The Silver Oak Tree

"As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious."
Will Durant

A couple of weeks ago my brother, Lee, who lives in Ft. Meyers, FL. came to visit. Lee is 6 years older than I am, I'm the baby of the family. Lee and his wife, Brenda, and their two little girls, Rachel and Riley.

It has been 8 years since we've seen each other. Rachel was only one the last time I saw her. I've talked to the girls on the phone on a number of occasion and sent them things over the years, but it's nothing like actually being with them.

It was great to see all of them. Be with them, even if it was for such a short time.

They spent an evening with our sons in Portland before coming to visit us in Bend, Duncan and I, and my in town brother, Dave, and then they went off to see our other two sisters down in the San Francisco area.

Uncle Dave and Riley. (and his hound dogs)

Rachel and Cotton.

Brenda and Riley.

While they were here we had a great time, though. Us adults talked, and talked and laughed a lot.

The girl are somewhat shy. Rachel is a reader, and read three books while they were here. Riley watched, Spirited Away", and "My Neighbor Totoro." Rachel watched and read.

Everyone got to pick as many books from my store as they thought they could fit in their suitcases for the trip home.

I have a small space under the stairs, my prayer room, and the girls were quite taken with it, and were going to spend the night at our house while their Mom and Dad went back to their Motel room, but at the last minuet Riley got scared of a giant mosquito eater bug and fled out of the house just as they were leaving. So Rachel stayed and slept in my prayer room. Kids love small spaces. It's about a five foot cube, give or take a bit in one direction or another.

They all came with me to church Sunday morning, Lee and Brenda Co-Pastor a church in Florida, the same church I attend in Redmond. (18 miles North of here) He saw people he knew from years ago, it was a great visit for everyone.

When we came home the girls and I and Brenda went out to our back yard and planted an acorn from my sons yard in Portland, we don't know if it will grow here in the high desert or not, but we're hoping, and watering it. It commemorates their visit. It was sprouting already.

Someday, maybe it will look like this.

They were headed for Crater Lake the morning they left and I lead them out to Lava Lands, about 12 or so miles south of Bend. A butte that used to be a volcano. A cinder cone now.

When we first got there at about 9:30 am the chipmunks were out in full force. So cute. There were signs everywhere saying don't feed the chipmunks and squirrels, but obviously people had been, as they would come right up to you, stand up on their hind legs and lean on your pant leg. The girls were waring flip-flops and were afraid the chipmunks would think their toes were peanuts.

Lee, Rachel and Riley walked around the rim, while Brenda and I took pictures of the munks.

Munk catching some shade.

Lee and Rachel. Riley and Brenda in the background.

If it takes us 7 or 8 years before we are all together again those girls will be grown.

Somehow that just made me cry. It's sad when family is so far apart and money and work don't allow for more time spent together more often.

It makes me cry just thinking about it. It was hard to say good-bye.

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