Okay, thanks for visiting. If you’re bored by long narratives, feel free to skim through the pictures guilt-free, I don’t mind… just don’t ask questions later, LOL.
The plan (*eViL lAuGh*) was to head out Friday morning for a long, slow trip across the state with a stop at the Bonneville Dam and a Geocache or two. After a few stops I soon realized 55 mph would not get me in Portland by 3pm, so I nixed Bonneville and went as fast as the law would allow. I did manage to hit Portland at 3, when every other person was heading out for the weekend, but it cleared up after Woodburn.
One goal of the trip was to rid the utility trailer of the former in-laws possessions (which had lived there a year) so it would be usable again. I dropped it at their house in Jefferson with no difficulty to be emptied over the weekend.
With less than 24 hours notice, I was going to show up for a family BBQ at 6pm at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, where I expected a sample of family to be. First, however, I had to visit my Grandpa and let him know we missed him. He could use a haircut…
Much to my surprise, nearly every known relative in the valley was there! My son had been cooped up all day, so he had fun unleashing it on everyone. I don’t think he ever had such a large, captivated audience in his memory.
We pulled in late to my Dad’s former residence, where he maintains a room for visiting. His room mate was sound asleep, and hard of hearing, so he was undisturbed. Now, an intermission for the BBQ album…
Still with me? So, whilst still in our pajamas, we ran down to the nearest Safeway to grab some necessities and ran over to my Grandma Mac’s house to cook us all breakfast. On the menu: sausage, egg, & cheese scramble… all we needed was Grandma Nini (my mom).
Turned out, while my luck was holding, my mother’s wasn’t. She had fallen with her arms full, and broker her glasses which punctured and lacerated her face! Through tears she explained that her neighbor offered to bring her over.
Fortunately, we had no trouble waiting as my Grandma’s is filled with all the knick-knacks and fascinating things one Mensa member could collect over 80+ rich years of an adventurous life. Quote of the day: “That’s a rope I picked up in the Gobi desert.”
After Grandma Nini arrived, we enjoyed breakfast while contemplating all the low-tech ways one could fix or replace trifocals.
On the way over, I gave my mom a ride home to the house where I (more or less) grew up. I gawked at the trees that had matured and reminisced in childhood toys that were now planters. I taught the kids how to install thorn warts on their noses, and Alex got a beautiful rose.
THE REUNION: <— Click for the full story.
Okay, this thing was going to be way too long, so I put the reunion in its own post.
After the reunion, we headed for Uncle Ben’s for a quick visit. We got to see his remodeled shop, & pickup a few things. Best of all, the kids socialized with their cousins some more. I miss my nieces and nephews, and this trip shocked me a bit by how much they had grown up.
We enjoyed a pizza crafted by my sister-in-law “Aunt Amy.” We visited a bit, exchanged some things, and I made use of my Grandma’s rattlesnake tail collection to show Tanner the real sound, so he’d know it. I was scheduled to fix a network plug, but that was a false alarm, and Alex also visited the pasture pets.
Neither I nor the kids had been there in a couple years now, so they were certainly overdue for a visit. My Aunt was there for a movie night as well. Tanner got to show off his head-stand, and they all watched a movie while my Uncle and I had a long, deep conversation about vehicles, health, and life in general.
When we got back to Corvallis, we hit the bed like sacks of raw vegetables.
With the early start blown, we let out in a hurry. We arrived at the in-laws to find them gone to the barn. My former brother-in-law (a teenager) was there, so I left Alex with him, as the adults were on their way back. I finished unloading the trailer of the remaining horseshoes, saddle, etc. and hit the road.
We stopped for our first break at Rooster Rock State Park, where we enjoyed some reunion leftovers. It’s this really awesome day-use park that we didn’t go in. OUR destination was the Geocache just outside it…
The blackberries were too thick for our bare legs, so we pressed on, pulling just at bed time.
While quite exhausting, the trip was a success, which is great news as it will have to tide us all over for quite some time…