The Oregon Coast!
I am currently on a road trip to the US from home in Mexico. It began a month ago with the annual family reunion on the Oregon Coast where I spent several years of my youth. The views are spectacular and sharing this with my 94 year old mother was a delight.
I rented an AirBnb house in Newport to include my sister, her husband, my Uncle Chuck, Mom and me. Driving there from Portland I stopped for very ripe, delicious peaches and on first sight of the Pacific Ocean another stop for smoked salmon and a loaf of black molasses bread from the Otis Cafe. I arrived just as Uncle Chuck showed up and we were hungry so we feasted on my finds and a few shots of tequila I had brought from Mexico. Again this year Chuck left me with a generous check to buy children’s books for my library project, Leyendo, back in Playa del Carmen.
The next day we gathered at a beach side location to share baked salmon and marinated fresh tuna. At this gathering we traditionally make home made ice cream with everybody getting a turn turning the metal cylinder inside a wooden bucket filled with ice and rock salt that was passed on from my grandfather.
Sunday the function was held at Aunt Pat’s condo building in Newport on the bay with sea lions barking on the boat docks below. Dinner was pot luck with thick steaks provided by my cousin Kenny.
On Labor Day I drove my mother over the Cascade Mountains to her home in Bend, Oregon in the high desert. We stopped at the top of the pass in a truck stop for lunch. Mom suggested chocolate milkshakes and coffee. As we sat we were joined by a large group of bikers who also enjoyed the fare. Then on to Bend through scrubby sage brush and junipers.
I spent a month with my mother just listening to her stories. Her eye, ears and knees are not doing so well but her mind is sharp. Judie, my younger sister, and her husband live nearby and do much of my mother’s caregiving. My brother, Rich, from Detroit, Michigan visited for a few days with tales of his adventures working in Alaska and South America. And mother’s sister Patty, aged 91, from Florida made a special effort to see her. She, with her daughter and granddaughter, made stops in Cleveland, Klamath Falls, Oregon and then Bend to see the surviving sisters (there were originally 7 of them) perhaps one last time.
It has been a great trip!
But not over yet – on to Philadelphia to see my three kids.