Friday, May 22, 2009

To Become a Rogue & Claim a Valley in One Afternoon

Follow-up of “Medford Adventure”

Now let’s see. What does the dictionary say about “rogue” . . .as in ROGUE VALLEY?

“Rogue”. . “a rascal; a scamp. . .” Hmmmmm: “an elephant or other animal of savage disposition and solitary life. . .” Hmmmmmmmmm.

All right, I might be a little bit of each, but is there more?

Wait! There’s more! “a playfully mischievous person.” I like it; I’ll take it. I shall become it. . . and more so as Dick and I make our final decision to sell our beloved and beautiful home in Kalama, Washington to join the Senior Citizens of the world, whom we really hadn’t realized that we had become.

This very week we ventured down to the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon, once again, to make a final decision about retiring to the Rogue Valley Manor Continuing Care Retirement Center ( Yes, that place, where I had worried and grumbled and tried to avoid on our previous visit (see “Medford Adventure” below). Howsoever, today I am a changed person and a happy camper for my number one ‘IF’ wish has happened and come true.

To wit: This lovely “Village” of condos, apartments and cottages is “home” to almost 1,000 senior citizens who have chosen to live in this particular retirement community in Medford, Oregon, up high on a hill, while looking over to a mountain range and down on lovely green valleys accompanied by shockingly bright colors of trees and flowers. Howsoever, for Patti, the move had to be for one of the 23 Lake Cottages built only four years ago in 2005. What were the odds? Most hopeful seniors wait from 2 to 5 years for any housing at Rogue Valley, let alone one of the 23 Lake Cottages.

Ah, but this year 2009, a surprise! A unique sale was to take place due to a new and third building, The Terrace, being built, as we speak, allowing for residents to move to the 26 new condos that will become available in September. Though we were “on the list” for a Lake Cottage from our last trip in March, we were cautioned that only ONE lake cottage was up for sale and that two couples were above us on the list for this one special cottage (it’s 2100 sq. ft. making it the largest). We gave up.

And then Cindy Hail, with Marketing, called with a most unexpected message: “Both couples ahead of you on the list have dropped out of competition for #1706 due to neither one being able to buy the cottage until having sold their current homes.”

Woe. That sounded like us. However, Dick Blide got out paper and pencil and with furrowed brow worked out a feasible plan for us that would allow our buying cottage #1706 now.

Third cottage on the right

Yea! Rah! We are thankful and ready to work like crazy to get our Kalama Home on the market and sold. . .in this horrible economy.

Side note: On the way down to Medford, a huge brightly colored rainbow lay arched and bowed end to end across the sky. #1706 might be our pot of gold . . . in the best possible way: Health-wise.

Life is good!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Friendship Festivities

Ah, many years and several emails ago the writing, working, winning team of French and Blide promised to stay in touch by wire, by phone, or person and this week was the “person.”

Alfre, né Alice, arrived by plane with a huge smile and a C-Pap attached to baggage. Which is to say that the Dick of “family-Blide” seems to have as much in common with Alice as does Patti. Both, as well being loved and admired by Patti, share talents in such as writing, computer “geekness” and game-playing . Alice used that darn I-Phone for everything but eating. It played music, took pictures, and Googled, to mention a few.

Arrival was followed by lunch at McMinimins on the Columbia River with its sailing boats and fishing for Salmon. Later, eating birthday cake with “potted ice cream” was on the agenda in celebration of Alice’s April birthday.

Day Two found we three off on a trip to Kalama’s Antique & Barista shop for Kelley’s famous home-made Chicken Noodle Soup with Curry Chicken Salad. It was Heaven!

Our artistic friend loves beauty and nature, so off we went to Longview about 15 miles North of Kalama. Longview is known for its huge lake right in the middle of town (about ten blocks long, 3 blocks wide) of lovely gardens, water fountains, bridges, and rolling green hills rimmed in yellow water flowers every where. Even with the season being a little early we managed to surround ourselves with Rhododendrons:

And finally one shot in the famous Buddha Garden:

Back home Chef Richard’s famous Crab Cakes and Patti’s new recipe for Chocolate-Orange Torte, led right into our entertainment of the evening: Dancing with the Stars!

At last! Day Three and what guest Alice was most waiting for: the camera trip of the Woodlands Tulip Festival:

On Day Four we enjoyed still more beauty of The Pacific NW with our car trip to the lovely Multnomah Falls coupled with a fabulous breakfast in their famous Falls Room.

Chef Richard rounded out the day with our trip to the Pacific NW Fish House for guest Alice to select a salmon to send back home and for Chef Richard to select our evening dinner. Guest Alice and wife Patti both ohhhhed and ahhhhed over our fresh Salmon dinner cooked to perfection by our personal chef. This was truly a beautiful finale to a beautiful visit of forever friends.