Birthdays & Biopsies

Today is our annual “Tweener” birthday celebration. The reason is because my birthday was yesterday and son Jeff’s birthday is tomorrow. We’re only two days apart but he’s a Gemini and I’m a Taurus. We do the tweener celebration because it’s much easier than doing it twice, once for each of us. Besides, we’re both getting older and instead of planned events like this we all find much joy in just seeing each other for no reason at all.

For my birthday we took a trip to The Dalles which is 113 miles up the Columbia River Gorge from home. We went to The Dalles to watch the St. Helens High softball team play their last game. It was their last game because they lost 9-7 to the The Dalles Redhawks. It was still a fun game and a beautiful drive.

We went early so we could stop and have a birthday lunch and chose the Ristorante Di Pompello in Troutdale which sits right next to I-84, the quickest way to The Dalles. The atmosphere at the Ristorante Di Pompello was very nice, and the service excellent, but the food was a little disappointing for a couple of us. On the plus side, the price was right. Daniel paid.

After lunch (Thanks Daniel) we were amazed by all the bronze sculptures along the sidewalk then stopped by the Caswell Gallery, the source of our enjoyment, to a room full of beautiful bronze art. Rip Caswell is quite amazing. Sadly, he wasn’t in the store, but he has his studio in the town and I’m sure that any of you who have a notion would be welcome to see how he does his magic. I’m just guessing on the visit potential, of course. You’ll have to call Rip at 503-492-2473 and ask if it’s OK. If that doesn’t work out, just enjoy the store. There’s a very nice lady who guards the place.



After the game we headed back home and folks decided it might be a good idea to eat again. It was going on 7 pm when we headed west and maybe 7:30 when Jennie, our chauffeur, pulled in to a DQ in Hood River, one of the premier locations in the world for wind surfers. When the wind blows in the gorge, the Columbia River is full of these folks. They are very entertaining, especially those who use kites instead of sails. Those folks get way up in the air.

Our meal was good and it was enjoyable just sitting, eating, and talking with the family, even though it was only a partial family. Lydia and Jeran were missing. When the last bite was done (mine) we piled back in the Envoy and continued our trip home. Once on the freeway it was evident that it was going to be a very incredible sunset. We continued on, gasping at the beautiful sky, the bits and pieces we could see through the trees along the freeway, until Jennie found a pull out for folks like us who want to take in the view. Here’s what we saw looking down the river …

and this is was looking up the river. Pretty nice.


I mentioned in a previous posting that son Jeff tied balloons to our paper box at 0530 on my birthday, yesterday morning. Here’s the evidence. It was very thoughtful.


Last Thursday Diane took me to an overdue visit to my dermatologist. He’s not actually mine because I know we’re not allowed to own people, but if that were possible, he’d be mine. He did a very thorough check of all my bumps and lumps and chose a few that he thought should have a closer look. One was from my left forehead, another from the top of my right ear, the left one if you’re looking at me, and the last one from just below my right knee. There are numerous spots that need to be seared off my exterior but he’s waiting to find out the results of testing on these three before heading down that road. Here’s what they looked like …


Now I have three divots that need to be filled in. I suspect there will be a larger notch in my ear before this is all done. If so, so be it. I can’t see my ears anyway so it’s not a big deal.

Funny thing. All of my wounds have band aids applied and they are supposed to remain on all night. This morning the one from my leg was missing and I couldn’t find it anywhere in the bed. Later in the day, Diane found it stuck to the inside of her leg. Since I was asleep all night, honest, I have no idea how that happened. Swear to God.


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