Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Family Beckons ~ June 20-22, 2014

June 20th ~ After a sumptuous breakfast we head south from Hillsboro on Hwy 219 towards Newberg. Beautiful drive down to civilization: ranches, meadows, forests, no end to the views and landscape. 

Hotels are full, so we try our luck at the "Four star" Best Western in Wilsonville for our 3 night stay. No ocean here boss, the freeway was our sleep mode, white noise. Parking is under trees that drip sap, pillows are hockey pucks, shower runs hot and cold and their idea of a complementary breakfast: waffles, biscuits and gravy. It's closer to a "two star" but will suffice since w'e'll just be sleeping there. 

Head out to Dickey Prairie for dinner at the house of a friend of Rod's sister, Deb. It's an old 2 story home at the confluence of two forks of the Mollala River. It was probably a family compound at one time, many rooms and passages. It's absolutely magical, serene and quiet but for birdsong and the river. 

 House from the river
From the deck
One of the resident cats

Dinner was sublime: BBQ'd chicken and trout fingers, salad, corn, garlic cheese french bread and dessert. Rod's little brother Roy stopped by for a visit and then we headed back to the hotel at sunset.

June 21st ~ Summer starts today, it's gorgeous and about 74. Rod's niece Dawn, who lives in Canby, arranged for a friend of hers to give me a massage at 10am. We have no promises to keep until late afternoon so we decide to hit some garage sales around Canby. Had a ball and scored some amazing treasures: yoga mat and bag, 10 nearly new T-shirts for Rod, 2 hooded sweatshirts, and a mouse sander kit, all for less than $20. 

Took the afternoon and explored back roads between Mulino and Oregon City, Rod's old stomping grounds. This is Willamette Falls, he used to work at the pulp mill.

Met Dawn and her family at a local brew pub for dinner. We'll be heading over to their place tomorrow afternoon for a family reunion/BBQ. 

The charm of these small Oregon towns is that the trains still run through town several times a day: the sight, the sounds, the whistle always enthrall me, so much so I didn't pull out my iPhone and make a movie. What a knucklehead.  

June 22nd ~ We walked to breakfast at about 1/2 mile down the road from the hotel. Find out about a hunter jumper horse show down Wilsonville Road and head down there to watch for a couple of hours. 

Out to Dawn and Andrew's place in Canby for family BBQ with Rod's siblings, nieces and nephews: lot of fun and noisy as always. I'm any only child so large family gatherings aren't part of my DNA. I've always called the Helvey Clan the Loud Family and nothing has changed. Volume at 11 on a scale of 10, everyone talking at once, all remembering the stories of childhood differently. Home entertainment at it's finest. The food was amazing and laughter plentiful.
 Dawn and son Tristan
 Rod and nephew Mike
The crew: Margene, Roy, Deb and Rod
Wonder where I was at that moment?

Early evening it's back to the hotel to pack up and relax: visiting takes a lot of energy for a couple of hilltop curmudgeons. Tomorrow we're back in making it up as we go mode. East is the general direction.