I consider myself lucky that my relationship with Adam is as good as it is. Adam and Laura maintained a civil relationship after their divorce, and interacting with him to trade off the older girls has never been awkward. In fact, he and I are friends. When I first moved to Oregon in 2009, he was one of the first people I got to know, and we worked together for a time on medical garden that year.
When I checked with him about bringing the girls with me when I came to get our stuff out of storage, he was kind enough to offer all of us lodging, though his place is small. We planned to stay five nights, and though two of them I spent elsewhere visiting friends, we spent a lot of time hanging out all together. Adam picked us up at the airport, and he surprised the girls by telling them that he had taken two days off from work, meaning that they would have a four day weekend to do stuff together.
We discussed things we could do, and started locking down dates and times for all that I wanted to accomplish. What seemed like a long visit (we were there for seven calendar days) went pretty fast when I started thinking of all the people I wanted to visit. Also, I was intent on rafting the Rogue River, something I had never done, in spite of 8 years living in Oregon.
We had a wonderful time that week, the happenings of which I will discuss only briefly, even though I’m sure everybody would rather have the unabridged, play by play. Just kidding. I suppose the one critique I might offer myself, as far as my own journalism goes, is that I could stand to say less. Brevity is wit, and all that. It’s never been my forte, with my proclivity for verbosity and all. So especially when I’m describing travels and adventures, I’m committed to cutting down on all the needless details and summing things up. I would like to be putting more focus on issue oriented journalism, covering projects and topics pertinent to permaculture and agorism. But an adventurer I will always be, and any time I go somewhere cool, I like to share it here on Permagora.
We got our bikes out of storage and took some rides. Not having a car, I took my bike down to Talent to visit my friend Reid, which took a bit longer than I expected it would. Still, it was great to see him. One day we were out driving around and I figured I’d give Meadowsweet a call. Her son Lorian is a good friend of Eva and Gaia, and we got to know her well through the home school hiking group we used to be part of. We just caught them, as they would be leaving the next day for Alaska. We dropped by last minute, having a nice talk while the kids all played. Meadowsweet served us some delicious blueberry smoothies, and the kids all climbed a tree in the front yard.
We went up to Glendale one day, where we met with Dan and Kristen and their family. They have five kids, four of whom we knew while we lived in Glendale a few years back. Until Tigerlilly arrived (a short while after we moved away) Katie was the only girl in their family, but her age fell right between Eva and Gaia, and they both love Katie, so they were thrilled for a trip up to Glendale.
First we stopped at Richard’s farm down on Cow Creek, where we met Bill and hung out down by the creek. Richard’s farm is really looking good. He showed me a new water powered water pump he had installed, and when we walked through the garden, I was blown away. In 2016 when I visited, there wasn’t much going on with the garden, but this year it was looking awesome. Richard told me that Jamie and Petra (other friends of ours) had been managing it, and wow, had they been doing a good job.
It was nice to see Richard, and Pelos as well. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long, as we had dinner planned up at Dan and Kristen’s, and that’s where the girls really wanted to be. Bill joined us up there, and they had some other friends over as well, so it was a nice get together. Adam seemed to enjoy himself, and of course the girls had fun. Tigerlilly is getting big fast, and she is just about the cutest baby you will ever see. She seemed so easy too, just sitting there looking around, staying fairly quiet and easy going.
That night I stayed over with Bill, with plans to visit Ashland the next day. I also had to pick up the moving truck that next day, and Bill suggested that he could drop me off there. It was great catching up with him, and I got all the latest on everything going on in the world of people I was so close to when I lived up there. Almost five years of my life I lived in Glendale and participated in our localization project. That’s longer than I’ve lived anywhere other than home, growing up.
I also spent a night with Larry, who put me up for several days the last time I was in Oregon. It was great to see him again, as well as Tracie who also lives at his house. They had only just gotten back from Europe. Having studied with and been fairly close to Masonobu Fukuoka, Larry teaches permaculture and natural farming, and Tracie helped him with a class that they put on in Spain. She also led the Love and Yoga retreat in Italy, which I wrote about earlier this year.
It was a nice visit, if short. The days were ticking away. I scheduled my rafting trip for the final day in town, with plans to load the truck in the evening after I got off the river. I would be tired, but it would be fine. I ended up having to switch trucks, which was a huge hassle, because the first one I got didn’t have three seats. By the time I could pick up the second truck, I would have very little time to load it.
We took some nice bike rides around Medford together, and we also took a trip out to Applegate Reservoir, which was awesome. It was hot, so the lake felt great. Plus, we went to the spot right where the river empties into the lake, which gave us both a river and a lake day all at the same time. I built an awesome fortress atop a rock, using both stone and clay/sand mud. Sadly, it didn’t photograph well, and I couldn’t get a good angle on it to reveal what it really looked like.
The girls had tons of fun with Adam, soaking up the movie and video game time that they don’t get in our house. They got really into a game called Skyrim, and we watched a movie every day, at least that I was there. It’ a tough issue, because there are lots of movies that I love, and I think it’s worth appreciating film as an art form, but at the same time, film is a lot more addictive than lots of other forms of art, and there is so much pulp and outright junk that it makes it a mixed bag.
Our main reason for wanting to limit screen time with the kids is our understanding of how imagination develops, and how bad for the pineal gland excessive screen time is. Even if we had entirely edifying and wholesome content, (which we don’t) letting kids watch movies or play video games every day limits their ability to visualize things with their third eye. Really young kids should never watch screens, research has indicated, and older kids should have only occasional movie nights, if the goal is to develop the brain properly for full visualization and manifestation practices.
In the Radical Unschooling movement, they emphasize that total freedom means freedom with screens too, and they would disagree with our practice of prohibiting constant use, even though we have computers (no TV) in the house. I cannot reconcile my approach with the Radical Unschooling philosophy, even though I agree with just about everything else about the movement. I just go with my instinct on this. It just feels better for the kids to play rather than sit at the computer all day. The Waldorf tradition also discourages screen time for kids, almost to the point of it being a requirement to keep TV and movies out of the kids’ heads while they, the Waldorf teachers, are running a different kind of program. The Waldorf system that is based on oral tradition, home economics, and imagination play with only simple toys and props. We would have loved to have our kids in Waldorf schools all along, but we could just as easily afford a second house for what it would cost.
My second to final act in Oregon was to drive out to Gold Hill to meet with the Orange Torpedo rafting company. I left the rent truck (which I had only picked up that morning) in the parking lot and rode upriver in their van. There were two raft loads of people going on the trip, and I enjoyed getting to know them over the course of the float. At least those in my boat. It was a beautiful day, and the rapids were spectacular. The first ones were twos and threes, but the last two were class fours, and they were really fun. Bummer of a time for my GoPro to have broken. The camera itself is fine, but the mount snapped and I can’t wear it on my head or even secure it to anything. Fortunately, a guy on the trip had one and he offered to email me some of his pictures.
The river run went by fast, and it made me want to go on a longer trip further downriver. There are some great three to four day trips to do. Someday. I packed up the truck fairly quickly, and I was both surprised and pleased to fit everything in there. Our storage unit was 8 x 20, but the truck was only 8 x 16. Yet somehow, I got it all in there.
The girls said goodbye to Adam, and he said he would try to get out to visit us sometime soon. We had five days of driving ahead of us, so we got started as early as we could the next morning. We bought lots of snacks and I put several movies onto my computer, taking converter along so I could plug into the truck. It still wasn’t going to be all that fun, but we would make the best of it.