Monday, March 19, 2007


Our adventure to North Carolina has already come and gone. We had a great visit with family. Calder was a huge surprise and a big hit. It was so fun to be the secret, unexpected visitors. My grandmother was actually present in Oregon when Calder was born, but under the circumstances she didn't get to hold him before she had to leave to go home. What a treat it was to see her and Calder together, especially since she hadn't expected to see him (outside of photos) until he was almost a year old.

We ventured south to spend a few days with my mom's sisters Gloria (L) and Wanda (R) pictured here with Calder and my mom. We indulged in sweet tea, barbeque, pound cake, butter beans, fried okra, candied yams... real good food. Even Calder had a taste or two of the good stuff thanks to his Great Aunt Gloria who wouldn't let him miss out on the pound cake's caramel frosting.

I've never considered our trips to North Carolina vacations like going to Hawaii or some other place you've never been before where you stay in hotels or explore sites. These visits have always been about family, staying in their homes, gathering for meals, making the rounds to make sure you see everyone. I enjoy it though it's completely different from a vacation. My mom and dad moved away from there before I was born, but nearly everyone else is still there which means a visit from us West Coasters is a big deal.

I thought a lot about Shari as we drove through the small brick towns, past fields, and forests that look so different from the ones here in Oregon. I was experiencing her "normal". She writes often about her surroundings, the seasons, the weather, the plants and rivers. For me the North Carolina landscape is made of memories. It's familiar but completely unknown.

This may be the first time I've ever taken pictures of what I saw in North Carolina, the sharp light of mid-day, the pines. We spent a morning touring my mom's farm acreage, considering the state of the open land and timber from the backseat of a Grand Marquis. Gloria showed me the pond that my cousin Jake has set up for fishing with old school chairs on the banks. I'd love to spend an entire day there.

Back up at Grandmother's my parents, Calder and I took a walk at a nearby lake. The forest was beautiful. We never do things like that in North Carolina. The forest floor was littered with last year's leaves, the woods were open, the land rolled in old rocks under our feet. That walk was like a vacation.


tinkers555 said...

love that rosy cheeked boy! and look at the hair!

Anonymous said...

wow, great pictures, beautiful of your grandma and calder. I love that bridge in the last picture.

love, DD