Thursday, February 13, 2014

Family Time

I was thrilled to take advantage of a cheap flight to Portland...just because.  I tried to squeeze it in between work commitments, so it was a shorty, but certainly memorable.

After waking up to two inches of snow on the car early, early, early Tuesday morning last week, I managed to make it to the airport in a record six hours - the record for the longest trip to the airport.  It was manageable on the highway, but I dared not stray onto the surface streets of snow and slickness - that's where all the accidents were.  I landed in a surprisingly dry Portland.

Undeniably, this trip went fast.  I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with everyone, but I really enjoyed my time with everyone.  Abba, Nick and I went to the mountains to get firewood to bring back to Portland.  I was happy to practice hauling wood and took seriously the responsibility of keeping the fire going- I like to be warm.
There was some crunchy old snow at the Bear Hut, but Mt. Hood was radiant in the snow.

Wednesday evening I got to surprise the Dieringers with a visit and totally upset their evening routine.  It was great to visit and play with the kids.  Thursday morning I got to see Amy again, though our planned walk was cancelled due to temps below freezing.  Miki and the boys joined us, and it was great to see the kids play and share stories.  Ollie and I made a batch of pumpkin bread, which he shared with GG and Uncle Niki.

Then the weather went from cold to cold and snowy.  It accumulated quickly enough, and plans started shifting, as people were stranded and meetings were cancelled and school let out early.  Gratefully, it wasn't enough to stop us from getting up the snowy hills to Auggie's for a delicious meal and some QT with Hannah.  She just keeps growing and getting cuter and cuter. 

By coincidence, my trip coincided with the funeral services for a wonderfully dear man I grew up sitting in front of at mass.  Gene was a good friend of my grandparents, and I was privileged to be there for the services.  It's only about once a year that all six in my family make it to church together, so what a testament to Gene that we were all there.

Friday I played in the snow with Cole - pulling around on a saucer: "Faster, Aunt Tori; go faster - faster!"

Grandpa had the perfect size shovel for this rosy-cheeked boy to happily shovel the walk for his momma, though he did mix the yellow snow with all the good stuff. 

After plenty of snow time (which nearly lost me my wallet - but by the grace of God, it was back in my pocket before we left and in hand for the airport early the next morning), we bundled back up and headed back to Mom and Dad's for a rowdy family dinner.

Sweet Drew checking out his cousin.  He had a great nap and was in a great mood.

Hannah giving herself the finger.  She was happy to be the center of attention.

The snow kept falling on Friday, and I was hopeful/anxious about my flight being delayed or cancelled.  It actually left on time and landed early Saturday morning.  It was another full, full day of travel, though I enjoyed a pizza lunch with a couple friends on my way out of town.  Poor Tom was left in the lurch, as I had forgotten my cell phone in Portland and couldn't call to say where I was.  Ultimately, I found a pay phone to let him know I'd be home soon.  (Can you believe a pay phone costs $1.00 now?!?!)  And around 8 pm I pulled in to home, grateful to be back in Tom's arms.

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