Hot Time in the City!

IMG_8521

Living in “the valley,” our Oregon temperatures are relatively mild, which I like.  We get a few hot days in the summer and a couple of snow storms in the winter.  The rest of the seasons, we joke, include hot, warm, cool, or cold rain.

If you are having your home re-roofed, you want to pick a time that is dry, but not too hot.  The heat advisory in triple digits coincided with our re-roofing.  I worried about those guys, but they cheerfully showed up around 7 each morning and worked until 3.

IMG_8478

Let’s just say that the fine folks from Valley Roofing didn’t need a gym membership.  They exercised, did weight lifting, and had a sauna all in one job.  My husband would take them out cold water during breaks and ice cold watermelon and grapes during lunch.

IMG_8482

We appreciated their hard work, all in tripel digits.

Once I saw that they were all tethered to the roof, I no longer had visions of them fainting and rolling off. However, the noise is what got me.  I don’t know if I would survive in a big city with constant construction.  It was not just the hammering, but the compressors and the ‘bang’ when shingles fell into the truck.  By the end of the three days I was on my last nerve.

But now that it’s done, we don’t have to worry about it for 20 or 30 years.  ALLELUIA!

August Weather is Mocking my Brother

IMG_8526

My brother flew into PDX today (required picture of PDX carpet).  He had it all worked out.  Since Kansas is soooo very hot and humid in the summer, he planned to escape the weather and spend some time with his Pacific NW family.

Mother nature had other plans.  Kansas is having temperatures in the high 70’s while the valley is experiences a heat wave….mid 90’s.

As he left the airport he laughed out loud.  “This feels familiar,” he stated as we were hit by the humid heat.

Worse, the traffic coming home was at a crawl.  We finally pulled off in Wilsonville and ate dinner at a lovely Chinese restaurant.  Weather would not dampen our spirits.

IMG_8527

Tomorrow he heads to the coast where the weather is to be mid-60’s !  Yes, finally he will experience the cool weather of Oregon.

Be kind to my brother, Oregon Coast.  No more surprises.

 

July Ocean

IMG_8388

Blue skies, few clouds….is this really Oregon?  Why yes it is.  As sunny as it looks, it was chilly outside.  This does not make it any less wonderful.

This month was different in that family came to visit during our stay.

Sister Patti came by to chat, walk the beach, and do some business on the coast.

Niece Carrie made her yearly trip to hug on family and enjoy the joys of Oregon.  This gal had been very busy this summer.  She and her sister, Renee, took a whirl-wind trip through Ireland and added on a trip to London.  Carrie sold her house and bought another, then flew from Kansas to Oregon to see us.  She was to return home, move into her new house, unpack, then begin teaching.  Busy, busy.

While in London, Carrie had a run-in: knee vs. cobblestone.  The cobblestone won. Carrie really didn’t have time to slow down so just kept moving.  Once she slowed down, her knee made itself heard.

Let’s just say that the Lincoln City Emergency Room is getting to know us on a first name basis.  The knee doubled in size and the pain got too much to ignore.  In we went in for x-rays.

IMG_8375

Her smile is fake.  The pain is real and the doctor was not playing.  Carrie got a lesson on walking with crutches and her Oregon trip slowed WAY down.  Still, she was at the ocean and enjoyed every minute looking out the window at the beautiful view.

IMG_8368

Even with the change of plans, we told stories, shared, and laughed as we watched a most glorious sunset.

NOTE:  I hurt my knee trying to get into a truck that was higher than I thought it would be, so we were both limping.  Major props go to my wonderful husband who, without one complaint, packed the car, unloaded everything, loaded it all again at the end of the stay, and drove everywhere.  Carrie and I voted him Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the trip.  Thank you, sweetie.  The trip would not have happened without you.

NOTE: Carrie, I miss you already.

Happy 4th

flag

Oregon – yup

Caught sight of this uniquely colored flag as we were zipping around town getting ready for the big party on the 4th.

There were plenty of red, white and blue flags in the wind, I just thought this was clever. To be honest, I’d rather have neighbors smoking than drinking while setting off fireworks near our house!

Be safe out there.

 

Neighbors Near and Far

A few days back, I heard a very loud and scary crash outside our home… somewhere down the block.  I yelled for hubs and we both went out to see if someone needed assistance.  Doors flew open and neighbors noisily poured out of their houses.

I heard what sounded like a gunshot and hubs saw a car speeding around the corner on three tires.  “What’s going on?”  “Everyone okay?” “Call 911!”   Someone near the corner rang out “I got the plate number!!” and we all cheered.

A car had just plowed into two cars parked on the street in front of our neighbor’s house. One car was pushed so hard that it almost landed on the sidewalk as it damaged the second car.

IMG_7918

While we are standing there, a car speeds down our block, does a U-turn and flies back down the street.  Curious.

We all had our smart phones out and were comparing stories…..”What did you hear?” “Who’s car?”   It appears our neighbor a few doors down had two guests over and their cars were now destroyed.  They just stood there and we tried to make encouraging comments.  They were thanking everyone for mobilizing so quickly.

But the story is not over.  I don’t know how many noticed the car that made the U-turn, but when the car returned I recognized it.

IMG_7921

A kind young man, Robert, stepped out and shared his story.  He was not from the neighborhood, but when he turned down our street he was face to face with a car on three wheels driving like a bat out of hell.  He knew someone was up to no good.  Once he made the U-turn he followed the vehicle for a cat and mouse chase around the back roads, alleys, etc.  The hit and run driver even tried the old “turn off the lights and drive very slowly” trick, but Robert was determined not to let this guy get away.

Robert stayed in communication with the police until they joined him and stopped the hit and run perpetrator.  Knowing we were a curious bunch….he came back to tell us that the guy was in police custody.  We all cheered!

Clearly, you don’t have to live in a neighborhood to be a good neighbor.  An officer arrived and we all said our goodbyes and let the officer talk with the two car owners.

Thank you, Robert (no idea his last name), for being our neighbor.

Remembering our Mothers

Martha

On Tuesday,  I blogged about receiving.  This blog is more about remembering.  Each Mother’s Day since his mother’s passing, Robert has followed a certain tradition.  His mother loved flowers and in particular rhododendron of every color.  Mother’s Day morning Robert circles the house and begins to clip a little here and a little there, creating a bundle of whatever is blooming well around our house.  He does not want store bought.  He wants to bring our home to adorn her headstone.  Depending on the Oregon weather we have more or less flowers to share.  He mostly snips the Rhodies and azaleas that turn our yard into a color-fest around this time.  We drive together to the cemetery and Robert takes care arranging the flowers.  He has his private moments.

I do not yet have a tradition for Mother’s Day.  I am still surprised when I pass a card display that I won’t be picking up a card for her.  Yet, there are, around our home, many objects that bring her close.

bell

This simple bell, which I keep in the bedroom, floods me with memories each time I pass.  It’s the bell we would use when we were ill and had to stay in bed.  We would ring the bell and help would be on its way: a tuck in, a bowl of soup, or 7-up.

There is no “right” way to remember mothers.  Robert brings our home to her graveside.  I bring mom’s objects into our home.  We both remember in our own way, but are grateful for the love given and the lessons learned.