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)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Relic

Last week my sweetheart and I took a day trip to Central Oregon. We knew we would love to stay longer but that wasn't possible.  We had a specific purpose in mind - something we wanted to do before winter set into the Cascade Mountains between here and there. My young growing up years were spent in Bend, Oregon - a town high in the Cascade range in Central Oregon - and that's where I met my sweetheart when I went back to visit friends many years later.  Both of us have roots there and memories galore.  After we had accomplished what we set out to do we drove around town to see some of the 'old' places from days gone by. One special place I wanted to see was the school where I attended fourth grade. It was an old building then but I loved every inch of it. I loved the vintage drinking fountains and light fixtures.  I loved the creaky wood floors and stairs.  I loved the 'coat closet' that you could only enter from the classroom.  It was a place where we could hang our coats, place our lunch pails and stow our winter boots and outdoor clothing when we came in from play on winter days.  Most of all, I dearly loved my teacher, Mrs. Fox.  She made school days more special than I could have imagined.  She was creative and loving and caring. She made each of us feel as if we were her own grandchildren.  So, I wanted to go back and see if Reid School was still standing.  And it was!
I had to quickly take this photo from the car so we wouldn't create a traffic jam.  There she was - the building where so many precious memories 'live'.  My classroom was on the second floor at the back of the building on the right. Memories flooded back again - it seemed like it was only yesterday! My former school is now a historical museum.  We wanted to head over the mountain passes toward home before dark so we didn't have time to stop and visit the museum. We will go back again someday and I know I will spend a lot of time in this dear, old building.
That day we spent in Bend brought a new realization to me - one I didn't want to embrace at first.  Then I thought about it and decided it could be a good thing.  The area where I lived is now called 'Historic Bend' and the school I attended in fourth grade is a historical museum.  Relics of the past.  So what does that make me?  A relic!!! But relics are very valuable - they are treasures and they grow in value as they age.  As I thought about it I decided to embrace the fact that I'm a relic.  That makes me a very valued treasure that will only grow in value as I age. I can live with that!

Soon I'll share more about our trip and some of the memory places that are dear to my heart.