Hey Mom!

Hey Mom!

 
I knew immediately who was calling—the dinner hour, traveling for work, alone, no one else to talk to. It had to be our older son, Craig. At 48, he still called home when he needed to talk or ask a question. Your kids may grow up but in some instances, they never grow away.
 
At the dinner table, I put the phone on speaker so Bob could hear. 
 
Hey Craig! What’s up?
 
He began by reminding me he was in Eastern Oregon on business and happened to be in Pendleton. A town with which we have a little travel history from our trip moving to Portland. We drove cross-country with two dogs and a cat. Our itinerary had planned stops in interesting places. At age 12, Craig had much he could learn by traveling 2200 miles from Tennessee to Oregon. One stop brought us to Pendleton, a rodeo town full of cowboys and interesting places and people.
 
Mom, can you remember the name of the hotel we stayed in?
 
I couldn’t and neither could Bob so Craig continued with his description of the place in question.
 
It’s the place we stayed and when we went down to the restaurant for dinner, we sat by the window. There was a sidewalk there, and I looked out the window and saw this guy walk into a lampost. Then he turned around and walking in the opposite direction, he stopped and peed on the post! Remember how hard we laughed?
 
No doubt we remembered the story Craig was sharing. We had to work hard to calm ourselves down to stop drawing the attention of other diners.
 
Amazing as it seemed, Craig remembered that night. His recollections were detailed and as funny as the time it happened.
 
As a family, we have many memories from that cross-country trip in 1983. And it was gratifying to have your son call to share one with you. Maybe it’s one of those forever memories I talked about in a post several days ago. A memory you’ll never forget and have ready to tell your kids or grandkids someday.

 

Hey Mom!, memories, forever memories, Dr. Suess

 

Feature Image Attribution:  Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

Forever Memories

 
 
Forever memories are those that stay with you for…well, forever. In conversation with others, forever memories trigger a certain response from you. You want to share the excitement, the reactions you felt, the way the memory has lasted. Almost as if whatever happened was yesterday.
 
A decade or so ago we took a vacation that has become a forever memory. And if you’ve read William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, you know what blue highways are. If not, the answer is simple. Older Rand McNally road atlases and maps identified the various types of roadways with color. Major highways appeared in red. Out-of-the-way highways running through small, almost unknown, rural towns appeared in blue.
 
Our trip was not as long as Heat-Moon’s nor was it circular as his was. But we did have certain restrictions that forced the use of blue highways:
 
  • The direction in which we traveled remained unknown until our morning of departure. This part of our trip was decided over breakfast. We would pull a direction—north, south, east or west—from a hat. Bob drew north.
  • A hard and almost fast rule depended on one condition. Travel had to be via blue highways unless there was no access between Points A and B other than a major highway. This forced a sense of nostalgia and relaxation as a major component of our travel.
  • We confirmed no reservations for overnight accommodations. And only once had a difficult time finding availability.
  • No time schedule was set for each day. Serendipitous activities awaited us. We visited attractions we’d never heard of and visited parks we’d never passed. Meals took place in some of the greatest eateries along the way.
 
As we headed out of Portland north on Highway 30, we had no idea where we’d end up that night or what we’d see along the way. By lunchtime, we found ourselves at Mt. St. Helen’s and enjoyed a brief visit there as well as had a picnic lunch we’d brought along. The rest of the day we wandered along blue highways. The casual drive presented beautiful farms with old barns and outbuildings. Another bonus was the beauty of the world around us, the peace and quiet of rural Washington state.
 
By dusk, we started searching for a place to stay. A look at the map showed we were not far from Centralia, WA. Centralia is 90.8 miles and 1.5 hours from Portland. It is clear we didn’t make it very far that first day. Yet, our plan was to relax and enjoy this trip, not worry about a schedule.
 
Over the next 10 days or so, we spent our time the same way. We visited interesting towns and places we’d never thought about or heard of. Our travel took us as far north as the Northern Cascade Mountains where we saw snowfall during June.
 
Our memories of this trip are quite memorable. Their uniqueness makes them unforgettable. We have talked many times about how much we enjoyed this trip and how we’d like to do it again.
 
We haven’t yet, but there is always tomorrow. And there are plenty of blue highways we haven’t hit.
 
 
Featured Image Attribution:
Methow Valley, WA in Northern Cascades
Lidija Kamansky/Getty Images

Must Look Fashionable!

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Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

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Life Is Adventure

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LOREM IPSUM DOLOR

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To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge. It’s about embracing the pain that you’ll experience at the end of a race and not being afraid. I think people think too hard and get afraid of a certain challenge.

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