One morning, while upstairs putting on my makeup, I had the news on in the background and, as always, had my ears tuned to the weather segment. It was finally time for Mr. Al Roker to have his turn. He weaved his weather prediction magic and soon I knew just what the temps would be all over the country.
But when it came time to talk about the west coast, specifically my beautiful Pacific NW, he just kind of casually waved his arm and said, “And there will be rain in the Pacific NW.” I stopped dead in my tracks…eyeliner in one hand and coffee cup in the other, unsure if I had heard correctly or if in my usual morning stupor I had misunderstood him.
Because, you see, outside my bedroom window all I could see was glorious sunshine and beautiful crystal clear blue skies. Huh??
“Mr. Al Roker”, I thought, “There might be some rain somewhere in the great Pacific NW today, but please be more specific so that everyone doesn’t buy into the lie that all we ever get is rain, rain and more rain!”
I was deeply insulted.
And I’m going to just say it…I think the Pacific Northwest is highly under-appreciated. Ever since I finally came to terms with being an Oregonian I’ve felt very defensive of my state. I mean, I’m not out hugging trees or anything…yet. 😉
Every year around this time, it’s so easy to get caught up in the festivities of the season. But we really want our kiddos to have opportunities to express their gratitude and what better way than with the beautiful visual of a tree filled with leaves filled with grateful sentiments?
I started out by taking apart the picket fence I used in my Fall Mantel two years ago.
After lining them up like perfect little picket fence soldiers, I attached a board to the back to hold them all securely in place.
Next, I created the outline of a tree with tape.
I decided to go with more of a Pine tree design so that this project can bridge the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
And, of course, to pay homage to the vast number of evergreen trees here in Oregon!
Next, I painted around the outside of the tape and pulled it up to reveal the shape of the tree.
To create the tree trunk, I simply attached little sticks using hot glue.
I found these beautiful paper-y leaves at the craft store and we began writing on them all of the things we are grateful for.
The leaves were attached to the board using mounting putty.
As the last of the leaves begin to fall outside, this tree is having the opposite experience.
And these are definitely the most beautiful leaves we’ve ever seen!
Oh and as I type this it’s a beautiful, crisp, sunny day.
Take that Mr. Al Roker! 😉
Thanks for sharing a wonderful story and idea.
Love the gratitude and the beauty of fall! Look on the positive though…a pass with Al is certainly better than a visit from Jim Cantore reporting from your hometown! And yes…I’ve experienced both! Thank you for the beautiful project today and reminder of thankfulness…always love your heart!
Prudence Lay says
As a fellow Oregonian, I’m in total,agreement with you. We live in a stunningly beautiful place and I’m so grateful to God to be here. Blessings!
Vickie Macfarlane says
Beautiful idea and such a fun family project which promotes appreciation. Mr. Roker needs to be updated on the beauty of the Northwest. I understand your frustration, and have noticed very little detail on the NW part of the United States. I have never visited this area of the country, but those whom I know which have tell me it is lovely. Their pictures speak a thousand words.
Carol Neibling says
Today was supposed to be sunny and warm and it’s cloudy and looks like it could rain. There goes the outside work, but there’s plenty to do inside.
Started reading the book and couldn’t put it down.
MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says
Vanessa, what a beautiful part of the world you live in! We have visited your state many times!
Love the idea of the tree with the leaves! Truly, we have so much to be thankful for!
Have a blessed day!
I have to agree with you..we were through Oregon a couple of times several years back. One time where we were was snow and beautiful, not at all regretful against the massive and dark green evergreens. The other time it was a gorgeous sunny day as we passed through on the interstate.
I love your thankful tree and Hope to visit again someday.
rose l. says
I love living in the Pacific NW (Oregon) but have friends and family who actually believe that it rains here every day! It is not that bad and does not get that much rain! I far prefer it here over MO or Calif. or AZ. I love the peacefulness of place I find here. It is great for me.
Jennifer Ross says
My husband and I chose Portland and Seattle for our vacation this year, and we LOVED it! Every spot we visited was prettier than the last. You have much to be proud (and defensive) about!
You are so on point with the general treatment of PNW; and that covers a huge area! The weather is seldom the same in OR or WA in the west or east sides of the states….then there Idaho, totally different weather. And it has been beautiful with a lot of sunshine in the mid-Willamette Valley. Try Fox 12 in Portland for early news and good weather reports.
sandra magle says
This is a lovely idea. And a simple affirmation of what we should be thankful for. One of my leaves will be, I’m thankful the election is over…on Wednesday. Chortle, thanks for the gorgeous Idea! Sandi