Sunday, June 24, 2012

1600 miles behind us

My Dad and I have started our trip to Georgia to pick up a antique glider that was donated to WAAAM.

I did say that I would write every night and had the best of intentions to do so. My best excuse for the lack of updates is the unexpectedly long days.

The first night started on Friday as soon as I got off work. We pulled out of Gresham OR at about 4:30 in the evening and made it to La Grande. The La Grande Inn, our host for the night, needs to do a little mattress shopping. Turns out, beds as stiff as boards do not make for the most refreshing sleep.

The amazing red rock that we found all through Utah

We were on the road at about 6:30 the next (Saturday) morning. The well priced continental breakfast providing some minor nourishment and we put our faces toward the sun and Rock Springs Wyoming. Once in Rock Springs, we decided to taste something local and landed at some place called White Mountain Steak House. I got to tell you, those Wyoming cattle ranchers can raise some good beef. I enjoyed the best steak I've ever had in my life, bar none!

 Sunday morning greeted us with another continental breakfast and an early start toward the East. The first 100 miles of Wyoming was very scenic, the reminding 300 miles was quite boring.

After 400 miles through corn town Nebraska, we made it to Lincoln. In the morning, we head for Cadiz Kentucky.

While I'm out running about the country, I missed a memorial service for my aunt that passed away last weekend. I wrote something that my Mom read at her service. As a last tribute to my Aunt, I will post what I wrote.

For each and every one of us, we’ve all taken our first breath of life. With certain assurance, someday we will also take our last. These are separate events in our lives that create many emotions and very lasting impressions on those around us. It is at these two moments that many people will have the strongest memories of us.  

From the time we take that first breath, life becomes a nonstop learning process. We start out completely innocent and blameless. We are a work of art in which the brush has not yet touched the canvas. We have yet to be molded and developed. In those first few hours, our only job is to be cute. Although, some accomplish that task better than others.

As life progresses, we grow and learn. We develop personalities, traits, characteristics. By our late teens, we are usually set on path that we will follow for the rest of our lives.

When it’s all said and done, at that moment that we pass through that door, those around us will often reflect on the legacy that we left behind. This moment shall be no different.

As I consider what legacy my Aunt Sharon left for me, I always seem to come back to one thing; learning. In the almost 43 years that I’ve known my Aunt, I’ve watched her go through many learning experiences. I’ve witnessed times when her character and her strength were tested for integrity. Through it all, I’ve seen her learn and progress through life. She has taken from the past and applied it to the future and made that future better for her and the people around her. This is the inheritance that I shall so graciously accept from you, that I can always learn in life and I can always apply that to my future.

Aunt Sharon, I thank you so much for all the wonderful comments you left for me. The compliments that you left for Bekah on facebook lifted my soul and were such a blessing to me.  I will always cherish the wonderful things you had to say. As my way of saying thank you, I will learn to do a better job at passing on compliments to those around me.

Be at rest, dear Lady, you have finished well.

Need to relax a little, hope to write more soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Highs and Lows

The Highs.....
My Dad (Steve version) and I have been actively volunteering at a museum in Hood River Oregon. I have previously written about about WAAAM and what an amazing museum it is. My Dad and I have become more and more involved and have our collective hands in several pots now. We had a Ford Model A donated to the museum that was about 98% present yet completely disassembled. My Dad has taken on the project putting the car together and plans to have it on the road by our Cruise in October.
For the last 3 months on our 2nd Saturdays, I've been driving the 1916 Dodge Brother Roadster giving customers rides.

Recently, the museum received a rather generous gift of some areoplanes and gliders. The donor wanted his planes in the air so he also donated the funds to keep them maintained and fueled for the next 10 years. He also donated the funds to help us retrieve these artifacts from their remote locations. 

All 4 gliders are in a garage just north of Atlanta Georgia. Our Director, Judy Newman put out the word that they were looking for 4 teams of volunteers to drive to the Peach State to drag home our newest prizes. This was a lot like waving a face sized lollipop in front of a 5 year old and asking the silly question...who wants it? My Dad and I both went into the "Pick me, Pick me" stage. I immediately secured a week off from work and was waiting to get the green light.

 We were later told that there were several volunteers and since we were the new kids on the block that the other people would get first crack at the opportunity. Since my week off was closing in fast and we still haven't received final word, I was just about ready to cancel the vacation and give up on the idea. Then, fate would have it... We were at the volunteer potluck on Friday night and Judy approached us let us know that we were next in line and if we wanted the trip, it was ours to take. Needless to say, we were like 5 year old's that had just been handed a lollipop. My Dad was smiling ear to ear and I started belting out my best rendition of Midnight Train to Georgia. 

We are planning on leaving June 22nd as soon as I get home from work and will be back no later than July 1st, so I can be back at work on the 2nd. I will plan on blogging the whole trip.

The Lows....
Within 12 hours of receiving the news that we were headed to Georgia, I received a call from my Dad (Russ version) that my Mom's Sister, Sharon had passed away that morning. 

I didn't see My Aunt Sharon a lot but being friends on facebook we interacted often. She would often leave very sweet comments about My daughter and her singing/musical abilities. She often told my Mom how much she enjoyed getting to know me on facebook and what a wonderful nephew I was. I don't know, maybe she was a bad judge of character.

Rest in Peace Aunt Sharon. My daughter will keep singing, I'll keep telling the stupid jokes you laughed at and I'll continue to make the pumpkin butter that you so graciously complimented. 

Pass through the gates dear one, you have finished well.