Monday, September 8, 2014

Before Hawaii....

"We were encouraged to invest in Chase's quality of life.
To make the most of this time.  To do the things we wanted to do.
And yet, the truth is that we should be doing
those things all the time anyway, whether it's doctor's orders or not.
We're all terminal and all we have is the day in front of us."
- Ellie Ewoldt on her son's recurrence of cancer

Porcupine State Park, Michigan

It's amazing how time has been flying.  Mostly, probably, due to something going on behind the scenes that I can't put out there yet, but feel free to pray for wisdom and grace in the decisions that I'm making.  A couple of other things from the trip across ND.  While in Theodore Roosevelt State Park dodging bison in the dark, trying to get turned around (see previous posts), there was a moment that I saw bright yellow eyes glaring out at me from the dark.  Bison eyes do not glow yellow.  I'm just saying.  Then, as I was slowly making my way back, a badger ran right in front of me.  

After waking up the next morning in Montana and continuing my drive, I saw a dead badger, along with a porcupine on the side of the road.  But then, the day got better.  There were several herds of wild pronged antelope grazing in the fields on the side of the road.  There was a golden eagle in a field, which I recognized after seeing one in the zoo the day before.  A bald eagle flew above me overhead.  Sandhill cranes waded through tall grass.  And then, honest to goodness cowboys out working cattle in the field.  Loved it.  Montana has moved up quite a bit in my book between my last visit and this.  It really is beautiful country, filled with wild animals of various sorts.

A little further along, though, we had an almost accident.  Driving down the interstate, beautiful day, window rolled down, singing along to the radio, when I hear a weird pow noise.  I look around quickly, trying to figure out if it came from my car, and at first don't see anything, until I see the 18 wheeler slightly ahead and to the side of me swerve a little bit, and one of the tires doing something odd.  Upon closer inspection, I realized he had a blowout, and here came part of the tire flying at me in the road.  Thankfully I was not going right beside him, that could have been a disaster.  As it was, I was able to slow down quickly, and move over to the other side of the road, and avoid the various bits of tire still flying around.  He also pulled over, and I continued on.

Had an awesome few days (as usual) square dancing in Portland.  Roomed with 3 other ladies that I had not previously met, and it worked out better than expected.  They enjoyed embarrassing me, and I enjoyed helping them with various medical questions.  :-)  I did see a couple of people I had danced with at various other places around the country, including the guy who was my partner in the competition at Nationals.  It was a lot of fun.  My favorite part was the mystery tour on Sunday morning.  Over 120 of us headed out on 2 large, very comfortable buses, to 4 different places around Portland (OMSI, Moda, a park in the downtown area, and down the hill from the hospital).  The best part was getting to the hospital, and getting to take the tram down to the riverside where we were dancing, with a great aerial view of the city on the trip down.

Left Portland early Monday morning to head up to Seattle to visit my stepmom for a few days.  We had a great time hanging out, playing a lot of cribbage, going to the fair, visiting and playing at the local cribbage club, doing some shopping, etc.  It was great to see her again, as I had not seen her since my dad's death 2 years previous.  Left Thursday afternoon, and headed down to Mt Rainier.  The mountain was in full and beautiful view the days I was there, and enjoyed camping by what my mom would call a "babbling brook".  Drove up to Sunrise Point twice, which is only a little over 6000 ft up in the air, but for me was just as bad as driving up towards Pike's Peak in Colorado in regards to my fear of heights.  I was doing ok until I looked down.  Love that area, and  lots of hiking opportunities.

Now, I'm back in Portland, preparing to pack up and head out in the am to the airport for my flight to Hawaii.  The hostel has wifi, so might have time to catch up while there, but otherwise, await LOTS of stories when I get back next week.


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