Johnny arrived home yesterday after a three week trip south to visit kids and grandkids in San Carlos, near San Francisco, and my brother and his wife in Escondido, near San Diego. Bob and Elladine are moving from Escondido to Colorado and needed help sorting and disposing of the huge quantities of tools/boats/stuff in their several large outbuildings. My brother used to race small hydroplanes and still has all the parts and pieces. Happily, the hydro pictured below with Bob winning a race in 1971 (photo by Elladine) will go to a Southern California museum. Here is a web page that tells about Bob's Full House Mouse.
Pulling our big stock trailer behind his van, Johnny stayed the first night with friends in Jacksonville, Oregon. Judy and Don had a minor project for him to work on. Whenever Johnny stays with anyone, he fixes things. Johnny likes projects.
His next stop was with Faiza (aka Fudge), Munazza's sister, who lives close to San Francisco. Fudge reported that by the time she got home from work, Johnny had fixed three toilets and installed a window shade. After a green smoothie and treats she made for him, Johnny braved the Bay area traffic to reach San Carlos where Steve and Munazza and their kids Kestrel and Cedrus had projects waiting for him, too.
I love it that Johnny has a camera now so I can see some of what he did. Obviously, it was not all work and no play, at least for Kestrel and Cedrus. Here they are on a climbing structure at the Bug Museum by Stanford University.
Cedrus on his tricycle gets help doing wheelies from Steve on online skates at the lovely Stanford campus. Steve turns into a witch on a broom at the same locale. And always Kestrel and Cedrus like to play in the fountains, here with Auntie Fudge supervising.
One of Johnny's projects was to install a zipline from the play structure in the Fink family back yard to a distant corner. Cedrus tried it out.
Kestrel made his way to the zipline by climbing over the top of things on the play structure that don't look to me like a small child should be climbing on top of. Obviously, getting to the start of the zipline was a problem.
On Johnny's return from Escondido he stopped for another weekend of fun and projects and, using a ladder that Bob would no longer need, plus plywood from Bob, fixed the problem.
And then there was the issue of adults dragging their butts, demonstrated here by Johnny. Even Kestrel needed it a bit higher. Grandpa Johnny and Steve made the zipline adjustable to solve that problem.
But the big event on Johnny's last weekend in San Carlos was Kestrel's graduation from preschool where cuteness reigned. The kids were each asked what they wanted to be when they grew up and what they were going to do to make a difference in the world. Here are Kestrel's answers.
And here are the graduates, complete with graduation robes. And the diploma. Plus Kestrel's happy family.
You may notice, as I did, that Johnny took not one photo during his week in Escondido. I guess he really did work hard every day.
Mission accomplished, he headed home, stopping again for a night with Judy and Don... and a few more projects.
He arrived here yesterday evening with a van and stock trailer stuffed full of Bob's no longer needed belongings: like a boat (built by Bob and Dad when we lived in Virginia and Bob was just a kid), elk head, bear rug, lumber and lots of tools. A few things stayed with Steve. A few more will go up to Kevin.
The elk head and bear will return to Gates, Oregon, where they came from. Bob shot the elk on Dad's place and Dad shot the bear in Alaska. Dad's very good friends who bought his ranch will give the elk and bear a good home.
We will use the lumber, cut from Dad's trees and sawed on his portable saw mill, then hauled to Escondido by Dad years ago and now hauled back to Oregon by Johnny, for fencing around my riding arena.
This is the scene looking into the back of the stock trailer when Johnny returned. You can just see the elk antlers sticking up from inside the boat.
Johnny also brought home lots of wonderful citrus fruit from Bob and Elladine's many fruit trees: lime, lemon, tangelo and grapefruit. He shared some with the San Carlos people and with Judy and Don on his way home. Here are some, along with mangos and strawberries, on the San Carlos table. Yum!
It was a successful trip from everyone's perspective, for which I'm thankful. But I'm most thankful for having Johnny home again at last.