Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Time outs.

I take time outs from all the get-togetherness of the extended family. The trick is to not miss the significant gatherings, but maybe a couple of the casual gatherings. I don't know. Linda has an insatiable appetite for it, a hunger to spend time with her brothers and sisters and nieces and everyone.

Especially her son. Todd and his girlfriend Sarah drove down from Portland yesterday. After spending almost the entire day the day before with the family, I wanted to take a quick jaunt to Brookings. It was 10:00 in the morning.

"I don't want to miss Todd and Sarah," Linda says.

"They won't be here until 3:00 at the earliest," I said. "And that's the beauty of the cellphone, we can be back in half an hour."

Reluctantly, she went along with my plan, hence the post about bookstores. But she was figuratively tapping her foot the whole time.

We got back to our motel at around 1:00 and the kids arrived around 3:30.

Next day: After a jaunt up to the redwoods, and an encounter with a banana slug, and a stick stuck into the side of a tire, most of the family took off, leaving Linda and her brother Lee and me to join Norma at her motel at the beach for the fireworks. The motel wouldn't let us stay in the room, but it turned out the beach was perfect, especially since we were able to build a bonfire (there was a huge cache of wood in the rocks above us.)

I can't remember the last time I was near a bonfire -- seems like fires have been pretty much forbidden around Central Oregon for ages. It was really nice, smoke in the eyes and everything, and it kept us warm. (I went with a light coat -- it's July!) The constant fireworks before and after the official fireworks were nice -- ah, the smell of gunpowder -- and the fires along the crescent beach running for mile and miles was very beautiful. (A couple of chubby cops came down and informed us that bonfires actually weren't allowed -- then waved their arm down the beach where there were dozens and dozens of them, and smiled and said, "Be sure and put it out before you leave..." and sauntered away.)

A young couple spent about fifteen minutes in front of us trying to start a fire, and finally asked us for a burning stick and I went over and got a nice roaring fire going for them. One thing I've always been good at, being a native Bendite.

Driving back to our motel through the traffic jam, I made the comment -- "Thank goodness for family obligations, or I'd never do this kind of thing...." Maybe not the most diplomatic of things to say, but true.

One last breakfast together, and then we're heading back, driving on our spare and hoping for the best. (staying away from sharp sticks). We'll listen to Linda's audio book, and yet another taboo will be broken. Gosh, I'm getting so accommodating!

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