Monday, February 04, 2008

My weekend at the coast

We (our men's group) are very fortunate to have as one of our members a gentleman whose father was very far sighted and purchased property years ago along the Pacific Coast at Rockaway, OR. Larry is in his mid seventies and is a retired SafeWay truck driver/farmer. His dad owned a hardware store, became superintendent of Newberg schools and then served a couple of terms as a County Judge (although not a lawyer) and died when he was only 63.

At some point, dad, raised on the family farm bought a place at the coast and today Larry and his siblings have four connecting cottages/houses right there. We stayed in them and overflowed into a fifth nearby and a sixth down the way a few houses. Amazing. These places are in various states of repair. Most have been modernized and even (the one I was in) glamorized, but one (the one now owned jointly) is in need of a bit of work (roof, windows, doors, that sort of thing). We used it for cooking and eating because the floors are rustic and the kitchen is hard to disrupt...if you get my drift.

We had a great time, albeit wet, this weekend. Our leader was a gentleman who was a former assistant pastor at Newberg 25 or so years ago. His is a banjo player and has made a career of serving small churches with a "bluegrass" style of ministry. He is originally from San Diego.

I was taken aback (as I was last year) to hear 26 guys sing so lustily. And we ate well too. I was on the cooking crew for the Saturday breakfast and we served up thick cut bacon, link sausages, scrambled eggs and hash brown potatoes. Do you get the feeling of broken diets here where most of us admit to eating lots of oatmeal for its cholesterol-lowering properties?

Saturday evening we had char-grilled steak from the bar-bee, baked potatoes and salad. But that is enough about the food except to say that we do all this for $35 each. These guys know all the corners to cut and still have a first-rate retreat. I am not sure how much it would cost if we actually rented the houses...but the family and the relative down the street are nice enough to give us use of the properties, gratis.

I chose to sleep on my air mattress on the second floor so that some the less agile guys could be on normal beds. The payoff for sleeping on the floor is the view from my perch. It is what a house at the coast is all about. The second floor is really the living, 1/2 bath and living area (bedrooms are at ground level). The entire west wall is windows. Not that I spent a lot of time up there, but the sound of the ocean is very discernible and is a wonderful way to drift off to sleep. Our plenary sessions are held in Larry's living room in the cottage next to where I bedded down.

The pass (as in the road) we traveled was bare, but there was significant snow on the ground at the highest elevation. The valley was bare everywhere. So it was a safe trip and a chance to decompress with the three other guys I traveled with.

It was good food, good fellowship, but nice to be back home again. Tuesday night we get the boys through Sunday evening as their mom and dad head out on work-cruise to the Bahamas. More fun and frolic.

No comments: