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Archive for April, 2013

It certainly is hard to get back in the work mode after a contemplative three day trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  Especially when I see how weedy my own garden is.  But Saturday, due to our heavy responsibilities for resort gardens, we did make it up to Klipsan Beach Cottages, Oman Builders Supply and Wiegardt Gallery to do the basic weeding and the deadheading of tulips and narcissi.

at KBC: tulip 'Green Star'

at KBC: tulip ‘Green Star’

and Tulip 'Cummins'

and Tulip ‘Cummins’

I hate to see the end of the Narcissi.  I often feel that they are my favourite flower, and if that is so, then they are over by early May and leave only lesser favourites for the rest of the year.  Surely they are not really my favourite.  It just feels that way because they are so glorious and so early that they make a strong impression.

Narcissi at KBC

Narcissi at KBC

In a mix I bought for the A Frame woodsy garden at KBC are some doubles.  I don’t really like the doubles and never buy them for Long Beach.  What do you think?

double narcissi...good or not so good?

double narcissi…good or not so good?

Among my favourites are the ones that look like birds with swept back wings and the ones with the tiniest of cups.

poeticus Narcissi

small cupped Narcissi

AT KBC, the trimmed ferns continue to unfurl…

sword ferns

sword ferns

The unfurling is the most amazing sight, if only one could sit and watch for days.

Euphorbia characias wulfenii continues to impress with its long period of bloom:

It's been like this since February!

It’s been like this since February!

The Welsh poppy is the first “poppy” to bloom.   My grandmother had these all over her garden:

Meconopsis cambrica

Meconopsis cambrica

A tiny little daphne (I think!) that Mary C. bought is almost hidden by bulb foliage:

If it is fragrant, it should be on top of a wall, because it is very low to the ground and far from my nose.

If it is fragrant, it should be on top of a wall, because it is very low to the ground and far from my nose.

The island bed around the pond is at its floriferous peak right now:

flowering treeds and shrubs

flowering tree and shrub with unfurling ferns and Japanese maple leaves

The on to a brief deadheading stop at Oman Builders Supply where one of my “green tulips” made me happy.

Tulip 'China Town'

Tulip ‘Greenland’ (I think)

We were in such a hurry at Wiegardt’s to get a satisfactory amount of weeding done that I took no photo at all.  We needed to get home and have a bit of turnaround time and then go to dinner with Carol, who after our trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel had stayed in Long Beach for two more nights of vacation time.

Of course, we could not enter the restaurant until we had deadheaded the tulips and narcissi in the the Depot Restaurant garden!

Depot tulips

Depot tulips

tulips and narcissi at the Depot

tulips and narcissi at the Depot

And then….a last social get together with Carol until I see her again in the fall, when she plans a visit to the Peninsula.

The Depot was busy so we ate at the counter.

The Depot was busy so we ate at the counter.

And then, in fall 2014, we will, I hope, go back to the SBH.  I just cannot take spring vacations; they throw me off the gardening schedule too much.  We have both agreed that we need to stay at SBH for more nights (but will we end of extending our visit night after night because we won’t be able to leave….at all?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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While I swanned off to the Sylvia Beach Hotel with my friend Carol, Allan worked hard on a huge garden project at Andersen’s RV Park: weeding a nasty stretch of rugosa rose ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ outside the park fence. We have a of garden space to care for INSIDE the park and usually weed this once a year. Last year, we did not even get the roses pruned and did not do any weeding of this stretch except for right where people drive in the entry road. Oh, dear.

before

before

What a mess! The roses had gotten way too messy so one of the park caretakers had cut them down for us in the fall.

tools of the trade

tools of the trade

partway done

partway done

That red leafed rose in the foreground is the old root stock coming up.  A boring rose.  Most of these rugosas are on their own roots, but one, just one, seems to have been grafted.  Or perhaps the boring rose was there from before.

Rugosa roses got their name because their leaves are “rugose”:  wrinkled, corrugated.   They can take the salt air (thus their nickname, the salt spray rose) and are fragrant and resistant to black spot.

very nice!

very nice!

all weeded

all weeded

The neighbour across the street had just moved in full time and was most appreciative of an improved view!

The weed pile got put in the woods off to the side of the park with rose roots and clippings removed because the caretakers want to use this pile to fill rough areas around the edges.the weed pile!

the weed pile!

Thanks, Allan!!

For a much more creative project, he installed a fairy door at Crank’s Roost. He bought the door at Home and Garden Art in Seattle (same place we got the fairy doors in our bogsy woods), but he built the steps and added the paint to match the Roost’s trim.

crank's

Crank's Roost

new fairy door at Crank's Roost

new fairy door at Crank’s Roost

Sorry for the short post; I have been preoccupied tonight with setting up blog entries for my Ilwaco blog. I procrastinated till this last week in getting last year’s Saturday Market photos posted….and the market starts up again this Saturday. Fortunately, WordPress allows me to schedule publishing in the future, so I set up four posts to publish throughout this week….except for the yearly Parade Of Dogs which I do hope to get organized by Saturday. Not an actual parade of dogs: a photo retrospective of dogs that I photographed at the market last year.

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Friday morning I was up by eight.  Even more impressively, Carol had gone up to the Sylvia Beach Hotel library to read at about six AM.  I stayed in the Colette room for awhile and finished the most recent room journal and, yes, left my own entry (which I had neglected to do in the Dickinson room).  It was, of course, about my passion for the room journals.

Here is one entry not by a honeymooner:

page one

page two

“And have you changed your life?”

I then went up to the library to join Carol.  Destiny (my long distance SBH sister-journal-addict) had messaged me (I did still check Facebook messages on my quiet cell phone!) to ask if I had found any library journals.  I had not, so looked harder.  In the northeast corner, where someone had usually been sitting absorbed in a book, I finally found a stack tucked under a table and brought them over to my chair.

more journals!  But my time was almost up!

more journals! But my time was almost up!

Some of the “retired room” journals (rooms which had been switched to a new author) had been repurposed as library journals, so while I thought I had read the year of new entries since my last visit to the library, I suddenly found that the whole beginning of the book was new to me and was from the Meridel LeSeur room, one I had never stayed in and whose journals I had probably not read since my first stay in 1991.  Pat Henderson wrote movingly about helping to retire the room.

a room fades away

a room fades away

Praise for the Sylvia Beach Hotel:

"one day spent like this can make up for weeks of hard times"

“one day spent like this can make up for weeks of hard times”

on motherhood

"the silence inside of me"

“the silence inside of me”

words from Pat

words from Pat

Just following Pat’s entry, someone writes to him who has, like me, seen his many entries through the years!  I love this kind of communication between guests and if only I had time to read all the journals, I know I could find more.  (Woe betide anyone who criticizes the hotel for not being modern; that person will always be advised in writing to go to a motel chain, but no doubt they never return to see the advice.

letter to Pat

letter to Pat

letter to Pat

A guest writes about my favourite spot in the fourth floor library attic (mentioning the fainting couch which has been replaced by a chair):

"the thumping, whistling chimney pipes"

“the thumping, whistling chimney pipes”

As a chronic hypochondriac (I hope, or I am done for!), I can relate to this entry:

home away from home

home away from home

I found another deeply moving, very personal story:

the ocean works wonders on the broken-hearted

the ocean works wonders on the broken-hearted

Below is a lovely description of walking the beach, something I would surely do if I did not live at the beach (Long Beach).  One huge advantage that Nye Beach has over the Long Beach Peninsula is that vehicles are not allowed to drive on the beach.  What an improvement that is, even when it comes to just looking at the beach from the hotel.

Nye Beach

Nye Beach

I found an entry by Wild Rose.  I think I posted something by her in my room journals blog entry of 2012.  She is someone else I would like to know.

on being an introvert

on being an introvert

I hope this one is true:

Captain's Log

Captain’s Log

And then….I was out of time as both Carol and I were hungry for our breakfast, after which we would check out.  What to do about the unread Meridel Le Seur room entries that I could not bear to leave behind!  I quickly photographed the unread entries in order to take them with me to read later!

The hotel used to have more obscure writers:  LeSeur, Sigrid Undset, Lincoln Steffens.  Of them, only Lincoln Steffens remains, and I have heard he is a particular favourite of Goody’s.

I had not read any Meridel LeSeur but her stories of “women, working people, the poor, the disenfranchised and the dispossessed” sound well worth seeking out.  Here are my favourite entries from the last of her room journals; I wish I could find and read the rest of them.

in the LeSeur room journal

in the LeSeur room journal

a birthday present

a birthday present

Meridel became the Shakespeare room.

Meridel became the Shakespeare room.

all ages welcome to write

all ages welcome to write

With no more time, I leave upon a note of mystery.   Who is putting post it notes in the journals, and why?

post its?

post its? with backdrop of the library fireplace

I did not have time to try to figure out why certain entries were marked, and I doubt the post its will last till my next visit.  What do you think, Destiny?  Was it you?

We had our lovely breakfast and departed and we did manage to take our walk on the bayfront before leaving Newport.

goodbye, SBH

goodbye, SBH

Next time, I'll stay in the Jules Verne room for a night, hear the rushing water, and perhaps sit on the deck.

Next time, I’ll stay in the Jules Verne room for a night, hear the rushing water, and perhaps sit on the deck.

My next visit to the SBH will be, I hope, an autumnal one, because I have fewer gardening worries in the time after the tourist season and before Bulb Planting Hell.   Work put off then is work deferred, not work lost, whereas in the spring it costs me at least three hundred dollars in lost income to take three days off.

Carol and I are planning another trip for late September 2014 (should I live so long) and I wonder if I just might go back somehow in autumn of 2013.  It is easy to settle back into my life and let years go by between visits, but life is not going to allow more than twenty more years of climbing those stairs so I do need to go more often.  Who wants to go with me?  I have journals to find and read:  the Gertrude Stein and Lincoln Steffens rooms are unmined treasures.

Tomorrow:  back to photos and words about gardening.

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I read in one of the journals that in the forward to a book called Quotidian, Goody (Gudrun) Cable, one of the owners of the Sylvia Beach Hotel, describes meeting the ghost of Robert Louis Stevenson in the library.  (Lucky guest to meet Goody;  in my several stays, I only met her once at breakfast.)

Goody's RLS story

Goody’s RLS story

So it seemed appropriate that I found a stack of the RLS room journals in the fourth floor library attic.   I had been fascinated with the RLS room….now transformed into the Jules Verne room…since learning of a wealthy old woman named Edna who used to stay in the RLS room for two months each summer between 1988 and the mid 90s, dressing each night for dinner at the Tables of Content restaurant.  She is mentioned frequently in older journal entries in many rooms and was said to be a great raconteur.  She would sit on pleasant days on the room’s patio and chat with folks coming in and out of the hotel.

Behind the garden is the patio for the RLS and one other room.

Behind the garden is the patio for the RLS (now Verne) and (I think) one other room.

When I wrote about the journals in the Sylvia Beach Hotel Lovers Facebook group, another journal follower wrote:

“I have read many of the journals on my many stays but have not come across any with Edna’s entries.

I was very fortunate to have met Edna on her very first (of many) visits to the hotel. She walked the beach daily in her “nice clothes”, didn’t seem to mind getting blown by the wind. She had stories to tell of her life (England, New York, etc.) and you could find her either at breakfast with the whole table listing to her or later in the day/night up in the living room with guests sitting around her on the floor like little children listing to her tales.

On her second visit to the hotel, I happened to be there. She remembered me from the year before and asked about the “young man” that had been with me! Surprised me; she was a “sharp as a tack” as they say.

At that time, she mentioned that she was going to move to Portland. Her kids didn’t like the idea but she had all the details worked out and was going to tell the kids AFTER she was settled in her new location.

Just a beautiful person; anyone who actually got to met her will never forget her.”

So I had hoped I might find some writing from her in the RLS journals, but I did not.  I may not have had all the ones that used to belong to that room, or perhaps she chose not to write in them.

north end of attic, the best seat in the house

north end of attic, the best seat in the house

stack of journals

stack of journals

Thursday at 4:20 PM, I settled down in the attic in my favourite chair in the entire hotel with a lovely stack of journals from RLS and Tennessee Williams (another retired room; not sure who the new author in that room is).  I soon realized I had too much to read and too little time so set aside the Williams ones.

I immediately ran across a mention of Edna dated 1999!

Edna

Edna

And in the front of one of the journals, a poignant note by Pat Hendersen:

farewell to the RLS room

farewell to the RLS room

If you cannot remember, as I could not, RLS wrote not only Treasure Island and Kidnapped but also The Child’s Garden of Verses, from which my grandma read to me.  (She herself was not much of a reader, but every morning she read me a “little golden book” and the RLS poems.  I did not read Dr Seuss or Winnie the Pooh till I was in my 20s).

Another wonderful entry by Pat Henderson:

the home my spirit returns to

the home my spirit returns to

and another entry by Pat, with the wonderful creaky huge attic pipes as a backdrop:

1. A job is a waystation in life, not a destination.  2. There are no barriers in life, only diversions.

1. A job is a waystation in life, not a destination. 2. There are no barriers in life, only diversions.

I found an entry by Patricia L.  As I wrote in the SBH Facebook group:  “I once put a stamp inside a journal in the Oscar Wilde room next to the entry to a woman who often wrote in that one…and asked her to drop me a postcard (with my address) and she did…We corresponded for a little while; this was before email was common or we might have stayed in touch.  She used always to bring her Teddy bear and write about what he thought of the visit!  I wonder if she still goes there.”

page one

Patricia

Patricia

(Many journal entries refer to some sort of shape on the ceiling that looked like a big bar of Dove soap.)

Here is a story in one short entry:

"my mother's favourite room"

“my mother’s favourite room”

"I'm home..."

“I’m home…”

And another story of falling in love with the SBH:

...to sit back and become engrossed in the stories of tales of others' lives..

…to sit back and become engrossed in the stories of tales of others’ lives..

Journal writers repeatedly mentioned, usually not in a complaining away, the sound of rushing water, “like a waterfall”, that cascades audibly through the RLS room from the bathrooms of other rooms in the hotel!   This prescient entry suggested it become a Jules Verne room, which it now is.

a suggestion

a suggestion

The following entry is from the Megan who often stayed in the Mark Twain room!  In 2009, I wrote in the SBH Lovers group:  “There is a theme through the Mark Twain journals: an articulate teenager named Megan W____ wrote every year as she was growing up, and the other guests followed her story. I Googled her and I found a Megan W______ who is a successful chef. Does anyone here know her? Entries in the later journals were hoping that she had ended up with a good life…”

And someone replied:  “Just for kicks I googled Megan W too and shot an email to the one who’s a cook/chef, telling her about this group and asking if you might have been referring to her. She wrote back saying it indeed is her, and that she’s flattered that you remember and she wants to get back to the hotel.

Megan

Megan

There must be many stories that a frequent guest can follow year by year through the journals.

Here’a another caution about Jersey the cow cat:

beware

beware

At 5:19 PM, I read this amusing reference to “the game” that is often played at the Tables of Content Restaurant.

two truths and a lie

two truths and a lie

And soon after, I had to leave my attic aerie and go to dinner…not a hardship but as often happens when I am at the SBH I felt time slipping away and knew I simply did not have enough journal reading time.  Carol and I agreed that next time, we will stay for three nights.

[My two truths and a lie:  I have a degree in offset printing.  I have a gardening business.  I used to manage a resort.]

At 9:00-ish, we returned to the Colette room for more reading.

an artistic entry

an artistic entry

Another entry about wishing for solitude!

a dream of solitude

a dream of solitude

I loved this woman’s memories of a house she lived in…

page onepage two

Another wonderful Pat Henderson entry:

page one

page two

I found another entry by Patricia L.   The RLS room was decorated gently not in a pirate or adventure theme but with childhood prints evoking the “Garden of Verses”.  The only concession to Treasure Island was a treasure chest and a pair of “Long John  Silver” crutches.

RLS

At midnight I finished the RLS journals and returned them to the library attic from whence they came.  The last entry I photographed

"a gentler decade"

“a gentler decade”

This was written before the world wide web and all the social internet technology that I love, that keeps us in touch, that lets us have a Sylvia Beach group online…but at the SBH, I even turn my camera on “discreet mode” so it won’t make a beeping noise when I turn it on.

Next…one last morning reading session in the library.

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I did have to work yesterday (in the rain).  Today at home, the weeds in my garden cry out to be pulled and the weather is not bad.  Still, I cannot go back to the garden until I have processed my latest Sylvia Beach Hotel experience.

By 1 PM on Thursday, after Carol and I decided to postpone our excursion to the Newport bayfront until after Friday check out time, I was in the library with a stack of journals pilfered from the Jane Austen room, just down the hall.

to read

to read

I was excited that the journal with the heart had migrated to the library from the Robert Louis Stevenson room, now Jules Verne.  I always worry that when the rooms are retired and redone, the journals will disappear forever.

In a Jane Austen journal, I struck the pure gold of life experience and poignancy:

page onepage twopage three

Then, another heartbreaking yet healing entry:

I lost my dearest friend...

I lost my dearest friend…of 60 years

I can so relate to this quotation by Jane, having four houses of excellent neighbours nearby, and one absolutely horrible set of neighbours (fortunately not too close by).

neighbours

The following entry fascinating reveals how owner Goody promoted the brand new SBH to guests of her Portland restaurant, the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House.

teasers

Here is another person who loves reading the journals:

page one

from great despair and loss to wild and enduring passion

from great despair and loss to wild and enduring passion

Another entry by Destiny:

read more, write more, live more, love more!

read more, write more, live more, love more!

and another who loved the journals:

"No other hotel does this..."

“No other hotel I’ve ever been to does this…”

I do know of other resorts who provide room journals.  The Lighthouse Motel in Long Beach used to, and may still, and Klipsan Beach Cottages has journals in each room.  They are more like guest books where people write of where they ate and what they saw and how much they enjoyed their visit, and they don’t delve as deeply into personal life as the SBH journals does.  So while they make very good reading, they don’t share the kind of deep common experience that one finds in the SBH journals.

Here is a thoughtful entry hinting of sisters growing apart:

I'm ready to let you go...

I’m ready to let you go…

I found an entry from Destiny written when she could not stay in Jane’s room…

Mark Twain instead

Mark Twain instead

The Jane Austen room has a huge pile of journals.

Jane's room inspires writing...

Jane’s room inspires writing…(I think this was written by Destiny)

I thought I had read most of them in a previous visit (when the room was open and I borrowed them), and even though I wanted to go through them all again I decided to get the journal out of the one year old Harry Potter, er, I mean JK Rowling room.  (I have photographed the room this year and last year.)

I soon happened upon an entry by Pat Henderson!

Pat in the Rowling room

Pat in the Rowling room

I really want to be friends with him.  Allan would also find him interesting because he is a biker as well as a writer.

two Rowling entries

two Rowling entries

The single Rowling room journal did not provide me with many entries that I wanted to preserve, so I went down the hall and borrowed a pile from the F. Scott Fitzgerald room.

discovering the journals

discovering the journals

discovering the many pleasures of the SBH, including the tea and coffee room.

discovering the many pleasures of the SBH, including the tea and coffee room.

Here, a woman remembers when the SBH was the old Gilmore Hotel:

a tryst at the Gilmore

a tryst at the Gilmore

journal appreciation

journal appreciation

Many of the entries in the Fitzgerald room journals are bawdy, often referring to putting a pillow behind the headboard or having sex on the flowered chair.  I am not quite sure why people want to write graphically of their sex lives in a hotel journal.  Either others with similar fortune will feel camaraderie, or those alone not by choice will feel sad.  As with the Colette room journals, I find it much less interesting to read about someone’s passionate honeymoon than about the more introspective entries in other rooms.  At breakfast, in briefly discussing the journals with a frequent guest, he asked an interesting question:  Do certain rooms inspire more amorous activity, and the writing about it….or do people who plan such activity choose certain rooms to stay in?

I decided I would rather read from the Robert Louis Stevenson room journals which I had been thrilled to find in the library attic.  It was fortuitous that a noisy book club/poetry reading group had taken over the coffee room and caused me to go, at 3:45 PM, one flight up to my favourite reading spot….because in a glass front bookcase I found a stash of old RLS and Tennessee Williams and E.B. White journals.  I had read the E.B. Whites when I had stayed twice in that room.  (It is now John Steinbeck.)  I think I have borrowed the Williams ones before and that it was another of those rooms (now changed to another author) that inspired more of the honeymoon “here’s what WE did, so different from anyone else” (not) type of entry.   So, next:  RLS.

I am feeling guilty about my garden so I do have to go weed for a bit first…If only it had rained today!

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By ten thirty AM on Thursday, Carol and I were ensconced in the luxurious Colette room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  My friend had slept poorly the night before, so she took a nap.  Then our plan was to go to the historic bayfront in Newport and have lunch at the Local Ocean restaurant, highly recommended.  While Carol slept, I read in a comfy plush dark red chair.  I still had a journal or two to read from our first night room, Emily Dickinson.

Emily's room

Emily’s room, real and recreated at the SBH

Emily's room

Emily’s room at the SBH

During my 2008 visit I had read ten room journals from the Colette room…before I had the notion that I could photograph my favourite entries.  Had I the time, I would love to reread them all.  However, the room journals all have a different flavour and Colette’s tends to be about love, passion, and honeymoons.  Given a short reading time I would much rather read the journals of the more reflective, even angsty rooms:  Jane Austen, Emily, and best of all, the dorms that used to be on third floor.

Emily

Emily

When I finished the Emily journals, and Carol still slept, I got a room journal out of the nearest room, Dr. Suess.  Someone has been marking certain entries with yellow post its.  One of the marked entries was by Pat Henderson, a frequent visitor and journal writer.  I look for his entries and last time I visited, spent quite awhile putting together in my mind some of the story of his life; at that time, I read one of his entries that revealed he also noticed and wondered about frequent writers, especially Patricia Lent, who might be in her 80s now, or older.

Pat

Pat

The Suess room journals are mostly filled with happy children’s scrawls, so I turned to the more recent Colette journals:

another poignant memorial

another poignant memorial…and magic

another journal addict

another journal addict

Shelley is the sweet hotel cat of this decade.

Shelley is the sweet hotel cat of this decade.

In two pages, enough of a story for a novel:

a romance

a romance

a romance

And someone all the way from France:

Marie

Marie

Again, the healing power of the SBH:

the only way out is through, through, through

the only way out is through, through, through

Imagine my thrill when in the stack of Colette journals I found one from the old dorm room!  It used to have bunk beds….now has five? singles.   I read somewhere that the health department did not like the bunk beds.  That may or may not be true.  The other dorm room has been turned into a retreat for hotel owner Goody Cable, who often visits.  In the dorm journal, I found an entry that I am sure refers to my long distance SBH friend, Destiny.  (Later:  She tells me that it does, and is thrilled that it is by her grandmother!)

desert friends

desert friends

Another entry hints at a great and painful drama:

the key to my father's heart

the key to my father’s heart

I would imagine that my stepdaughter, who stayed here for one catastrophic month in 2011, feels this way and cannot understand that I do not stand between her and her father.

I found deeply moving this woman’s two-page story of her father’s sadness:

page one

page twoSomeone wrote a four or five page reminiscence of his college years and how he came out of loneliness and learned to make friends:

just the first page

just the first page (His life got better!)

I wish now I had photographed all five pages even though the first was the most moving to me.

More on healing:

no longer broken

no longer broken

the quest

the quest

On this one, I rather maddenly cut off the last line.  I was feeling a sense of urgency that Carol would awake and then my journal time would end for the day and I would have to leave the hotel on our touristy excursion to the bay.

journal appreciation

journal appreciation

loving the oddballs

loving the oddballs

I found another entry from my faraway SBH friend, Destiny.  (She spent days, maybe two weeks, at the hotel this past February ( think it was).

a last visit

a last visit

This so reminds me of that poignant entry I read years ago by someone who knew it would be her last visit because she was too aged to get up to the library (third floor, see my entry called house of stairs).  I also remember an entry by someone who visited, as many times before, with her husband, whose Alzheimers made it impossible for him to play the game (Two Truths and a Lie) at dinner.  She also wrote it would be their last visit together.  My heart broke.

As I read another entry by Destiny (who, like me, very much hopes that even in the electronic blogging age people continue to put pen to paper in these journals)…

Destiny, with Colette room backdrop

Destiny, with Colette room backdrop

….my friend Carol awoke at a quarter after noon.  I thought it would be time for us to leave the hotel as planned.  On previous trips together, one in stormy autumn and one in a rainy April storm) she knew I would not leave the hotel because of my room journal fixation.  She completely supports me in this!  This year, because of the nice weather, I had brought up the possibility myself.  I have a hard time staying indoors in nice weather.

So….Carol awoke and we looked at each other and listened to the cold wind and looked at the sunny day outside.   I asked her if she wanted to go out.  She asked me if I wanted to.  I asked her if SHE wanted to.  We both mentioned the cold wind…and then we decided to stay in.   We repaired to the library, and while she did take a walk later (through the Nye Beach neighbourhood, too windy to enjoy the beach), I did not set one toe outside for the rest of our visit.

When we visited a perfectly nice lodging in Cannon Beach in March of 2011, we explored the beach and the town at length and had three meals out.  Most hotels….in fact, I can imagine that no hotel in the world has the pull to stay in and read that the SBH does.  That trip to Cannon Beach occurred because the SBH seemed like such a long drive.  I note that in the two years since, we are wholeheartedly back to the SBH for our yearly trip.

Next: an afternoon of readng journals.

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I am obsessed with the Sylvia Beach Hotel room journals, and I can’t get back to writing about gardening till I share some of my favourite entries with you.  I want to preserve them for posterity (at least WordPress posterity) in case something happens to them.

Almost as soon as we checked in, I immersed myself in the journals written by guests in our Wednesday night room, Emily Dickinson.  A few other entries from the same room are in my room journal entry from last year (including a beautiful drawing a man made of his sleeping wife on their honeymoon).   I took the journals up to the library, where I read from 5:25 to 6:47 PM.

journals from Emily

some journals from Emily

I was quite excited to find this entry from someone who is writing a book about the SBH and its room authors.

Kelly's book

Kelly’s book

We met Kelly at breakfast the next morning and indeed, the book is a serious project.  It will focus more on the authors and not especially on the room journals, I gathered.

In the journals, I am always deeply moved when I read of grandmothers and granddaughters traveling together.    My grandmother liked nowhere better than her own home and was not much of a reader so it’s not as if I wish we had traveled together; I just like to see a close relationship like we had.

granddaughter and grandma

granddaughter and grandma

A long distance friend whom I met at SBH in perhaps 2008 cherishes this journal entry by her grandma.

guest from Utah

and the granddaughter writes:

granddaughter

granddaughter

Sometimes I have to skip a few pages because the handwriting is illegible, although if I can tell that the entry is a fascinating one I will struggle to read it.  I even saw one from our local author Robert Michael Pyle but could not decipher most of it!  And then I run across an entry like this:

handwriting

handwriting

You can see the south end fireplace of the library around the edge of this two-page entry about the healing power of the SBH:

entryentry page two

“Time is more valuable when there is so much less of it to waste.”

praying to the Emily

praying to the Emily

A running theme in the 1990s journals:  Jersey tuxedo cat got cranky with age.  Sometimes a hotel cat does become too cantankerous and is then found a private home, but Jersey was at the hotel for years and I remember Jersey sleeping on my bed in 1991.

Jersey poem

Jersey poem

I love the phrase, below:  “Still trying to figure it out as though we were kids, still.”

figuring out love

While reading many of these over again I still become weepy with emotion about the human condition.  I rarely feel such deep emotion as when I am reading the SBH journals and connect with the commonality of the sort of person who loves staying there.

second time around

second time around

My soul wants to stay forever.

My soul wants to stay forever.

the longing for solitude

the longing for solitude

At 6:50, I tore myself away from journals so that Carol and I could tour some empty rooms (the doors are left open if the room is unoccupied) and then went to dinner at April’s (delicious and right across the street).

At ten PM, I was back in the library reading more journal entries.

like a lazer

like a laser beam

I well remember reading this moving entry from last time:

six months since I lost her

six months since I lost her…

appreciating Emily

appreciating Emily

at the Fishermen's Memorial

at the Fishermen’s Memorial

Some people grace the journals with their art, from children’s scribbles to elegant works like these:

art

cats

Sometimes I find an entry that reveals how much someone has fallen in love with the journals:

journal addiction begins

journal addiction begins

People reveal so much of themselves and I want to read every word of every journal in every room.

understanding Emily

understanding Emily

At the bottom of the blog entry of a visit some years ago, I have added some thoughts about the journals from the Sylvia Beach Hotel Lovers Facebook group,  so check it out if you would like to read more about journal addiction.

At 11:15, we repaired to our room; we were the last ones out of the library and so we turned out all but one lamp.

goodnight

goodnight

The journal reading would recommence on Thursday.

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