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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: Place of Restoration
By Pamela Kliewer


Hood River, Oregon, the place that became for my family and me, a dwelling of refreshment. Our hearts were in dire need of healing. Living in Hood River from November of 1994 to June of 1996 would bring it.

We had been living with my husband’s mother in Dallas, Oregon for a little over a year – not by choice – circumstances beyond our control made our stay with her seven months longer than we intended. Upon moving in with her my husband’s health took a nosedive and he had to go on disability.

When we decided it was time to find our own place, every door we tried to walk through was firmly shut in our face. What was God doing? He had plans beyond our wildest dreams – plans that would bring the restoration to our small family unit that we so desperately needed.

One day my aunt called from Hood River and told us they would be moving back to Eugene and wondered if we would like to rent the house they were living in for $250 a month and have all our utilities paid. The owner of the house rented to Christian people in need and my aunt and uncle wanted to pay our utilities for us.

After deliberation and prayer we decided to take them up on their offer. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.

Our souls drank in the majestic beauty that surrounded this quaint town. As we drove down one street we could see Mt. Adams rise in glorious splendor above the mighty Columbia River.

My favorite spot in the house was the large kitchen where there was a built-in desk with a large window above it that overlooked a forest of various trees, and looming in the distance, the pristine white, snowcapped Mt. Hood.

Looking back I think that for the short eighteen months we lived there we felt like tourists most of the time. As we walked the streets in the downtown area we enjoyed going into the many different shops and had one or two that became favorites. Eating in the deli at the local Walmart on the outskirts of town was always a special treat.

The first time we walked into the public library we felt like we had stepped back in time. My husband and I made our first trip there while our daughter was in school. Card catalogs took center stage. It was a delight to use again, the old-fashioned way of looking for books. More amusing than using the card catalog was seeing the cat that wandered the library; stopping to be petted by patrons now and then or leaping upon chairs to take a nap. We enjoyed many happy moments at the public library.

When we would go for walks we were always amazed when we reached a crosswalk and cars would actually stop to let us cross. We weren’t even pushing a baby stroller. To this day if someone stops for us we say they must be from Hood River.

Our family life was enhanced in this charming town, especially in the wonderful house God provided for us to live in. My husband’s health improved from being under much less stress. Living with his mom had taken more of a toll on him than we realized. Even though he was still really sick during this time and on kidney dialysis, Hood River remains in our memories a very special place; a place we would move back to in half a heartbeat.

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This article has been read 543 times
Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons01/15/09
Good story.
Jan Ackerson 01/15/09
You've described it perfectly; I feel as if I know it. Very good.
Dara Sorensen01/19/09
I really could feel myself there. I want to visit such a place :)
Myrna Noyes01/19/09
With your words, you have painted such a tranquil, charming picture of this town and of your home! I love mountains and trees and could see in my mind's eye what you were describing. Through reading your story, I was touched myself with the peace of that place and time! :)
Eliza Evans 01/20/09
I wanted to know more.

The one bit where you did go deeper (the library) is my favorite paragraph. Love the cat! :) I can see that picture.

I would have liked to hear more about the library .. the comfy overstuffed chairs and the aroma of the
complimentary spiced tea that filled the air (or whatever)

Describe what the kitchen interior looked like, (paint, rugs, a scripture verse on the wall) and how you sat with your husband over a second cup of coffee. (or whatever)

What did you *feel* when you looked out at the forest and up at the snow capped mountains?

I liked this line "To this day if someone stops for us we say they must be from Hood River." In a unique way, it shows that you have a special place in your heart for Hood River.
Teresa Lee Rainey01/20/09
Love the title & enjoyed the memories right along with your mc. Sounds very much like a true memory. The descriptions were vivid. :)
Glynis Becker01/20/09
I have such a special place in my heart for the Pacific Northwest and this story makes me long to see it again! Beautiful!
Loren T. Lowery01/21/09
Beautiful and enchanting description of one of the most beautiful places in the world, The Columbia Rive Gorge. Did you know it is listed as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world? Anyway, I was privileged to live there once, too and your writing is spot on!