Monday, September 11, 2006

Covered Bridges

Although we went out to the annual church campout at Ft. Stephens again this year, we also had to drive all the way back into Portland on Saturday to attend the annual OHSU/PCO Symposium, which is always a worthwhile event. That 200+ mile round trip took a major chunk out of the activities at the beach, but we benefited from hearing current PD information on a broad range of symptoms, mood/memory, sensory input and sleep problems, and a look at some of the current research being done - some of it by our own doctors.

One result of cramming so much into too few days was the loss of daylight hours for campsite photos. Imagine all the families having great fun visiting each other, kids whirrling about on bikes and other wheeled devices, huddling around the campfires sharing food, funny stories, s'mores, and fellowship. Got the picture? OK.

What we did have a little time to enjoy, both coming and going, is this old covered bridge at Gray's River just a little way off of Washington State Highway 4 along the north side of the lower Columbia River. We are becoming fond of this "rest stop" because it is a particularly quiet place hidden away off the main road. It is on the list of National Historic Places, as signs and plaques explain, but it is still in use and there is a nicely shaded pullout at the south end from which this shot was taken. Visiting now and then with local folk yields interesting background and now we know about a festival - games and music and food and celebration - also held annually. If you had been with us yesterday, I would have made extra Greek salad to share with you as we contemplated the bridge and it's purposes over the years.

We have all used bridges of various sorts at the junctions of our lives. In fact, preacher-folk are quite fond of "build-a-bridge" or "use-this-bridge" metaphors in sermon applications. We took a little time sitting there in the shade to consider some of our upcoming "bridges" as we look ahead to options we need to be exploring. Perhaps the first decision will be about a trip in October combining a few days at the World Missions Workshop in Lubbock, Texas, with a little personal family business. Of course, as we look for bridges to use we have to negotiate the forks in the roads, the destinations we need to choose, the purposes for going and doing here and there. For example, we are feeling the need to move off of this huge property and find more appropriate housing. What - and where and when - should that be? Hmmmmm. Any ideas?


At 5:14 AM, Blogger Kat said...

Sure enjoy reading your blogs. God has gifted your family with the talent of the pen.
This bridge holds significant meaning for my family. We lived in Skamokawa in the 70's & this was a favorite spot to picnic & swim. Of course that was prior to the renovations & restorations. My mother started a photo collage of this bridge years ago. Our most recent photos were from just this month. After grandmas services, she & I took a two day sabbatical to the beach. We stopped there for moments of reflection. My husband & I have considered moving back to that area, God willing.
Keep up the blogging John. You just never know who's heart you might touch!
Kat Mayfield


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