left after this one with my baby boy at home for sure. He says the moment he graduates he is moving to Portland. I believe him. Funny that you can take the kids out of the city, but can't take the city out of the kids. Both of my kids were born in the SF Bay Area and we left when they were 3 and 8 years old, but they never exactly loved it here in Ashland. We have had many conversations about why that is, but now that we are nearing the end of this phase of life, it doesn't really matter. I highly doubt they'll ever live here again, but hopefully through their lives they'll come to appreciate the upside to small town life. To have experienced the safe feeling of "everybody knows your name" early in life feels like it will not hurt. There is something to be said for the feeling that the world is an innately good place, and no matter what else they say about this town, they probably wouldn't deny that.
I spent my birthday in Portland. My son Elias needed to travel 3.5 hours to find a place in Oregon that could give him his driving test, (thank heaven he passed!) and we combined it with my birthday so I could have a little get away. My kids are old enough to execute birthday surprises and we have our traditions that are so comforting for me, and we did them all!
Social distancing is easy on a bridge late at night, so we walked and skateboarded in the cool evening air and enjoyed the view of the bridges. This is the Tilikum Crossing, a bridge in Portland for only the trains and pedestrians, bikes, scooters, etc. It is lit at night and has a a view of the bridges along the river in both directions.
This photo is lovely, but doesn't actually do it justice.
I was there 4 long, restful days. We gardened, went to a beach (on the river) and did a lot of front porch hangouts. We did have one lovely dinner out on my birthday which felt exciting. Just to be out was fun and made it a celebration. The restaurant had moved all their tables outside and spread apart, so this also felt safely distanced. This is us below, my daughter Ruby's roommate Emma, my son Elias, Ruby and me.
I go back to Portland for a quicker trip next weekend, it's Ruby's 22nd birthday, and for her gift she wants us to go to Sauvie Island with her for a picnic. I have been with her every birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Mother's Day of her life so far. I know one day things will change, she'll be part of a couple, she'll want to travel, etc. But for now she is committed to being together, so I wouldn't miss it for the world. I am so very, very lucky.
So, in the store, I am excited to be re-releasing a few items, including improved Comfort and Joy Boxes. I have decided to offer bath bombs (formerly fizzies) in packages of four, and have greatly expanded the fragrance options to include some that are more neutral and earthy, not necessarily feminine. This is in response to many requests for gender neutral fragrances as many men like to use bath bombs too.
Also, I am going to be offering a gift box within the shipping box, pics next week. I really want to make the holidays easy, and having gifts boxes ready to go under the tree, or whatever your tradition is, feels like an improvement. In addition to bath bombs, I am offering all the items I carry in Comfort and Joy Boxes for the holidays. I am excited (and intimidated) but feel like this is the next logical step for the gift offering.
Keep your eye out for soap next week as well! I found a soap blend I love and have made some trial batches. I look forward to getting these in your hands and hearing what you think.
If you read this far, wow! Thanks!
I hope you have a really good week, I'll see you in your inbox next Saturday!