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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


What Oregon Looks Like and Other Tales of a Long Drive


I find myself to be a fair-weather photographer and unpredictable at best.  You should also know that I have no problem with this.  On the most prolific of days, I will shoot 50 images of peeling tree bark, cracks in the sidewalk, cloud formations and cherry blossoms (I also will not tell you how many photos of my cats I take - the quantity is embarrassing).  On the rest, I will not snap a single image, in the name of being present in the moment.  

So last weekend when BC and I [rather unannounced] packed up and drove to California for my little sister's college graduation, I managed to take a total of 18 photos.  15 of those were on the drive, trying ANYTHING to pass the time.  Oregon is a beautiful state, but too often these days, it is just a looooooooooong 306 miles between Washington and California.  And once the junk food has made me sick (road trips are my excuse to eat junk like sour patch kids and handfuls of coco puffs, the kind of things I won't touch any other time but gleefully munch on in the car), I resort to amusing myself with the camera.  

We threw up a tent right on the Northern California coast, and spent a long weekend with my family celebrating my Miss Aubrey, the new hot-off-the-press-Humbolt-State-University-Graduate.  The weather was impeccable, dense fog in the early morning, burning off to a crisp 70 degrees by midday, the ocean roaring and brilliantly turquoise, the town of Arcata quirky as ever.  We ate it up family-style, touring the local breweries and cookhouses, sampling the farmer's market, conversation flowing as easy as the brew.  We clapped and shouted at the sight of black robes and mortar boards marching in line (as unruly as could be, it is Humbolt after all!).  We flew kites, dug fingers into the sand, stood under the stars on the beach at two in the morning, watched jugglers in the plaza, walked barefoot in the grass.  And then after the last glass was raised and the last hug offered, BC and I headed for home, exhausted but full of life.

I am so proud of you.  You are the kind of woman I would adore and respect even if we were not sisters.  The future is wide and the path is long, and I can not wait to see where you stride (and I will be keeping my fingers crossed that it is closer to me).  
I love you.

** Family photo positively stolen from Zandra H.  THANK YOU MY LOVE!**