My husband was about nine years old when his parents purchased a small one-bedroom home overlooking Netarts Bay on the Oregon coast. That sweet little beach home became our getaway for many years. Our daughters have lifetimes full of memories spent there.
That sweet little cabin served us well for nearly fifty years. We finally sold it seven years ago when we moved farther North in Washington state and another hour's drive from that location.
Having lived in Oregon and Washington the greater part of my life, I am very familiar with coastal towns in both states. Oregon has always been my favorite. I love the tall, rocky outcroppings where there is no beach and the ocean slams against the rocks, creating white spray and tidepools of ocean life in shallow pools. Forests of pine trees are permanently bent by the winds. Beach towns run together and offer sandy beaches and water for sun bathing, kite flying, crabbing, fishing, hiking, shopping, restaurants and hotels for every budget.
Over the past few years we have visited the coast in February for my birthday and it is usually cold and raining. This year I decided to wait until April. Therefore, with family in tow, we will be heading to Happy Camp during spring break.
I chose a vacation rental home with unobstructed views of the bay and ocean. It's very near to where our former cabin is located. I remember when there were only a few homes on this stretch of beach and a tired looking rental park filled with old travel trailers lining the shore. The trailers are long gone and today modern homes fill every available niche.
This is a photo of the home we are renting where those travel trailers were once parked. It has a fireplace in the living room that begs you to curl up in leather furniture and enjoy a good cup of coffee, watch the ocean fill and empty the bay every four hours; read a book and get drowsy in sunlight streaming through lots of glass, walk along the beach, sleep in and just feel lazy.
I'm taking along a basket filled with skeins of yarn and my circular knitting needles, as I enjoy making hats for my husband. (Yes, Melodee, a skein of black yarn for your hat request, too!)
I'll take a stack of books and a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes the girls groan when they see one of my puzzles spread out, but puzzles are relaxing and a fun way to visit with each other.
We love to watch movies at night, so I am tucking in some the family has not seen. Movies and popcorn, so good! I love electronics and e-mail as much as anybody, but getting away will be about sharing with those I love and taking pictures of our activities together.
I am so grateful for my family and I will say, with sincere humbleness, that we do it well. I look forward to the sharing, the laughter and joy.
Road trips with my kids are especially fun. You cannot get on an train, bus or airplane and listen to your daughter sing to you at the top of her lungs. Yet, in the car she plays her favorite CDs does that for me, yes, just for me, every chance she gets. I am so lucky!! :)
Here is a photo of grandon Shawn, on our way out of town on one of our trips. His Mom surprised him with a bag of goodies and little toys to enjoy in the car. You can see in the photo that the rear of the car was packed full with suitcases and groceries. You might wonder how he copes with his Mother's singing...he keeps earphones tucked in and plays a video game in the back seat. The young are so wise!
Usually Melodee and Aaron are in their vehicle so we communicate by cell phone and text messaging. Occasionally we drive along side of them and make faces or pass on the freeway to get around them. We always look for a great restaurant along the way, delighting in good food shared together.
On one of our trips, we had lunch at a bear-themed restaurant in Madras, Oregon. I purchased a large, beautifully made plush bear that I held in the front seat. A few hours later, while parked at a rest stop and using the facilities, daughter Melodee took the bear from Cassie's vehicle and put it in her own. After we were back on the road I was advised that my bear was sitting in her back window, having been kidnapped, and I might not see it again for a long time. Yeah, a crazy bunch, for sure!
In the next photo you can see togetherness spreading all over the couches, what I call getting really, really comfortable! This trip was also at the coast, a vacation condo located adjacent to a beautiful lake and mountain range.
Aaron, Cassie, Melodee (blanket) and Shawn (pajamas)
A Day on the Lake
Shawn, Melodee & Aaron
Aaron and Melodee
The owners of our condo unit furnished a canoe. Melodee and Aaron had a wonderful time out on the lake, rowing from one end to the other.
I am thankful for our times together and look forward to opportunities to be with family. Grandson Brandon is turning twenty-one in three weeks. He lives out-of-town and won't be able to be at the beach with us during spring break. Our next get-together will (obviously) be a birthday party for him!
I remember when his Mom turned twenty-one. Melodee and I took Cassie to a Red Lion bar for celebratory drinks. That was funny! We cannot let Brandon's birthday come and go without being with him, too.
First things first, though - we will gather for a beachy spring break and build new memories at Happy Camp! It's not where you are, it's who you are with that really counts.
"Thank you for reading and have a great day!"