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Ten Things of Thankful: Road Trip to Family Reunion Edition

Photo: The road ahead as viewed through a rain-splattered windshield

I recently returned from a vacation in Oregon. It had been 5 years since my brother, sister, and I were together with my parents at the same time. It had been even longer than that since some of the cousins had been together. We had to revert to saying "Gen 3" instead of "the kids," since most of the "children" are now adults. 


Photo: Some of the "Gen 3" cousins stand on a rock on the beach


I love the idea of family, and I love the reality of my family. We are strong and diverse, but unified in support, love, and laughter. 

We rented a place on the Oregon coast. When people talk about going to the beach, they usually envision sandy shores, calm waters, and beautiful blue skies. When Oregonians go to the coast, they walk over rocks, driftwood piles, and among long pieces of seaweed. Sweatshirts and coats are appropriate, even in summer, and windswept hair is all the fashion rage. Rain is, of course, common. 




We had so much fun!

When we weren't bravely walking on the shore, we were visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the Air Museum, or trying to get out of an escape room. (Gen 1 and 2 didn't even make it into the escape room, because the power went out shortly after Gen 3 entered their room--which had windows--but the room we were waiting to enter had no windows, and several electronic components.) We also played plenty of board games. We bemoaned the fate that Pronto Pup, inventor of the corn dog, was closed for the season, but that didn't stop three of us (the only non-corn-dog-eating individuals in the family) from taking our photos on the riding corn dog outside the restaurant. 


Photo: A collage of photos showing my daughter, me, and my mom riding (or pretending to mount, in my mom's case) a mechanical corn dog. 
All too soon, my brother and his family drove back to their house (dropping my daughter at her place on the way), and my sister and her family flew back home. Fortunately, the rest of us were able to spend time at my parents' house for a few days. We got to visit my grandma, too, just before her 102nd birthday. Though Alzheimer's has made conversation difficult for her, she did speak several sentences while we were there, including, "I'm glad to see you, too." The sparkle is still in her eyes. She was featured on the local TV station's birthday segment, which can be found here.

When the vacation came to a close, we continued down memory lane on our way home to Utah. We passed by my Dad's old stomping grounds and my grandparents' house. Though John was willing to pull over, I continued my series of photos, "Taken at Freeway Speeds Out a Dirty Window." 


Photo: The white-capped Three Sisters mountains in Central Oregon provide a beautiful background to a wired-fenced grassy field
Photo: A stunningly gorgeous orange-pink sunset through scalloped clouds in Idaho marked the end of a wonderful vacation.
Though I didn't use a 1, 2, 3, list for this TToT, I'm sure there are well over 10 102 things to be thankful for in this post. 2018 has ended, but 2019 beckons with possibility. I'm thankful! 

Comments

  1. What a lovely and fun time, i am so happy for your family being able to do this. There's no need to count, i know when family has a reunion there's about a million happy and thankful things.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. We really did have a fun time together!

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    2. The "three Pronto Pup musketeers" ride again!

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  2. All the best wishes for the new year from across the big pond.
    It's been a while since I visited or done anything 'bloggy' (that's a word, isn't it?) for that matter.
    Family time is the best, especially when visiting a beloved region, beloved elders or just be together if this happens too little. My siblings and I all live an hour apart, but still manage to have problems getting together at the same time...
    I too am an expert at taking pictures on highway speed through dirty windows and I must say, you excel at it! Love the pictures, as always.
    Hope you and John have a great 2019. Till next time. Love, Bianca

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bianca! So glad to see you back in the blogging world! I haven't been good about reading blogs lately; I'll need to stop by and see what you've been up to!

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    2. Well, haven't been blogging myself since August and don't know if I will ever again. I'm going on a holiday this March, but still don't know if I will take my laptop with me to blog while traveling. It seems like a waste of time lately. On the other hand; I'm glad I kept a diary during our USA trips, so maybe I will do that again this time. I'm visiting South Africa with my brother for 22 days. Such a one-in-a-lifetime-trip needs to be documented, don't you think? So, I guess I will....

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    3. Absolutely you will need to document the South Africa trip! How exciting! Have a great holiday!

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  3. I love this part...

    I love the idea of family, and I love the reality of my family. We are strong and diverse, but unified in support, love, and laughter. 


    Happy 2019 and thanks, again, for keeping this TToT going into another year which I'm sure will be full of things to be thankful for, even amongst the struggles that are bound to happen.

    Oregon sounds lovely. I've never been, but my parents went on a road trip and my mom was actually just saying the other day that Oregon turned out to be one of the states that most surprised her in its loveliness and unforgettable impression it left on her.

    Happy 102 to your grandmother. Though Alzheimer's is a difficult thing, you're lucky to still have her in your life. All the best to her and to you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kerry.

      Though I am biased, Oregon is gorgeous. The western side of the Cascades (where I grew up) is lush and green. Rain/drizzle (otherwise known as "liquid sunshine") is frequent. Generally speaking, Oregonians are environmentally-conscious and friendly.

      Alzheimer's is difficult, but she is handling it with grace.

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  4. Beautiful. So much joy comes through your words...

    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm off to check out your blog now. :-)

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  5. funny thing about photos.
    when I first saw the lead photo I thought, 'Man! They're all standing on a mountain peak. Cool'
    My brain took the waves in the background and turned them into clouds covering the other, lower peaks. huh.
    Extra weird in that here, on the 'other coast' we don't have mountains but do have an excess of ocean,

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    Replies
    1. That's funny. We definitely have mountains here, and the Pacific Northwest certainly has rocky shores. Are you familiar with Haystack Rock? https://www.cannonbeach.org/things-to-do/beaches-and-parks/haystack-rock/

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