and then there is cannon beach

August 25, 2010 |  Category:   life remembering Seattle & the NW travels

…which has my heart.

Turning the corner towards the public access to the beach, with the first view of Haystack Rock, made my heart ache. Like I was waiting to feel this feeling all trip long.

It’s been a good 14 years since I’ve been back. Even before I made the Northwest my home I spent a few summer weeks on Cannon Beach with my then boyfriend’s family, who rented a house every year for the month of July. When I moved out west, I stayed with them again for a few weeks the next 2 summers. The Oregon Coast was a special place for them and when his parents finally retired, they made it their permanent home.

Walking the beach at dusk on that cloudy Saturday evening with the kids, I thought about that first summer here, 20 years ago. I remember the early morning walks, the fridge that was always full of berries and freshly washed lettuce, dried and stored in Tupperware containers, and I remember the spectacular sunsets. His parents were like family to me – we were close – and having had 5 boys of their own, I think they enjoyed having a girl around the house. Even after the boy and I split up after 3 years, I kept in touch with the parents through letters and holiday cards.

I haven’t been in touch with them in well over 12 years, but I thought about them hard that evening. The last I heard, the father had some health issues and they may have even taken an apartment in Portland to be closer to the hospital. Though I don’t know for sure, I had a sense that he might not be around anymore. It made me sad. It made me sadder still that I hadn’t kept in touch.

We may promise and have the best intentions to keep in touch with the people who are important in our lives, but sometimes it does not always work out to be. Sometimes, certain relationships run their course and in the end…you have to let go.

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  • mau August 25, 2010 at 2:59 am

    what a magical place! it’s so nice to see you in the photos! your photo with mia is lovely. thanks for sharing these special moments with us.

  • chloe August 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

    what wonderful photos. i especially love the one of you and mia at the end.

  • bronwyn August 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

    That is a gorgeous beach! It looks a little like Morro Beach in California, but even prettier. And that photo of you and Mia melts my heart.

  • Jessica August 25, 2010 at 10:22 am


  • The French August 25, 2010 at 11:04 am


  • rifferaff August 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    wow. that third photo is breathtaking. for some reason this looks very much like how i’d imagine the seashore in the uk. i love foggy grey beaches. this spot is now officially on my to-see list for whenever i make it out to portland.

  • Renita August 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I know what you mean (about the letting go part)

  • Angela August 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    The photos are breathtaking…but what really hits home for me are your words in this post. It’s true isn’t it? Sometimes letting go and getting through the tangle yourself is better than keeping in touch with people who are like family to you…

  • dee August 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I so enjoyed today’s photos. I took my daughter to Cannon beach the summer she was four; she’s now 13. Your post brought back the very feeling of that mist in the air and her delight in the ocean.

  • Taysa August 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    The picture of you and Mia is absolutely wonderful.

  • Jane August 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    When I was a child, my parents would bundle me into the car and make the drive from our home in Vancouver, Canada, down the Oregon coast, camping in the amazing system of state park campgrounds. Because we did the same trip most summers, I grew bored of it as a child, but looking back on the photos we took, I’m amazed at how beautiful it all is, and how lucky I was. I used to complain that we couldn’t take fancy holidays to resorts like my richer friends, but what my parents gave me was their time, their attention, a love of nature, and an appreciation for the important things in life. :)

  • Francesca August 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Hello Jenna, I’m getting glimpses of you through Lecia’s posts, and I thought I’d stop by to say hi. What a trip through memories and beautiful places you’re taking!

  • Jhope August 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    The snuggle photo is so beautiful. We left Portland for the East coast in ’95. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I used to drive our dogs to Cannon beach and watch the sun go down…such a melancholy spot. I just showed our three yr old daughter this post so she could see where we fell in love:-)

  • k. August 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Where oh where did you purchase that beautifully perfect parka of yours?

  • Laura August 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    That picture of you and Mia is just wonderful. I really enjoy reading your posts. And I just love the comment made by Jane “but what my parents gave me was their time, their attention, a love of nature, and an appreciation for the important things in life”. I couldn’t have said it any better.

  • elena August 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

    nice place!

  • Jenna August 27, 2010 at 4:14 am

    k., the jacket is from Urban Outfitters. It’s a light jacket though, not a parka.

  • jennifer August 27, 2010 at 9:34 am

    these are breathtaking. like paintings. i must go there sometime.