Saturday, April 22, 2006

Easter Dress

Anna wore her new Easter dress to church on Sunday. She was so cute, I couldn't help but take her picture. I love having a little girl to dress up!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Train Ride

Saturday, April 15th was a rainy day all around Portland. The drive to Hood River was especially wet and I worried that the train ride would be a dismal one. But, as we reached our destination, the rain stopped. We found the train station, just off the freeway, and parked in the paid lot for the convenience. William hadn’t slept on the hour and a half drive, in spite of being exhausted from the morning’s egg hunt. Anna had slept, but she almost always sleeps in the car. We met Tom and Carolyn and hopped onto our train after breezing through the gift shop fast enough that William didn’t notice the Thomas the Train items on sale off to the side.

Our car’s name was Katherine. She was an old car. Her seats were bucket style and we realized on the return trip that you could flip the back around to face either direction. The train was not full, so when it started from the station, people shifted around to sit in groups facing the ways they wanted to face. (I don’t think any of the other passengers knew right away about the flipping seats either.) The overcast skies actually made for a perfect ride, making it easy to enjoy the scenery without needing sunglasses or getting too much of a glare. We were there for the blossom festival, but it was unfortunately not very far underway. The fruit trees were only starting to bloom. The train passes through fields and orchards, small towns and quiet neighborhoods. I couldn’t imagine living in such a remote way, knowing everyone else in town, considering it a major effort to get all the way into the big city of Portland. The places we passed looked as though they hadn’t changed in years and wouldn’t change in years. Things seemed very peaceful there.

The train ride was very calming. The cars rocked over the tracks, making it difficult to walk around and soothing to sit. Anna fell asleep again fairly quickly. William and I went back to the caboose to check things out. It was fun to climb up in the cupola and see over the top of the train, although my fear of heights actually made the climb up the ladder on the rocking train a little unnerving.

Our destination on this trip was a little town called Parkdale. When we got there, we sought out one of the two possible meal options. There was a buffet and a café. We chose the café. There were basically two menu options: the burger or the quesadilla. William had fries. Kip and I, indecisive as ever, split the other two options. They weren’t bad. While we ate, the rain picked up again, pouring down on anyone unlucky enough to be outside. We saw several of the other passengers with drenched hair and clothing. During the ride home, the sun peeked through the clouds for a while, making a rainbow over the fields beside the train.

On the drive back home from Hood River, William talked excitedly. He had gone past the stage of being tired to that of being hyper. Then, suddenly, he stopped talking. One moment he was carrying on a detailed discussion of some train-related topic (which we didn’t quite understand), the next he was sound asleep draped over the arm of his chair leaning against the window. He chose this position even after we reclined his seat so he wouldn’t have to slouch!

Pre-Easter Madness

Everyone seems to have deep spiritual insights posted from their Easter experiences this year. Unfortunately, I packed so much stuff into my own Easter that I never had a chance to think much about the whole point of Easter.

Our craziness started on Friday. Jo called to see if we wanted to join her at the Children's Museum. I was supposed to practice flute for a Sunday service performance with Heidi and make brownies for an evening church activity. But we have a membership at the museum, so why not go. I told myself it would just be for a couple of hours, then I'd head home and practice, bake brownies and make dinner and then go to the activity. Well, it didn't all happen, of course. The museum was fun but crazy since it turned out school was off for the day. I stopped at the store for brownies for the church activity since time was getting short. While there I decided to refill a prescription and it took a good half hour for the pharmacy to do it for some reason. While still waiting for the medicine, Heidi called to say her son's nap was over and we could practice. I still hadn't started baking the quiche I'd planned for dinner. I went to Heidi's after dropping off my purchases. Our practice was short because, in spite of having her husband there to watch William and Anna and their son Isaac, there was a lot of crying from the kids. I headed home about 6:00 hoping to throw dinner together and still maybe make it to the church activity at 7. But William had had too much. When we got home he refused to leave the car, insisting that we go somewhere else. He cried about half an hour, almost to the time that Kip finally came home from work. I decided it might not be the best idea to drag him to a sugar-filled church activity in that state of mind.

So, our Friday ended in a rush. Saturday started much the same. I had to be at the church at 8:45 to start setting up for the Activity Day's Combined Girls and Mom's activity. We were doing a service project, making jewelry and cards and sorting donated clothing for a girls' shelter.

While I helped supervise the service activity, Kip and William joined Butch and Jo for the annual Alpenrose Dairy Easter Egg Hunt. In the pouring rain, hundreds of kids met at a Portland park to search for cheap chocolate egg candies. Some of them had stickers on them earning the collector a specified prize. William, too excited by the prospect of unlimited chocolate in the grass below him, only found one piece with a sticker. Jo's kids made super hauls and won supersized stuffed animals and toys. Jo herself participated in the mother's hunt after the kid's hunt and won the grand prize of diamond earrings. Kip and William came home soaked through and full of sugar.

My activity ended at noon, about the time Kip and William got home. At 12:30, we were planning on heading to Mount Hood to ride the train with Tom and Carolyn. I had to clean up my table as fast as I could, then leave some other leaders in charge of final room clean-up and getting everyone out of there. Then, it was off to Mt Hood and the spring blossom festival.