River Resting

comments: 35

Packing

19River7

19River7

19River7

19River7

19River7

19River7

19River7

20River6

20River6

20River6

20River6

20River6

20River6

20River6

20River14

20River14

20River14

20River14

20River14

21River3

20River14

20River14

21River3

21River25

22River4

21River3

21River3

21River3

21River3

21River3

21River25

21River10

21River10

21River18

21River10

21River25

21River10

21River10

21River10

21River10

21River18

21River25

21River18

21River18

21River18

21River18

21River27

21River18

21River25

21River25

22River5

22River4

21River25

22River4

22River4

River days and river ways. They're slow and steady and golden, like the river. The river rolls past the house like a shimmering ribbon, day and night, night and day. At night, the crickets come out and it's loud. The screened windows look out toward the river, and they are black with night. It's quiet, just crickets, occasionally geese, far off, honking in a group. One night at dusk a flock of them swooped over the house and Andy ran out to see. There are a lot of trees, so you can't always see. One night at dusk, in the rain, I watched a giant charcoal-gray bird (eagle?) glide down the river like a highway. He flew low and near the shore, right above our chairs. He was in no hurry, but clearly going somewhere on his highway. Trees block the view far to the left and far to the right, so you literally watch things come into view on the river and then go out of view, like a filmstrip. On sunny days, lots of people float by, some in colorful rafts tied together in flotillas, beer coolers floating, tinny radios playing. Some come in pairs, and they're serious, in serious kayaks, with khaki hats with chin straps and long sleeves to protect from sun. Some come in silent groups, senior citizens on a tour, perhaps, in rafts being manned by young men, and everyone's quiet, looking forward. You can hear conversations on the river, even from the house. It takes each group a long time to float past the house. That's how slow the river is there. That's how I like my river: lazy.

When we get there at sunset on the first night, Amelia changes her clothes and goes right down to the river in a nightgown. She did this years ago and she does it now. Many things she does at the river she does because she's done them before. She remembers the fairy house she built last year and she builds one again. She remembers the crayfish she caught last year and she looks for one again. She sets the table with flowers and napkins. She falls in the river and changes her clothes three times a day. I read and read, not happy with any of my books but so happy just to be there, doing that. Hour after hour, passed in the chair, basket of tricks (yarn, books, camera) and iced tea by my side, watching the river and knitting or reading. The river shore and river bed are made of giant, round, slippery rocks that my bad foot likes not at all. I watch from the sidelines as usual but here I don't mind. High above, turkey vultures, eagles, and hawks circle, and ducks diving and bobbing keep me company. Swallows. Bees. The sun moves across the sky and I move my chair along with it. Andy takes Mimi on adventures to Paulson Island and Mimi Beach, pulling her in the raft. Oh I love them so. They find a beaver den, crawfish claws, rocks and walking sticks. I can hear them upriver even when I can't see them. It rains on the second day and she and I take a two-hour bath, playing in the water with our only toy, the travel toothbrush holder, and lazing so long my fingers wrinkle. There is little to do, and our needs are few. We plan menus and bring groceries and forget half of them, so meals are a funny abbreviated version of the meals we know from home, too. Pasta, prosciutto, and peas without the peas, still at home in the freezer. At night, we make popcorn and watch rom-coms on Amazon and go to bed at 10. I would not change one single thing.

***I finished her pink sweater literally minutes before we left and it was worn constantly and is now filthy. Success!!! It's Karoline's Cardigan by Trine Bertelsen made from Schachenmayr Bravo (acrylic). And I highly recommend both.

35 comments

And now I feel like I've been on vacation just from the sheer pleasure of reading about yours. It sounds like my ideal getaway. So happy to see that new sweater of hers pop up in so many photos, clearly being loved.

It's Wind in the Willows, and Andy and Amelia are Ratty and Mole. Such beautiful photos, such a sweet end-of-summer tradition.

There is a kind of a peace that we almost can feel with those pictures. Thank you!

Lovely. I have been feeling that exact way about books lately. So frustrating. I sometimes listen on Audible while knitting and catch myself rolling my eyes. I will put some that were recommended here by your lovely readers on my list. The sweater came out perfect and that yarn does NOT look like acrylic. What a perfect solution for Mimi! Cheers to the end of Summer and cool Autumn nights here in Oregon!

Tracy Bowling says: August 29, 2019 at 01:22 PM

I had to remind myself I wasn't reading an excerpt from a great soothing book. Perhaps you should consider writing in some form where we can carry your works around with us to a snuggly place to indulge ourselves. I think of all the blogs and IG accounts I follow, yours is the most comforting and relatable. Your photography is so beautiful as well. Thank you for sharing with us all. I need this reminder that it is not just myself that enjoys the slow simple things in life and there are other lovely humans who do as well.

Hello!
I am a new reader and am so happy to find your lovely space here.
Have a cozy evening!
Looking forward to visiting again soon,

the photos of Ame;ia at the river in her nightgown and again with the stick and bucket. perfection.
Sounds like the perfect way to end Summer

So beautiful, the days, the family, the sweater...everyday extraordinary.

At my daughter's recommendation, I just read and loved "A Snicker of Magic" by Natalie Lloyd. I think you'll enjoy it if you're looking for something a bit different yet in keeping with your days. It's the first book I've read in a while that made me often pause to write down quotes.

Such wonderful vignettes captured in words and photos! The shoes drying outside the door, your daughter with a "ready for adventure" look on her face, imagining hours of playing in the water with a toothbrush holder and the wonderful stories that must go with Paulson Island and Mimi Island.

I'm so very happy for you all.
And, I agree 100% with the person who recommended The Girl Who Drank the Moon. It's a fantastic book.

Darice Herigstad says: September 20, 2019 at 11:39 PM

Amelia has grown so much, her peaceful happiness is palpable. You and Andy have created such a lovely life for your family.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

post a comment

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

Archives