Down Time ……

…… in more ways than one.

I returned to Texas from Oregon on Tuesday. I had a nice time being up there. It’s interesting when I hang out with my father, because it helps me to understand where my non-talking tendency comes from. He and I can drive in a car for 2+ hours, or just hang out at his house for a few days and few words are spoken. Even when Son $1 came to join us, we were people of few words.
And it was ok.

I hate being around people who are uncomfortable with silence. I’m not that good at making small talk.
Interestingly enough, this was apparent the morning I left to fly to Oregon. I was at the Houston airport at 6:30 in the morning. An ungodly hour to be anywhere, in my opinion.

I walked into a retail store there to kill some time. As soon as I walked in, the woman who worked there said hello and asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. To which I replied, “No thanks, I’m just looking.” She said ok and then stayed back while I wandered. After about 5 minutes she popped up next to me and asked, “Do you have any questions about anything?”. I said, “No. Thank you.” and continued to wander.
After a few more minutes I decided to purchase something so I took it up to the register. This conversation ensued:
Her: “So, you’re not much of a morning talker are you?”
Me: “I’m not much of a morning anything.”
Her: “Oh, I could tell right away that you weren’t a talker so I knew to just leave you alone. I know that people who aren’t morning people hate it when I try to make conversation with them, so I try to just leave them be. Like I did with you. I’m a morning person, all the way. I could just talk all day long!”
Me: “I haven’t had any coffee yet.”
Her: “Oh, I don’t drink coffee. I don’t think I really need it in the mornings. I just pop right out of bed, ready to go and ready to talk to whoever will listen!”
Me: “Yes, you don’t need to drink coffee.”
Her: “That’s exactly what my friends say. They say, “Please don’t ever start drinking coffee or we’ll never be able to shut you up. Can you believe that? I guess I’m just one of those people who won’t ever need coffee in the morning to wake up. I guess I’ve really never had a problem with that. I’m good with mornings. But I know when I meet someone who’s not and I do my best to just give them some space and let them take their time without badgering them with a lot of questions.”
Me: “Thank you.”

And then she offered me two different bags, like one was so much better than the other, and I was done. And out of there.
I think she was a little sad, because I was the only customer in there.
But by the time I left I had a headache starting.

So anyway ….. I had a good time in Oregon. My father took me for a ride on his Harley and the weather and scenery were beautiful. It’s so peaceful where he lives, next to the McKenzie River.
Son #1 arrived on Saturday so we picked him him, stopped at a grocery store to get some picnic food and then drove out to my sister’s house for a family reunion.
She hosted the first one last year and we both went to it. There were a lot more people this year, and several brought their instruments so we had a few singing sessions, which was very nice.

I met a lot of relatives that I’d never met, let alone heard of, before. Everyone was very nice.
It’s strange to be in a setting where the majority of people know who you are, and know many things about you, but you know none of them.
Very strange.
But we had a good time.

My father took me up to the lava beds up that way and to some falls. We did this the day before S1 arrived. Oregon is absolutely beautiful. The falls were breathtaking.

It was a quiet and restful visit. We didn’t talk a lot, but then we never have. It was nice to just be with him.
Hopefully he liked it, too.

I came back to Texas Tuesday night (Son #1 left Monday). Yesterday (Wednesday) was a weirdly depressing day. I don’t know why, other than leaving Oregon. But I’m not usually emotional when leaving. I just really missed Jim a lot yesterday. I miss him every day, but some days I just miss him to my very core.
This was one of those days.

So I decided to go see a couple of movies: “Lucy” and “And So It Goes”.
“Lucy” was interesting enough, though not all that terrific. I felt like I’d seen most of it on all of the commercials.
“And So It Goes” was very disappointing. I became more depressed the longer I sat in there. I didn’t enjoy the movie and I kept thinking about leaving. But I knew that if I left I’d just be going home to a quiet house, so I stayed. It never really got any better.
Afterwards I made a big trip to the grocery store before heading home.
And I missed Jim all the more.

Today I got up early so that I could join some neighborhood people in working out with a personal trainer.
And boy was it work!!! One of my new friends kept asking me if I was having fun. I found that working out with this killer trainer, was about as much fun as being in a barre class. It was work. Very hard, difficult work.
The word “fun” never entered my mind.
But it was a good workout so I’ll go back.
Lord help me.

There were about 7 of us there, so it was very nice to finally meet people from the neighborhood. There all very nice and encouraging. I look forward to meeting more.

After that I was too bone-tired to do anything except flop on my bed. I woke up 3 hours later, and even though I felt I could sleep another five, I made myself get up.
I think the traveling is starting to get to me. The last few times I’ve traveled I’ve felt like I was going into a coma because I was so exhausted.
I’m not a happy camper.
I don’t like being that tired.
I don’t like sleeping a day away.
Or even a morning.

OK, time to stop whining and post some pictures.
I hope you enjoy them.

This was taken as we were approaching San Francisco.  Lovely view!


This is my father’s dog, Rover.  He’s a great dog.

These are one of my father’s gifts:  he makes great margaritas!

When Rover likes you, and wants you to pet him, he lies in front of you with one paw on your foot.  And keeps it there.


This is the Harley.  So fun to ride on …… behind my father.  Not in front. No way.  And most likely, not behind anyone but him.

This is me, after the Harley ride.  It was great.  And beautiful!!

These pics are on the old highway to the lava beds.  The two lanes are very, very, VERY narrow as you go up and up and up.  And the edge of the road?  Straight down.  I’ve never felt car sick.  Until this ride.

This was one out of about a bazillion signs that warned of the curves.

These are the lava beds …… or at least the beginning of them:




I loved this picture:  life among death.

Speaking of life, these chipmunks were hysterical.  They were at a picture stop there and as soon as I got out of the car, they were running straight up to me …… to my feet.  I thought they might start climbing up my legs, which was a bit unsettling.
I happened to have some pretzels left from the flight in, so I hand fed them.  I’ll try to upload the video.
They were SO cute!

This was a kind of memorial marker that was really cool.  We walked up to it and inside there are several small windows that encircle it.  Each window has a plaque under it that has the name of a mountain.  When you look through that window, you can see that mountain.  It was so neat!



Inside view:


This had the name of a crater:

And there’s the crater:


There are three mountains there called “The Sisters” and this one had the name, Middle Sister.

And there she is:

Here are the other two sisters:

This is another view of the outside of that marker:

And here’s the first of the three falls.  They were so beautiful.  You start at the top, where this one is, and then walk, and walk, and walk, and walk down a path that runs along side of them.  Then you come to a middle falls, and then further down, a third falls.  It was absolutely gorgeous.






































This is my sister’s dog, Pendleton.  He has his own bowling ball for a toy.  Yep, a real bowling ball.  Heavy, with three finger holes.  They’ve named it Alice.
He takes great umbridge if anyone gets close to this ball, let alone touches it.

He turns it over and over and over, using his paws and hit tongue ……

…… to find those three holes so that he can get his teeth in there juuuust right ……

…… and then he carries it around.  It’s freakin’ hilarious!!

Son #1, chillaxin’ at the reunion.

Making music:

My feet, freezing in the McKenzie River.

Dinner on the deck.

So there you have it. My trip to Oregon.
And now I have to go outside and film this huge lightening storm that’s going on. It looks like there’s a humongus strobe light up in the sky, rather than just lightening.

P.S. Here’s the incredibly cute chipmunks. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Down Time ……

  1. tonikayerieger

    You are in my “neck of the woods”, I’m a Central Oregonian!!! You are so right, Oregon is beautiful. Glad you had a good time!

  2. auntieali1

    I LOVE that part of Oregon. Sisters is such a cute little town, too, I hope you got to stop through there. Beautiful pictures, glad you had a nice visit here! 🙂


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