One of the many reasons I love living tiny in an airstream is that I get to travel about the country and see friends and family who I rarely get to see or in this case have never met before. I mentioned earlier that I was adopted. Well, having dabbled a bit with “Ancestry”, I was surprised to come in contact with a couple of first cousins, one from either side of my biological family. It was magical meeting Canada, my cousin, and her family. We bonded as if we had known each other all of our lives. I had found my “Sister Cousin.”
On this trip, I have not even known how to express how deeply moving it was to actually get to meet one of my biological relatives, Cousin Canada is from my biological father’s side. Our fathers, who neither of us knew, were brothers. We had been talking by phone and social media, slowly getting to know each other and now we finally got to meet live. Not only did I meet her but also her two amazing sons, I believe they would be cousins once removed, and also her husband. It was great meeting the whole family.
My family that I grew up with will always will be my family. The fun thing is now I get to also acknowledge my birth family too. There is something special about meeting them after never knowing any of them. Canada was a pure delight! Her online presence told me she was someone special, but meeting her in person was an even greater treat. Online I knew her as a beautiful soul who spent her life giving to others. In her current work she helps people say goodbye to loved ones as a Celebrant. It takes a person with a big heart to do that kind of work, helping people find joy in a time of sorrow. I just think that is an incredible selfless gift that she helps others cope with deep loss. She is a creative, just like me, and considers herself a Portland Hipster. I’m not sure how hip I am, but it’s fun thinking I am. 🙂
My dog, Dudley was in for a surprise when stopped by her house and met her goats, especially the goat. She was the queen of the house and she let him know with a gentle but that sent him surprised and flying over onto his back with a puzzled look that said “Ma?! What kind of dog is that?!” The rest of the time he maneuvered around the yard keeping one eye open for the goat.
Anyhow… it was fun to see people that had some similar features as me because they were blood relatives. And we talked as if we had known each other all of our lives. It was great swapping stories and piecing together our history. It was amazing to see someone who also had survived the childhood traumas from her biological family, not only surviving but thriving. What a beautiful, intelligent, creative, fun, caring, kind, funny, sweet, cool Portland Hipster cousin. Feeling more like sisters, we call ourselves “Sister Cousins” So grateful to have met someone who is another piece of my puzzle…. My life. I can’t wait till we meet again and hopefully can have a longer stay and get to know each other better.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner down on the Gorge at a popular spot after exploring the woods where deep inside is a network of roads that make up a little town. Great place to look for land and build! It was absolutely magical. Words and my photos do not capture the peace and serenity of those woods.
This was my first time to Portland and I fell in love with the city. I’m sorry to say I took zero pictures. I was so engaged with all of the visual delight of all of the little neighborhoods. Wow! My kind of artsy, neighborhood, community place.
I also enjoyed camping at Ainsworth State Park, a quiet wooded park along The Gorge on The Columbia River, just a jump east of Portland. The quiet beauty of the wooded campground embraces you from all sides and makes you feel snuggled in and cozy. And by the way, if you decide to go there and want to feel a little more isolated, pick section A at the top which is quiet and built up with forest life between each site. If you are feeling more social pick a section lower down where you can swap stories and share tidbits with your neighbors.