Thursday, December 25, 2008

Counting our Blessings

Portland, Oregon..the pacific northwest. Mild climates and pretty scenery!
Houseboats sitting on a inlet...reflecting the calm afternoon skies!
A place where those who want a feeling of winter go inside to ice-skate because the average December temperatures, in Portland, are in the 40s and 50s.
Here is where our daughter chose to attend graduate school. Having just received her BS from University of Delaware she announced to us that she would like to continue with her education. I put together a wall hanging quilt, prior to her leaving 4 years ago, showing her leaping across the mid west farms, fields and mountains with her cat (the grand cat) under her arm ...moving 3000 miles away...not knowing anyone in the northwest.

...following and eventually achieving her dream..getting her Doctor of Chiropractic degree and her certification in Physical Therapy.
On the 20th day of December 2008 as we were all in a festive mood, Mother Nature decided that Portland would be the recipient, of not only 60 newly inducted DCs, but of a winter snow and ice storm. A storm that would deliver 16+ inches of snow and ice on a town that hasn't seen more than a few inches of snow since 1968!!
Portland and surrounding areas were in no way prepared for such an event. Few streets were plowed, salted or dowsed with cinders. Suddenly, those who would go indoor to skate were cross country skiing throughout the city streets.

All roads leading out of Portland were closed for.. two days!! Very few aircraft were flying into or out of Portland... and the trains were not running due to blizzard like winds...we were all stranded. Over 100 flights a day were canceled, hotel rooms were at a premium, power outages all over the city...everyday life, as they knew it, came to a crawl. We, luckily, had a hotel room, electricity and a rental car.
On the third day, of the storm, rte. 84 was deemed passable and we decided to attempt the drive to Idaho so that we might get out of Portland's continuing demise to ole man winter....We drove through the Cascade mountains, elevation 4,326 feet, hearts beating...knowing we had to get over these mountains in order to get to Boise. The vistas were absolutely breath taking and I have to say my husband did an excellent job of driving our rental, without chains which were actually being required, over these mountainous roads. After 7 hours we finally arrived in Boise! Elated and tired, we departed Boise airport the next morning for Philadelphia. ...all the time knowing that Portland had received another 7 inches of snow the night before.
Creating a new path, as we drove to our destination, made me think about our daughter's future and the path she would create with her newly received degree.
She will no longer have, at her finger tips, those favorite professors and wonderfully supportive friends..
and she knows, as we all do, that we can only glance back, and must move forward..... and as the path widens and her new future begins we wish her great success and happiness.

My husband and I arrived home very late Christmas eve and early this morning our daughter, who managed to get to Seattle by train (after several delays) flew out of Seattle into JFK... safe and sound and by 10 am we were all having a Christmas breakfast...counting our blessings and celebrating the biggest and best birthday of them all. Amen!


Shellmo said...

Tina - your daughter is beautiful and you must be so proud of her! Those snow pictures were just breathtaking. sorry that the weather got rough AND happy you made it out safe!

Eve said...

What a wonderful journey for all. Your daughters and yours. None are easy, but hard work and faith will get you through the toughest of roadblocks. Just think of the journey our savior had to make, that faith got him through! Congratulations to your daughter and to you and your husband Tina. You raised a great kid AND made it got through that tough storm!!!

Gail said...

Beautiful pictures and wonderful accomplishments.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Congratulations to your daughter,wishing her great success in the future.Wow,that must have been quite the trip you had,I'm so glad you made it safely home and that your daughter could also join you for Christmas.The pictures are great,both the scenery and the grad.
Christmas Blessings ,Ruth

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Tina... You said it ALL... I have a friend who lives in Nampa, Idaho (not far from Boise) --and she says that they NEVER go over those mountains into Oregon in the winter. SO--you all were very lucky to get across. God was with you!!!!!

Congrats to your daughter. She is so gorgeous!!! I know you are proud of her.

Glad you all are together on Christmas---a Christmas to remember!!!! God Bless ALL of you.

Lynne said...

Congratulations to your lovely daughter and to you too! How exciting to have her whole future unwritten ahead of her.

cityding said...

Congratulations to your family!
I really like your beautiful pictures!

Anonymous said...

Wow. What an impressive post. Your daughter is absolutely stunning. She will be more than the apple of your eyea, I am sure of that. But your entire post is just marvelous to read and the photos are remarkable. Nice...

Bird Girl said...

I'm so glad you all made it safely home for a Christmas together! I kept seeing all that mess on the news and wondered...
Your daughter is just beautiful! And you must be so proud of her! The wall quilt was so creative and will always be a memory of her adventures 3,000 miles away from comfort! (Not to mention that gorgeous long blonde hair!)
Love the shots of the snow and pines!

fishing guy said...

Tina: What a neat story told in word and photos. Thanks for sharing a special time in your life. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Neal said...

Beautiful snow pictures and your daughter is very pretty....must take after mom. Have a great New Year. I look forward to reading your blog in the upcoming year.

Tina said...

THANK YOU to all my blogger friends! I tried to visit your sites from the hotel in Portland but so many others needed to use the computers trying to re-book and re-schedule flights, I quickly gave over my access time. I appreciate all your wonderful wishes and comments. We certainly were traveling with angels sitting on our shoulders this trip!
I do hope all of you had a wonderful and peaceful Holiday and enjoyed celebrating with your family and friends!

Mary said...

Tina, this is beautiful. You must be so proud of her...she's beautiful as shown in her graduation photo and the quilt with that flowing blonde hair.

When my daughter graduated it was an exciting time but scary, too. But not as scary as driving a rental car over a mountain! I heard about Portland. Similar to Charlotte - our city would shut down completely.

Lovely post. I know your Christmas was Merry!


sylvia murphy said...

Hi Tina,

My parents live south of Portland and reported lots of ice, trees breaking, and other forms of chaos. Glad you escaped. I am not sure I would have driven across the country at this time of year.

By the way, I got to experiment with a 300mm lens. I think I need a 400mm or higher. :)

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Tina, what a great story and fun tribute to your daughter! I love your quilt, too! Very impressive!

We have driven through and across the Cascades in winter one time before and enjoyed some of that same breathtaking, snowy scenery. What a "fun" adventure!

Raleigh, NC is jealous of Portland's snow!!!

me ann my camera said...

I just had to admire your wall creative hanging with the wonderful span of imagination taken in stride with a cat under your daughter's arm. But then I was so taken with your wintry tale of escapes over mountain passes. What a driving adventure you encountered!! An exciting story with a happy ending for all. Happy winter with the birds!

The Tile Lady said...

Oh, Tina, what an awesome post! Congratulations to your brave and beautiful daughter! My daughter took a leap like hers, to Arizona many years ago "I think I want to go to the desert," she says to me one day.....So, I know how hard that was for you, and Portland is even a greater leap! Look what she has achieved, and her life lies ahead of her! And what a wonderful quilt to celebrate her move and her achievement! Wow!

The photos taken as you made your way through the snow are also just wonderful! I really enjoyed seeing every pic and reading all about it, and knowing you all arrived safely home and Christmas eve was the beautiful, perfect ending!


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