Friday, November 25, 2011

I want to go camping here next summer. It is beautiful and not too far away!

the women in my life

I am father to incredibly devious women. That is how I have to start this post.

Several weeks ago daughter 4, who lives in Portland asked if she could come to Fort Nash (my name for daughter 1’s house -- I’ll explain later). Her new husband was out of the country and she was looking for family.

Of course the answer was in the affirmative. That meant that we would have Thanksgiving with 3 of our 4 daughters. San Francisco is a LONG way away, and 3 is a good number.

Wednesday evening when I drove up to the front gate Wednesday evening on my trip back from Idaho, there was a visiting car in blocking the gate. I recognized the car and knew it would be leaving soon, so I got out of the car to open the gate.

Two figures (it was pretty dark by then) advanced toward me. At first glance I recognized the profile of daughter 1 and assumed the other was granddaughter Jessica, but the information did not all jig well. I didn’t have long to think about it.

It was daughter 3 from San Francisco! She noticed that the whole family (except her and hers) would be together for T day except them and decided to come up but keep it a secret from almost everyone else.

She was there with her husband and two teen sons. WOW. My cup was running over!

Daughter 4, from Portland, was due in another hour or so. She did not know her sister was coming either, and was as surprised as I. Thanksgiving day grandson 1 and his wife drove in from Sacramento, making the complete family together. It was good.

So, today is the day after Thanksgiving. It is called black Friday some places, but it is a great friday for grandpa! For dinner we had 4 daughters, three sons in law, 11 grandkids, a grand daughter in law, my aunt and her husband, my sister and a dear family friend, plus Miriam and I.

The house is not small, but with 25, it was a houseful and it was wonderful. Daughters are fab cooks alone or together, and the food was superb.

Today we are going to have a family picture taken. It has been 5 or 6 years. An old photographer friend who has photographed our family in one way or another for a very long time will do the honors. We will all be together, all that is except for the new son in law. I am very pleased.

These family portraits are getting more precious as the years go by. We have had a lot of them taken through the years. Those portraits are priceless.

fast trip

I woke up Tuesday thinking (not unusual!).

The car needs new front tires. If I am going to build anything, I desperately need some power tools that are in Idaho. I need to visit with a few friends about my building project. I needed a haircut (it takes a while to teach a new barber, and I haven’t done that in Washington yet). And, my sister needed a ride up for Thanksgiving.

That was a good list.

So, after consulting with daughters, I headed out. It was midmorning. It is a 3 1/2 to 4 hour and there is a time zone change. I drove right to the tire shop and got the two tires I needed. The two friends I needed to consult with were home, and I got good advice from them.

When I got to our house it was cold, of course, so I brought in an armload of firewood and built a fire in the wood stove, and boiled some ramen noodles. The bed was warm and comfortable and I slept well.

After breakfast wednesday I got that haircut. Since I still own the house and expect to for a while, I wanted the utility and insurance bills sent to our Washington address so I made several change of address, change of bank visits. In the middle of all of that I did a load of laundry and took a long hot shower.

You can take a good hot shower in an RV, but not a good LONG hot shower. The water heaters are in the 5 or 6 gallon size!

So, a little after noon, sister and I headed back for daughters homes. I was to leave my sister with daughter 2 who lives half an hour away from daughter 1, where Miriam and I now live.

My little car (a 20 year old Chevy Coupe) had the trunk loaded with tools (air compressor, chop saw, cords and hoses, 8 or 9 hand power tools, my chain saw, 4 or 5 air nailers along with nails for them, as well as a box of hand tools. The back seat was quite well loaded with my travel gear as well as my sisters.

But the trip went well. Sister and I visited. I left her off at daughter 2’s house and headed for home.