Back home again from Laurelwood after a too short visit of 5 days. I was hoping for snow (brought all my gear) but we got rain and as a native Southern Californian that is never bad. I’m a pluviophile so if I have the gear I’ll go out in it as you can see from some of the photos I’ve posted.
Friday was lovely and misty with the rain as the cloud had settled in over the mountain they live on. I arrived fairly early because this time I had the direct flight. We’ve been flying Southwest and having to transfer planes but this time I went Alaska and it was only a 2 hour and 15 minute flight instead of a 4+ hour ordeal. Plus Alaska has better snacks. It was a tiny plane and wasn’t full but didn’t have wifi like Southwest does but they need it for their slower flights with stops.
It rained Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It rained hardest on Saturday so we hung out around the house and enjoyed each other’s company. They had a new caregiver to train on Saturday so I tried to stay out of the way and I did a little cooking so D didn’t have to worry about food. M no longer eats by mouth. She uses a feeding tube except for sips of Chai. I got to roam around the property and the shrubberies taking wet pictures. Monday it was raining so we went to the Jackson Bottoms Wetlands after D and I went out to breakfast and went to the store. It was still a bit chilly and damp and three different trails we tried to use were blocked by ponds that the rain had left behind. The Tualitin River was really muddy and high. Not many birds were out and the geese were flying over head. They landed for the night in an area we couldn’t get to due to the wet. It was still beautiful with lots of subtle colour. Plenty of hawthorn berries and rose hips were still there for the birds.
And Tuesday it was off on the plane again. This time Southwest because they gave us vouchers for screwing up our flight home last time and then lying to our face about it. Amazing what happens if you raise a stink about customer service on Twitter. Companies really don’t like looking bad on Twitter. For once everything was on time coming home even with the plane switch. I switched the car pickup from Primetime to Super Shuttle and they texted me as the plane landed that they were there and what my shuttle’s number was. Way better than Primetime who left us sitting for an hour because the driver decided right before we got there to take someone who had a higher fare because they wanted to drive from Burbank to Disneyland at rush hour. Not cool!
So it was a low key winter visit. M has lost a lot more function since the last visit but they have more caregivers to help out. The downside is that there is a whole lot less privacy for D and any guests. M is totally dependent on the ventilator and almost no range of motion now. She can speak but it is obviously difficult for her and since I’m losing my hearing I have some difficulty too. I got to help a little moving her when it came time for bed Sunday night. M has to be moved to a sling to be moved to the bed and it takes two people to do. I was so worried I was going to hurt her but it was accomplished and M tucked in for the night since they were short a caregiver that night. They need at least one more.
I love visiting up there. It’s so beautiful and I love them so much. I was delighted to be able to write my first Littlest Druid story in a long time to the accompaniment of the rain on the skylights early in the morning. It really sparks my creativity up there. I was afraid she had stopped talking to me. My body behaved all weekend which was a nice change and when I sleep up there I sleep deeply and I dream which I don’t at home. It’s a magical place to be no matter what season. I think we are going back at the end of March so we will get to see early spring this time. This was my 4th visit since last May and I’m getting to feel a little too at home in PDX airport. Now I just have to go to the store and do a load of laundry.