Seaside Celebration

We're back from the get-together we attended in Seaside, Oregon, this weekend.  I'm happy to say that Smitty's first RV trip went very well.  He was a little anxious when we arrived and I first opened the door to the trailer.  Once we hung the Catio, all was well.  Smitty loved it, as I was fairly certain he would.

He wasted no time at all jumping in and checking things out.  He was seriously unafraid of the dogs roaming the property.  I say "seriously" because I would like him to be terrified of dogs. He'll have a better chance of surviving the predators that live around our place if he develops a healthy fear of large canines.

This is a Smitty-eye view of the weekend's activities:

His tail acted as a door stop.

He spent the better part of the weekend surveying his domain.  I put his favorite quilt in the Catio for familiarity and he was seen napping there a few times.  Unless he came inside. Then he looked like this:

Gracie for her part spent almost the entire weekend in the far corner of the closet.  Gracie does not like dogs.  And she does not like Smitty, although she tolerated him very well this time around.

Here are a few of the people who attended the get-together.  You must understand that most of these folks are retired.  A few years ago, they were clean-cut engineering types.  In retirement, they have de-evolved.  

That's Mike on the left and our friend, Larry, on the right.  Larry has had a number of assaults on his body over the past few years from some serious health problems.  That's a quilt I made for him a few years back.  It was so great to see him using it to keep warm (as I intended). It looks well used and comfy.  By the way, it has frogs because Larry and his wife Tracy also have some property in the area.  They call their place the Dancing Frog Ranch.

Below is our friend, Chuck.  I've spoken of Chuck on my blog before. He is an excellent cook. He has a cat named Felix, and he plays harmonica and sings in the band.

Below is Jeff.  He sings and plays guitar in the band.  He is a fabulous wood worker and teaches woodworking in various venues in Oregon and other areas in the Southwest.  

This next person is Greg.  The get-together was held on his property.  Greg retired from high tech some years back and now enjoys caring for his place with his wife Jan.

Greg called the get-together open by laying the "party stick" above the festivities.  I don't know the story of the stick exactly, but it serves the same purpose every time this group gets together.  It contains some really cool carvings, and I especially like the face at the top.

Here's another shot of Larry and Mike and on the left is Larry's wife Tracy.  Tracy has been a saint in her care-taking of Larry.  He needs a lot from her, and she is as patient, loving, and tender as you can possibly imagine.  He is very lucky to have her.

This is Ken who helps Larry and Tracy take care of their place.  This was the first time I met Ken.  He was a very nice man and showed up at the party with a tub of crawdads that he pulled from the river.  His lovely daughter and her boyfriend joined us later.

Looks like a Bud Light commercial, doesn't it?

Here are the guys in the band.  That's John on the left and Jeff in the middle.  Chuck on the right.  They were unplugged this time around, which is my favorite way to hear them play. They are very good, and play some venues around town.  They call themselves the Dismal Niche.  John is an excellent guitarist.

Tracy holds up one of the larger crawdads.  I had a taste of the crawdads once they were cooked, but honestly, once I've seen something's eyes--even if it is a lowly fish or crawdad--it ceases to be food for me.  I would have made a terrible pioneer woman.  In fact, I would no doubt have starved to death.

While I enjoy sitting around and talking with folks, my favorite part of this get-together is just walking around taking pictures of things I see.  I like how some things tell a story of their age and their history just based on the color of the metal or wood, or the growth of vines over them.  It's something of a museum around Greg and Jan's place.

Jan is quite a gardener and I always enjoy looking at what happens to be blooming while we are there.

It's a very good place to be a bird. 

When we arrived on Friday, it was quite warm, but a marine layer moved in the next morning and clouds lay in the ridge above their place.

It made it nice to have a morning fire.

I hope these pictures convey a sense of relaxation and temporary freedom from responsibility because that is exactly what the weekend is all about.  We enjoyed sitting around visiting and listening to music.  Everyone contributes to the food, and it is always excellent.  We have a good laugh that our conversation invariably turns to our aches and pains and reminds us that we are all getting older.  In some ways, it is what makes the weekend special.  While we are all still here and enjoying one another's company, it is becoming clear that all of our futures are uncertain and that at this stage of life, anything can happen.  We don't dwell on that part, but acknowledging it means that we enjoy one another's company all the more.

When I was ready for a break from the crowd, it was such fun to return to our trailer and find this sweet little face waiting for me.  He sure enjoyed his Catio.

And we enjoyed the weekend.  As always, it's good to be home.


sew.darn.quilt said...

It looks like a great time was had by all, including Smitty. The scenery is beautiful. I'm with you when it comes to food that's looking at me...pass. =)

Jodi said...

Sounds wonderful - good friends, good food, good weather, all real and down to earth. Love the catio, and those photos of the flowers/plants, gorgeous! Nice quilt you made there, too, with the frogs!!

Junebug613 said...

Sounds like a fun time. Looks like a great group of people too! I love the catio! I've never seen one for an RV before! Smitty really did hit the jackpot with you!

Kate said...

Looks like everyone had a good time. Your pictures are beautiful. The pictures of Smitty are cute.

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful way to spend the weekend and much better than the one I had, lol. Love that catio, have never seen that and a nice idea for kitties.


ytsmom said...

Love the catio! And Smitty is just sooo darn cute!

otterdaughter said...

Oh, I'd love to find a catio like yours for our motorhome. I'm sure my boys would love it as much as Smitty does.

Give some chin scritches to HRH Gracie for me. The poor dear has had such a rough summer, what with the new interloper and being forced to travel where there are d-o-g-s... *shudder*

Siri Tullerusk said...

I am not sure who would have won a cat- and-dog fight if my Shelties were involved, most likely the cat!
The tale of your weekend was very nice to read, and I enjoyed looking at all your great photos :-) The picture of the crawdads brought water to my mouth, as they are common where I come from and I haven't tasted them for years.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the expression 'de-evolve' for retirement. Looks like a great time for all - even Smitty.

Dana Gaffney said...

It does look very relaxing and fun. It also looks like a photography paradise, love the pictures and I'm so glad that Smitty handled it all like a champ.

greelyrita said...

Eventually Gracie may try this catio, having seen Smitty use it. I'm guessing she's going to wait until he's nowhere around though. It wouldn't do to be cornered in there. I love to watch how they learn from each other.

Nice you had such a lovely time with all your friends. I wish...

Snoodles said...

Your photos definitely captured the relaxation as well as the warmth that was shared...gorgeous pictures and love Smitty and his Catio!

Kate Brown said...

It sounds like my kind of weekend! I am glad you had a wonderful, relaxing time . I love the catio , that is just awesome :)

Diane Wild said...

Wonderful looking get-away. Nice to have a place like that to go to and be with friends and truly relax. Also, so glad the fur family could go with.

Lynette said...

Perfectly lovely. :) Love that "catio" I'd never seen one before. I need to look into something like that for Koko.

LethargicLass said...

Looks like Mike needs to get started on his beard growing LOL!

KatieQ said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely weekend. I really enjoyed the photos. I have never seen crawdads before. I didn't realize they look like small lobsters. Smitty is such a riot. He ought to have his own sitcom. Poor Gracie, dogs and Smitty, what a combination to have to put up with.

quiltzyx said...

Sounds like a great weekend for all! Old friends, new friends, good food, growing things, pets & music - how could you go wrong?