Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Real Champion

I shared about our oldest grandson's football team and about his skills here.  I told you that his team was heading to the State Football Championship game but I never told you the outcome of the game.  We were pretty proud as we parked and walked to the stadium that day over a week ago.  It was a day that promised rain but this grandma's prayers were answered and we had a dry morning and some peeks of the sun here and there. It was exciting to see the big stadium and the sign that announced the event of the day.
We found our seats next to Rylan's other grandparents and near our son and his family. Excitement filled the air as we watched the team warm up on the field below us.
Before each game the captains from each team meet at center field.  I captured this photo of Rylan (#3) and the other three captains after the coin toss by the head referee that determines who would kick the ball off to start the game.
Rylan is a wide receiver. That means he's usually in the backfield ready to catch the ball when it's kicked off to start the game.
 The game began and within a few minutes Rylan caught a pass and made the first touchdown. We were elated!  On our feet, yelling and clapping. Our team took an early lead but by half-time the score was tied. The second half started and the lead changed a few times - back and forth - but when the final buzzer sounded our team lost by one touchdown.
We were disappointed but we were all proud of the way our boys had played. It was an intense game and we could hold our heads high. They had played their hearts out. After the game each of the teams went to different areas on the sidelines to celebrate and greet parents and friends - just time to be together and express our pride and love. Rylan's team always prays together at the end of the post-game time. They gather in a circle, join arms and one of the team members offers a prayer of thanks and gratitude. It was different this time! We were so proud of our boys when they walked past the barricades between our team and the winning team. We all stood behind the barricades and watched as they hugged and congratulated the other team. And then our team asked if the members of the other team would like to join our boys in prayer. It was pretty moving to see and there were many tears on our side of the barricades.
We had a bit of time with Rylan and our son's family. Emotions were tender, hugs abundant, words of pride and encouragement expressed. Time for photos to help keep the memories fresh through years to come. Rylan posed with his mom and dad and one of his two brothers.. .
And then with his little sister - our youngest granddaughter.
It was soon time to say goodbye and head home. More  hugs and words of love and we turned to go.  It was a hard goodbye - this was the last game Rylan would play with his teammates.  Last high school football game. The end of an era! Time has gone so fast and our hearts couldn't help but wonder how it all happened.  Wasn't it just yesterday we were on the sidelines watching 'little' Rylan playing flag football for the first time?  Soon we will be in the bleachers to watch him in action again. This time it will a basketball in his hands.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Not What I Had Planned

My dear little mother used to remind me often of the old Scottish quote: 'The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.' So true! There's no Christmas decor to share yet. The tree is up, the wreath is hung beside the front door, the outside lights shine in the night - but the rest will have to wait for a few days.

I'm having oral surgery today and I'll be sidelined for a few days. My surgeon told me I won't feel anything during 'the procedure' but the level of discomfort will be pretty high for a few days afterwards! That's not something I really wanted to hear but I'm determined to survive. I'll have 'drugs' to help me make it through the first few days.  He recommended that I 'take it easy' for a few days. Of course I would love to have a week off but this isn't what I had in mind. And not at this busy time of the year. Our home and pantry are prepared for the days ahead. My sweetheart will take good care of me and I'll be able to resume my regular activities soon.  Until then, I would appreciate your prayers for the days ahead.
I first visited the oral surgeon on a gorgeous Fall day. His office is located on the banks of the beautiful Willamette River not far from downtown Portland, Oregon.  The exam rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views. When I laid back in the chair I could see the tops of the huge trees along the river bank.
I loved the fantastic view of the river when I was sitting in the chair.
The view has changed with the season but it's still pretty amazing. I won't see the views at all today. Not when I'm sitting up and not when I'm lying down.  I'll be quite sleepy when I arrive and even more when it's time to head home. I'll have to wait to enjoy the view again when I return for my followup appointment - but not today!

I didn't share the results of our oldest grandson's state championship football game. More on that another day. A few more posts are ready to go while I'm recovering. In no time at all I'll be back and ready to show you what Christmas looks like at our home.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

I'm home again after a few days away with my dear cousin and her hubby.  It was a much-needed break.  I was pampered, spoiled, toured, bed and breakfasted.  My sweet cousin wouldn't let me lift a finger to help with meal prep, cleanup, dishes or snacks.  Nothing! Just relaxing and resting and having a great time together.  We thrifted and antiqued and shopped (just a bit!), talked and reminisced and laughed.  It was just what we had hoped for.  On the way to her house - and on the way home again - I stopped along the way to have lunch with a very dear camping girlfriend. There may have been a bit of antiquing with her, too. 

The photo above was taken through the window where I stayed in my cousin's guestroom.  The day had been rainy with bits of sun breaks. As sunset began we were treated to this bit of color above the nearby bay.
I came home to some very busy days and I'm back in the swing of things.  Rested and ready to go.  This trip will be part of the memories I hold dear to my heart. Such a treasured time with family who is so dear to my heart.

Monday, November 28, 2016

All My Bags Are Packed - I'm Ready To Go

Grandkid football season is over. 

Remnants of Thanksgiving dinner are put away. 

Christmas plans put on hold. 

Bags packed. 

I'm getting out of town!  

For a few days. 

Just me. 

Traveling to visit a very dear cousin. 

She lives near a beach!

My sweetheart is holding the fort at home.

 Back soon to haul out the Christmas stuff.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thou hast given so much to me,
give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
not thankful when it pleaseth me,
as if Thy blessings had spare days,
but such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~ George Herbert, Welsh-born English poet

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Proud Grandma

Today my sweetheart and I will be on the road again. We are heading to a town two hours south of our home together with other fans cheering for our oldest grandson's football game.  Rylan is a senior this year so his football career is coming to an end.  He's a star player for his high school team, The Crusaders, from Salem Academy in Salem, Oregon.  He has been a very important part of the team through all of his high school years and this year has been no exception.  Today he and his teammates will play in the Oregon State Football Championship Semi-Finals!  The winner of this game will go on to play in the final game.
When we attend the football games our eyes are always on #3!  We join his other grandparents and cheer and clap and hold our breath at times.  We are always proud of him - on and off the field - but at last week's quarter-finals game we thought we would burst with pride at his skill and attitude and faith.  The game was evenly played - the scores stayed very close.  There was less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter.  Our team was behind by a few points. Then we got the ball!  We knew it would take something very special to pull this one off and win.  Rylan is a wide receiver which means many of the passes are thrown to him.  He's in good shape and fast and has been dependable in some tough situations.  And that's what happened last week! 
With less than half a minute to go in the game, the quarterback threw a long pass to Rylan.  We held our breath because it seemed impossible - it was a risk.  But suddenly, the ball was in Rylan's hands on the two-yard line! He avoided the challenges of the other team and ran into the end zone - scoring the winning touchdown!
We were thrilled!  His other grandma and I were hugged and cried and laughed and clapped.  But what happened next brought more tears.  Rylan dropped to his knees and gave thanks to God.  His faith is strong and he knows the glory belongs to God.
And then his teammates were there to congratulate him and start celebrating.
It didn't take long for the team to share their joy about winning and moving on toward the championship game. (That's Rylan airborne on the left!)
So, you ask if I'm proud of my grandson? You bet I am.  He is a neat young man - very caring and kind. Motivated and disciplined. But most of all with a big, big heart!  He's a good sport on and off the field.
After the game - Rylan with his mom (our daughter-in-law), his dad (our son) and his little sister (our youngest grandchild). His two brothers were somewhere nearby.

(Photos courtesy of the press and our dear daughter-in-law)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pearls In The Sun

I told you that my sweetheart and I recently made a quick day trip to Central Oregon and I told you about the old school where I attended back in the day.  It was a day made for us - a much-needed break.  We live in Western Oregon, which I love.  We have a lot of trees and fields of agriculture and the Oregon Coast not far from our home to the west.  The Cascade Mountains are not far to the east.   But, I grew up in Central Oregon - and I went back to visit many years later and met my sweetheart there - so that part of the state has a special meaning to both of us.  We love the beauty of that part of the state and it keeps calling us back.  The mountains between here and there are part of that beauty.  The day started out rainy and gray here in the valley but it changed as we crossed the Cascade Mountains that divide the valley from the Central Oregon desert.  Inspite of the weather, there was beauty on this side of the mountains.  We drove past neatly laid out green fields. . .
Past a vintage church in a small town. . .
 And on roads that wound through towering evergreen trees on the western slopes of Mt. Hood. . .
I was excited as we climbed the western slopes of the mountain and I couldn't wait to see Mt. Hood -  my favorite mountain - up ahead.  But it was not to be!  The clouds hung low and covered most of the mountain.  All that could be seen was the snow-covered base of the mountain.  The arrow in the photo shows where we should have seen the top of the mountain.
We drove on - up and around and over the mountains. The weather began to change on the east side of the mountain.  It wasn't long before we were on a big plateau and then 'dropped down' into  a valley that's surrounded by huge basalt cliffs.  In the valley, the Native American community of Warm Springs was ablaze with Fall color like I had never seen before. It was gorgeous!
The road slowly made its way up the sides of the cliffs.  Once we were at the top we were on the flat plateau again.  We felt like we were on top of the world.  Soon Mt. Washington came into view. . .
And then Mt. Jefferson rose above the horizon in the distance.
We drove on through farmland with the mountain looming large in the background.
And then, continuing on to the south, mountains affectionately named The Three Sisters (Faith, Hope and Charity) and Broken Top came into view.
We enjoyed our day in Bend, the major city in Central Oregon - the town where I spent my young years, where I returned and met my sweetheart and where I moved as a new bride.  We decided to return home on a southern route through the mountains. That route took us through the small town of Sisters, at the base of The Three Sisters. Views from that town are breathtaking!
Our day ended with such sweet memories of the beauty of God's creation in the center of our state, memories of days long ago and memories of a day away where the mountains seemed to sit like a string of pearls in the sun.

(photos were taken on my cell phone through the windows of our car as we drove along - they don't begin to capture the beauty our eyes can see)