A quick shot of the Peter Iredale as we sped toward the “exit”. Pretty cool.
So… yesterday, after having a great Saturday I haven’t yet mentioned… loved having you over Maggie. Really nice to see you. It had been awhile. Yesterday… we got up at the butt ass crack of dawn (pardon me) and went clam digging with Stan and Connie. It was a really great day. We really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks guys for driving, for instructing, and for putting up with our sorry excuse for clam digging selves.
I know this isn’t exactly probably very politically correct, but I had to post a shot of how Weston spends much of his time while on walks. He’s a boy dog… boy dogs like to mark. There’s not a log, or tree, or rock he passes without having to leave his mark… so to speak. Even when he has no mark to leave he tries to leave it. It’s kind of funny. He thinks he’s a stud… and, well… he is.
Karen just left to take the kids to the airport for their return trip to England. It’s been a terrific visit and I miss them already.
It’s easy to say you love someone because they’re family. You know, saying I love this person or that person because I’m related to them and that’s just the way it is. It’s another thing entirely to really like them, to enjoy spending time with them, and to love them for exactly who they are and the joy they bring to your life. Which is what I feel about Mary and Martin.
Blended families are sometimes tough. You never know if personalities will clash, if there will be hard feelings about one thing or another, or if lives can just smoothly and easily fit like hands to a glove. It’s a tricky business. I’ve been lucky in my life in that even though I’ve had extensive experience with the blended family structure, I’ve not really had a bad experience… ever. I’ve had step brothers and sisters, half brothers and sisters, step fathers, a step mother, sisters in law, brothers in law, and out and out and out… like ripples in a pond… an ever growing family. To me it’s a beautiful thing, lives joining. I feel a sense of belonging and connection. But as I said, it’s a tricky business. One that doesn’t always go well. I’ve known others who’ve had less than desirable (to be perfectly PC) experiences. It can be nearly devastating, and ugly, when personalities clash or jealousies arise. Thankfully, there’s been none of that for this girl… for me, as I said, it’s been good. And this last three weeks has been no exception to that. I’ve had a wonderful time with my family.
Getting to know Mary, and now Martin, has been a beautiful thing in my life. I never thought I’d have kids. In fact, I didn’t really want them. Not, of course, until I met “the one”, and then it was just a tad too late. We decided we were just a bit passed the point, age wise, of having children together. But I got lucky, because Karen already had Mary. So here I find myself… a step parent. Granted, Mary’s an adult, and really has been since I’ve been in the picture. But it’s been five years, and a lot has happened in all of our lives, a lot that we’ve been able to share… a lot of life.
What to say about Mary… she’s extraordinary. She’s a deep feeling and passionate person who isn’t afraid to say what she thinks, at least not to Karen, Martin, or me. I love that about her. I love that she has an opinion. I love that if she thinks she’s right she won’t back down until you buck up and prove her wrong. She can be tough, but listening to her argue her point, whatever it is, makes me proud of her. She always argues thoughtfully, considering, analyzing, drawing on what she knows. It’s impressive and I admire that greatly in her. She’s also incredibly bright, which makes her great company. She loves all the things I do… books, music, film, words, thought, art… and can talk about them beyond just the usual surface chat. She wants to know things, experience them, and see how things tick. She’s not just satisfied skimming along, which makes her the deep feeling and passionate person I mentioned earlier. Plus, Mary has a fantastic sense of humor and of play. She likes to laugh, to play, to be dorky, and to have a good time. From playing with the dogs, to goofing around with Martin, to being able to laugh at herself… she knows how to have fun. Yes, she can sometimes take things pretty seriously, but I think that’s an offshoot, a hazard, of being so smart, so passionate… she sinks her teeth into something and isn’t always willing to let it go. She wants to know why, or solve the problem, or find some sort of way to work it out. She believes she can and, actually, I do too. I think the girl could do anything she wanted to, anything she set her mind on doing in life. She’s fantastic. A stellar human being who’s very easy to love. I’m lucky to know her, and incredibly lucky to be a part of her life.
Martin… well… what can I say. He’s exactly who we both wanted Mary to find. He loves her, adores her, and challenges her. They compliment each other so well it makes me cry with happiness thinking about it. When you’re so happy in your own relationship, the thing you want most for your kids is that they find someone who makes them as happy as your partner makes you. And, thank goodness, Martin makes Mary that happy, as happy as we are. He has no idea how often we say how thankful we are she found him, or he found her, or they found each other. But we do, and we are so very grateful for him. On top of all of that… I like him. I like him very much. He’s curious about the world, interested in everything. He wants to know things, and if he doesn’t know something he wants to find out about it. He loves talking, having intelligent dialogue, and does it well. He gets excited about things, and has no problem being silly, or laughing. He’s also easy to be around. He’s one of those people who, for me anyway, makes you feel relaxed. He has a calm about him, a certain confidence of spirit. It’s something Karen has as well, which is probably why I find it to be an attractive trait in him. It’s just nice being around him, and it makes it very easy to love him. Mary’s found her match in him and we couldn’t be happier about her choice. He’s exactly who we would’ve chosen for her. He’s just, simply said, a very good guy.
So… we had a great visit with them, and I’m pretty sad to see them go. I so enjoyed being around them and every time we get to be together I only like them, and love them, more. I’m looking forward to Christmas… because if this visit was any indication, it’s going to be a great time spent with a couple of spectacular people.
This baby was ready for roasting…. and we did. The best comment of the evening… Mary, who hasn’t been able to roast a marshmallow in a year (she lives in England where the marshmallows are apparently sub par), saying to her first nicely roasted specimen, “come to me my beauty”. It was a good moment.
Last Friday, the fourth of July, we were at the beach in the oceanside town of Lincoln City, Oregon. That evening we ventured down to the beach (even though it was drizzling a bit ), built a fire, roasted hot dogs, made s’mores, and lit up some sparklers. We questioned Martin about joining in the celebration of our freedom from the Brits, since, you know, he’s British and all… he didn’t really seem to mind. I think he was having too much fun enjoying the campfire and looking at the fireworks to really question his loyalties.
While in Newport we drove out to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and then wandered down to the cool basalt beach there.