Monday, January 17, 2005
Reflections on the Weekend
I took the weekend off to celebrate my birthday with friends in Central Oregon. I bought chains Friday for the SUV, and ironically, chained up Saturday morning to get out of Portland then dropped them 2 miles from Sandy, just before the mountains, and drove the rest of the way to Cline Falls Road, outside of Redmond, in 4-wheel drive. No problems for us other than stopping frequently to scrape the ice off the windshield, but did see some cars in ditches on the way.
Our friends live between Sisters and Tumalo. Everything around them was covered in two to three inches of snow. It was 21 degrees and the fog had frozen on the trees, and fences etching them white. We traveled with Amber the Golden Retriever, and the quiet walks of the mornings were only broken by the crunch of our feet on the snow. They say Central Oregon has a population near 150,000, but you wouldn't know it nestled as we were up against the BLM property that is home to wildlife and grazing cattle. For months the coyotes had been edging closer to their home, putting their pets at risk. One day a neighbor shot a male coyote and hung the carcass on a nearby fence. The coyotes have kept their distance ever since.
Life seems less complicated at my friends home. There is no TV, no computer, just lots of books, a warm fire and much conversation, while petting the dogs. I love our life here in Portland "hooked in", running a business and focused on goals. But, in those quite moments in Central Oregon, I took the time to say thanks for good friends, a good dog, and a wife who loves me like no else before.