Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A quick trip home

We drove over the pass to say hi to my family yesterday. On the west side of the Cascades, the land is so green.

Here is a classic shot of the snow-capped peak of Mt. Hood from the south west.

And here, having come through Blue Box Pass (4,500 feet) we come down into the Great Columbia Basin on the East side of the Cascade Range. In the distance we see Mt. Jefferson.

A fire went through this area a few years ago. You can see in the distance how the swampy little creek worked as a fire-break. Burned trees next to the road, green trees across the swamp.

This is what the country I grew up in looks like.

This is rimrock. Yep, this place is a stinkin' desert. The trees you see are juniper. Hardy, stubborn, selfish trees that smell like cat pee and manage somehow to cast very little shade.

And this is the point of the whole exercise. This is my oldest brother, Chuck(69 years) , my mom (who is pushing 90 years old) and my sis-in-law, Arleen (who is a saint!!) I am not standing on a box. Arleen is 4'10".

DH and Chuck went to a gun show but didn't stay long because prices were so high. Mom, Arleen and I chatted a bit. Mom hasn't lost all her marbles yet, but there's a hole in the bag and a few keep slipping away every month. We all went out for lunch, and DH was the only one at the table who didn't qualify for the Senior Discount. (Marry younger men. They last longer.)

After lunch, when Mom started to fall asleep, and Chuck was yawning, I figured it was time to hit the road. And 3 hours later, we were home again! Yeah, it's a long drive for a day trip, but the guest room beds tweak our backs. anyhow, I'll be spending several days with Mom in August when Chuck and Arleen take a few days off. I'm not a good daughter, but I'm the best I can manage to be.


  • At 8:10 AM , Blogger Willow said...

    Unless you've actually seen it, you don't believe that green, green Oregon refers to only 1/2 of the state. You have to see the eastern half to be convinced that Oregon is half desert.
    Very cute house!
    With our families we all do what we can.

  • At 8:15 AM , Blogger Tammy said...

    Oh Roxie, it's hard being a daughter isn't it. I am looking at the day when we will be caring for either my parents or Robert's mom. It's not something I am really wanting to do, but it must get done.

    On another note, that sweater you goaded me into cranking out a few weeks almost done. I have the stupid button bands and the collar. I am going to seek out help with the bands, because my sewing job sucks!! But, it should be done by the 8th, and I will seek you out to show you.

  • At 9:49 AM , Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

    ...there's a hole in the bag and a few keep slipping away...
    THAT is a great line, and has me sitting here laughing. You have such a way with words.
    Arleen is 4'10", that's an inch taller than my mom. I'm the sasquatch in my family, and I'm only 5'7". They are all tiny like that, so I can relate to your height issues, sort of. :)

  • At 11:19 AM , Blogger Norma said...

    You ARE a good daughter, even just for taking a day trip like that. But that sure is beautiful country....

  • At 11:55 AM , Blogger Wannietta said...

    So when they say that you're head & shoulders above the rest, it's not just an off-the-cuff compliment - it's a true compliment!!

  • At 2:05 PM , Blogger Warrior Knitter said...

    Over the years my husband and I have made several six hour round day trips with his Mom to see her family for a couple of hours. It's trying but always worth it.

  • At 5:23 PM , Blogger Jejune said...

    I love your line about the marbles slipping out of the bag... very apt. My father-in-law is 84 (a good 20 years older than my parents, he had kids late in life), and the marbles are steadily slipping away for him too. We're his main carers, and he's really a difficult man. Such hard work.

    I'm amazed at the difference between one half of Oregon and the other! I had no idea there were such dry areas. I love the green, though - we're in the middle of our worst ever drought, and there's not much green.

  • At 6:34 AM , Blogger JulieLoves2Knit said...

    Looks like we traveled in opposite directions this weekend! You are right - it is greener in the valley and Portland was so decked out for the Rose Festival - have you been on the freeway - I5 north through downtown - OMG the roses are spectactular! Am coming again later in the month for a few days - maybe we can get together. Meet at Abundant for coffee or something!

  • At 7:15 AM , Blogger Margene said...

    Natural beauty like that makes a long drive well worth the time!

  • At 10:22 AM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    The pictures are gorgeous--and remind me of why I've always loved Oregon and Washington forever and ever.

    You are a good daughter... you visit, you worry, and you bother to count marbles... (that, by the way was a very good line...)

  • At 11:42 PM , Blogger Grandma Flea said...

    Hi Roxie
    I love your writing - the hole in the bag had me in stitches too. It is REALLY hard being a daughter - I envy those people who seem to have very close, and equal relationships with their mothers (and fathers) - and it is hard seeing your parents ageing. I only saw my parents about twice a year in the years before they died, as I was working, studying and had a young family, and they lived about 6 hours drive away.

    We can all be wise after the event, or do what we can and feel guilty that it's not more - but one of the hardest lessons to learn, I think, is that we all do what we are capable of doing AT THAT TIME. I wish I had come to that realisation while they were alive. You're doing okay - just stay the daughter you are - I'm sure that your Mum wouldn't want her marbles counted by anyone other than you.


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