Warning: The pictures in this post are not very good. It’s my fault as they were unposed and I was in a hurry.
Those were the words at our house this week. It was a warm, bright and sunny day when DD Kim and I took a quick trip up to Walla Walla, Washington, from our home on the western edges of Portland, OR. What a drive!! It’s almost 250 miles one way from our driveway to my cousin’s home on the outskirts of Walla Walla, so about a 4 hour drive. Now I know why she chose to live there, well, besides the fact that her husband is going to school there. It is so much like Central California, where she is originally from. It’s better though, there are not so many cows about; the smell of cows in California can be just horrible. Anyways, my dear cousin is expecting her first child. She’s had some complications, but not too terrific until now she’s been put on “bed rest” for a few weeks. I put it in parenthesis, because bed rest just isn’t the same as it used to be. Ra reclines on a small sofa/love seat instead of in bed. She is up for a bit at a time, but she isn’t supposed to be lifting anything, and has contractions most of the time that she is up. I’ve always had a special connection with this cousin and her mom. (Her mom had driven up from CA on Monday) Ra, my cousin is 12 years younger than me, her mom 12 years older than me. We are all first girls in our families. Though Chris her mom and I are the firsts of all our siblings. Ra is the second sibling. When Ra told me last week that she was on bed rest and on Terbutaline, to stop the contractions she was having, and her mom was coming up for a week, I thought, I’ve got to get up there, regardless of gas prices right now. If I wait until after this baby is born, I’ll be spending a lot more on gas, so now’s the time!! (Even though I do want to see this baby after life has settled down for them) DH agreed with me on going, and Kim and I set out at 9:30 or so on Wednesday morning. We made good time!! We got to a rest area just before the turn off near Umatilla around 12:30 or so. Sat there to eat lunch, and met another homeschooling dad and his four kids. That was pretty interesting!! He just came up to us and asked us if we were homeschoolers. We must look the part. And no, we don’t wear the jumper dresses, or anything that would make someone think that. We were in capris, matching Tinkerbell shirts, though dd was in a patchwork type skirt. Maybe it was the fact that we were out in the middle of the day when no one else is out of school. I asked him how homeschooling is in the Pendleton area. They have upwards of 40 families in their homeschool group, and each family homeschools for different reasons. Some religious, some just don’t like the way the public schools are headed, etc. There are another 25 or so families in another town that is less than an hour away, so support in this part of Oregon is good!! Back on the road, we saw some really cool birds along the way. Magpies, a White Pelican, which seems to be out of its zone, supposedly just California, several different hawks, Kestrels, several Osprey, and possibly a Golden Eagle, besides all the little birds that flit about. I think it took us about an hour more to get to Ra’s house from that last rest area. We took a short cut that the man at the rest area recommended. We cut off before we got to Pendleton, and it probably took at least 30-45 minutes off of our trip. Once we got to Ra’s we just kind of crashed for a while, visited, I knit, Ra crocheted, and we waited for her mom to get back from doing some shopping. All the kids were there, Ra’s younger siblings. That was really cool to see them; they are almost 15yob, almost 13yog, and 9yob. Ra also has two other siblings, one older, 28yob, and one younger than herself, so maybe 24 yob. So, six all together. My cousin Chris is a GREAT mom!! She has raised these kids in such a way, they are hard workers, they love the Lord, and they are just great to be around. The last time I saw them was at Ra’s wedding, 5 years ago. The younger siblings were little, and now have grown up so much!! Time flies too quickly. Kim and all of her cousins just hit it off!! These kids really know how to play with kids of all ages, and know how to interact with adults as well. While we were there the kids were digging some ditches so Rick, Ra’s husband could put in a sprinkler system. He is a full-time student right now at Walla Walla College, one of our church’s universities. He also was working on the grounds team, in charge of the guys who keep the campus mowed. But, due to some really stupid circumstances, they fired him. We think it was a bogus claim!! So, he’s pretty stressed right now, with this imminent birth and no job. Hopefully he will find a job very soon, one that he enjoys. He has less than a year left of school; Spring term of next year he will be done. Later in the afternoon, the two girls, started working on dinner, fixing the lettuce and tomatoes. I brought the fixings for Taco Salad, so they worked on part of it, and I worked on the rest of it. It was enjoyed by all.
That evening I found out that my grandma’s younger sister lives in the area, so she came over the next morning to visit. I do not remember meeting Aunt Eileen. It seems that the last time she remembers seeing me; I was pretty little, probably around 2 years old. She is a very spry 82 year old woman, getting herself around to different activities!! Grandma would be 90 this year if she had lived this long. Aunt Eileen took off around 11:30 and we started thinking about lunch. We ended up going to a Mexican restaurant close by. It was sooo good!! It was real Mexican, nothing like Chevy’s Fresh Mex, or any of the chains here in our area. After lunch we got the kids some ice cream and root beer, and headed back to Ra’s for root beer floats. The kids watched a DVD called Sky High, while Ra, Chris and I sat and visited some more. I finished the Prayer Shawl I was working on for Ra. I did not put fringe at the ends, so the baby wouldn’t get his fingers entangled in it. It is made from LionBrand Homespun, the color is Windsor 790-341: Painterly' color Medium blue, lavender and a touch of green evoke the gardens of Windsor. I used almost three skeins. The stitch pattern is the basic prayer shawl pattern. It reminds me of the painting by Monet, Waterlilies. The pictures I took of it are bad, but it gives you an idea.
I finally decided about 3 pm that we really needed to get out of there, or we wouldn’t make it home until after dark. It was so hard to leave after having such an enjoyable visit with them. Kim and I hit the road at 3:30 pm, and arrived home between 7:30 and 7:45 pm. One of the places I stopped for gas was $3.09, so I only got a little bit, then filled up at a place closer to home that wasn’t over $3.00. We are exhausted still from this quick trip, but would do it again in a second.