Here's a post from Saturday night as we headed off on our Adventure!
It’s Day One of my Eastward trek to the Big Apple.
The sun is setting over mom’s black Jeep as we slide down the black ribbon of pavement cutting through the central Oregon desert.
The day began with a pounding head and tired feet — but the hours of dancing and celebration that preceded these things the night before made them well worth it.
Yesterday was the day that my oldest brother, Daniel, tied the knot! It was a magic-filled day that will sit toward the top of my “best day ever list” for years to come.
Although having my brother’s wedding on the eve of the biggest adventure of my life? Well, it’s made the past few weeks both exhilarating and exhausting to say the least.
Mom and I had to be moved out of our home in Scio on August first. That same week I had a photoshoot in Portland, two orthodontist appointments (one of which where I got my braces off!), a different wedding to help cater, and two wedding dress orders to complete. Had I started packing? Well not exactly.
I had allotted the afternoon before Aug 1 for my main packing day. What is life without a few surprises though? My bridesmaid dress for Daniel’s wedding came into the store on July 30, so I picked it up on the way to the wedding I was helping cater. When I tried it on, it was so big that if I lowered my elbows below nose-level, the dress would fall to the floor in a second.
The store owner said that it must have been a productions error, said there was nothing he could do ot help, and sent me on my not-so-merry way. After explaining my situation and begging for help, I was running late to the wedding, so took my puddle of a dress under my arm and scurried off. It was cut so big that I thought it would be impossible to size down without losing its style.
I knew that the entire thing had to come apart and be completely reconstructed.
I also knew I was going to be at the wedding I was helping with until midnight and the next day, Sunday, was going to be a chaotic mess of sorting, packing, and cleaning for the big move. I didn’t have time to remake an entire dress did I? I certainly didn’t have time to get it professionally altered before the wedding as I would be spending the next week at the farm, two hours from civilization.
We rushed home from church, already exhausted from the weekend festivities, including hosting my uncle and his little boys the day before, and got to work. I knew that unless I wanted to have to duct tape my bridesmaid dress on me, I need to bite the bullet and start sewing.
Seven hours later, the dress was ready and I was able to get back to packing. The next morning I put the final touches on my custom orders and was packed up and out of the house in time to go get my braces off in Albany.
From late-night stargazing with my best friends from school to my final Jeff Wong photoshoot, the next few days between Scio and Portland were a whirlwind of hugs, goodbyes, and bittersweet moments.
We made it home to the farm in Silver Lake on Aug 4, and the wedding was Aug 12. The days in between were long. As of now our farmhouse is full of farm employees and both of my brothers. We wanted to get the farm crew moved out of the farmhouse before Daniel got back from his honeymoon, so Leanne wouldn’t have a house full of smelly boys to come home to.
The plan was to get our “renters” (who hadn’t paid rent in a couple years) to move out so we could turn the rental house into a bunkhouse. But as always, there were a few minor difficulties…
The people who had been living in the rental weren’t real excited about leaving, so the house wasn’t even empty until after we arrived in Silver Lake. The “renters” also had seven dogs and four goats living in the house with them, leaving the carpet encrusted with a thick layer of excrement and the once-white walls soiled almost half way up the walls.
The flies were so thick that the carpet seemed to have its own heartbeat.
The next several days were spent scrubbing walls, painting, and trying to get the house from a moldy wreck to a livable bunkhouse. We cranked the music as loud as we could to drown out our singing, hoping that amplifying other senses could help drown out the smell.
It must have worked because my stomach muscles were more sore from laughing than from all the painting. By the time we took off for the wedding the walls had a fresh coat of paint and new carpet had been installed.
It was two days before Daniel’s wedding. My nails were shredded and my arms were covered in paint with little chunks of unidentified specimens stuck to it, but I had plenty of time to get cleaned up for the big day — nothing a little girls trip couldn’t resolve!
The day before the rehearsal dinner, my best friend Julia O’leary and a couple other Paisley girls and I met up at our friend Lizzie Hyde’s off-grid cabin in Chiloquin. From tea parties, to facials, to getting dressed up in our vintage favorites, it was a perfect balance to all the scrubbing and scraping of filth in my brother’s old wranglers.
The next day Julia and Lizzie and I headed to Klamath for the rehearsal dinner, Daniel got married the following afternoon, and we danced all night long.
This morning I was blessed with the opportunity to have breakfast with my dad’s parents (this is the grandma that taught me to sew), his brother, and sister and her daughter at the hotel. We shared a lot of laughs about all the excitement of the day before and I said my goodbyes.
That’s when dear Daniel called me from his honeymoon to inform me that he had thought MY bag, containing my retainer, camera, wallet, and clean underwear, was Leanne’s, so he’d taken it on his honeymoon with them.
This was not a good situation. We were leaving and I had to have my bag!
Thankfully they were still only a couple hours away, so it turns out I got to drive down to Medford say my final goodbyes to Mr. & Mrs. Miles this morning too.
From there we headed back to the farm to pack up the Jeep and head out.
I have two suitcases, a hat box full of painting supplies, another hat box full of vintage hats, and my succulent plant baby, Magellan.
And as we continue on through the desert, I can’t help but sigh. I’ve said goodbye to my childhood, my family, and even my little black kitty, Figaro, and now I’m on a one-way trip to one of the biggest cities in the world, a city that in a few days’ time...
Will be my new home.