This trip may have been the very last lengthy trip I take where I fly by myself. Besides the simple pleasure of having Warren with me, my overall health may be such that I simply need to have him accompany me. I am typing this on Friday and I am just now starting to feel I have recovered from the travel.
Health issues aside, it was a very, very good trip. The Seattle conference was exciting, my joint presentation with my daughter-in-law Alise was lively and thought provoking, and there are not enough words in the dictionary (to quote an old friend) to describe how great it was to be with my family in the Portland/Vancouver area.
There are no words to describe adequately what a wonder Ramona is at three and three-quarters years of age. Of course, she is a wonder child. She is funny and bright and lively and thought provoking (not unlike our seminar) and I marveled at her every moment I was with her.
As may be expected, I took pictures, but not as many as I would have thought. I realized that the only way to fully appreciate the trip—Seattle, Portland, my sons, Alise, Ramona, Mackenzie, and the rest of the family—was to put the camera down and just savor the time.
Ben, Alise, Ramona, and I went to the Oregon coast, to Rockaway Beach, on one of my days. It was
a typical Oregon coast day: cold, windy, overcast, an occasional sprinkle. All the same, Ramona frolicked in the tide pools until long after she was wet and chilled and ready for lunch. I found myself going between watching Ramona scamper and standing facing the ocean, watching the gray waves break as they came in.
I have always loved the ocean; I have always found its ceaseless rhythm to be a source of comfort. This time was no exception. Children (and grandchildren) grow up, cities change, life happens, the world turns, but the ocean, the amazing ocean, stays eternal.