Tag Archive | brothers

Mission Accomplished

Road trip home; Mission accomplished

Clackamas Oregon 
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 and rex

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.

Mission accomplished!

Going eastward home.  Mt Hood, her majestic self in the sunny skies.


Winter’s Wild Wonderland

Finding delight during the height of the Christmas season brings a special sparkle. I love the classic (might I say vintage?) Christmas songs we all have grown up with, Hearing them year after year brings with them attached memories. I have this my first Christmas being single been especially remembering Christmas with my brothers, and with that has brought the soft feeling of being a bit homesick.

So this year I am going home!

The week after Christmas my daughter & I will be with my brothers & their families. I have a grand-niece who I will be meeting for the first, I am so looking forward to the trip. My brothers don’t know we are coming. My sister in-laws’ and I decided to make a surprise out of it for both my brothers who think they will not see me at all this holiday.

This means a road trip with my daughter as we will be making the trek across the Cascade Mountain range from our small home town on the high desert to the big city of Portland Oregon, Affectionately known as P-town.

All of this is very weather dependent of course. because of the temperamental climate of the wild winter wonderland of the Oregon mountains. Makes me think of the Christmas son Winter Wonderland.

The trip over the mountain pass this time of year can be quite a wild adventure if caught up at 6000-7000 feet above sea level in white out conditions.  (Think good thoughts for us please)

It can also be the most Zenful trip of the year  bringing an incredible sense of peace over your whole being. This stunning winter wonderland drive over the pass very soon begins to creates a calm and quiet that gently blankets the energy inside the car. No one speaks. Everyone feels it. Our breath is literally taken by the crisp and pure beauty that lies in every direction our eyes can scan.

And the silence. the blissful silence of snow. Only the subtle tapping cadence from the studded snow tires needed for traction keep time for the orchestrated quiet.  There is no radio reception, no cell/mobile service, and there is a sense for great reverence for that kind of wild winter wonderland silence. So we honor that for a bit of time and just drive.

We are in the middle of a national forest

 A deep humble sigh escape while softly smiling. Gratitude for the gift of living amongst such spectacular grace of nature is a shared thought. Day dreams about the little cabin nestled under the shelter of the great pines, tall sentry’s guarding at its sides. Then the narratives begin. As we wind through the mountains with the back drop of the sun glancing brilliant light off the snow we begin to spin tales. The stories we tell and build with one another;  the songs we make up on the fly singing together, and the silly laughter.

All part of the magic.

….and then once again the silence will come.

Oregon’s Wild Winter Wonderland.

Merry Christmas Y’all!


Six Word Saturday August 11,2012

Brothers Visit * Sister Laughs * Sister Cries.

Caveat to my Six Words this week:

I had intended these photos of myself below for another post. But since then a couple of things have happened that have put me another mind-set at this time. I have decided that these photos and scrapbook page layouts from some my family’s heritage story books I create will do okay here.

I loved that my brothers together found time for me, they make me laugh until I almost need to change my pants, they sing and play music with me, and they make me cry at the end of it all. Their timing this time I have to say has been their very best. I happened to need this visit and they had no real idea. Although I am thinking they may have needed it as well. You see this is the month of our beloved mother’s birth. It also the month of her passingg.

These photos below are of her only daughter. I’m who I am as a woman in many ways because of my mom. I have been working on a page layout of her graduation photo from highschool, it is when she was just 18 yrs old. I grew up at every turn hearing to my chagrin that I looked just like her. I had not seen myself as a kid and only wanted to look like myself. How foolish I see now.

I am my mother’s daughter, I am her face.

                                                  The Cemetary Club  (circa 1995)
{FYI I am the one in front in Tye Dye]
There is a kind of morbid but sweet reason we have been dubbed The Cemetary Club. These are the three ladies I have known and grown up with, one since birth, one since we were 5yrs old, and the other met in Jr High School. The naming of the club was done by a mutual friend. WE had all begun losing our parents, and when we entered all four together as we did, we apparently made quite a statement. The Four of us powerful women entering a room together caused first a hush to come over the gathering, then little whispers. A dear friend who also caused us to gather again at his graveside had dubbed years prior the Cemetary Club. Thanks David, it has followed.
The following images are taken from our scrapbooks. I was taught in a story telling class that it is important when telling your family story to include yourself. This is hard for me for reasons that have to do with photos. I can find the words just fine. Below are my pale attempt at fulfilling class requirements, not much more. But the idea that even the author should include herself in the stories that are of their life is now one I am accepting and coming to even like.
I hope you include Photos of Yourself in Your own stories. It matters none if they are perfect portraits, obviously. Or if they have been edited and have been enhanced by a photoshop editing program. It’s you, it’s who you are on paper. Just like your stories you write are you on paper.
I challenge you to add your photos too.

Scrapbook layout. (Photos circa 1997)

Scrapbook Layout “Free To Be Me”. (Circa 2010)

My hair is still long in this photo just pulled back because we had below freezing weather that day. It was the day of Red Hat Christmas Party. Seeing the progression in my scrapbooking layouts is kind of fun.