One of the benefits of travel has been renewing friendships and creating new memories. Our recent trip across fourteen states continues to bring smiles and memories to the surface making this chronologically gifted man reflect on the richness of life.
From Pie Town we drove to Phoenix, AZ, and my older brother's and sister-in-law's (Clancy, Connie) 50th anniversary celebration. It was intended to be a surprise, and it actually turned out to be a surprise! They were truly amazed!
After the gala celebration, my wife and I continued our journey westward. Our next stop was in Southern California to see friends Barb and Dave. I have known Barb since college, and we have touched base several times over the years since then. Dianne has known her almost as long as I have. Barb and Dave were very gracious to us, showing us the old, familiar sights we had seen many years earlier. We really enjoyed our time together, and Barb will always remain special, for she is the one who introduced me to Dianne. Barb has truly had a great impact on our lives.
From Southern California, we drove north to Lincoln, California where we stopped to visit Ron and Mary who share the wanderlust spirit that we have. We spent a few hours going through a new senior community and seeing spectacular model homes. While out of our league, it’s always fun to dream.
Next came Medford, Oregon, where we were able to renew our friendship with Chuck and Sharon, again old friends from college. We are very grateful to have such terrific friends who welcome us along the way. Being retired seniors makes visiting much easier to do.
While in Medford, we were able to spend an hour or so with another dear couple, Steve and Robbie. Isn’t it interesting how when, looking back on your life, certain people always pop up? Steve and Robbie are like that. They easily pop up! We feel so fortunate to have so many dear friends.
From Medford, Oregon, we drove northeast to Bend, Oregon, where we joined a family reunion with son Bryan and his wife Star, daughter Brittany and husband Bryan, and Aeryn, our granddaughter. Granddaughter Taylor and her special guy were also there.
It’s always great to be with family. We made several trips to local lakes and spent time in the water and on the beaches. We also took several day hikes to beautiful “blue holes” and through cooling forests.
On another day we floated the Deschutes River and found some unique restaurants where we enjoyed pleasant lunches or suppers. Several evenings we just sat around the rented house and gabbed together or read books. It was a very relaxing time.
After the week together, most of the family headed eastward and home (and work!) while Dianne and I headed north to see my daughter and son-in-law in Oregon (because we are retired seniors!).
My daughter Tami and her husband, George lead pretty active lives, and we are grateful we could spend some time in their home. We don’t get to see them very much, so this was a very special time. Although they live in the city of Walla Walla, the community is obscured from their home because of its private setting. It is set back from the road with a year-round stream in the large backyard. We would like to be able to spend more time with them.
My younger brother (David) and his wife (Donna), who live in the Portland, Oregon area was our next destination. While spending a couple of days with them, we took day trips to the Oregon coast and another day trip to Mt. Hood, stopping to see the lavender fields on the way. We visited the home mansion of a newspaper magnet, took a river cruise and visited the beach town of Seaside. There is a lot of beautiful country in Oregon.
Dianne and I were also able to spend an hour or so visiting with Tricia (my oldest daughter) in Portland. She and her mother have a thriving business selling various kinds of produce to their local neighbors. They are doing well.
Planning for such trips is something that brings joy in our senior years. Each of these encounters enriched our lives again and made more memories for future referral. As we age together, we treasure these moments more and more, and we look forward to the next time we can touch base with family and friends. As the old song says, “We will have these moments to remember...”