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.


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!


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…….

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.

This entry was posted in 514, family matters, grandkids, in the neighborhood. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to visitors from afar

  1. gmaalice says:

    Oh Sherry, What a wonderful time you had! And having recorded it this way gives you a tangible record to pass down to the grands in the coming years, to remind them of these special memories!

    You are soooo gifted in both your ability to “capture the moment” in word and picture. I did look for a link to hear the recordings, but didn’t find it.

    So glad you had this family time.


    M. Alice Maurer Trusting Jesus as Savior and Friend

    On Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 10:11 PM a little bit of this and a little bit of th

  2. Phyllis McKinney says:

    Excellent memories to make and keep.

    On Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 10:11 PM a little bit of this and a little bit of th

  3. Ada Marcile Crandall says:

    What a wonderful gift in the midst of this strange season! I loved watching\listening to every detail and l know your heart and spirit are bubbling with joy in a very quiet house, as you draw some deep breaths of sequestered rest.

  4. Jen M. says:

    Awesome pics that capture what seems like an awesome visit. Fun! What an adorable trio.

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