clearly unclear

First Quinn and I planned to walk the final 90 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain in May 2020 as a tribute to my 75 years of life. Well, COVID swallowed up that idea, but surely by September 2020 we’d be past all the hubbub and could fulfill our hopes to accomplish this goal in the 75th year of my birth. When it became clear the all-clear was not in view, I asked Q if she would consider walking the visible coastline of our beloved Harbor Villa in Rockaway, Oregon, instead.

Let’s be clear—Quinn will censure any words that hold the meaning replace. She wants it understood that these days at the coast are simply a place holder for our planned Camino adventure, now postponed until May 2021.

On Monday, the horizon was clear as her flight arrived at PDX. We made our way down to Newberg for a quick Nara teriyaki lunch with Mauri then enjoyed a scenic drive across the coast range.

I’m glad I snapped this familiar scene from Captain’s Cabin because its nearly clear skies were about to change. Even the limp flag bears witness to the calm before the storm. By evening Mauri texted about the East winds he was experiencing in Newberg, and just as we were about to turn off our lights for the night, the power went out. No bid deal, right? We were going to sleep anyway, so we wouldn’t need electricity for seeing or cooking or using our phones. Our newly purchased food would be fine if we didn’t open the fridge doors. What we didn’t expect was spending a mostly wakeful night listening to the ceaseless high winds beat up the environment just outside our windows.

Despite our flimsy sleep, we had plenty of energy to fill my dream of walking the beach, both barefoot and shoed. The clear blessing of time with my dear daughter was not lost on me.

The day would require two trips down to Tillamook—to (1) car charge our phones, find cell service to send Beth a happy 40th birthday video, buy food for lunch, and stand in a l-o-n-g line for coffee at the Fred Meyer Starbucks then to (2) charge our phones again, fill my gas tank, and buy ice, since it was clear we couldn’t depend on electricity to cool our food. Minor inconveniences, ALL!

We didn’t worry much about getting too much sun.

The traditional walk to Barview Jetty and back could wait no longer! On the way we relived some of our past walks during family gatherings, once when Bailey dragged his toe in the sand all the way there (2.5 miles). That’s the jetty in sight behind us.

She made it!

I made it too, but this is the only portion of the photo that’s shareworthy. Vanity.

Having just completed a national park “hop” with Cassidy (where they saw three bears three days in a row!) Quinn was eager to read the diary from a road trip she made with her (Nill) grandparents and Ben in 1978 when she was 7 years old and Ben was 9. It began in Indiana and reached all the way to Bellingham, WA, to visit my sister Carol and family. After more than a week with their cousins, which included The Firs Day Camp, they headed up into Canada’s Glacier and Yoho National Parks then down into Montana’s Glacier NP, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone, stopping in Chicago to visit their other grandparents before returning the kids to us in Durham, NC. I was amazed then and even more amazed now to think how brave were my parents, my mother then a new driver(!), taking on such an extended adventure. Of course I had to stay up that night reading it too.

Heading back home to reality. I dropped Q at PDX for her flight back to Arizona, where the air holds residue from the California fires. From there I returned to Newberg, where local mountain fires were 50 percent contained but the air quality index is 479. Visibility is clearly unclear! It isn’t exactly what we pictured, but you won’t hear either of us complain!

Posted in family matters | 4 Comments

bible reading challenge

If you joined Same Page Summer, you already know today is its finale. We finished Revelation (WOW!) and today’s reading assignment is Psalm 119! And now a whole week separates the finale from the start of reading the whole Bible. I don’t actually want a break, but it gives me this opportunity to encourage you—if you aren’t already reading—to join me and the thousands others who read the Bible every day.

Rachel Jankovic shared this encouragement on social media: 2020 feels like the year OF ALL YEARS when God’s people desperately need to be in His Word. We need truth. We need an anchor. We need courage. We need to know Him as He has revealed Himself to us. Whole Bible, starting September 7. Join us!

CLICK HERE to learn all about it. I especially like this encouragement: If you fall behind, jump back in! If you missed breakfast and lunch, you don’t have to eat them before you can eat dinner. Eat with us now! Always start with today’s reading. The plan includes catch-up days because we understand real life!

Oh look! Rachel posted a one-minute video that explains this gap week. I guess it has a purpose after all.

To the Word!

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upstairs update

Since nothing much is happening around here these days, I thought I’d return to a promise I made sometime last May (you’ve been keeping track, I’m sure) to share pictures of my accomplishments in the upper level of our home, endearingly called 5-1-4. By this I don’t mean the attic, yet one more level above the upper level. No, no, I hope never to share pictures of that organized yet unsightly space.

But this—this I gladly share! Turns out I love it so much I find my way up to these rooms just to look around and admire.

Might as well start in what we call the “old entry” (we have two front doors), where the stairs lead up.

This is what the Macys called the toy room, which gives you an idea how many years ago Mauri and his first family moved in (1980). We call it the landing now. A loveseat I purchased 25 years ago at a garage sale for $15 took up too much of the space. Mauri and I tried to get it down the stairs, hoping to put it outside with a FREE sign on it. Too bad we had to cut off the legs to make the turn, then in desperation called Pete and John to come rescue our ill-fated plan. As you can imagine, it took them all of four minutes to reposition it, load it in the back of the van heading to the dump, and sweetly remind us they are always more than willing to help us before such projects go south.

We ordered those cool gray corduroy folding chairs for any guests who want to watch TV. You probably can’t see them over there in the corner, so I’ll add a picture to illustrate how well they work.

Awwwww, grandchildren! (See how I did that?)

You might have guessed the photo decor was my greatest delight. Can you indulge my explanations? Upper left: two unidentified Macy relatives overseeing a sizable chicken flock. Lower left: Freshly engaged to marry, we’re writing a song titled “Uncommon Love” to sing at our wedding. To the right of those: Three loved ones taken too soon from this earth—Paul, Margaret-Rose, Rachel.

A match-up series—six stages of life each taken at similar intervals. Notice Mauri and I each had a curl atop our heads as babes. The last photos were taken on our wedding day.

The USA map speaks for itself, except I need to add a magnet on Missouri because Bailey and Sarah recently moved there from Arizona. The three photos in the center represent our blended family—the two original families and the 1994 version on the bottom. The pic of my grandfather sitting at a table in his Dayton, Ohio, home is a personal favorite from the archives. And the last pic taken at the job site in Juarez, MX, on one of our ten Thanksgiving house builds reminds me, sadly, that COVID has cancelled, or should I say postponed, our 11th build.

More pictures… What can I say?

OK, a closer look, if you insist. Six match-ups!

I hope you noticed the beautiful window trim. Seven years ago we replaced the windows on all the original house, but we never mustered the oooomph for scraping, sanding, and repainting the trim.

Time provided by COVID lockdowns solved that problem, but only to redirect the task. We are so thankful for Chris Breithaupt at Work of Our Hands Woodcraft, who suggested replacing the trim to look more like the original 1905 version. Of course I couldn’t rehang the curtains that would cover up his good work. You know how one good thing leads to another good thing etc? Chris took the doors to his workshop, painted them and added working knobs. I’m happy to report that any future overnight guests at “514” will now be able to fully close the bathroom door. We’re all about progress.

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afterglow – wine and family dinner

My drive home from Idaho gifted me with 6.5 hours of listening time. Having just been treated to face-to-face connections with three podcasting Wilson women, I decided to relisten to a What Have You episode. But driving at 75 mph doesn’t lend itself to reading titles on my phone. So I used the close-your-eyes-and-pick method, though I didn’t close my eyes. More like watch-the-road-scroll-and-tap. And I landed on:

Sabbath 101 | What Have You 97

It’s a delightful conversation between Rachel and her mother, Nancy (because Bekah was away). I hope, I hope, I hope you’ll find 51 minutes to listen. But if you can’t listen, you might still read my stories without their context.

Since I rely on photos to keep your interest, here’s one of Moses, youngest of Rachel’s seven children. The podcast often uses a photo that captures the main topic of the episode, in this case Sabbath.

Toward the beginning of their conversation, Nancy said “…we had just come to the conclusion that we should be drinking wine.” Yikes! Did she really say what I think she said? Every single teetotaling feather I wear ruffled! But I quickly regrouped and heard her out. They, too, were teetotalers until they decided this was how they should celebrate before the Lord. So they instituted wine in Sabbath Dinner but continue to be conservative wine drinkers.

I’m not an easy convert, and my personal resistance to alcohol remains strong. I easily get addicted to—you name it—and constantly check myself. Take Coke for example. After a ten-year hiatus from it, I suddenly took it up again only to face the reality of addiction…again! My cold-turkey halt added all fizzy drinks for my life’s duration that would require a terminal diagnosis to break. Needless to say, I don’t buy or even sip alcoholic beverages—the risk for me is too great.

Why, you wonder, am I writing all this? Please don’t think I’m condemning the Wilsons or you for consuming alcohol. That’s none of my business.

It’s this, my friend, this.

Every Sunday morning at Christ Church the sacrament of communion is observed.

You jumped ahead, didn’t you? Well, in the moment I was considerably slower than you at realizing this church would serve wine in these little cups. More proof that age doesn’t necessarily improve naiveté. The shock of it and the long-lasting burn in my throat reassured my commitment to tea. Decaf, of course.

Rachel and Nancy quickly moved on from wine to other elements (did I do that on purpose?) of Sabbath Dinner. Many transported me back to those delightful days when all our local family members gathered at our home on Sunday for monthly Family Dinners. Everyone was invited to bring a 5-minute Show ‘n’ Tell. After dinner we’d pull our chairs into a circle and shared our illustrated stories, which ranged from a newly acquired gadget to a souvenir from travels to a creative endeavor to a photo of a rare bird spotted on a birding expedition. Yes we had a timer; no we didn’t enforce it.

Not one of us could ever forget the time Grandpa Ken Williams stood up, took off his belt, and let his pants drop to the floor to illustrate his intentional drop in weight! Thankfully he’d donned his swim shorts in preparation for his Show ‘n’ Tell.

There was the time Mauri roped Pete into removing some stitched from a healed wound. I can’t believe to this day that Pete complied and even with a smile!

The time I Skyped with Rachel in Philadelphia to show off her new baby, Oscar.

The arrival of a new book by none other than our own Erin Macy!

DK and Stacey lived in Washington but were visiting on Family Dinner day. Yes it’s a real cat; no it isn’t alive. Draw your own conclusion.

The family grew and grew some more and we eventually outgrew our space. The church let us use its social hall for a couple of years but eventually we laid it down. With or without wine, it was a good thing.

I’ll close with a recent video of Rachel illustrating what Sabbath Dinner looks like now. It’s short, less than three minutes. You might enjoy it.

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extraordinarily normal

I’ve just returned to my Airbnb following the final event of Grace Agenda 2020 in Moscow, Idaho. Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, I’ll hit the road back to Newberg. With three jam-packed days of meetings and events sandwiched between two scenic driving days, I expect to need at least a day to recover. By recover, I mean find my way back to earth! No doubt this is partly caused by how abnormal we’ve felt for so many months. I recognized how much I miss going to church, singing in a group, hearing good messages — live! For three days I felt normal and extraordinarily blessed by it as I participated in as many events as I could fit in a day.

I hope these few pictures and words capture the essence of my Grace Agenda experience. I know already I’ll need to check back on this post when abnormality strikes.

Only seven or so hours to reach my destination. When I started meeting people, I learned they had come from across the country, making my little drive insignificant.

I had actually registered for the event originally planned for April. COVID did its best to dissuade us from gathering, but once the conference began on Friday morning, very little mention was made of it. Refreshing!

The women’s seminar began with singing “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”! The music of Christ Church is either hymns or psalms set to music. I thought I might just be transported to heaven, adding my voice to all the others. Rachel Jankovic spoke first, followed by her sister, Bekah Merkle, followed by their mother, Nancy Wilson.

Yes, it’s a family thing, and in this case I see this as a strong affirmation for the way truth handed down through teaching and example honors God as he designed the family. I have been getting to know these women through countless hours of listening to the sisters’ podcast conversations on “What Have You” and Nancy’s “Femina” podcast. So getting to hear them in person and later getting to chat briefly with them felt like meeting some of my best friends for the first time!

To illustrate the hospitality that surrounds the Wilson family’s existence I must include the invitation extended to What Have You listeners to an open house at Rachel and Luke’s home. Having listened to every episode in the archives, I know the story of this home all the way back to the pouring of its foundation.

Yes, the mother of seven children (youngest is 4yo) still finds time to weave.

Could they be more intentional in their pursuit of hospitality?

“I don’t want to find you in my closet!” Rachel joked as she encouraged the limits of our welcome.

On my way down the driveway I stopped to reach my phone out the window to get this bugless look at the “amber waves of grain” that typify the area’s topography.

I was clearly in the minority, agewise. And what a blessing that was! It gives me great hope for the future, that Christian young people strong in faith and biblical teaching will carry on the message to future generations. I was heartened to observe families with small children come and sit for an afternoon of 45-minute messages, with only short breaks between (much like my parents did with us kids at Winona Lake [Indiana] Bible Conference back in the day)!

A free morning gave me a chance to walk the neighborhood, where I discovered this. In my case the phrase was “whatever goes down, must go up.”

Another wonderful outcome of my somewhat recent connection to Christ Church is the Bible Reading Challenge, which I’ve mentioned here before. Here was another not-to-miss opportunity to mingle with other Bible readers and those who facilitate the program. The women’s Facebook group alone has 23.8 thousand followers from around the world!

The reception gave me another chance to get to know Meg and Meg after we shared a table at the women’s luncheon a day earlier. They traveled with one daughter each all the way from Virginia for Grace Agenda. They were definitely inclusive friends who learned my name and introduced me to people they know. Yet another blessing of the unity of believers. It’s unlikely we’ll ever meet again in this life, but knowing them expands my anticipation of the next life.

A highlight to be sure was attending the 8:30 service at Christ Church. I didn’t take a single picture so swiped this off Google images as a reminder of my joy in celebrating God through sung and spoken worship in community with like-minded believers. There is no substitute for this!

Of course I can’t visit a new town or city without scoping out a Goodwill store.

…and a venti chai latte extra hot!

Still two more reasons ahead to use this, I thought I’d snap this selfie as a keepsake. It turned out the Sabbath Dinner I signed up for was only three houses down the street from my Airbnb.

Hospitality is a theme this week, and my hosts, Rayia and Jonathan, were delightful.

The final event was a Psalm Sing and Fellowship. The worship pastor at Christ Church led what at times felt like a rehearsal, as he helped us all enter into the parts singing. It illustrated clearly the value of rehearsal! Songs I stumbled through at first I soon sang with my head up.

Just how many highlights can a person stand?

It’s the next morning now. Sleep and my morning Shakeology breakfast have revived my energy for the drive home. My spirit is still soaring. Normalcy can’t be overrated.

Posted in travels | 3 Comments

we needed that

We are back from five days at the Oregon Coast. Actually, I was there five days, Mauri two. And yes, we’d been in the same spot only a week earlier. Bottom line—Harbor Villa in Rockaway Beach/Twin Rocks draws us in explicable and inexplicable ways. Maybe you can help us identify them.

Explicable. We’ve been making and sharing history here 26 years now.

Explicable. The beauty of a full moon at sunrise…

…means the tide is out, creating a perfectly cushioned sand carpet for a barefoot walk. My new “You Are” playlists reached their highest objective as I walked and worshiped with heart and mind and soul.

Explicable. My dear man arrives to add conversation to the air of this most sacred Captain’s Cabin.

Inexplicable. The barefoot thing. Strolling shoeless every morning last week converted me from a beach watcher into an enthusiastic beach walker!

Inexplicable. Mauri fully embracing the joy of sand between his toes, even getting caught by sneaker waves.

Explicable. He brought mushrooms and Italian sausage from home to augment the tasty leftover spaghetti our friends Hank and Jo offered as they departed their family retreat. I picked the fresh salad fixings from Deb’s garden, just like I did last year.

Explicable. The annual sunset serenade, always a highlight.

Inexplicable. My first time EVER to make a six-letter mashup in Handful!

Inexplicable. The wonder of pea perfection as I prepare another salad from Deb’s garden.

OK, so I might be overdoing the food photos here, especially when so much beauty is on display right outside our door. But really, is this not a sight to behold?

Inexplicable but also explicable, the joy of serendipity when Ron and Deb showed up on our final night to take in the sunset, one of only few left for them as they prepare to move to Greenleaf, ID, after years of service to Harbor Villa as property caretakers. God speed, dear ones!

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
— Psalm 139:13-18 NIV

Posted in nostalgia, travels | 5 Comments

a big day for marissa

She made an impression the first time I met her at Quinn’s new job in Denver.

Little did I know I would join the society of grandmothers to Marissa Anderson.

In due time, a little sister, Cassidy.

I don’t know who adored who more!

They grew in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as part of a family that honors God with their lives.

Dusty and Quinn nurtured Marissa’s natural gifts: she’s outgoing, smart, affectionate, a leader, cheerful, athletic, thoughtful, industrious, musical, friendly (1,168 followers on Instagram), articulate, loyal, cute, funny. I hear you: You’re exaggerating; no one has that many attributes! Well, I’m not exaggerating. In fact I left out one: She’s loved by an equally wonderful man named Sean.

In fact, I can hear Dusty saying to Marissa what Mr. Bennet said to Lizzy in their final conversation in Pride & Prejudice: “I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy [Marissa], to anyone less worthy.”

Sean, no stranger in the Anderson family, asked to use their front yard as the proposal setting and Cassidy to be his set-up assistant. Quinn snagged this photo for archival purposes and because she was beside herself with anticipation. [Note: On the tree you can see a reflection in a back window that gives a hint to the mountain view they enjoy from their horsefree-ranch home.]

Issy Bear wasn’t about to miss out!

Marissa had been out with friends (possibly organized for surprise purposes), then came home to this! Sean asked a photographer friend to capture the moment.

She said YES, in case you didn’t assume that already.

Go ahead—you can say it. They are darling!

The post-proposal celebration ensued. The bride-to-be posted this on her Instagram. I see a whole lot of happiness going on here, and I add mine from afar.

If you’ve noticed the absence of Bailey and Sarah…earlier in the week they moved to Missouri! Bolivar, to be exact, the location of Southwest Baptist University, who quite suddenly offered Bailey a graduate assistant position as football coach. All the pieces fell into place, apartment lease, Sarah’s expiring job contract, Sarah’s new MO job, new home! Quinn drove the U-Haul and happily helped her kids move in, flew home in time for the proposal. The busy and enriching life of a mom!

“Let the wedding planning begin!”

Posted in family matters, grandkids | 2 Comments

we promised

Yesterday Mauri and I celebrated 26 years of marriage. We celebrated by exchanging cards, taking a drive to Benihana for lunch, walking across the parking lot to shop for shoes at Nordstrom Rack, and making a few more shop stops on the way home. We are so well matched that both agreed it was a perfect way to celebrate. Normality for the win!

Two other celebratory elements included (1) Mauri singing “I’m Gonna Love You” to me…

and me posting the above picture/message on Facebook. For all its faults, Facebook rewards us in priceless connections. Here are a few fun comments from precious friends—all but two were actually present at the wedding.

  • Pam MacDonald Oh yes we were!…such a great wedding! Happy anniversary!
  • Sue Walter Senzig Still reveling at the joy of two high school friends finding each other later in life. You both had my great admiration in high school and to see you end up together confirms my belief in God’s providence and loving provision.
  • Carol Mostert Bell Happy anniversary! I’m so glad you found each other again.
  • Gloria Van Andel We were there, and thankful we can see this happy picture still today!!
  • Bill Velting III Congrats you guys. Jan said we attended, but honestly. I don’t remember anything but the ice cream bar afterwards.🥰
  • Nancy Carter Seems like you were Just Mauried! Happy Anniversary❣️
  • Steven Lee Happy Anniversary!
  • Dawn DeVelasco Day Happy Anniversary!!!
  • Mona Shingledecker Miller Happy anniversary! 💕 oh what a beautiful day and then my surprise the next day
  • Carolyn Lemasters Wishing you a happy anniversary. Was it really 26 years ago?!!!!
  • Howard Macy Happy Anniversary!! I was glad to see it happen!
  • Nancy Jeltema Happy 26th!!!
  • David Schick Happy Anniversary to the both of you. Do you still remember the Real Estate Guide?
  • Jan Velting We were there!!💕
  • Craig Apel [who tied the knot] CONGRATULATIONS! Happy Anniversary!
  • Kayleen Bobbitt I remember well! Happy anniversary!
  • Shirley Walker Dear Sherry and Mauri, Happy Anniversary and sending lots of love!💕🙏🏻😘😘😷

Going on twenty-seven years was the length of my marriage with Paul; twenty for Mauri and Margaret-Rose. Anniversaries open opportunities to express gratitude for each other and for acknowledging God’s blessing to us in previous “lifelong” unions as Paul & Sherry Carlson and Mauri & Margaret-Rose Macy. Here are the promises made 26 years ago. Note one in particular….

Don’t ask me to evaluate how we’ve done in the 26 years since we promised. We both know we’ve failed in the minutia, but each day offers a fresh start, just like God offers us his mercies new every morning.

Posted in family matters | 2 Comments

visitors from afar

When the Carlson family last visited us from Virginia, they showed up at our door! This time we did the more traditional airport pickup.

While choosing pictures to tell the story of our visit [a lot of them], I discovered several categories. So I will group them even if they aren’t perfectly chronological.

Home and Memorial Park

We would be heading for the coast in only a few days, so fitting as much as we could into every day became the goal. The kiddos showed a lot of interest in the piano, but the autoharp offered a decent aural result from only a strum and a button press.

These roses come with built-in natural reminders to not touch.

I had a cute helper to carry some inside.

Our local grandkids have already broken in the touch-all-you-want stuff.

Thank you Memorial Park for providing hours of entertainment to these little busy bodies. A stone’s throw from home.

Beth experimented with various locations for her daily workout.

While Taylor got his exercise unendingly pushing his girls on the swings.

“I’m a unicorn,” says Emmie. She wouldn’t repeat it for my video.

Eventually the littles needed to sit still and stare at a screen. We added three folding chairs to our upstairs decor just in time to be initiated.

Bikes

We had the huge blessing of loaned bikes from local Macys!

A block in a different direction takes us to a little-used school track. So Declan and I took a five-lap bike ride together.

At the finish line of each lap we’d stop and move one of five rocks to the left in order to “track” our progress.

Victory! Now to hurry home in time to meet Gum for a different kind of bike ride.

We got back just in time!

Only a small adjustment of the back seat and off they went! Declan enjoys his “right of passage” ride with Gum.

Macys also provided matching “bikes” for our unmatched set.

“Lighthouse” at Harbor Villa, Rockaway Beach

We’ve had many memorable and magic times at this place and wanted the Carlson family to experience it.

Somebody caught me rolling down the hills with the kids.

I love how open space and freedom inspire the imagination! They are decorating a birthday cake to practice for tomorrow’s celebration.

And the girls practice blowing out their candles.

Taylor and Beth’s friend Lisa, and big fan of these kiddos, arrives to share a few days with us.

Lisa lives in Portland, so here’s an idyllic setting for catching up.

She might not forgive me, but I couldn’t resist including it.

We were dismayed when the neighbor put in this flagpole, but it serves as a clear landmark when trying to find our way home from a beach walk.

Another pictorial illustration of the still wonder of this place.

Breakfast champions cooking up a . . .

Fire maestro Taylor facilitates another kind of cooking.

The littles might think this is a hot dog, but we foodies all know it’s a brat.

Tables are boring, thinks Declan.

This picture defines nirvana to me.

The Beach!

And right through that opening in the brush….

The Pacific Ocean!

Everybody gets a turn flying Daddy’s eagle kite.

We didn’t pose formal pictures with the Rocks—if you can even imagine such a failure—so I will find my joy in this candid family shot and point out that the Rocks did manage to show up through the dark cloud if you squint just right.

Two Celebrate Birthday Number Three

Beth said the girls love the American flag, so it became the theme of their party.

The dynamic duo—Emmie and Avie!

I hope they will always celebrate, respect, and appreciate our country’s freedoms.

This party game lasted all of three minutes. Cake was a better bet.

Yesterday’s candle-blowing practice pays off!

Presents!

A dress-up bag from Gus and Gum.

Gus helps Avie accessorize.

Dressed for dinner!

Dessert is another matter altogether, though the hat is a nice touch.

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Wearing masks and socially distancing took something from the experience, but we still enjoyed our special train ride from Rockaway Beach to Garibaldi and back.

The Big Dune at Pacific City

It’s a popular place and we try to give our visitors the experience of watching or climbing this mountain of a sand dune. It looks like a long way to the top.

The day hadn’t allowed time for Beth to work out…..so….

Timing! I snapped this just as Declan reached for his mommy’s hand to head up together.

They made it! See them waving at us? The little girls and I got half way up. Well, they got higher while I lagged behind. I must be getting old!

Here’s Beth and Declan’s view from up there.

Back at sea level, everyone takes a breath before walking back to the cars.

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Not wanting to waste an opportunity, we took advantage of an experience that wasn’t closed due to COVID.

The main attraction was The Spruce Goose, the largest wooden airplane ever constructed, and flown only one time. Click HERE to read about it.

A friendly vet offered to take our picture inside the Goose.

The littles got to sit in the cockpit of a kid-sized model built by a volunteer for this purpose.

But the highlight for Taylor and Beth was seeing their kids climb up into a Huey helicopter just like they rode in Iraq.

Since we were virtually the only guests at the museum, we got a lot of extra attention and privileges. This vet/docent discovered, by identifying its number, this was the actual helicopter he flew back in the day.

As simulated roller coaster ride? Really, T? One liked it better than the other.

The Local Family

Because of COVID restrictions/limitations, the Macy side of the clan were not able to enjoy Harbor Villa with us. So we decided to gather at Memorial Park for a meal and some socially distanced play/talk time. Taylor made fajitas and Mauri pulled pork.

I threw together some fruit and other stuff and we all managed to find enough to eat.

These kids spend a LOT of time together and are a legitimate shelter-in-place family.

Cousins getting to know each other.

I think I caught one moment when they were all in one place at one time. It was just fun watching all the interaction.

Recording Project

Taylor wanted his son to see Gum’s studio. He got more!

He got to record something!

All of us participated!

The result was so cool, I have to share it. All three versions of it. (They’re short.)

And then it was time to say our goodbyes. All six of us plus the many bags you can’t see fit into Mauri’s van, which had supplied transportation for this crew for ten days!

Bye, dear ones. You spiced up our lives—literally and figuratively.

Posted in 514, family matters, grandkids, in the neighborhood | 4 Comments

guests

It’s been more than 4.5 months since we entertained guests at 514. So it was a unique joy to welcome Gary and Judi at our front door. It would be a too-short visit, and we didn’t even offer coffee or a slice of cake. I forgot all my manners, talked too much, even dragged them upstairs to show off my recent redecorating efforts. The most pathetic part of this story is that they didn’t even come to see me! Mauri was the main attraction; he’s the one who would help them with a recording project.

Are you starting to feel sorry or embarrassed for me? No need. They really did want to see me too. We’ve been friends nearly 26 years and with Mauri much (much) longer. I always love to hear Judi’s stories from her close friendship with Margaret-Rose.

Here they are! That’s Judi on the left.

She is a gifted pianist, willing to test-drive one of Mauri’s “Four No More” series (simple, accessible, and creative arrangements using no more than four notes at a time). I sure wish I’d set the camera to video! It was lovely.

Maybe the funnest part of the visit was Judi reciting the Macy family dinner prayer from long ago. As soon as she started it, Mauri joined in as his memory refreshed.

As we said goodbye I realized just how hungry I was for “outside” human connection. And now I’ll need a refresher course in manners ASAP because, Lord willing, we’ll be hosting five visitors from Virginia starting on Thursday!

Posted in 514, family matters, nostalgia | 2 Comments