Oregon in the Rear View Mirror

Summer has just begun and already some of the best parts are in the rear view mirror. We descended upon Oregon the 16th of June. We arrived at midnight and spent that first night at Bruce and Beth’s, Steve’s brother and sister-in-law. The next day it was off to the Apple store, the outlet mall, the fruit market and then to mom’s. It was wonderful being with mom. Everything reminded us of dad and that he wasn’t there. But remembering can be a good thing and therapeutic. We ran errands with mom and for mom. We played some pinochle and visited.

Thursday Steve picked up his sister, Linda Sweeney, from the Portland airport, returned to Turner to pick up Kay and mom and we all drove to Fort Klamath in southern Oregon. Driving through Oregon is like driving through a book of memories. We arrive at the bungalows on Fort Creek and check in then drive the mile over to the family ranch (registered in 1872). We added our potluck dishes to the assortment and visit with family.

Friday we decide to drive to Crater Lake to take pictures. It is as beautiful as ever. Called the gem of the national parks for it’s incredible deep blue it is a welcoming sight. Steve served one summer with Christian Ministries in the National Parks at Carter Lake, so that too was a walk down memory lane.

Saturday was the day of dad’s burial. The honor guard arrived from Eugene and we all sat down and shared lunch. Then we made our way done to the cemetery. The flags were flying high along the front fence and the day was clear and beautiful. Bruce led us in some favorite hymns, Rusty and Linda read scripture and we each took our turn to share words of remembrance of dad. After others had shared we each helped dig a small hole for the urn that held dads ashes. The young marines presented mom with the flag and the navy man played taps. We missed dad so we cried, we remembered dad for the brave man and good husband and father that he was and we gave him up to the Lord. As I have told others dad prepared us well for this day by being the man that he was, a man of faith, a man of high values and a man of integrity. Thank you dad

Later that same day we were visited by calamity. As Linda moved to take a picture her ankle gave out and she fell onto the wooden deck of the bungalow and shattered her left elbow. The pain was instant and she knew it was bad. Bruce and Beth transported Linda to the Klamath Falls Medical Center.

Sunday. Since the service of celebration of dad’s life was Monday afternoon Kay, Mom and I visited Linda in the hospital before we headed back to Turner. Rusty stayed until she came out of recovery and then drove to Turner.

Our arrival at mom’s house was anything but relaxing. Mayhem had visited mom’s place while we were gone. A shower mat hung up to dry had disintegrated and fallen from the hanger. It struck the cold water faucet on its way down and then covered the drain. Needless to say half the house was in serious water damage. Whoever the contractor was that installed a bath tub without an overflow drain should be picking up the tab! So it was straight from the drivers seat to a vacuum. But it didn’t take long to realize that it was useless. We called Servepro who came out later that night and worked until 2:00 AM. Steve knows, he was up the whole time. Mom now has an apartment made up of the dining room, her bedroom, her kitchen and her bathroom. She has a plastic wall between her apartment and the rest of her house. Two feet of sheet rock is gone from her walls, the carpet is gone, the wood laminate is gone as is the floor board. On the BRIGHT SIDE mom will have new floors, new carpet and that disgusting joint in the linoleum is going to be covered with carpet! I thought it couldn’t get any worse and then the air conditioner stopped working just in time for the unusually hot weather. Thank you Lord for people who work on AC and for their getting mom’s AC working again. I don’t think we would have lasted many more 87 degree days in the house.

We did find time to attend part of the Oregon Christian Convention, Steve spoke at the Emmanuel Christian Seminary luncheon and Linda prepared slides which Steve presented. Oh yeah, Linda was there and on drugs! She said the drugs caused drowsiness, forgetfulness and mood swings, so nobody had better get in her way. Yep, that’s Steve’s sister! We’re happy to know that Linda is back in Johnson City and in the capable care of Mike. Good luck with the therapy. The good luck is for the therapist too!

We are now back in Mexico City. We took the red eye arriving around 9:30 AM. Wednesday we took the train into MC and then a bus now to Reforma St. and from there a taxi to the US Embassy. Passports are a must and it was time to renew Kay’s. We then drove by the shop where they are making the canopies that we will be using for the VBS’s in two weeks. They assured us that they were on track to being done by time. Oh, we do pray so! Please pray for the work team coming from Colonial Heights Christian Church in Colonial Heights, Tenn.

Since tomorrow is the 4th of July we and the three Reach Interns are gathering at Vic and Pam DeLeon’s for food and games. We wish you all a great Independence Day. May the Lord bless you each and thank you again for your thoughts and prayers.

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