My trips to the US come few and far between nowadays. There is the annual sales conference usually in the February time frame and of course Christmas, but that is usually it... until recently.
Now I may have been the 3rd choice on the depth chart to attend a meeting that was being held in California, but at least it was a chance to leap over the Pacific and spend some time with family and friends after my work was done. It was a special treat because it was unexpected and it was an occurrence that allowed me to re-charge my batteries, take a brief time-out, and reconnect with people who are important to me.
I spent a holiday weekend in Portland, as the US was celebrating Memorial Day. It was a good time to visit as everyone was in a good mood heading into a rare 3-day weekend. My friend Keiko, was nice enough to allow me to crash in her guest room, to the dismay of her cat who had been using it as the place where his litter box was kept. Keiko and I were able to drop by a couple of old haunts and enjoy good drink and good food, and not to mention catch up with each other.
I was able to surprise my friend Kevin, with the help of his wife Rose of course. I rang Rose up on the phone and initially shocked her when I told her I was in town. She said that Kevin and her had dinner reservations tonight and that I was welcome to join. I told her not to tell Kevin I would come so that we could surprise him. When I did walk into the restaurant Kevin told Rose, that guy over there looks a lot like David. When I approached the table the gag was up and Kevin met me with a big grin and a firm handshake. We caught up on local sports and the goings on with each others' lives. We then moved on to have dessert at my favorite place in Northwest Portland. My taste buds were happy to reconnect with familiar friends as well.
I took an entire week off to spend with my parents at the family farm. We used the time together to take some nice drives and do some sightseeing as the beautiful Oregon weather began welcoming the Summer season. One drive had us heading for the mountains named 3 Sisters. We found this amazingly beautiful yet isolated lake that was high in the mountains and fed from melting snow. All three of us actually had to hike around and over what was left of the previous Winter's snow which was melting day by day. The air was so fresh and clean and you could smell the scent of the trees in the air. I really missed this sensation. As we returned back down from the lake we could gaze across an endless sea of trees which stretched up to snow capped mountains.
Dad and I took one day together and headed for Smith Rock. This famous area formed from volcanic eruptions and natural wind & water erosion over countless centuries, has created an amazing spectacle for the eye and also one of America's premier rock climbing destinations. I took a hike deep within the canyon and walked along the riverbanks looking up at these cathedrals of stone.
One of the pleasures of being back was to celebrate a special anniversary. My beloved Pick-up Truck was 40 years old this year. Originally bought by my Grandpa, this truck has many sentimental memories for me. My Grandpa use to take me for rides in the truck when I was a little boy. He would typically ask me if I wanted to go for a "bumpity ride in the pick up", which was always met with a triumphant yes by me. I would ride in the passenger seat next to my Grandpa as he would grind the gears of the 4-speed manual through the wheat fields of the farm. The truck would toss and turn as we would hit rock hollows and stumps, but the endless shaking would only mean more laughter and fun for me and Grandpa. During the return ride back home he would let me sit in the open bed of the truck, where I could feel the wind hit my face.
Grandpa left me this old farm truck and when I was in high school, I saved my money and was able to take it into the body shop to remove all the old dents and scrapes and bring the truck back to life again. I kept the original green color, which was unique for its day. The old farm truck was re-born into a classic and has been close to me to this very day. It has always been sad that it is usually stuck in the barn and is rarely driven. So when I was home this time, I had some repairs done on the old truck and brought it back to life and into driving condition once again. From there I washed it up and put a new coat of wax on the old 1967 GMC. As you can see by the photos, it looks brand new again. Not bad for a 40 year old!
My unexpected trip home was rejuvenating. It was so fun to catch up with friends and spend time with my parents. It was also great to take in the scenic beauty of my home state as well as bring out the beauty once again of an old and trusted friend. Look forward to seeing everyone again during the Christmas Season.