Oregon Trailing -- A Letter

Dear Oregon,

I’m impressed with you. Really.

I’m going to be honest with you….I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about you. It wasn’t that I was having ugly thoughts or anything, but really before I took this trip I knew nothing about you….except that my Aunt Jo used to live there, that it took me until highschool to figure out that the Salem Witch Trials didn’t happen in your Salem, and that Portland is where Callie Torres from Grey’s Anatomy was moving if she got fired from Seattle Grace. Just sayin’.

But I like you, Oregon.

I like your trees. Because they don’t look like our trees. Yours are taller. And make me feel like I’m in a movie. Don’t ask….it’s just how it is.

I also like your sky. It’s bigger than my sky. Again, don’t ask. Just so.

I also appreciate your appreciation for proper disposal of sharp objects in airports. Even though at first I thought you were supporting the junkies of your state….but I now realize that was my mistake. Not yours.

I like that you aren’t afraid of a good deer antler chandelier.

I love the way your people talk. Again….feel like I’m in a movie. And I now feel the urge to come back to Arkansas talking all Oregonian like.

I really love that your people are friendly. Because most Northeners get a bad rap for not being nice…especially to us Southern folk….but y’all are very pleasant. Thanks for that.

I also love that no one has to pay sales tax. I cannot tell you how nice it is to walk into a store, pick up an item, and pay the exact sticker price. Not a penny over. Talk about being able to budget properly. I likey. Mucho.

I love that most of your people look like they are ready for a week’s trip in the mountains schlepping tents and ringing bells to sceer off bears. I saw so many zip-off pants, NorthFace jackets, hiking shoes, wool socks sticking out of Birkenstocks, and scruffy hair-dos that I was almost ready to toss aside my metallic silver Nikes and my GAP teeshirt, buy a sleeping bag, and find me a moose to curl up next to in the mountains. I said almost.

But, Oregon, there are a couple of things that I find odd about you. But not odd in the we-can’t-continue-our-relationship way, but in a we’re-different-and-I-appreciate-you way.

For one, who knew that you can’t pump your own gas there. I’m sure you have good reasons and all, but it is just weird for all of us self-serve folks.

For another thing, the internet says you’re famous for apples. But I have to be honest. I have never bought an apple that says “grown in the heart of Oregon.” Not to mention that I tried to find one of your people who could tell me about these apples that you are so famous for….um…couldn’t find one. In fact, the only apples I saw all week were the apples in the produce section of a little store.

But, Oregon, these details are minor and unimportant, because I likey you. I likey you very much.

And I hope to come back very very soon.

Thanks for all the fun memories.

Amber-Next Time I Will Bring My Teva Sandals-RascalRaiser


Cathy said...

Am I a true Oregonian then?? Or should I just go out and get me some Tevas and grow my armpit hair long (ew. gross. can't believe I just wrote that. seriously, what's wrong with me?)

Also missed the memo that said we're famous for apples...must brush up on my internet Oregon trivia.

All in all, I'm pretty sure Oregon has a fondness for all things Arkansas Amber. Next time make sure you don't hire a driver that invites random lecturers to chew one out when pulling into "taken" parking spots. Oops.

Never forget the almighty lemon honey stick, the makings for Fartless chili, popcorn, beans, and bbq sauce, and the matchy debit cards.

Love ya.

And y'all come back now, ya hear?

Mich said...

So glad you had a good trip!

Thanks for calling me...I needed a sister hug.

I love ya!

Oh, have you read any good books lately? :)

Jo said...

I like Oregon, too, for the no sales tax and no pumpin' ur own gas! (Some people like the smell...I DON'T! And, who likes to get out in the rain to pump gas, anyways?)

If you think the trees and skies are bigger there...head North from Salem a little ways. Go on and get up close and personal with Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens. Gaither Mountain, Boat Mountain and others around here are ant-hills!

Lastly, keep talking Oregonian-like! It will give my bro a chance to pester someone else for a change because of their Nawthin' accent!

Hope you have a safe trip home.
Love ya!
Aunt Jo

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiffani said...

You never fail to make me laugh and smile with your talk of vacations/trips

This is such a well-crafted letter to such a great state. I know OR is better now after having you in it.

I love going to new places..not knowing what to expect.

Glad you're home though and hope you can get back to your regularly scheduled programming shortly.

Love you!

Carpool Queen said...

They are very crunchy/granola in the PNW, but it's in a good way. I wanted to browse through my LL Bean catalog a little more slowly when I got back.

Gretchen said...

Don't let CPQ fool you--much as she may like the PNW, she did mention that many of us could use a good Mary Kay lady now and again. Course I was always very cute. ;)

Washington apples, babe. :) Just a little farther north and on the east side of the mtns.

Glad you're back. Bummed I missed out, but glad you and Cat got a MIRL. xxxooo

christy rose said...

It sounds like you had a great trip. We just got back from vacation too.

Jim said...

Hummm, the Oregon Trail, huh? Even though you just read your posted blog to us the other night, I get the picture of you and Kirk in a covered wagon, having just crossed the Snake River into the Oregon Territory. Wait a second, is that John Wayne scouting ahead? Hey, get his autograph for me. OK?

Well, maybe I'm a century late but talk of "Oregon Trail" conjures up a lot of old westerns for me. As you know, we've visited there many times over the years. Has some great sights. I remember fishing with Dad due east of Salem, in the mountains. And driving down the Columbia River gorge. Wow! Then, there was Crater Lake. Another Wow!

Glad you had a great time and meetig with Cathy, too! Pulls the whole world together, doesn't it!

Love you,

mimi said...

You can't pump your own gas? Interesting.

Sounds like a fun and intersting trip!

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Anonymous said...

Well said, fengk2008! What could I possibly add to what he said except maybe that I hope to one day meet this Oregon of which you speak.

Tiffani said...

I wasn't sure I commented on this post and came back to check...Whimzie made me BUST out with her "well said fengk2008"..thought I'd wake up my kids!!

Too funny.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

The no sales tax is pretty cool! No pumping gas~I didn't know that about Oregon!

Jennifer said...

I'm still pissed.