Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Sue and Mo at Harris Beach
Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Friday, November 25, 2011


Stonewall Kitchen's recipe pumpkin custard pieHere in Rocky Point Black Friday is actually black.  The sun has yet to rise, and I have no plans whatsoever to tackle all that crazy shopping that is going on out there in the world today. I woke with the disquieting feeling that I was terribly behind for who knows what reason. Yesterday was a beautiful day, one of the smallest Thanksgiving dinners I have ever hosted, though not as small as many full-time folks who managed a great dinner for two from the compact kitchens of their rigs. 

gourmet sweet potatoes with sherryMy children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are scattered across the country, and as the years go by it gets harder and harder to get everyone together for the holidays. For many years I managed huge dinners shared with extended family and friends.  Times change, and the delights of a small, intimate dinner can be wonderful as well, as I discovered yesterday with my celebration for five.

Thanksgiving_018I cooked ahead with the same fervor I would have if serving fifteen, but with much less food.  The morning was beautiful with sunlight and light winds blowing the pines around, temperatures in the 40’s.  Melody and her family thought we would be sledding as usual on Thanksgiving Day, instead there were only a very few residual piles of snow at the base of steep roofs and the lawn showing beautiful green grass.  NOT a usual occurrence in November in Rocky Point.

talking to her sister DeannaCommunication was different as well.  Although the phone was busy for much of the day, with long distance visits from my kids and friends,  I also read emails, read blog posts from full time travelers, saw photos of pies and turkeys from all Melody, Hillary, and Kevin on Thanksgivingover the country on Facebook and Google+. Our communication is different but some things never change.  The smell of the turkey as it roasts, the delight of pies on the table, and the warmth of family hugs as the front door opens to the brisk fall air and coats and shoes are shed at the door.

We sat together holding hands before our meal, each saying what we are most thankful for, a long time tradition for us.  Some roll their eyes at this, othersThanksgiving_048 embrace it fully.  My 18 year old granddaughter said “Grandma, I practiced for this”, and then proceeded to voice her thanks in words that made me cry.

time for the walk before it gets darkWith no snow for sledding, we instead took “the family walk” between dinner and pie, also a long time tradition for our family. Just enough to convince us that we were indeed working off all those pie calories, and of course we knew better but it didn’t matter in the least.  It was a lovely day and I am so grateful that in the midst of busy life and busy world, there is always family and shared traditions.

Thanksgiving_059Back to that feeling of being terribly behind? I need to work today, finalize the last few weeks for the California survey before I move to the next few weeks working for Oregon again. I hope to take down all the fall decorations. The brilliant fall colors have brightened the house for the last two months, and I love them, but Christmas is coming. I need to get out the Christmas stuff.  My quilt is waiting to be finished, the fabric for a dress I want to make is crying to be cut.

Me n my girl on ThanksgivingInstead, tomorrow, Mo and I must travel to Northern California once again for a memorial for Mo’s fabulous Uncle Don, who passed away recently.  Sad to lose such an amazing man, WWII and Korean Conflict pilot who actually passed away on Veteran’s Day. We will visit my sweet mother-in-law who lives in the same area and return on Sunday.  Hopefully I will find time to pack Sunday afternoon for my trip to Florida on Tuesday.  Once again I will be off to Ocala, to spend some time with my long time friend Bel.  In between all this, on Monday, I get to visit the dermatologist for one of those fun outcomes to a youth spent in Southern California sun and a lifetime of an outdoor career. 

To Oroville-2Writing has slipped again.  I suppose I may never actually manage the day by day, blow by blow description of our last cruise to New England.  Instead, I hope to actually write about the last three weeks that included a fabulous visit with my life-time friend Maryruth in Oroville, California. I drove past Shasta on a gorgeous sunny day and spent four wonderful days to a girly weekend of spa and our favorite hand and foot game. I started that blog post yesterday, and when I opened up LiveWriter this morning decided instead that I needed to write about Thanksgiving, before it slips into that accumulated list of life moments that are as yet unwritten.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another Rocky Point Sunday

First snow_035The air has finally started moving again, and as I look outside the bedroom window I can see the last of the leaves twisting in the breeze.  There is snow on the ground, still, from our foot of snow dropped a week ago, but it is thinning.  Not that bad, really, for mid November. Sometimes during this time of year in our part of the world the air gets still and cold, with fog from the basin around the edges of the lake and smoke from the slash piles and prescribed burns making the First snow_014air murky. It was like this for a week or so, and then a couple of nights ago the winds started blowing, dropping pine needles into the snow like pick-up sticks, and clearing the air. I love the sound of the wind at night.

Check out that great new stain on the house!  The job is finally finished, with the crew coming to put the last touches on the last day before the snow fell.  They did a great job, but we certainly weren’t very happy with the amount of time they spent doing it.  The job was started in late September and only finished on November 3rd.  Sometimes the crew wouldn’t come out until mid afternoon and only stay a couple of hours before leaving.  We live a long way from town and we could never figure out how the contractor expected to make money doing business like that. Maybe he had too many jobs going on at once and was trying to keep everyone happy.  Whatever.  At least the job is finished and the house looks great and we didn’t have to do it ourselves!

the popcorn housemy grandson, ElricOn November 1st, Mo and I traveled west to Brookings for three gorgeous days on the beautiful sunny coast. On Monday, the 31st, Mo turned to me and asked, “Remind me again why we couldn’t leave for Brookings today?”.  Halloween, silly!  I had to be home for Halloween with my kids, actually the kids are only part of it.  The rest of the story is the wonderful tradition of walking on the dark sidewalks filled with happy costumed families on Pacific Terrace, where I used to live in Klamath Falls.  One more time I met my daughter and grandkids to walk through crispy leaves, smell the popcorn that one family hands out every year from their outdoor popcorn machine, and be amazed at all the wonderful decorations that line the street for a mile in each direction.  There is no better place to be at Halloween than Pacific Terrace in Klamath Falls.

Jeremy in the window guarding the MoHoWhen we left Tuesday morning for the coast, the weather was incredible.  Blue skies all the way, without even a hint of fog over the ocean to mar the views. We went immediately to Harris Beach State Park, hoping for one of the ocean view sites, only to discover that those sites were all taken, even on a weekday in November!  Instead, we settled into a roomy spot just across the road from those premium sites, power and cable and water for 22 bucks and still a great ocean view.

ocean view from across the street from our spot in A27Our main purpose for the trip was to get the MoHo settled in to her storage berth, so we immediately went to meet the owner to be sure that the unit was easily accessible.  Turns out that it is just fine, and when we slid the MoHo in on Thursday morning before traveling back to Rocky Point, it was a piece of cake.

In the mean time, we spent a good deal of time looking at possible properties in the Brookings area, but none were just right for what we wanted.  Still, it was fun driving up the Chetco River to look, and then to the north end of town, just hoping for the right combination of view, price, and of course a big RV storage shed to appear. We took some wild rambling roads and were surprised to discover that many roads around Brookings are incredibly narrow and steep.  Saw a spot with a gorgeous view of the ocean, with the words “great for a two story cottage”.  That should have been a clue, since the property was on the side of a mountain with just enough flat ground for a very tiny home, and no space for an RV shed.

Brookings_083Brookings_136We saw another truly beautiful home and giant perfect RV shed with a gorgeous view, and an unbelievable 8 foot deer fence surrounding almost all the property, enclosing 50 roses and some beautiful gardens.  The price was OK, but then there was more than 5 acres that needed subdividing, with some weird garages with no windows and with people actually living in them!  Very strange.  All a bit too complicated, and we laughed and said, “Let’s go find the fish and chips”.  Once more we went to the Chetco Café down in Harbor where the ambience is certainly funky but the fish was as perfect as last time, thin thin very crispy perfect coating on tender, flavorful perfect fish.  Yum.  And a decent white wine at 3 bucks a glass.  Can’t beat it.

We spent the next day relaxing, or I should say Mo relaxed while I went into town to use the coffee shop internet for a work conference. Finally in the afternoon we headed for the gorgeous, sunny beach.  Dinner was a perfect steak brought from home and a great campfire and then a walk that took us to the campsite of some local Rocky Point friends who just happened to be camping there as well.  They invited us in to their fire, offered more wine and conversation, and the evening stretched out to the late hours with fun and laughter. Seems as though Harris Beach is a pretty popular place for most of us.

FS road 23 Bear Camp Road backwayFS road 23 Bear Camp Road backwayOn Thursday, once the MoHo was settled in to the storage unit, we drove north to take the back road route from Gold Beach through Agness and back to Grants Pass.  The road is called the Bear Camp Coastal Route, and is not maintained after November 5 through the winter and spring.  We made it just in time.  Although on the map the road looks like it should be a short fast way back home, in reality, it is steep and slow and absolutely beautiful.  It follows the Rogue River to Agness then climbs the coast mountains before dropping back down to the Rogue near Hellsgate. Even in the Tracker, the road was a bit daunting, especially on the passenger side. It was beautiful, though, and while we may not have to do it again soon, I am glad I finally got to see the famous route over the mountains. Let me just say, DO NOT ever even think of driving this road in any kind of motorhome!

snow getting thicker on FS road 23 Bear Camp Road backwaythe road to GaliceThat morning Brookings was shrouded in clouds with rain coming down and snow predicted for the mountains above 4,000 feet.  Sure enough at the top of the route we ran into some snow, some deer, and even a bear!  I WILL learn to keep my camera in my lap and on, but instead, at the bear moment, Jeremy was snoozing in my lap and the camera was on the floor. By the time we got home, there was fresh snow over the pass on 140 but no snow yet in Rocky Point.  We would have loved to stay longer in Brookings, but too many details awaited us and thank goodness the heaviest snow held off till our Friday errands were run and we were safely back at home. I can’t believe how lucky we were to get in just under the wire with the first really big snowstorm arriving the day we put the MoHo in storage in snowless Brookings.  Perfect.

007-1turning leaves along the creek along the road to GaliceI spent last weekend cutting and sewing strips for my very first quilt.  It was a perfect day to be playing with brightly colored fabric with the dark skies and falling snow. It is just a simple panel, with borders, and I got all the borders on and am now attempting to learn how to do the machine quilting part. Mo is worried that I will now start collecting fabric the way I collect yarn. Hopefully I will refrain from getting too carried away with all this.

I have been knitting, and quilting, and working soil survey stuff, and somehow the time to write has slipped. Winter is here, life has simplified a bit for now, and I am enjoying that a lot.

Sunday test only

Seems as though Live Writer can't get to the blog today.  Since I have been remiss in posting and finally managed, I am bugged that the thing refuses to go up.  So this is a test to see if I can make a post directly from draft blogger.  Just a test. minus the photo that I just tried to add and it wouldn't add it.  sigh.  Thanks for the comments, guys, I can see this post as well, but the dang LiveWriter post is still grinding away after more than an hour.  Hopefully it will work eventually, since I haven't created a post with photos, formatting, etc here on draft blogger in at least two years and I am sure it would look like ...well...excrement?