the rest of the trip

This is the view from my brother and sister-in-law's new home in Oregon.

Last year B+SIL retired, pull up stakes, sold their home in New Jersey, and moved to the other side of the country. One of their adult children and partner - and now their first grandchild! - lives 15 minutes away in Ashland, Oregon. Their other two adult children and their partners live in the Bay Area, a five-hour drive or short flight away.

And then - this is the real knock-out - my 84-year-old mother is moving out there, too! With the help of B+SIL, she sold her apartment in New Jersey, gave her car away to one of her granddaughter-in-laws, and is preparing to move into a retirement community in Ashland. She'll be able to see her great-granddaughter grow up, and there'll be family on hand as she gets older and needs more care.

We're all incredibly impressed that she's up for this huge life change at 84 years old. She's lived in the NYC-metro area all her life,

For me, this means a much longer and more complicated trip to see her. On the other hand, there's a lot more family to visit when I do. We used to all gather once a year at B+SIL's home in New Jersey, but for the last few years, B+SIL have been going west, so we hadn't all seen each other in a very long time.

* * * *

We got in late on Friday night (or very early Saturday morning). Since then we've been talking and reconnecting with each other, drinking wine, taking walks on B+SIL's 45-acre property, and especially and constantly playing with, watching, talking to, admiring, and exclaiming over the darling Sophia, nine months old.

Yesterday, Sunday, the Bay Area contingent had to take off, people I hugely love and already miss. Today we're going to see Ashland, Sophia's parents' home, and their office where they practice acupuncture and holistic healthcare. And of course more Sophia time.

We had planned to take a break from the family activities to spend a couple of days in Portland. But after driving from Vancouver and having the return trip in front of us, we're not keen to drive another 10 hours (five hours each way) to see that city, even for Powell's.

If I were to blog the rest of the trip, it would be super boring. But way fun here!


Amy said...

I am really impressed and amazed by your mother's courage! I wish mine would do the same. Good for her and for your brother and his family. And you will have more peace of mind, knowing that she has family close by.

That view is incredible.

laura k said...

It is very impressive! The peace of mind is incalcuable. I was wondering what would happen as my mom enters the last phase of her life, who would be there to help her, to assess if she needed more care. It was a great concern. Now... solved! And solved in a wonderful way, a way for her to be near three of her five grandchildren (and their partners), and her great-grandchildren (if more appear).

I think I'll be able to see her only once a year, and it will be a much longer, more involved trip. That will be different for us. But the payoff is huge.

Thanks, Amy. :)

Amy said...

Well, if you keep your passports renewed, the next trip will feel MUCH easier. :)

laura k said...

Indeed. :)