Christmas in the mountains isn’t the same as on the midwest plains. My two older grandsons, their wives and children traveled to the other grandparents for Christmas … so the rest of us figured out a different kind of Christmas … Christmas with Tim in Hood River, Oregon. We purchased tickets from Minneapolis and Kansas City to head northwest. Mt. Adams graced our view from the kitchen every time the cloud cover lifted. Although the day (or two) that a large space- ship-looking cloud entered the picture lots of tales of being spirited away unfolded. Ben and Tina, the grandparents of the crew who went to Indiana and St. Joseph, MO had located the great house we rented (although the slow internet frustrated us). That first afternoon we are treated to one of the longest, most gorgeous rainbows I’ve ever seen. Dinner at Nora’s Table our first night out we were welcomed graciously — maybe because we had Nora with us — and the meal tasted delicious. Christmas Eve Tim and I attended the 4:00 praise service at the Hood River Alliance Church. Carols sung with guitar, drums, etc interspersed with the telling of the manger story reminded me that there are many ways to worship. Christmas Eve at the Hood River Hotel included drinks, piano music and fun relaxing before dinner. Christmas Day began with breakfast at Tim’s house and gift opening by his Christmas tree and fireplace. My regret…I didn’t take a picture of his tree. Back to our house where Tina and Mary produced a scrumptious turkey and ham dinner.
You don’t go to Oregon, the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains without some great hiking. Tim knows every inch of that country like the back of his hand so served as our excellent tour guide. Mary had rented the biggest car so she became our full time chauffeur. The bridge across the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington is quite narrow…and somewhat scary. The trick is to not lose focus as you drive it. During the next two days…several good hikes. A “Closed for the Season” sign on one road meant Tim pulled out Plan B. Meadows, mountain views, creeks, water falls, frost on the trees and good company can be the best Christmas presents ever. Every morning Tim entices about fifty California Quail to enjoy the bird seed he puts out in his yard. The morning Ben and I arrived before the quail meant we took lots of pictures. The quail are so skittish that pictures had to be shot through the window…doesn’t make for the best of photography, but fun anyway. My Christmas bonus happened as we flew out of Portland. To take pictures from a plane window of Mt. St. Helen, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams within the space of a couple of minutes excited this camera-happy lady.
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