Monday, March 13, 2006

Yet Another Whirlwind Tour


Someday we will travel as a family for the purpose of relaxation and enjoyment of family.


For now, we will continue to travel only for business reasons, cramming as much as we can into the shortest possible time frame.

Thursday, we drove to Portland/Vancouver to take care of the last bit of our former life there. We had to find a way to dispose of a broken-down box truck that we have attempted to repair several times without success. In addition, we had to find a home for the contents of the vehicle, some lumber and woodshop cabinets.

We left Montana late, around 9 AM, hoping to give the plows plenty of time to dig out the mountain passes before we hit them. The plow trucks had indeed worked their magic and the storm had begun to taper off, so the passes weren't as bad as we had anticipated. We made it to my parents' house just before 7 PM. Not bad. The kids are such good travelers.

After a nice evening with my parents and my brother, we all crashed hard. Friday morning came early because getting from my folk's house in Beaverton to our old place in Vancouver on a weekday morning means you either have to leave the house by around 7 AM, or wait until 9 AM, after the rush hour traffic has thinned out. With much to do, we opted for early. Fortunately, Dad was able to take the day off work and he and Mom were able to keep the kids for a Day O' Fun while Andy and I got down to business.

We assessed the load in the truck first. There was some really valuable lumber in there, lots of nice vertical grain fir, which we could use in our remodel, some pretty Brazillian cherry, funky tulip poplar, a bit of red oak, some walnut, myrtlewood and...I don't remember what else. We decided it was worth taking home, so we began to load it into the back of the pick-up truck and trailer. It fit easily and we were able to complete the whole project by 6 PM. Excellent. Of course we were tired and chilled through by the end of day, having been working in the wind and the rain, the hail and the sleet with occasional glimpses of brilliant sunshine, fighting for our footing in soft mud with thorny blackberry vines tugging at our shoes and pantlegs. Welcome back to the Pacific Northwest.

We found ourselves anxious to return home to sunny and dry Montana so we could get warm. Crazy, huh? But 20 degrees and dry is SOOO much warmer than 40 degrees and damp.

After the truck was emptied and some people came to check it out and haul it away for us, we were able to cram in a little bit of fun before heading back to Beaverton. My old hairdresser had offered to meet me at her shop after hours to give me a haircut. I didn't want to inconvenience her, but she insisted, saying that the situation was desperate. She was right, of course. The all one length thing was not working for me at all. She and I had a great time laughing and catching up while she did her magic with scissors, adding layers and shape to my tired 'do. After this, I caught a quick half-hour visit with my good friend Kristin, and then went to pick up Andy at a brew pub, where he was knocking back a cold one with some buddies.

We made it back to Beaverton just after 9 PM and listened to the kids' stories of going to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), seeing a movie in the Omnimax theater, touring a retired nuclear submarine, and shopping for new shoes. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for giving them a great day.

Saturday morning came early again, as I was meeting K Murphy J at her house for breakfast at 8:00 and Andy was meeting Dave soon after. KMJ's house is looking fabulous. The upstairs master retreat they have created is absolutely stunning, and the view of the Columbia River and Portland's west hills rivals any view in Vancouver. The master bathroom is bigger than many bedrooms and the flooring they have chosen is beautiful. While the kids (all three, including her husband, Eric) watched The Incredibles in the den, KMJ and I chatted and laughed. It was so good to catch up, be it ever so briefly.

From there, we met up with Andy and headed over to The Cousins' house. Tom and Karen have just moved into a great new place, so we enjoyed seeing that and generally catching up while the four kids, of course, ran around and swung plastic light sabers at each other.

"Hey! You can't use that arm! I cut off that arm!"

"Ok, but you have to stand on your knees, 'cause--remember--I cut off both of your legs!"

"Even with no legs, I can still fight you! VWOOOM, VWOOOOOM.

Do they even know how to play anything else? Good times.

After T & K's, we went to the Steimle's house in Hockinson. So good to catch up with them. Tyler is as tall as I am now and Holly is becoming such a beauty. Austin and Tano are still two peas in a pod, and Elli, the youngest by far, still orders them all around. We miss the Steimles.

After a quick visit there, we ran off to our old church, New Heights, to catch the second Saturday night service (three on Saturday, four on Sunday--that place really needs a bigger facility). We saw several old friends there and the kids ran around with old buddies like they still owned the place.

From church, we went over to the Schreiber's house and hung out there for an hour and a half or so. Great to see them and chat about Young Life, photography and eBay. Their daughter is so stinkin' cute with her crazy curly hair sticking out in every direction, and baby #2 is on the way.

Both kids fell asleep in the truck long before we made it back to Beaverton at almost 10 PM that night. Andy and I were exhausted as well, and trudged through the job of getting ready to leave again the next morning.

Sunday morning, after hugs and kisses all around, we were out the door by 7:30 AM and after another long day of driving, home again before 7 PM.


We had the kids in bed at 8 PM, and ourselves in bed by 9 PM. After such an exhausting weekend, I mused aloud, this will be a great way to start our week--with a good, long night's sleep. But then I had a moment of panic. Certainly it couldn't be true that we could get a full night's sleep starting this early, could it? What would happen to spoil this wonderful luxury? We laughed at my pessimism and happily went to sleep.

Tano began throwing up at midnight.

I knew it was too good to be true. I'm just glad he waited until we were done traveling. Poor little guy.

What will this week hold?

I'll keep you posted.


Jeannie said...

Oh my. Well, at least you had a great trip and safety both directions! I'm so glad you came -- what a treat for me (albeit short)-- I'll take whatever I can get!

Megan said...

Glad you had such a great trip, I hope Tano feels better. This has been such a bad year for germies (as my kids call it)

alison said...

Well you were missed on the blog.

What a hectic, crazy weekend - sounded exhausting and fun.

Sending out some prayer that the bug is restricted to Tano.

AmberJ said...

Sorry I missed seeing you in your whirlwing trip through town. There was talk of us going to the Saturday night service instead of Sunday night, but we had our own family weekend staked out at Grandma's house.

Hope Tano feels better!

CML_Shearings said...

Thanks for the full story, Sherry! We are praying for Tano's health maybe even more than you are. Love to Tano...& the rest of you.

Mister Ed T said...

Sounds like some of our whirlwind trips. Any time with family is precious. And it never seems to be enough, no matter how long we (or they) stay!