Good Evening My Blog Friends. Today is Sunday August 19th
I arrived home earlier today from my eleven(11) day adventure to Oregon. I had a great time! That said, I am really looking forward to Roxy and I crawling into our own beds and having a very nice & long sleep (hopefully).
I am going to try and provide you a few key details from my trip. Most likely I will miss some and will catch you up in the next few weeks (always in the mode of looking for new blog material).
So from last week’s post, I did make it to Oregon a week back Thursday after an exciting plane ride from Charlotte to Denver and an interesting few minutes in Denver sipping on IPAs. By the way I have been asked a few times what an IPA is…it is a very rich brewed beverage, the official category of this type of drink is an India Pale Ale.
First of all, while I was on vacation, I actually did work every day. That is what Sales Guys do. Being three hours ahead, allowed me to get up early and take care of business. The rest of the day I handled things as they came up, but I also was able to have a lot of time to just enjoy the Oregon country side and have some much needed alone time to just think. Here is a picture of me in my Oregon Office (brother-in-law Bob’s front porch)! I love the internet. You can be so far away and yet so close!
Friday afternoon, I enjoyed some R&R with Bob and his Dog (Coda). Bob has lots of Man TOYs although he mentioned to me that he has sold many and is a bit lacking in toys at the moment. On the left are a couple of the current ones, on the right Coda taking a break in the Willamette River.
Saturday was an easy day. 18 holes of golf and then dinner with my friends the Durochers. Dave and Terry, Kristin and Katie lived behind Janelle and I in the late 80s / early 90s. They were originally from Oregon, ended up back out this way; we have remained close over the years. We met at a Micro Brew place called The RAM in Salem, OR. Interesting story, we are sitting there, talking. Probably a bit loud, perhaps a bit obnoxious as well (mainly Dave), but just minding our own business and all of a sudden this lady walks up to me from the table right across from us and says….”Are You Ken Hayes?”. Can you say blog follower! Certainly she,as many of you, knew I was going to be in Oregon this week, but she certainly did not know that I was going to be at this restaurant at this time on this day. Just another one of those many stories I am collecting. We greeted, laughed a bit, I showed her my ink. Cathy Jones-Foster, it was great to be able to meet you. Below is a picture of my dinner party…Terry & Dave in the back, Katie & me in the front.
Sunday…not too much to report on. Jessie and I went to church in the morning, nice easy lunch at a local restaurant with Bob and then I did what I do really well. I sat down and watched the PGA Championship live from Kiawah Island, SC. Rory won, Bob and I celebrated with this Irish Lad…a Guinness!
On Monday, I had made plans to meet a couple of ladies who went to school with Janelle and are not going to be able to participate in the Brain Tumor walk this week. We had Facebook messaged back and forth and picked a local Starbucks for our meeting. We had a great time, they are blog readers so they know all of the details of my life. They did get to see and touch my INK which I for sure enjoyed! In this picture is Jessie, me, Leanne and Sherry. You may notice that they are holding their "TEAM JANELLE" T-shirts! Ladies, thank you for taking the time. I enjoyed it very much.
Tuesday – I headed down to DUCK country (Eugene, OR….home of the University of Oregon) for an active day. I needed a sweatshirt for my evening activities so first stop was the Duck Store. Also stopped and visited Hugh & Marj (parents of Maria, my Charlotte neighbor on the left) and spent the evening enjoying the Blues tunes of Buddy Guy……pictures include the bookstore sign, heading into the concert and enjoying the music (I am awake, just resting my eyes since it was 10:00PM, which is really 1:00AM for this East Coast guy)
Wednesday - Thursday, nothing major comes to mind. Just kind of hung out, up early trying to make a living in my new remote office, breakfast every morning with Jessie, more work, also really spent a lot of time just alone doing some reflecting on the past, thinking about the future. I am working really hard on figuring out the next chapter for me. I will probably share some of that in much more detail in the weeks ahead. It is definitely starting to take on some very positive trends and I am quite excited about what lies ahead….:-).
Friday, I said my good byes to Albany / The Farm and headed north to Portland for the final couple of days of my vacation. I have a nephew in Portland (Sister Janis’s youngest) and we had made plans to go to lunch before he headed off to work. Great time visiting with Stephen, he was my first nephew! Checked into my hotel, took care of some end of week business stuff and then headed out for a fun dinner at a place called the Der Rheinlander. I had the opportunity to enjoy a great evening with many of Janelle’s friends. There were five of them in High School that were VERY CLOSE (Sylvia, Holly, Melinda, Larita & Janelle). These ladies were Janelle’s bridesmaids way back on November 29th, 1980. Lots of Janelle discussions, not really sad, just very pleasant remembering. Holly Pennock...Thank you for making this happen! Below, picture of Stephen and me on the left, the Bridesmaids and me on the right (Larita, Sylvia, Ken, Holly, Melinda).
Saturday was really the main reason I came out to Oregon at this specific time; The 2012 Portland Brain Tumor Walk. My brother-in-law went to this event last year, right after we got our diagnosis to learn more about what we were dealing with. Shortly after that, he created TEAM JANELLE and invited others to join and help raise funds to find a cure for this nasty disease called CANCER. Shortly after Janelle left us on May 10th, I joined his team as well. Here are four pictures. Upper left is what I pinned to the front of my Team Janelle shirt, the other three are random shots of some of the team members.
After the walk, I had about 8 hours to kill. What to do when you have that much time on your hands? Well when a girl you went to first grade with back in Trenton, Michigan (1962ish), found the blog through that vast network called Facebook, has been a huge encouragement to Janelle and I over the last many months just happens to live in Portland…..well opportunities like that don’t come along very often. So, I spent the rest of my time in Portland with Janet Frost. I imagine our paths must have crossed after 1st grade (we both graduated together in 1976), but I have no specific memories on that subject. Great time; a few Oregon brews, lunch, Jet Boat Excursion down the Willamette, dinner…..off to the airport.
First stop on my journey home, Chicago at 5:00AM. A few hours later, on to Charlotte landing a little after 11:00. I had arranged for transportation, my driver met me at baggage claim. Her name is Holly, pictured below..:-). We headed back to my house for a while, we had a nice early dinner at Bricktops so I could check in with the Ian man and then I started getting back into life (washing clothes, opening mail, working on this blog, etc.).
AND THAT IS MY BRIEF SUMMARY OF MY ELEVEN DAYS IN OREGON.
On to my pictures of Janelle. This past week, the Carolina Panthers opened their 2012 pre-season, so football in the Carolinas is gearing up. First real game is September 9th in Tampa, home opener is on September 16th. Before last year, Janelle and I had only missed a few home games in the last 15 years (we got into the season tickets in 1997). We even experienced watching our team many times at an opponent’s home field. Last year we made it to one game in November, but it was a bit difficult for Janelle, we ended up leaving around half time. This year…………I plan to be there for every game! The pictures below, left to right, enjoying a game in Charlotte, Atlanta & Phoenix.
Thank you for visiting with me. All good here. Actually, VERY GOOD! I will plan on checking back in next Sunday night……
Strength and Peace to You ….. Psalms 29:11