Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Northward Migration - Saturday, June 11, 2016

Today I left work 1-1/2 hours early to go home, change my clothes, pack last-minute items for the vacation, say good-bye to the kitties, and then Bob drove me to the airport where I said, "See you in ten days. I'm going to miss you. Wish you could be with me. I love you." He'll be holding down the fort and taking care of the kitties while I'm gone.

When I did my online check-in for Southwest Airlines 24 hours before the flight, I was happy to learn I would board in San Antonio in the A group, and in the B group when I transferred planes in Denver. It makes me a happy lady when I can sit on the aisle or by a window. I can't stand getting on a plane late in the C group and having to sit between two people I don't know.

When Bob printed out my boarding passes for both legs of the flight, I was overjoyed to see I had TSA pre-check on my ticket. That meant I didn't have to go in the security line where you take off your shoes, your coat, and you don't have to take out your computer or your bag with the 3 oz bottles of liquid. Hallelujah!

I had plenty of time to buy and eat my dinner. It was hard finding healthy food. One place had a lovely Mediterranean salad, but they were sold out. I ended up with a turkey and cranberry/blackberry sauce sandwich. Terrible sandwich. It had mayonnaise on it which I was able to get rid of because a soggy cucumber blocked it from soaking into the turkey. The cranberry/blackberry sauce was pretty much non-existent. I saw what looked like a 1/4" area where someone had cleaned a minute amount of the cranberry/blackberry sauce off of a knife onto an edge of the bread. I would not order that sandwich again. I ate the turkey and the soggy cucumber (after I got rid of the mayonnaise and half of the soggy toasted bread).

Just as I was boarding the flight from San Antonio to Denver, I had a call from my son, Michael, who was going to pick me up at 10:50 p.m. in Portland. I had missed the call and got his message just as they were closing the jet doors. I was able to listen to the message. His car had broken down at the grocery store parking lot and he wouldn't be able to pick me up. I tried to call him back, but as soon as his phone rang and he picked it up, they flight attendants started their safety talk and my phone shut off (forced airplane mode).

The San Antonio flight flew out on time. Most of the ride was smooth, but we did have a bumpy section when the pilot asked the flight crew to sit down. As we flew into Denver, thunderhead clouds loomed over the mountains. Uh-oh. Would we be delayed?

To transfer planes, my next gate was directly across from the flight I just exited. I didn't have to tour the whole Denver airport to get to my next gate. I had a seat facing the windows and read some magazines. When I looked up, it was pouring rain outside and I noticed they were loading our luggage onto the plane. Uh-oh again. Then we had thunder and lots of lightning. The line of people waiting to get on the plane was antsy. People were shifting from one foot to the other, watching the weather, keeping an eye on the departure time board to see if our flight would be delayed.

I called Michael from Denver to see if the status of his car had changed. He was able to get it started and get home, but he didn't want to tempt fate by trying to pick me up at the airport.

Plan B. My brother who lives in Vancouver, Washington (across the river from the Portland airport) had told me if I needed a ride to give him a call, so I did. My brother, Frank, is  just getting over walking pneumonia. He had been sick for over a week, but was particularly bad Monday through Thursday. He went to the doctor on Wednesday and found out what was wrong with him. The doctor put him on erythromycin and today he was feeling better.  He and his wife, Gina, would be happy to pick me up and take me to Mom's house. Thank you, Frank and Gina!

Now all I had to do was make it to Portland. Thankfully, the plane started boarding a few minutes late. Once we were all on the plane and the plane pushed back from the gate, we sat on the tarmac for about 25 minutes. When we were finally cleared to go, our plane had to get in line for take-off (another 15 minute wait). We were scheduled to arrive in Portland at 10:50 p.m. I had told Frank and Gina that I would probably have my bags by 11:15 p.m. After all the ground delays in Denver, I wasn't sure that was going to happen.

When I stepped off the plane in Portland it was 11:02 p.m. so we had made up time in the air. At baggage claim, my bag was the 7th one on the conveyor belt. I made it curb-side by 11:18 p.m.  Pretty good.

When Frank and Gina picked me up, they gave me a plastic container with fresh raspberries from their side yard. By the time I got to mom's house, unpacked my bags, and ate some of those raspberries, it was 12:30 a.m. I was exhausted and in bed by 1 a.m. Pacific time (would be 3 a.m. Central time).

For Sunday morning, Mom and my sister, Jan, invited me to go to church with them. We would go to the 11:00 a.m. service at Athey Creek Christian Fellowship. My wake-up call wasn't until 9:00 a.m.

Sunday, June 12, 2016:
For breakfast, Mom had assembled a good group of smoothie ingredients, so I had a yummy drink for breakfast. At 10:30 a.m., Mom, my sister and our family friend, Jo, all headed out to church. The church and property are HUGE. Their church building is one-year old and is in a beautiful location: the rolling hills of Wilsonville.

Beautiful flower pots outside church
Athey Creek Christian Fellowship, Wilsonville, Oregon
Me and Jan in the church
Here we are by the stage
A huge sanctuary
Mom and our friend, Jo
The view out the windows of the church
The service started with lots of Christian rock music and everyone sang along. The words were projected on the wall above the stage. The guitar player on the right is the minister's son. We sang three songs, then there were prayers and we sang some more. They took the offering and we sang again. Then they showed a Powerpoint presentation about how the church had grown over the past year and included what still needed to be done and how much it would cost. (Staggering sum in my opinion!)

The pastor is going through the Bible and now is in Judges. He is quite the storyteller. Today's message was about Samson and Delilah, Philistines and Nazarites, and how we are all sinners, what that means, and how we can overcome.

View of Mt. Hood from inside a prayer room.
When the service was over, we headed to Sweet Tomatoes restaurant for lunch. I sure miss Sweet Tomatoes and wish they would open one in San Antonio!

My brother, Frank, and his wife, Gina

Frank and Gina
Jan, Mom and me at Sweet Tomatoes
When we were full of salad and baked potatoes and soup, Mom, Jan and I headed back to Mom's house where we played many games of Rummikub out on the patio. It was a glorious day in Portland, about 78 degrees.

Mom's living room overlooks the golf course
Where we played Rummikub on the patio
Jan left about 4:45 p.m. and I took Mom shopping at New Seasons grocery store. We bought fish, fruits, vegetables and some shampoo. When we got back to Mom's house, she watered all her flowers (pic coming on those) while I made trout and steamed green beans for dinner. Mom made a bowl of peaches and raspberries for dessert. It was a great day.


  1. Aren't families the best thing ever? Your family sounds as sweet as can be. How thoughtful of your brother, to not only pick you up but bring you some berries. Dang, I want to hug him and he's not even my brother. You are a lucky person to have such a sweet family.

    1. Cheryl, Yes, families are great. He's my baby brother. Sounds funny to say that when he's turning 60 in two weeks! LOL.

  2. Southwest is my favorite airline.

    1. We like SW Airlines too...fly it whenever we travel. We're those people who are dedicated customers. We love they allow two pieces of checked baggage free and they have wonderful customer service.

  3. We hadn't ordered our mail in a while and just got it yesterday. Saw your article in the Escapees magazine and wanted to tell you I thought you did a very nice job!
    Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

    1. Thank you so much, Gayle. That means a lot to me since it's my first article in a big magazine.

  4. Ditto! Just read your article. They just had the Crazy Horse Volksmarch last weekend. Did not do it, excuse was work :)

  5. Thank you, Laurel. I plan to do Crazy Horse next year on the way to the Volkssport Convention in Billings, MT.


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