Over the weekend Nate and I traveled down to Oregon to visit his family. We got up at 5:30am (!!) to fly into Eugene. Nate's dad picked us up at the Eugene airport and we made the 3 hour drive through beautiful country to Medford where Nate's Grammie Janet lives.
Quick stop for brunch, then back into the car that felt like a shuttle from Star Trek! It had onboard GPS computer that would talk to us. Creepy and cool at the same time.
The sweet little green house on Clover Lane is where we stayed. This is the house where Nate's dad spent part of his childhood. Two bedrooms, one bath and a spacious backyard in a quiet little neighborhood. Each night as I fell asleep with the windows wide open, a chorus of chirping crickets serenaded me. It was so peaceful and quiet.
I had hoped for a weekend that would be relaxed and lazy. Sitting about with Nathen's family chatting. It turned into helping get more of Janet's things into boxes for Goodwill. She recently moved into an assisted living facility because she has small strokes and just needs a little more help caring for herself. She can putter about just fine, it's remembering how to do the little things in a day that are troubling.
I am very comforted to see how well cared for she is by Nate's family. Aunt Cathy loves on her just like my mother cared for grandparents. Gentle bullying because they need it and won't ask for it.
She had a minor stroke while we were there and it was hard to watch her sons watch their mother change into a woman who needs their care. It was all so old hat to me; elder care has been a part of my life for the last several years that my taking care of Grammie Janet was second nature, but was remarked upon by family. I am happy to take their hands, carry and fuss over elders, they've all loved and cared for young people that it shouldn't be any trouble for us to fuss a bit over them. Regardless of if they are family or not. Alright, on to another soap-box...
I played around with taking pictures through the lenses of a broken Brownie Camera (It was a No. 2A Folding Cartridge Hawkeye Model B) made sometime between 1926 and 1934. Very cute little thing.
Finally Bob and I dismantled it for the lenses and felt very cavalier for our treatment of this artifact of early photography.
I was given many, many utterly adorable pictures of Nate as a little boy. I'm being good and not posting too many (he doesn't like it) but I must leave you with this one. It's too sweet! In retaliation Nate guarded a ceramic hand print his dad had made as a child to give to his mom. Bob may or may not have tried to help the ceramic hand have a tragic accident before it reached Sue.
I took home many pictures that no one needed or wanted. I believe it is a reflex that comes from growing up in a family that is very genealogy oriented. I couldn't let the stories fall into the trash. The above picture is of Nate's paternal grandparents, Janet and Bill on their wedding day. They married in 1951. She was only 16, and so very pretty.
I also got to take home Grandpa Bill's wedding band, seemed to be fitting since I have her wedding ring too. If Nate wasn't allergic to nickel he could wear it.
The Elephant Dress made its debut for dinner on Saturday night. I still have some tweaking to make on the fit of it. Our plans to see Henry V at Ashland were thwarted by misreading the tickets, but it worked out just fine. We were pretty bushed anyway so we went out to dinner at a local pizza/salad joint called Kaleidoscope. Very good food.
We found some relics of hair care in the bathroom. It actually smelled kind of nice.
And so, early on Sunday morning we departed sweet Clover Lane for probably the last time (my first and only) and made our way to Eugene for a family picnic with Nate's mother's side of the family.
We met Nellie. She is absolutely sweet but gives new meaning to the phrase "dumb blonde," for a dog, she got herself wrapped up around all the table legs and posts in the picnic lodge. She then whimpered when she couldn't reach her family. I spent much time giggling at her and helping get her untangled.
Nate tried to nap...
...Bob was about ready but didn't take one.
I soaked up sunshine by the river.
It was a good trip over all. I am very glad that we went to spend the time since we're not sure how much longer Grammie Janet will be with us. She is at that stage in life where she's just tired and is ready to go to sleep one night and not wake up in this world. So I am glad we had the time to hold her hand and stroll along with her.
I'm only sorry I didn't take more pictures. My usual camera is on loan to a friend so I was armed with the iPhone and several processing apps. While I am happy to have such a good little camera on my phone, I miss having an SLR that I can play with.
Edit - Many thanks to my personal editor for pointing out my gross grammatical error and making sure I spell things correctly. xo