Showing posts with label traveling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traveling. 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.









Thursday, June 29, 2017

If Dead is the Look they were Going For, They have Succeeded


          Though I have had a small hand and say in making funeral arrangements, I have not had the opportunity of having to find a mortuary nor have considered every financial expect.  Before either of my parents had passed, there needed to be a record of what funeral home to contact should they expire.  My dad lived out his final days at Cottonwood Hospital in Murray, Utah.  Ironically, he had also been born there (or so I was told) but at that time it had been called Cottonwood Maternity Ward and wasn't the full blown hospital where he had died.     
          Mom had used a local mortuary as a contact I’m guessing because it was familiar territory as it had been used by other members of our ward.  Before mom passed, Corey had made arrangements for Premier Funeral – though none of us had heard of it before, it really does seem the most economical way to go. 

          Premier doesn’t offer a chapel or a show room in which members can walk around and look at caskets.  They offer a catalogue – which I suppose doesn’t go over well with some people, but Corey and I were fine with it.  Premier has a lot to offer – for one thing the body is embalmed right away – at least where it is possible. (autopsy would be an exception)



          Jeanie was already gone when the paramedics arrived.  Possibly before she fell- or why she was falling.  Her mother said that seven clots had been found in her lung(s) and not just one.  I don’t know what shade she was when the paramedics arrived or how pale she must have gotten in the morgue.  It feels a bit morbid wondering. 

          I was not impressed with the makeup job - but I have no idea what of Jeanie's facial condition when she arrived to the mortuary.  Perhaps they had done a marvelous job with the "canvas" given - I just didn't see that.  Mommy and Daddy had looked so natural, so peaceful, as though they were sleeping.  Jeanie looked like a corpse – like in a really low budget movie when everything looks fake.  It appeared that she had jaundice underneath the make-up.  It was hard seeing her like that.



          Biff had never been involved with any plans concerning funerals – except when we had asked him to be a pall bearer at my mom’s.  But that was the extent of it.  He had never gone to look for a casket or a burial plot.  I’m sure the funeral home they went through was the same one his in-laws had used when they had buried their other two children.  It was right next to – perhaps even part of the cemetery.  I think Biff just went along with what they wanted.  What did he know?  They had been through it before.  Roland and I have both gone through it, but we weren’t there.  We weren’t involved with the decisions or give advice or hold our son’s hand.



          I don’t know that his in-laws would have felt comfortable using Premier as they had the viewing in one location and the funeral in another.  The mortuary was in a familiar place where family and loved ones had already gathered.  They would have had to make arrangements for another chapel with Premier. But I think they would have saved a tremendous amount of cost.

          My son, Randy, had set up a fund for Biff and his daughter – a plea to help pay for expenses.  The goal was to hit 5,000.  3,000 had been raised in eight days by 62 different people. I cried every time I would see donations being made.  I know there were many who knew Jeanie personally, but still many that did not know her at all.  Some hadn’t even known Biff for that matter, and that touched my heart.  My nephew, Brian, was the first to contribute to the cause.




          I don’t know how many chapels and "comfort" rooms the funeral home offered.  I would guess at least seven.  It felt as if there had been seven different viewings all scheduled for Sunday night.  Perhaps there had only been four or five.  We had to pass them all in order to get the room where Jeanie and family were waiting.  The lines were long.  I’m sure that is why they had put us at the end.

          When mom died, we had her at the Relief Society room in the building where she attended church.  We were there Friday night and the mortuary took her away and brought her back the following morning and then we moved into the chapel. Premier had driven her back and forth.  I'm not knocking the full blown centers but am in favor of using Premier again.  They did an awesome job for us.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of traffic involved with Jeanie.  I never felt overwhelmed with Premier.  The situation was always calm and respectful. 



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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

It was so Windy, it blew off Jack's eyes


                I don't dislike Jack-in-the-Box but I can't say I'm an avid fan of their food.  Jack-in-the-Box does not exist in Salt Lake, and so the only time I've been is while vacationing on the west coast and it just happens to be convenient.  We've been to the one in Roseburg a few times, but not very often, which makes me wonder how it is we had even ended up with three antenna balls.  Jenna and Roland like them because it somehow makes our car easier to spot.  Well, I don't have radar eyes and if it is smaller than the tire, it is not big enough for my non-observant eyes to spot.
                The wind blew each day during our trip except for the Friday we went to Wheeler Farm.  That day was hot.  I suppose if I had a choice, I would take the wind.  I don't guess it would have mattered.  I would have probably felt comatose either way.  Roland says it takes 10 days to acclimatized.  I'd forgotten about the adjustment we had gone through during those first couple of weeks after we had arrived in Oregon.  Must just have an effect on older people however.  Jenna's body certainly didn't seem to notice.

                It just feels so weird to me that after having lived in a state for over 50 years that I would need a longer time to adjust to being there than my vacation time would allow.  Who would have believed I'd be wiped out so quickly?  In addition to dry throats and fatigue, I was experiencing heat rash.  That was a new one for me.

                Our first day on the road landed us in the small town of Lake View.  The wind was blowing really hard. 
I asked the waitress if it was normal.  She seemed a little freaked about it when she answered,

                "NO!  Not even in March.  That's when we get the most wind.  But nothing like this!"

                I don't think it was windy when we'd gone through Nevada.  But it wasn't as hot as I think of Nevada as normally being. Although it was windy in Salt Lake, it wasn't as windy as it had been during our travel.  Especially on the return back to Oregon.  Once the rain stopped, Roland was hanging onto the wheel trying to keep the car on the road.  I asked him if he felt like he was driving through the eye of the storm.  He said yes.
          Tractor Trailers (another name for Semi-Trucks or 18wheelers; a name I actually never understood until watching them moving with the wind) would pass us by and the "trailer" part would be swinging all over the road.


               I saw a green mile sign that was bent in half (couldn't even read how far apart what towns they were as the information was upside down)


                I think the face of our first Jack antenna  ball we had just faded in the sun.  But Roland claims that the wind blew them off sometime during our travels. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Not Bad for Under Two Years


          When I was 7th grade, the mandatory history class focused on American history and Utah history.  We had first did a brief study on Europe and the reasons given for explorers making their way to the American continent. 
I don't recall a lot on either Revolutionary or Civil Wars though I'm certain that each was mentioned.  We cruise through Utah history as 95% of the class had been raised in the LDS church and obviously knew more about Utah's history than the text book - which had Joseph Smith martyred by hanging - in Utah.  Joseph Smith was not hung nor did he live long enough to see the Church move toward the Utah territory. 
          That is just one example that I remember.  The instructor was not LDS, but he could see that the class wasn't going to budge - weather right or wrong. I think we ended up skipping three chapters.  It was toward the end of the year anyway.  So how much of what we had already learned had even been accurate?  The entire book could have been done on speculation without resources to back up the so called information.

          Jenna's social studies have been focusing on pyramids and castles????? That's all well and good for those of us who live abroad, but wouldn't it actually be more useful and beneficial to start with your own state and country before expanding into places you might not actually ever get to.  I'm almost 55 years old.  The only castle that I've seen is the one Walt Disney had built for Disneyland.  It doesn't fit the history of the castles that Jenna has been learning about.



          We live in Oregon now.  I want to know about Oregon, specifically Douglas County.  I want to know the history of the things that are tangible to me - not the man-made architectures that I may never see.  All history is important - but not all are priorities - not for me anyway.  I've been trying to understand this county ever since we got here.


          The other day I was visiting with my friend Carolyn (mentioned in this post) and she showed me a Douglas County visitors guide (2017) that had come with the latest edition of the newspaper she recieves (I'm guessing Sunday's edition of the News Review)

         I'm aware that there are many who may live in a state or country all of their lives and not see any tourist attractions.  I am proud to say that I have seen (or are at least familiar with) more than half of what is considered Douglas County's top 10. 




          Before we were fully unpacked, one of the first things that we looked into was getting library cards. Roland found a video of the Roseburg Blast.  Wow!  Very informative.  It was mind blowing, heart breaking . . . very well done, I thought.  Certainly a lot more informative and more impressive than the Douglas Museum of History and Natural History.  After having visited many museums in Salt Lake City, the Douglas Museum was actually quite disappointing.  In this case, I am happy to have watched the video first.

published August 7, 1959






           I'd taken pictures of the lumber yards shortly after we moved here.  Some of these I've already posted back in 2015.




taken in Riddle


Glendale









           Even Myrtle Creek had once thrived on lumber dependency.  See here and here

from the Myrtle Creeks Day Parade July 2015

This was the picture in the News Review brochure

Ireland Trucking participates in July and December parades


           I had only learned about the owls earlier this month.




           Roseburg isn't always windy, but does seem to be windier than myrtle creek.  Just this past Saturday we had looked sheds before moving to inside the store and finding plastic owls and other finds for our yard and house.  The wind was howling something fierce and it felt like the tin sheds would rip out and blow away.





          I have been to Crater Lake only once.  This picture was taken in September when my brother Corey, came to visit.

taken September 2015





          I have not heard of Little River Rapids.  I have pictures of both north and south Umpqua rivers.  Mostly South - as the Umpqua bridge in these photos takes you from I5 ramp 108 to downtown Myrtle Creek


North Umpqua September 2015

North Umpqua July 2016

South Umpqua from railroad tracks of 4th St. January 2017

North Umpqua July 2016

South Umpqua November 2015

South Umpqua January 2017

South Umpqua November 2015

South Umpqua March 2017

         



          I have not been to Yoncalla.  I am familiar with its name and location on the map

  


now called Yoncalla High; taken from web


          I think we had gone to Drain when we were looking at houses.  I would have guessed "Douglas High" would have been in Roseburg



          I am so NOT into sports. 

scanned from News Review's Visitor's Guide 2017



          In addition to the 10 things to know were articles that featured great parks to visit, spectacular waterfalls (I had only been to Watson)

Watson falls from Corey's photos


and music.


Also a little blurb on Diamond Lake.  Corey and I stopped by to take pictures when he was here in September 2015.



I cropped this from one I had taken at Diamond Lake

Corey took this one of me


          There was also an article that featured Historic Oakland a city north of Roseburg. 


We missed the 2016 event, but I will be certain to put this on my agenda for 2018. 

Looks fun.