Showing posts with label driving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label driving. Show all posts

Thursday, September 21, 2017

High School Reunion Without Internet


          My dad graduated from high school in 1954 or 1955.  I think he attended every class reunion there was until he got sick.  I think my mom must have attended all of his high school reunions as well. She has never gone to her own.  Nor have I.  Mostly I didn't care.  I didn't even like high school.  Why would I want to go back?

          I believe the first high school reunion offered a barbeque at a local park I believe on a Saturday afternoon - and may have attended that one had I been in town, but I was on my mission at the time.   The second reunion announced was located at some prestige resort in Park City.  I didn't have that much money to spend nor did I believe there would be many there that I would want to see for that much money anyway.  I don't remember being invited to another reunion after that - not that it would have mattered.  I hung around seniors all three years in high school - and more in the first year than the last two combined.  My senior year was actually a lonely memory.  Not a lot of good memories there.

          Roland and I have a friend in McMinnville who was in Roland's graduating class.  Enthusiastically she had contacted us both to say that there was a reunion in New Jersey on September 16, and perhaps the three classmates who ended up in Oregon could meet at Beth's house and talk to their former classmates through Skype.

          Roland, Jenna and I left the house just before 8:00 a.m. and headed toward McMinnville.  We  stopped at the Costco in Salem.  Every Costco I have ever been to doesn't open until 10:00.  The Costco in Salem opens before 9:00 - that would explain the overly full parking lot at only 10:20.  I felt like I was back in Salt Lake with the heavy amount of traffic and somehow felt like an even larger sea of people in the aisles.  Did not care for that at all.  Don't think I would like to live in Salem after all.

          We arrived at Beth's before the other couple.  Their former classmate has the same first name as I.  Roland did not remember her.  But they did remember all of the same people for the most part.  They reminisced about those they knew from high school and what things are going on now.  Beth could not get her server to work the entire time we were there.  Just as well.  The phone never rang and so they didn't get to talk with any of their other classmates.  But I think they actually enjoyed it more than they would have with wall-to-wall faces and no breathing room.

          Graham had prepared a really nice meal for us.  There was London Broil, tuna steaks, potato salad, and assorted vegetables.  I think the others brought the cheesy potatoes.  Graham had also made the best avocado dip I have ever tasted.  There was a trifle for dessert.

          Beth had asked if we'd be staying overnight.  We had packed a bag thinking we might stop in Salem on the way home, but for some reason the car ride home always seems a lot quicker than the destination from home.  Roland drove straight to the house.  We had only stopped one time to use the facilities. 

          Between Salem and Eugene Jenna and I watched the sunset for forty minutes.  I wish I had pictures of what we saw - but at 65 mph and a point and shoot, I knew the pictures would not capture the true beauty that we had seen.









Saturday, September 2, 2017

Do You Think We’ll Have To Evacuate?



          We saw deer all the time after we first moved to Oregon.  They had wandered into the city to escape the fires that were burning their homes in the forest.  I don’t recall having seen as many deer in the last two years combined.  The fires seem greater this year than in 2015.

          Shortly after our move to Oregon, I made up three evacuation bags. We kept them in the closet door right next to the front door. I felt quite fortunate that we’ve never had to use them.

          When we moved again, Roland added to the evacuation bags making them three times as heavy. Because of their weight and a extremely small closet, they no longer seem as convenience to get to.  We found five can openers among our garage sale treasures.  I figured we had enough that we could put one in each bag (as all three bags contain canned goods) but haven’t had the desire for moving the heavy bags.  Currently they are sitting on top of the vacuum cleaner which has also been stuffed into the closet.

          Tri City lies between Riddle and Myrtle Creek.  Riddle was at a number two evacuation when I first created this post - now they're at a number three - at least nine houses in Riddle - but apparently not the entire city of Riddle as they are currently using the elementary school as refuge.  I wonder how long that will last.









          Yesterday was the our day at the pool until next year.  We went to Winston today and then to Roseburg. The sky was gone - or that is how it appeared anyway.  Like God had erased the sky and we were looking at a blank whitish-grey canvas. I remember thick fogs in winter that settled over houses in Salt Lake City.  It was always cold.  It looks like it should be cold outside, but it's not.  It's hot and it is smoky.  On the return back to Myrtle Creek, it appeared that more of the scenery was slowly being erased away.  I took these pictures:
















          It is highly possible that Tri City could evacuate if the rest of the entire city of Riddle is asked to leave.  The temperature forecast says it may get to 108 today.  108?!?! September should never be this hot. Planet Earth should never be this hot!  Why can’t we sent some heat down to Houston to dry up the floods and have them send us their rain to put out the fires?  Why can’t we have a happy balance?  I came to Oregon in order to breathe better.  Not happening right now.  We need moisture to clean out our gunky air.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Faeries, Fairies, Selfies and Climbing Hills


                When I showed up to the library on Monday, Rindy and JM handed me a book on Faeries and told me look through the book and pick something to share.  They said they had looked for a story but weren't able to find one.  The "information" book was the only they could find.  Faeries are micheiveous creatures - not to say that fairies aren't - but I think the spelling somehow changes the definition.  Faeries, on a whole, sound impish and somewhat scary . . . at least from the descriptions in the book.



                I did like the "faerie" definition to mean "doesn't necessarily have wings, no specific size (as some can be as big as giants)  . . . but are all bound by magic" and there were different classes of faeries, which I did not go into.  The book had some detailed illustrations on some pages and rather dull ones on others.  The information that I thought I would share was always on a page without illustrations or so minute it seemed ridiculous to hold the book up for the children to look at.  I told them we would first learn a bit about fairies and then I would read them a book with an actual story.

                I mostly asked questions:  Who knows what a fairy is?  What does a fairy look like?  What does a fairy wear? and then we would talk about what we thought and what was written in the book.  One girl suggested that fairies wore paper.  I read that everyday wear was mostly made of leaves and that mouse skin was used for the faeries who went to battle.  Silky webs were reserved for high fashion.  I pulled these two examples from the web:

                               






When Jenna was younger we had used flower pedals, grass and leaves to make fairy clothes.  It was fun.




                 Someone had given me Pinkalicious Fairy House to read.  I don't recall ever seeing a children's book (early reader) told in first person before.  That was different.  I read some, showed pictures, told some, skipped pages, then sent them outside to make fairy gardens.

               

 

                On Tuesday Jenna and I went downtown to take some selfies as it was city hall selfie day in Myrtle Creek.   







                We had left  the house at 8:00 and left city hall to go to the pool but as we were there major early, we took some other selfies as well.








                Our instructor is out of town and so one of the lifeguard' has been assisting the class with workouts. There were four of us, I think.  Yesterday there was only two.  Yesterday the pool was warm.  Yesterday Jenna and I just did our own thing.  It was glorious!



                The skies have been clear the last two mornings. 

                Jenna and her friend Kylee had made plans to spend the day together.  I dropped Jenna off at the school where they started to hang.  After I returned for them, I could see the haziness filled the skies again, and the mountains were hard to see.



                I must have driven the car up and down hill, back and forth, wearing the poor thing down as I was either driving Jenna and Kyle around or running errands for Roland.  I was tired of having driven more in one day than I'm used to in just one week.

                When we returned home from our trip that we'd taken in June, we passed the small town of Glide before entering Roseburg.  Last night the stations flashed a warning on the screen that Glide was to be evacuated IMMEDIATELY.  That's not good.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Drive To and Return


                As mentioned in this post,  I thought Highway 140 was quite beautiful at some parts and quite scary at others.  The idea of a 50 foot drop and no guard rails is rather creepy.  But that is the way Roland wanted to go - and he was driving.

                I thought 140 seemed scarier driving north than it did driving south - which is ironic, as the drop is on the south/west side.  The drive didn't seem quite as long, either.  But Denise and I had taken I5 through Medford because she wanted to see the temple.  I just  had Roland go by way of Highway 138 to Highway 97 where you can choose to go north up through Bend and over through Boise, or you can drive down south to Lake View and Winnemucca.  

                The Nevada route is only about 30 minutes faster than going through Idaho - provided there isn't any construction or other barriers that might interfere with the normal route, but going south requires a lot more traction and winding - which I somehow didn't believe our car could handle.  But it did.  There were many who'd been praying for our safety and we made good timing, I think.

                Jeanie passed away on the 6th and our plan was to leave on the 7th.  It was Jenna's final week of school and she'd been planning on dressing up for each day.  She'd been looking forward to her final week of school this year and to watch her 8th grade friends graduate.  She cried when Roland told her that she would not return to school.  


                I was appalled at Jenna's behavior - obviously thinking more about the inconvenience of her own plans than for thinking about her brother and the grief that he may be suffering.  Death is rarely convenient for any of us.  I did talk Roland into allowing her to go to school one last time.  We still needed to go to Roseburg to get a rental car and bring it back to the house in order to pack it up.  There is ALWAYS a delay when Roland plans things.  Wednesday was an early day, and we could check her out even earlier if we needed to.  There was no sense for ALL of us to go to Roseburg, and I didn't want to watch Jenna idling any time that she could have spent at school.




                We had made arrangements to pick the car up between 8:00 and 8:30.  We were contacted by the rental company just before we left the house.  We were told the car would not be available until later and that they would contact us.  We had planned to go to Roseburg on some other errands - the delay of the rental would make things easier - I thought.  Roland could do all the driving and we wouldn't have to worry about the second car. 

                The rental company never called back, and so we decided to just go there.  There had been five people waiting for rental cars.  All the cars that were supposed to be available were still out - all the cars that were on the lot that looked like they might be available had expired tags.  We had tried other options, but are actually limited in Roseburg and didn't want to gamble on driving another 90 miles to a larger city if we might encounter the same problem with another rental car company. We still didn't have a car when Jenna returned home from school and so said a major prayer and ended up taking our own.

                The GPS was taking us through Sutherlin, but I knew we could get through on 138 which was in the opposite direction.  We probably wasted a half hour driving back and forth before we finally got on route.  Our daughter-in-law, Carrie, commented that our disability of getting out of Oregon sounded like the makings for a sitcom.

                Roland said he would return through Boise and Bend. 


  
                We passed many orange barrells. 


No workers or slowdowns - probably due to the wind - except for after crossing the border from Idaho into Oregon.  Loose gravel caused us to slow down.   Tar was being poured ahead.  There was actually a utility truck  with its flashing lights that led the cars in either direction - I think it was at least a mile long.  I'm not exaggerating.  It wasn't bad.  It had been the only slow down of the entire trip. 

                Once we got to Hines, we stopped at a Dairy Queen to have lunch.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Please Don't Make Me Back Up!

            Savannah is a friend of Jenna's and today is her birthday.  Jenna put together a small present and asked me to drive her out to Savannah's house.  Normally I would just call first, but I figured even if she was not as home, Jenna would still want to leave the gift. 

            Jenna LOVES the area where Savannah lives as there is a LOT of yard.  Trees to explore, a gazebo, trampoline, tons of shade - it is located on the outskirts of town.  Driving there is not that big of a deal as far as time.  And the main roads are not a big deal either - but the final leg is VERY narrow and has a "one-car-only" width bridge that doesn't appear to be much more than a ramp.  And I don't enjoy driving that tight.



            I have lucked out with not having encountered any traffic coming the other direction.  Of course today was only my third time out there.  The first time was in the rain - just me and Savannah.  The second time it was Roland who was driving - and there was a "traffic" issue.  We were headed out and grandpa was headed in when we met.  Roland wasn't sure what to do. "Grandpa" ended up backing up for us until we could actually fit around him.

            I hadn't noticed all the "No Trespassing" signs until this afternoon.  Tons of them.  I wouldn't call it a driveway - a community dirt road, perhaps.  I don't know how many houses branch out at the end.  I think I pass three houses before I get to Savannah's - and there are at least two more in another direction.  I wouldn't even attempt to do that drive in the dark.

            I think I'd rather drive to Savannah's - even across the ramp and the skinny one car lane than to drive to one of the leader's in young woman.  Her house is gorgeous, and the neighborhood looks nice, but it is all up hill and skinny and would be quite the drop at night.  Roland had driven there the first time, but I had to do it by myself the last time.  Didn't enjoy that drive at all.

            And then there's the drive to DelEv Blueberry - where the drive just feels so long and I always wonder, "Did I pass it?" and drivers tend to want to drive faster than necessary and there isn't a whole wide selection of pullovers to let the fast drivers pass.  Even less spots to actually turn around.  I'm not near as adventurous in Oregon as I was in Salt Lake.



            In Salt lake I could drive somewhere and have options of streets or lots to turn around or explore.  I have learned that in Oregon, even the well-known streets that are labeled are not necessarily driver friendly - at least to a city girl like me.  But I know people who grew up here who don't think twice about it.  Driving these roads is normal to them. 




            The roads may feel empty and give a "ghost-town" feel at times.  But you know what?  I would rather have that emptiness than to deal with traffic and too many reckless drivers on the road.  It gives me a sense of freedom. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One Van for the Girls, Another for Their Equipment



          I was on the road all day yesterday - most of it anyway.  It seemed like I had been driving the same piece of highway for more than four hours.

          The class for water aerobics started yesterday.  I had taken Jenna with me.  It was just us with the instructor in the pool - which was warm, though the air was not.

          The library doesn't open until 12:00 on Mondays, and so we returned home for two hours and Jenna finished her packing. 
          At 11:30 I received a reminder to please have my girls' belongings to the leaders house sometime today (yesterday) and had planned for that anyway.  I told Jenna we would drop her things off and then go to the library.

          After I turned onto our former street, Jenna spotted three of her friends playing together and asked if she could leave the car.  I told her to go ahead and play with the friends she misses seeing more often than just once a week.  She had fun. 
          I dropped off her bags and was told that she might want a chair.  I left Jenna on the street where we used to live and returned for the chair and a blanket and drove back to the leader's house.  I took Jenna with me the second time and we headed to the library and she registered for the reading program.

          She wanted to stay for story time - though she is really too old for story time.  She checked out 8-10 books and I said we should go to the store as story time would not be for another hour. 
          So I drove from the library to Dollar General - which is not that far of a drive.  We browsed a long while purchased Band-Aids, baby wipes, a water gun and some eye drops.  Returned to the library and saw some of our neighbors leaving.  I asked if they weren't going to stay for story time.  I didn't get an answer.  As it turned out we didn't stay for story time either.  There had been a huge mass of kids and then the children's part of the library had emptied out.  What a shame.

          Next library activity scheduled was the teen water fight event at 5:00.  We had to go to Roseburg at 3:00.  I asked Roland if we could please return in time for the library activity that Jenna had been looking forward to now for almost a month.
          So we had programmed the GPS to take us to Charter (a cable company I often refer to as Comcast's little brother - both trying to expand - Comcast with Xfinity and Charter with Spectrum) so we could turn in our cable boxes (which we can no longer afford - not that really could in the first place.  We NEED the internet, but we don't need cable)

This is what the Comcast building looks like in Salt Lake:





and this is the Charter building in Roseburg:






          As long as we were in Roseburg, we decided to pick up a few items that are a bit less costly than in Myrtle Creek.  While on the road, the cars were jammed together much like they are in Salt Lake.  A horrible accident within a main intersection.  Unbelievable.  Just like Salt Lake.  Second traffic jam we've run into since being in Oregon.  Horrible.  Horrible.

          We did not return to Myrtle Creek until about 5:10.  The air was so overcast and seemed to promised rain.  The water fight event had been postponed until next week.  That is good.  Though it doesn't bother Jenna, I was not excited to have her being wet in the chilled air.

          This morning I took her to the church and dropped her off.  She carried a small bag with a few books (I told her she couldn't take any library books) the baby wipes, sunscreen (although its highly doubtful that she'll need the sunscreen) and a small flashlight.

          It wasn't raining when I dropped her off, but I'm certain they'd encountered much moisture on the way to the campground.  It rained for about an hour this morning.  The sun has made a few appearances, but the air hasn't warmed up at all.

          I did not choose to go to water aerobics today.  I think the temperature ought to be above 60.  It has been in the low 50's.   I can live with that.  I'd rather have it be 50 than 80 or 90.         
          I'm told the girls will get rained on when they are at camp.  I hope that Jenna has a good time and may open herself up. 
          There is a saying:  "People who don't know me think I'm quiet.  Those that do know me wish I was."          -      
                                                                         That's Jenna.