Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Springtime in Eugene

I'm in Eugene visiting my son Tuli and grandson Harper. The weather here after the first few days has been almost perfect with sunny, blue skies and warm lilac-scented days. Everything's a-bloom here, unlike Homer where winter is still rearing its ugly head every few days to confound those with hopes of starting their gardening or other outdoor projects. It was a long hard winter up north, one of those that make me glad I've become a snowbird. I know if I were in Homer right now I'd be cursing the snow and the difficult hike to the little cabin up on the ridge at David and Jenny's where I spent the past three summers. That place was a wonderful summer hideout and I'll miss it a lot. However, I will not miss snowshoeing in and living without running water.

I've lucked out and found a terrific place to stay. I put out an APB by email to my Homer tennis friends asking if anyone knew of a place to rent or house sit.  Within hours I had a reply; the offer of a house to use for most of the summer. It's also up on the ridge north of Homer, near David & Jenny's, but a bit closer to town. And as a huge bonus it has satellite TV (think tennis and Wimbledon), broadband Internet (a major addiction satisfied), and running water. With that email the last of my concerns about the summer have been put to rest and I can be free to totally enjoy my time here in Eugene. Thanks to Betsy and Marsh who will be in Portland preparing for the arrival of two new grandchildren. My congrats and thanks also go to Lyric and Lyra for their most excellent timing ^_^.

"Boppa Dave" at Starbuck's with Tuli and Harper (above and below)

 I have some regrets about my life before I moved to Alaska but chief among them is that I wasn't around to watch and participate in my other grandchildren's lives. I have excuses. Who doesn't? I was working far away in Alaska, I had little time or money, I was single parenting part of the time, my kids are scattered all over the lower 48, etc. But those precious years are past and I missed them. Now that I'm retired and have some time to travel I'm determined that Harper won't grow up without knowing his weird, wandering grandpa from Alaska. That's by way of explaining why all the photos in this post have the little guy in them.

Here in Eugene, Max and Alice are part of Tuli's and my extended family. Both are old and dear Homer friends. Max is in school here and Alice moved down to be involved with Max's double lung transplant a few years ago. Alice is practically a second mom to Tuli and Max and Tuli have been best friends since they were 4 years old. Alice often took care of Tuli when I worked at the library in Homer. I remember picking him up after the late shift on Thursday nights, pizza night at Max and Lance's, where there was usually a slice left for me. Fond memories for which I'll always be grateful. We've all been getting together regularly for dinner since I got here. It's been great to spend so much time with people that are in almost every way part of my family. And now, with Harper on the scene, the whole thing is continuing except that now it's Aunt Alice and Uncle Max connecting with Tuli's boy. The cycle repeats itself ...

Harper with his Uncle Max and daddy -- Go Ducks!
With Aunt Alice at her home in Eugene

Harper in the Work Zone
 I guess that's all for now. I'm simply whiling away the days as the time comes for my trip north. I leave here on the 25th of May. Tuli's home from work with a case of strep throat so I'm doing my best to take care of him, sort of like the old days. I've been cooking his favorite foods and actually enjoying the extra time we're getting to spend together although this certainly ain't the best way to get it.