Autumn days are upon us here in Salem and it is as beautiful as ever!  We have had some heavy rain, but the clear days have been perfect!  Even the rain has been a welcome change from the heat we had while living in Walla Walla.  Our neighborhood has had a change in appearance as everyone has been bringing out their Autumn Decor.  I jumped in with a nice pot of festive colored Mumms to brighten the entryway.

With both of us now working we don't have near as much time to meander around and explore.  However, we have reserved our Sundays together just for that reason.

Since I moved back to the Willamette Valley, I had been yearning to go explore Mt. Angel Abbey.  When my oldest daughters were young I attended several retreats there.  We also had a dear friend in Father Bernard, one of the monks.  I never forgot the tranquility and peace that surrounded the area and how precious the small German town of Mt. Angel was.  I was not in the least disappointed.  Although the Abbey has grown, it is still just as beautiful and peaceful as ever!  Mt. Angel Abbey, a Benedictine Order, sits high atop a hill.  The views are spectacular and you can see for miles!

There is a silence that encompasses the Abbey and radiates so much tranquility and peace.  Myriad monks in long black robes are still scuttling along the paths here and there and always happy to stop and share a few words with visitors.  In the evening you can catch Vespers.  Closing my eyes and listening, time ceases to exist and I am one with centuries of traditional worship of Christ the King.  

As we leave the Abbey and wind back down the hill, we are delighted by the sweetest German community.  I just loved the sign post!  

Everything was just so picturesque.  The people were very friendly and the food German and delish!  The Glockenspiel had the cutest life size dancing figures ever, but I could not get a good photo.  

One of our trips was a bit further afield as we returned to Walla Walla to welcome our newest Grandson!!  Maddox is just the cutest ever!!  Jimmy and I had the best time visiting with all the Walla Walla Grandchildren and children while there!

Little mister scrunched up face!  Maddox makes 15 grandchildren for Jimmy and I!!  Aren't we just so blessed!!  

On the way home to Salem, Jimmy and I realized just  how much we did not miss Walla Walla, just our families that lived there, and wondered why we had not made a move much sooner.  The Willamette Valley just seems to agree with us, as does Oregon for so many many reasons.  

One of the reasons is the company I work for, Bonaventure.  Just recently we attended Chefs' Nite Out.  This is a huge yearly charity event for serious foodies to support the local food banks.  The major sponsor is Bonaventure.

Now for my Walla Walla friends, take Feast WallaWalla and multiply it by ten, turn it into a charity event for the local food bank, charge $75.00 per ticket and have no limit on the food (those stupid tokens for a limited number of tastes….seriously Walla Walla), hold it at the convention center, have a fun theme with folks all dressed up (Medieval was the theme), and you have one successful event!  The food was amazing and plentiful.  We could not begin to sample everything!  I sampled some great wines, beers, and mead as well!
  Of course, I made room for all the wine vendors and managed to taste almost all the wines!!

This is only one of the many events and charities that my company sponsers, supports, or donates too!  Gotta love it!!

As we left Walla Walla after our visit, I realized just how much everything in life is based upon our perspective.   Walla Walla was just right for a season in my life and I found much happiness, personal and professional growth, and my wonderful husband, Jimmy, there.  Yet my perspective was limited to my surroundings and what I believed my future to hold.  Taking that step and leaving one job (a job that had in the end robbed me of so much joy and left me depleted and burned out) shifted my paradigm.  I was now open to risks and willing to take chances and reach for new dreams and possibilities.  That paradigm shift allowed me to relocate and for Jimmy to leave a long standing career and take a chance with/on me.  And it has paid off for both of us.  In Salem I am finding a deeper sense of peace in both my personal and professional life as is my hubby.  Jimmy and I feel like every day is open to new adventures just beckoning us to join.  There are so many places to explore and the natural beauty of the area is breath taking.  We have mountains, valleys, and an ocean all within minutes!  Professionally we are both feeling re-energized and excited about our career choices here.  But then, leaving a small town and going to a city can do that.  Career opportunities in a metro area are so much greater (plus you leave behind the good ole boy lived here all my life no education necessary just look at my last name mentality).  Your opportunities are based upon your talent and limited to your ability.  We both like that…a lot!

 And no matter where you go…there you are….life goes on and we re-establish patterns and rituals in our lives.  The mundane can still possess magic as the magic resides inside of each of us.  My daily walks with the gurlz are part of the sacred and magical moments in my life.  Views may change, but the magic remains….


Finding magic and creating sacred spaces always,


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