Jean’s Birthday, Rocks, & Golf

Today Eleanor Jean, Diane’s Mom, reluctantly celebrated her 87th birthday. I say “reluctantly” because she doesn’t find it necessary to celebrate “just another day.” We do, however, so took her out to dinner at Dockside in St. Helens. It’s interesting that the Dockside is an Italian food restaurant, not a seafood joint. And, it’s right on the Columbia River near where the best Salmon in the world give up their annual upstream battle through the thousands of fish hooks. You’d think they’d have salmon, wouldn’t you? They may, sometimes, but the fare is mainly steak and pasta with some token shrimp and chicken parts thrown in for added flavor.

At dinner were Daniel, Jeran, Diane, Lydia, Grams (Jean), Me, and Jennifer. Daniel is a staunch vegan so had a fancy salad; Jeran had ravioli’ Diane and Jean had Lasagna; Jennifer had fettucine alfredo; I and Lydia had carbonara. Carbonara is my absolute favorite Italian dish. Lydia, I learned, knows how to make it, but she’s never offered to come over and cook some for me.

It was a good end to a long day and we all enjoyed the food and the time we had together, visiting. Gathering for these occasions is important to us because it helps us rekindle the family spirit.

Unlike yesterday, and the day before, where I shoveled and moved a couple tons of rocks, today was spent in the church parking lot surrounded by many things we no longer wanted with a sincere hope that someone else would find a need to relieve us of ownership. It was a Parking Lot Sale to help raise funds for the church in an effort to keep the lights on, and a phone with a dial tone. Not many church folks participated in selling things, but lots of folks took the time to stop by for a peek at all the wondrous “stuff”. We were only actively open for 4 hours, 5 counting the early bird yard salers who can’t tell time. The tough part was unloading everything and stacking them neatly on the really heavy church tables I was forced to removed from the basement. After yesterday’s activity with a pick and shovel, moving the tables was brutal. I had help, but it was still brutal. Consequently, my left arm is only useable with a great deal of pain from the middle of my bicep to my wrist. Odd, I know, but that’s just the way it is. I’m not worried because I know it will go away.

Until tomorrow, when we go back for another 5 hours, then have to replace all the tables back in the basement. It will actually be easier to put them back because the stairs are carpeted allowing the tables to slide down quite nicely. Getting them to the stairs is the hard part.

I get a reprieve between 1000 and 1300 when I’ll go help some fellow Lions reattach newly cleaned flags to newly cleaned poles. It’s a project I’ve not had the pleasure of participating in before. These are the flags that we place in holes on the main blvds in town for all holidays. The holes are placed in front of all businesses that donate money to support the project. Everyone ponies up a donation because not having a flag in front of your business is an honor and when the one in front of your business is missing, everyone in town knows you didn’t help out. That’s a lie, of course. Once a hole is drilled in the sidewalk, it will always get a flag, and everyone is very generous with their support. It looks really nice to see all those flags fluttering in the breeze early in the morning.

Last Thursday I went golfing with Doug and JP. Oddly, I remembered most of the rules for golfing and had probably the best round of my checkered life. I had a 48 (for nine holes). Normally I’m in the 60’s, rarely in the 50’s. Getting it to 48 is beyond belief. On top of that, I beat both Doug and JP, something I’ve never ever done before. It was a good day. Then I came home a moved a bunch of rocks and dirt.

Though you don’t know it, just before starting this paragraph, there was a brief pause while I consoled the dogs and explained, once again, that it’s OK for deer to walk through the yard. We have a momma and a little speckled fawn that make regular trips around the neighbor hood eating all the flowers. They are quite popular, needless to say.

Now I must remove the rest of the grime from my body so I can contemplate bed in preparation for another early morning assault on the unsuspecting yard salers of Columbia County. At 1300 tomorrow all that remains will be placed in the church carport, where it will all languish, waiting for the Senior Center Thrift Store truck to show up and cart it all away. Forever. We hope.

Hope everyone had a great day.

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