Ian had a week at the farm helping with chores, cooking, monitoring Black Oystercatchers at the beach, and playing in the creek, or what's left of it...
Naturally, serving as chauffeur of the EZ Go was part of his "job".
We all holed up indoors to watch movies on the very hot afternoons. Then he and Johnny rode the Amtrak to California and spent a couple days with that branch of the family.
|new solar panels being examined by the boys (all 4 of them)|
|back yard stage where Kestrel and Cedrus have performances|
Johnny, Ian (13), Kestrel (8), and Cedrus (6) then rode the train back up to Oregon... leaving San Jose four hours late because of an accident on the tracks... and arriving in Salem 4 hours late on the hottest day of the year. Steve and Munazza drove up arriving the next evening. We had four straight days of over 100 degree temperatures while they were here. Crazy weather.
|waiting for the train...|
|the cousins on the train|
The next morning we measured heights as we always do. Johnny had to stand on a chair to measure Ian. He towers over both of us now.
We played the ever popular Twister. I was eliminated early and then served as official photographer.
The boys counted the rings in our fallen snag's stump. They put toothpicks every ten rings.
And grazed on peas and cucumbers in Grandma's garden.
One of the over-100 days we spent at the coast, where it was a bit foggy and cool. Nice.
Rock climbing was fun...
Johnny took a photo of me, the photographer.
Kestrel and Cedrus braved the waves...
Ian was more interested in digging in the sand. Soon, the rest of the boys joined him.
|Ian and Cedrus buried in the sand|
From there we headed to Stoller Vineyards for a rendezvous with Munazza, who had skipped the water park, and a picnic before the Shakespeare in the Park performance of Taming of the Shrew. It was much cooler that day and pleasant to be outdoors watching some excellent performers. I don't know how much of it the boys understood but they seemed to enjoy it anyway.
Early the next morning, Monday, Johnny took Ian to the train in Salem for his homeward journey. When Johnny returned, they all went to pick up Munazza and visit the Bed & Breakfast where she stayed nights, to give herself some needed alone time. It sounds like a good place to have some of our company stay to give everyone some space and our limited water supply, in dry summers like this one, a rest. When they returned, Munazza and I went to my regular Monday morning Qi Gong class. It was a great energy boost after a late night on Sunday at the play... and early morning for me getting Ian and Johnny up and out to the train station.
That afternoon, their last day here, we hiked to the creek. Well, most went by EZ Go through the arboretum to the start of the path to the creek. Munazza and Steve hiked.
Johnny built a rock tower at the creek while the other boys played. Then he took a nap right under it, on the hard rocks. Steve decorated him with wings or something.
|Shirley joined the party|
Back up by the house, Johnny lit one of his Swedish Candles to cook eggs on. This one made of pine burned much faster than the oak ones he has made before. It only lasted about 1 1/2 hours. The others have lasted six hours or more.
Munazza and Steve cooked a dish using my freshly dug colorful potatoes. How lucky we were to have Ian as a cook the first week and Steve and Munazza cooking the second week. And she is on a special diet and can't even eat most of what they fixed.
Kestrel and Cedrus chose baby pumpkins to carve their names into and see what the pumpkins look like when mature.
On Tuesday, Kestrel and Cedrus each had one last drive in the EZ Go. Then they left for Ashland that night and home the following day.
|Cedrus, the EZ Go speed demon|
When I had told a friend earlier about Ian being so helpful and cooking for us, she said "It sounds like you won the Grandkid Lottery". We did, indeed, with all the grandkids.