Stuff and things

I didn’t mean to take last week off from the blog … but in retrospect, it was a good decision. Abby was struggling a bit with being away from home, and there was a lot of video chat, phone calls and texting going on. Also, our Snapchat streak is on fire.


On move-in day.

(I have no idea what that means. Abby and Johanna set up my account. But it’s the Walker Four’s preferred method of staying in touch throughout the day.)

Here’s the thing about growing up in a small town and not being able to go anywhere without running into friends: Abby went from being a big fish in a little pond to a plankton in the ocean. It was a rough week of sadness and tears, loneliness and uncertainty — and that was just me. 😉 She doesn’t want me to share too much and I need to respect that, so all I will say is that things are getting better every day and I know our girl is going to do great. And I appreciate all the good thoughts!

P.S. That family weekend was so overwhelming. It was three days of rah-rah go team and thousands of people. There were some fun parts, but it was not a weekend for introverts. (Although maybe I should mention that move-in went fine.) The next family weekend is actually high school homecoming, so we’re going to just bring her home and do our own family weekend some other time sans the crowds. Abby is very much pro that plan.


So this past weekend was a nice, welcome, solitary break is what I’m saying. Being able to stay home and knock around the house was a gift. I haven’t wanted to start any kitchen projects because there was just too much to distract me (i.e. move a kid out of the house), but on Saturday when I hit my favorite farm stand, I found myself itching to start something. I bought a box of early gold apples (my absolute favorites — they remind me of a childhood apple tree the neighbors had), several pounds of tomatoes, a box of plums, a couple bunches of basil, and got to work on Sunday and Monday.


Mini jars for Abby and my Grandma

And that felt really normal and nice. I made applesauce and canned it, roasted tomatoes and made tomato soup, and dried plums and apples. I had plans of making pesto and a couple items for the freezer … but I ended up reading instead.  It was a good weekend to stay indoors anyway because it’s HOT (we don’t get into the 90ºF-plus range in Oregon in September, and yet, here we are) and we’ve got two forest fires in our county that make it too smokey to go outside.

Plus I always feel like a rockstar when I complete kitchen projects. I love being able to look in my pantry and freezer and see all kinds of good things that I had a hand in creating. (I blame all the Little House books I read as a child.)


Speaking of forest fires, here’s what it looks like outside our window right now:


And here’s what it usually looks like:


To say air quality is bad is an understatement. You can see ash particles floating on the air. Classes were supposed to start today county-wide, but one elementary school has had to close due to the fire burning nearby. Everyone else goes, but all outside activities are canceled, including recess.

Not a fun time here in the west.


7 thoughts on “Stuff and things

  1. Mary Ann says:

    I’ve sent two sons away to college and never did a Family Weekend. Like you say, too many people. And to have it the same time as move-in seems crazy to me. We only hung around long enough to unload the car and help put things away. The last time I did move-in with my younger son, I was in and out in 30 minutes. Helped unload the car, was told he “had it from here”, which was my cue to leave. So it does get better.
    I often think about all the emailing, texting, video chats, and phone calls parents are capable of now, as opposed to when I went away to school. My only phone access was the pay phone in the hallway; there were no cell phones, computers, or even a phone in may room. My only communication to home was via letters. I wonder how my mother coped, or if it even bothered her. Such a different generation.


    • Trisha Walker says:

      I like your style!

      I think about that too — I did have a phone in my room, but long distance was expensive, so mostly we just relied on letters. I feel like I’m talking to Abby more now than I have since the kid got her driver’s license!


  2. Roberta says:

    I’m so sorry you’re suffering from wildfires! They’re scary and disrupting. I hope you get rain soon!

    I’m so glad Abby has been reaching out to you while she transitions. If gladdens me to see how close you are and how close you are, even as she reaches out into the world. So different than the happy, secure front I put up when I went to college — I didn’t want my family to think I was failing so I didn’t depend on my family like I should have. I’m so happy to see her dealing in such a better way


    • Trisha Walker says:

      It hasn’t been fun here, that’s for sure. School was canceled district-wide today because air quality is so bad. I feel a bit foolish now for complaining about the smoke we got earlier this summer from various wildfires in the west and Canada. That was nothing.

      Abby is dealing well! Last night was the first one since we said goodbye that she didn’t request a phone call or video chat. I take that as progress! I love that she reaches out, too — I can’t walk this path for her, but I can hold her hand when she needs me.


  3. sarahn says:

    The non smokey view is AMAZING

    Meanwhile, it’s smokey here around Sydney as we backburn to minimise what we call ‘bushfires’ when they do come. Unfortunately in the past week, one of those backburns got out of control, but it didn’t take long to sort it – though it meant some of our workforce was out volunteering to fight the fire 🙂


    • Trisha Walker says:

      I know, we’re ridiculously lucky here with our beautiful views. Hope that the air is clearer now — smoke is just terrible, and it gets old so fast. They’re backburning our fire at this point too, which I guess is a good step to containment? Really we need a huge rainstorm to even get close to putting this fire out, and I’m not sure that’s in the cards yet.


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