A Fair to Remember ~

Mystical, eerie, impressive, magical, ancient, enchanting… hey, wait, I already blogged about the redwoods! Quite honestly, the same words capture the Oregon Country Fair.

When I think of a country fair I imagine pie eating contests, blue ribbons for the biggest hog, cotton candy, and carnival rides. The Oregon Country Fair is no ordinary country fair, it is a fair to remember!

From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, the fun began. We were greeted by volunteers dressed in various costumes. Fairies, princesses, wizards, and bikini goddesses. Smiles graced everyone’s lips. There were hoots and hollers. “Welcome to the Oregon Country Fair!”

The plan was the meet our friend Jill at the Blue Moon stage. While walking amongst the costumed crowd through fields surrounded by greenery, we came upon prayer wheels. I jumped in front of some folks to cast my prayer. As I spun the colorful wheel my prayers spread like seeds in the field, rooting in the soil.

From Native American garb to loin clothes, and everything in between, my head rolled around its axis to take in the sights, and we hadn’t even made it to the main gate. Personally, I was in shorts and a t-shirt which is my favorite costume. After a week of cool coastal temps, it felt good to feel the summer heat caress my skin.

As we entered the gate, the Blue Moon stage was off to the right. Our timing to meet Jill was perfect. I grabbed a fresh squeezed OJ (heavenly) and joined Beth to listen to the blues, right up our Chicago alley. Jill joined us in a black with white poke a dot dress and black lace gloves. A red ribbon contained her hair. Jill was ready to DANCE! We enjoyed India food and then Jill sent us on our way to “take in” the fair.

Everywhere we looked, everywhere we went, something was happening. Jill and her friends went off to a music stage to take in one of their favorite bands. Beth and I weaved our way down the dirt paths to see what we could see. By the creek three men were beating African drums as several women moved to the tribal beat. One by one, the women stomped around and surrendered their bodies to the drums. A little boy sitting on a drum simply watched the crowd as well as the dancers. We hung out under the trees taking in the African rhythms for quite some time ourselves. In the distance, colorful mini sailboats and large cloth lotuses filled the creek.

Around another corner, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” lured us in. Two fiddlers were having it out, Charlie Daniels style. One was bare chested in overalls, his counterpart sported a Panama Jack hat, leather vest and cargo pants. What a great dueling song. The entertainment didn’t stop there. With their arms and legs hooked together, they played each other’s fiddle. To simply maintain balance linked to another person is tough, to play the fiddle that way was amazing to watch. Oh, they also hopped around, connected in more ways than one.

I’m certain many “Dead Heads” were in attendance of the fair. And there, hung upon a tree surrounded by moss, Jerry Garcia’s face. It was as if he were overseeing everything. One of the vendors actually collected moss to make her merchandise stand out. She told me she had been doing it for years and that people gave her moss because she knows what to do with it. The moss did accent her jewelry.

Treehouses sat above the vendors wares and that’s where most vendors slept. I heard it is another sort of fair when the gates close and the vendors have the place to themselves. Walking past the treehouses I noticed one launching a cookie into the crowd via a fishing pole. Many passersby were tempted, but few could catch the flying cookie.

Continuing down the dusty path, we happened upon a parade. Tubas, trombones, flutes and drums filled the air. Then came the jugglers, stilt walkers, and a 12′ x 10′ white with red trim chiffon winged bird. The puppeteer worked the bird. A large wooden stick moved the red, white and purple beak. An orange, yellow, and red bird followed. Unknowingly, we entered Mardi Gras. So, we ordered a catfish po’ boy with a sweet tea and enjoyed New Orleans, Oregon style, for a little while.

There were bare chested guys in leather aprons cleaning animal hides. Special features: The “Still Living” room filled with gray hairs. “Altered Space”; a meditative space where I sat for awhile. “The Love Lounge” where couples hung out curled together. Stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers, hoola-hoops, balls rolling, dancing, music, chai, espresso, cheesecake… on and on. Oh, and there was a spa. I heard there was a baby Grand piano in the spa to entertain the crowd. A young man stood in the 80˚+ heat stoking a fire to keep the heat pumping through the spa. When I asked him about the heat he replied, “It feels good.” I think that was the attitude of everyone working the fair.

After reconnecting with Jill, we watched more of “the show” in Chelsea Meadows. Several bands played and the crowds loved it. It was amazing to see the stilt walkers whose heads nearly touched the tops of the colorful tents dancing as if their feet were on the ground

It was time to go. We said our good byes and headed to the main gate. On our way out we stopped to watch Brazilian dancers. With feathered head dresses and sparkling bodices, the women shook their booty. I turned to Beth and said, “We gotta get out of here, this thing goes on and on. I don’t think it ever ends.” Once we reached the car and pointed Avy in the direction of the coast, our time at the Oregon Country Fair had physically ended. However, it continued in our minds for a good long time. If you’ve never been to the Oregon Country Fair, you should go. It is truly something to see. “May we dance in balance with the elements.” Be well… Nancy T.

Oregon Coast ~

Sunset Bay Campground, Oregon: After a long ride from the redwoods we hung out at the campground in a leisurely morning fashion. Our first stop: “Simpson Reef” where we watched the Elephant seals, Harbor seals and Sea lions. Volunteers armed with information stood at the point. Through the volunteer’s telescope, sea life lounging on the rocks came into view. Many “dog-like” faces popped out of the sea as the seals surfaced. The female volunteer pointed out pigeon guillemots, birds that hang out with sea lions. The pigeon guillemots are black with white sideways eyedrops on their wings. Their unique features are red feet and bright red mouths which they display when they land and express themselves. I managed to capture an iPad photo through the telescope of the lounging sea life. It looked like a half moon, dark on one side and various shades of brown seals and sea lions on the bright side.

At North Cape Arago, we enjoyed our lunch feast which included olives, cheese, shrimp, artichokes, Thai quinoa over greens with a side of Red Hot Blue chips dipped in pesto. Seals surfaced in the ocean giving us a show. The Oregon Coast was magnificent.

Beth and I walked the point and down to the beach. While resting on a log, we heard the surf echoing from a distance. It sounded like it was right next to us even though it was across a large bay. Tons of wood filled the bay creating natural art.

At the stone lookout, Beth spotted a whale spout. Through binoculars we discovered another and another. Gray whales graced the coast. A family of three swam in the bay before us. Periodic water spouts distinguished them from the vast blue sea. What a treat!

In Coos Bay, “7 Devils Brewery” quenched our thirst. Their motto: “Small craft brew advisory in effect.” Beth and I shared a table with some locals. Interestingly, the woman who lived there for over twenty years, had never seen whales offshore. That tidbit made our day all the more special.

Back to the campground for a campfire. While writing a blog, I felt moisture sprinkling over me. Beth fetched the umbrella which I attached to my chair. With a roaring fire to my right, having an umbrella overhead made me feel a little unsettled. Beth kept an eye on the sparks; so did I. While I was hiding under my umbrella dome, a guy walking down the street said, “Oregon camping.” Beth laughed. I didn’t move a muscle for fear of being set on fire. The umbrella did keep me warm and free of moisture. Thankfully, I was also flame free.

With an early start in the a.m. we retired. The Oregon Country Fair awaited. I looked forward to warm temps  inland and unique sights. I can tell you, I was NOT disappointed. More on that later. With fresh tuna and smoked steelhead in the cooler, we left Charleston, OR. and headed to the fair. Be well… Nancy T.

Shake Your Body ~

“Shake, shake shake… shake, shake shake… shake your body… shake your body… .” A new rendition on an old song by KC & the Sunshine Band. Last weekend, during a class, shaking helped me rid my body of old, stuck, deep, non-beneficial energy patterns.

The title, “Body Sculpting,” drew my interest. Sculpting my body sounded yummy. The class was in Clarkdale, AZ. Saturday morning, a heavy, anxious, worried energy flowed through my veins. Hoping a change in venue would shift my perspective as well as lighten my emotional load, I meandered through the mountains.

During introductions, I heard the words “deep tissue” repeatedly. Those words escalated my anxiety because my body never did well with that type of work. When I shared my feelings, the instructors assured me that I was in charge of my journey. The class held 368 years of collective experience. For several reasons, I felt led to “Body Sculpting.” Through my 28+ years in practice, I have been steered in the right direction time and time again. I trusted I was in the right place.

After a demonstration, we split into pairs to practice sculpting the legs. I warned my therapist that my legs jump. The first spasm was predicable and I informed my therapist. Erratic spasms followed. My therapist decided to switch legs. The spasms increased. Finally, we worked out a system. As she sculpted my leg, holding up a finger stopped her progress. In the pause, my body unwound* (my back arched as my hips readjusted). With a mutually beneficial communication system in place, the results were remarkable. My legs felt lighter, yet more solid on the ground. Before bed, a warm shower lent a hand in keeping me mellow.

After an interrupted night’s sleep, my belly was unsettled the following day. When the group gathered, the instructor’s checked in, starting with me. I shared that my legs felt better, but I was really nauseous. Jittery energy swam within my frame. I was instructed to take care of myself.

During an awareness exercise, my legs were lightly but consistently shaking. It felt very organic, not thought provoked. Shake, shake, shake… the pattern continued. Periodically, my arms shook at their own rate. My breathing was audible. When I thought of stopping, my body proceeded to shake as if I couldn’t stop. It wasn’t conscious, my body simply had a mind of its own. When my body finally ceased quaking, I noticed that shaking dissipated the anxious energy within my guts.

“Shake, shake shake… shake, shake shake… shake your body… shake your body… .” Trust me, it does your body good. Be well… Nancy T.

To learn more about Unwinding Therapy please visit Natural Massage Therapy.