Road trip home; Mission accomplished
While I have heard it said that you cannot go back home again I beg to differ. The fact that home may have changed should not alter the fact that home is where it’s always been, and though the people as much as the place change with a blink of the eye. their still home.
Home for me is Clackamas Oregon, and it is where my brothers still are, literally within blocks from where we grew up. My Bros (an endearment I have used for years) unlike me never really ever left the neighborhood we grew up in.
Last weekend my daughter and I made the three-hour road trip across the Cascade mountain range with the wind at our backs and the sun on our faces with a mission. That mission was to surprise my two brothers with a weekend visit. My sister-in laws and my nieces were part of intelligence required to pull off such a feat. But as it happens an unintentional leak accidentally happened and one bro discovered we were coming before we even left.
No biggie, the only expectation I went with was being with my family and seeing a few other life-long friends.
It was a beautiful balmy and sun filled afternoon when we left Bend, we commented to one another about it being a beautiful day for a road trip. Chatting like my daughter Jani & I do every time we are together with topics flying around us so often I’m not sure anyone else could (or want to) keep up with or conversations. (my daughter’s permission to use her real name when I asked was just a snicker of consent.)
Part of what made this trip so amazingly special to me was my daughter was part of it all.
Leaving Bend the weather was gorgeous, one of the 300 plus days of sunshine on the high desert of Oregon. As we began to really climb in elevation near Mt Hood though we and fellow travelers were met with slushy to frozen highway conditions, snow falling mixed with some gusty winds. My daughter who has become quite proficient in driving in all kinds of snow and ice conditions navigated the road and other travelers with a nonplussed style, My daughter created a sense of confidence that made the whole trip, including the hour of tense road conditions relaxing for this passenger. Once we reached the summit (5900 ft) and began to descend the road conditions and weather improved, albeit we knew we were traveling down closer to sea level and into the valley with its notorious overcast skies and it’s misty damp air.
Thankfully Mother Nature was on our side this trip.
Traveling with my adult daughter for this trip was such a gift that I decided to make the weekend about comfort and independence as well; so with our reserved room at the more than comfortable Hampton Inn. After checking in to our room we set foot about to accomplish our mission, heading out to my little brothers who happens to live just a few doors down from my older brother.
Part of the planning was to include open mic night at the pub where my brother often plays. We created quite the entourage even with just us: My daughter Janis, my older brother Steve, my younger brother Doug, his lady Theresa, good friend Jamey, my Matron of Honor from 40 plus years ago Linda, my soul daughter & her husband Jamie & Tony, my niece Jodie & her husband Jared. Just now I counted us all, including me there were 11 of us. of course this count does not include the other musicians and friends that are regulars at the pub’s open mic night.
It was an awesome full house, especially for an open mic night. The music was fine and it was fun, cover tunes that we all knew. Once they started playing The Eagles everyone in the house was singing along.
I love that kind of feeling that live music lets even strangers feel like old friends.
My Bro Doug and Pete.
Me doing what I love; listening to my little brother play.
My Baby Brother solo.
(not so much a baby I agree, but he will always be my baby brother.)
Me & Theresa soul sisters and partner’s in crime.
Friday night was just a hoot. And by the end of the evening there were now three of us coming in to the Hampton Inn and passing the front desk. Now mind you please, only two people are registered to our room and since 9/11 here the USA lodging proprietors are required to know who is in their units. An additional per person rate is typically applied beyond double occupancy.
Passing by the front desk there are now three of us, and one of us was feeling a bit three sheets to the wind. (and I am not telling you who it was, but it wasn’t me, and wasn’t my daughter) The night clerk just smiled and welcomed us home from our evening out. Never a word about an added charge, or whose name’s were who. My friend Linda, my daughter Janis & I were in fits of giggles as the nightlife wore on, much like a slumber party of silly 10-year-old girls. Janis fell asleep about midnight leaving Linda and I to catch up until sleep took over about 3:30am. When I was 16 yrs old I first met Linda, we have been the best of best friends for almost 44 years now. We are both single now and living life far different from our earlier years. I love the comfort in knowing she is always there.
Saturday was all the family day. My grandson, nieces & husbands, grand-niece, all gathered at my little Bro’s. One of the coolest unexpected things to happen was also being able to see two friends I have known since I was 4 yrs old. They are a brother and sister, Dizzy is my oldest brother’s good friend and his little sister Marilyn is my age and we were the very best of friends. Meeting in our closely knit neighborhood when we were just 4 yrs old riding our bikes everywhere we went. We for many years were inseparable, both loved the Beatles and Paul Revere & the Raiders. Seeing these two people I love like family was an unexpected gift. .
If it hadn’t been for my daughter I wouldn’t have these precious photos, I was too overwhelmed by living in the moment to think about capturing it. I am so grateful she did.
Thank you Jani for the weekend and the photos documenting it. Thank you also to Theresa, Sybil, Jodie, and Kelly for being my partners in crime.
Going eastward home. Mt Hood, her majestic self in the sunny skies.