A New Chapter

March 30, 2022

I know, it’s been a while!

April is right around the corner and this particular April not only brings with it a beautiful, fragrant spring, it will mark the end of a particularly challenging year. A year of loss which includes two precious members of my family, my mom and my nephew, Ryder.

Grief took the place of creativity, comfort and happiness for a while. However, it was also a time of positive change. My husband Thom and I, during this 365 day chunk of time, started the daunting task of selling our beloved house in Southern California, packed up ourselves, the kitties and a truckload of our belongings and moved to Salem, Oregon. It seemed nutty to pile on more challenges at this time but it paid off.

We now find ourselves in what feels like a wonderland of moisture and friendliness. A wonderland full of coffee, hiking trails, rain, deer, birds, coffee (did I mention coffee), wild daffodils, a city-wide explosion of cherry blossoms, coffee and a llama. A no drama llama named Caesar.

We met Caesar at the State Capitol mall, where over 100 luminous Akebono cherry trees were blooming in unison and being celebrated by the city. People would take breaks from picnicking and gawking at the delicate pink flowers by lining up to get a snuggle and selfie with this emotional support llama.

I mean, pretty magical, right? A wonderland… complete with llama. I think I like it here.

I wan’t my llama

October 21, 2007

llama2.jpg

Some words I never thought I’d hear: “This is where I purchased my llama. You should call them when you are ready to buy.”

We were in Silverton, Oregon today, at the suggestion of our friends Tim and Paul. They thought we might consider it a possible place to move to when the time is right. When we got there, we found Silverton to be, not only reasonably close to the urban and cool downtown Portland, but also unbelievably quaint, artsy and friendly. The best of both worlds. It is nestled in a fairly rural part of Oregon, and is complete with rolling hills, groves and groves of pine trees, sheep, goats, horses, cows, and llamas. Yes, you heard me, llamas.

Why are llamas part of the Oregon landscape, you ask? Well, the story we heard, from a lovely woman we met in a small art gallery in town, is that llamas are the next best thing to a guard dog for protecting your livestock from coyotes. She told us this story after we half jokingly mentioned it was our dream to move to Oregon and raise llamas.

Apparently one of her and her husband’s goats (goats? who are these people?) one of their goats was attacked by a dog or coyote. (Not to worry, the goat survived and is resting comfortably). They hated the idea of getting a mean old guard dog but figured they had to do something to protect their animals. After some reasearch they found that llamas, although not aggressive animals, are quite intimidating to the likes of coyotes. The llamas become quite attached to their goat friends and if a coyote decides to make trouble, the llamas just run it right off their property, tail between it’s legs.

Hearing about the darker side of the gentle llama left Tom and I fascinated and amused. I might also mention that the woman telling the story was an attractive older woman, somewhere in her late 50’s or early 60’s, yet she had a youthful, almost beatific glow to her. We figured it to be euphoria caused by living in such glorious surroundings, not the least of which being trees, art galleries and llamas.

After our conversation, Tom and I continued browsing around the gallery, taking in some of the local artwork. When we finally got to the counter to purchase some trinkets, the glowy llama owner handed me a piece of paper with the number of her llama dealer.

“When your ready.” She winked at me with knowing look.