Settling in, slowly

Update from the Traveln’ with Charlie blog, One Oregon woman’s journey through life.

August 15, Milwaukie, OR — In the last couple of weeks I have been busy with visits from sisters, and to sisters, and up to Yakima for a family reunion. Charlie has enjoyed the hustle and bustle, the comings and goings. He loves company — more victims who can be coerced into petting him.  My older sister Colleen and her husband came by in early August for a quick visit on their way up to Lake Kachess up off Snoqualmie Pass. Her husband’s family has an annual reunion there in early August. The following week they came back down to Portland and spent several days here.

We had the grand tour of Ikea, which opened this past year but I haven’t yet had the courage or energy to visit. So this was a good excuse to check it out. It was good to look at some of their kitchens and see what I might be able to do with mine.

Then we drove over to the Oregon Coast for a day. We wandered along the beach, had lunch at Mo’s, shopped a bit in Cannon Beach, though it was very busy, especially for a Wednesday. Then we drove down to Hug Point to “visit” our mom and dad, whose ashes were scattered there at their request.

On Thursday they drove up to see Mt. St. Helens while I took care of some things here in Portland. Then we met Karl and Dee and Jesse for a late dinner.

Saturday morning I drove up to Yakima for our first-ever family reunion on my dad’s side. My dad was the oldest of four, having three younger sisters. There were a total of 25 of us cousins. One of our aunts is still alive so it was great to see her and hear some old family stories. About half the cousins grew up down here in Vancouver and since there were 12 of them and six of us, we rarely traveled back and forth. Now most of them live in the Yakima area and I live down here. Other cousins grew up in Seattle and were quite a bit younger than me. It was great to see people I haven’t seen in many years. I remember their names; I just don’t recall what order they came in after the first three girls, who were closest in age to me. Needless to say, I didn’t recognize more than a couple of them. But it was fun and I hope we can do it again.

When I returned to Portland on Sunday, my younger sister, who now lives in Medford, came to up for a visit. She had meetings in Portland on Monday. Then Tuesday my brother and I drove down to Medford with her to see her new home (her first house) and take in a couple of plays at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Charlie got to go along with us since my dog sitter, Tom, was with me. It was a little challenging for Charlie since my sister has a cat that we had to make sure Charlie didn’t get too close to. Fortunately it worked out okay. At least both pets survived the encounter. Tom and I drove back up Thursday, leaving well before the 108 degree heat hit Medford. But it’s plenty toasty enough here in Portland. We are expecting heat over 100 again today and tomorrow, so that would make three days of triple digits; pretty rare here.

So I have managed to hardly get anything at all done on the house in the last couple of weeks. Now I’m out of excuses and it’s time to get back to work. I think Karl will come over this weekend for awhile and we’ll see if we can’t finish the floor.

I still have to work on my book and get the proposal put together. I have the scholarship fundraiser in early October I need to start working on. I have my 40th high school reunion in September and parish activities, including Pastoral Council, choir, and some occasional cantoring (including tomorrow night), start soon. And I really should get semi-serious about finding work or some source of income. And then I still have to figure out what I want to do with my life.

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