Most of the hours of the past three days were spent in the car - driving east and then heading west again toward home. One of my sweetheart's sisters and one of his brothers rode with us and we shared a spirit of comraderie and togetherness during those long hours on the road. We engaged in serious conversation and funny talk and miles and miles of silence. Silence spent reading, doing Soduko puzzles, knitting and snoozing. Lots of time looking out the windows. The weather changed often as we travelled each day. We left home under blue, sunny skies. Not far from home we entered The Columbia River Gorge and soon we looked up and saw The Vista House at Crown Point on the cliff high above the highway. Not far down the road it was obvious that temperatures outside had changed. The bluffs beside the highway are filled with gorgous waterfalls - most of the year. But during cold weather some of them freeze to the rocks soon after they fall over the edge.And then - a quick glimpse of Multnomah Falls as we passed on the freeway. Continuing east we left The Gorge and rode through miles and miles of this.
After a brief stop for gas, a snack and a chance to stretch a bit we were soon high on a mountain pass. Somewhere in Eastern Oregon, daylight began to fade and the skies over 'The Blues' (Blue Mountains) changed.Long after dark we arrived at our destination and settled into our motel where we were soon joined by my sweetheart's youngest brother and sister-in-law and his youngest sister, her son and daughter-in-law. We enjoyed dinner out together and talked until long past bedtime for some of us. Time together. Family time. Such.precious.time.
Our trip home yesterday was a bit different than the trip east. We woke up to snow flurries and icy roads. My sweetheart is a good driver and has had experience driving in difficult winter weather. I knew if anyone could handle the trip ahead of us he could do it. And I knew he wouldn't take risks on the roads and he would change our plans if he felt it was wise. Two snow-y mountain passes and the possibility of difficult conditions in The Gorge ahead of us were on our minds as we paused to pray together before embarking on the long trip home. Shortly after leaving our motel we were surrounded by thick fog.
While climbing toward the summit of a mountain pass we were safe and secure in the knowledge that God was watching over us. Especially when we saw vehicles that had encountered problems.After many miles we made a quick, important 'breakfast' stop in Historic Baker City, Oregon.At times, through the day, the scenery was breathtaking. Mountains rising above fog-filled valleys. . .
The Mighty Columbia River winding her way through The Gorge, blue skies and sunshine once again and barges carrying on the business of commerce. . .Clouds again, rain and the sun breaking through the clouds. . .
And, finally - at long last - home! In time to see a gorgeous sunset painted in the skies above our neighborhood. Somehow a reminder of God's grace and mercy to us and of His tender care for us.