Time with family is always precious, and our trip to Oregon included lots of it. For three days, both of our children and grandchildren were together, something that is increasingly rare. Knowing that tends to make our time together even more special and appreciated.
Hubby and I flew this time, using our frequent flyer miles to get cheap tickets. We timed our arrival so that it was shortly after our daughter-in-law left for her conference in Burmingham, UK. We were greeted by our grandsons and son before going to the IKEA store to pick up napkins and ice cream cones. They wanted to wait until they made sure our DIL was safely on her plane before making the hour-long drive home.
Arriving at home, the Youngest climbed into my lap and wouldn’t get out because I was so “soft” to sit on. For the next two days, if I sat down, he was in my lap. I don’t mind being called soft because I know it’s true. His parents are both slim, and I’m like a giant beanbag and who doesn’t like one of those? One of these days before too long, he’ll be too big to sit in my lap so I’ll enjoy it now while he can.
The first two days were show-and-tell time. We got a tour of the garden and backyard and listened to both play the piano. The Oldest plays the viola as well. He’s been blessed with musical talent and it’s always fun to listen to him. He often composes songs to play for us. One night we watched the recordings of their recitals. I didn’t know Youngest is also in the choir of the music school they attend. Youngest is very creative. He can draw fabulous pictures for his age and started dictating a book to Auntie while she typed. Both boys are extremely smart, and they continue to surprise Hubby and me with their skills and talents.
Hubby took the boys geocaching during the days. I accompanied them occasionally. Salem has a beautiful park along the Willamette River. I took a walk to the riverside while the boys ran around finding geocaches. I love reading outside in a beautiful place.
When Daughter came, we had a blast touring the area. We spent most of a day at Silver Falls State Park. It’s a lovely rainforest with paths all over. A small gorge runs through it where there are ten waterfalls. I let everyone out at one end of the hiking trail, then drove to the lodge where they would come out. It was a beautiful, sunny day at just the right temperature for being outside.
On the way to the lodge, I scratched myself and started bleeding badly. I grabbed tissues and made my way to the park store. A volunteer there who had been a medic in the Army put a bandage on my injury. He was a really nice man. Feeling obligated to buy something, I bought a book about the history of noted places in Oregon. Outside was a large log that had been carved into a comfortable sofa-like bench, with a back and “arms” on both ends. Located at the intersection of several trails, I could watch people, read, and wait for our bunch to come.
It’s interesting what you can hear and see when observing people. One lady read the name of the trail, Trail of Ten Falls, and wondered if that was how many times she’d fall down. Two dogs nearly got in a fight, but their owners had good holds on the leashes for which I was thankful. One lady sat beside me and was obviously upset. We talked a while and she felt better before rejoining her group. I also got a lot of reading done.
When my group got back, we had a picnic beside the creek. Sandwiches never tasted so good. The boys had to play at the creek’s edge, with Youngest getting his shoes wet which is common for him. They threw in a lot of sticks to see how fast the water took them away. Most got hung up on the rocks and other natural debris in the creek. It was a fun time.
We spent Saturday at the beach. We got there early to stake out our place before the crowds got there. The Pacific coast is nearly always cool and that day was no different. We wore jackets and hats in the stiff breeze that was perfect for flying kites. My son set up a cabana that blocked the wind, so we had a place to get out of it. We spent all day there playing in the sand (the water was too cold), digging holes and burying each other in it. We made a sandcastle near the water, but the tide came in and messed it up. Sandwiches and hot dogs and Oreos made it a perfect day. We didn’t leave until nearly 4 in the afternoon.
Hubby and I flew home, tired but still smiling from all the fun. Oregon is a beautiful state, and I love visiting. More than that, it’s where part of my beautiful family is and that’s what makes it so special.