Final Furlough Year

Final Furlough Year

1990-robert-cindi-joel-pandaWith our furlough years almost over, the summer before our departure was spent visiting family, while we still had the chance.  We went to the Panda restaurant in Pasadena with Uncle Bob in the years before it turned into the popular chain Panda Express.  We took one last road trip up to our Grandparents house in Sunriver, Oregon and visited Crater Lake.  And we took a trip up into Washington to meet some relatives we hadn’t met before – our Great Grandma and our Uncle Dale and Aunt Leigh.  They lived several hours north of my grandparents house on a farm in Worden, Washington.  Along the way, we stopped at a ghost town and explored the old buildings in Shaniko, Oregon.   I was tired from staying up 1990-03-crater-lake-family-1the night before, so when it came time for continuing the road trip, I asked my parents if I could take an afternoon nap in a sleeping bag in the back of the station wagon, and this still being the 1980’s, my parents obliged.  What I failed to realize was that the journey took us through the high desert of Oregon, and when I awoke several hours later covered in sweat.  I unzipped the sleeping bag and felt the cold air rush in against my now damp clothing.  As darkness settled, we stopped at a restaurant for dinner and I felt chilled to the bone sitting in the air-conditioned restaurant throughout the meal.  Heading onward, we pressed into the night and finally arrived at the long gravel road leading to my Uncle Dales farm.  Waking up the next morning, we explored the surroundings of their farm.  They had acres of land that grew a 1989-07-shaniko-hotelvariety of crops and several farm animals.  At the center of the land was an old farmhouse with several outlying buildings.  During the day, I spent time exploring around the grounds, looking at the farm animals, and riding on the back of an all-terrain-vehicle while my Uncle drove.  My parents deemed that my brother and sister were old and qualified enough to drive off on their own, and I watched as they gleefully drove off across the field, down the gravel road, and disappeared.  A few minutes later they returned looking nervous and frightened.  Apparently one of the cows did not appreciate them encroaching on their space and chased them away while by brother quickly hightailed it back to the farmhouse.  Before dinner I assisted Grandma and Aunt Leigh pick 1989-06-uncle-dales-family-oregonfresh raspberries from the rows of vines that grew next to the farmhouse and that night at dinner, we sat down at a long farm table covered in a white tablecloth and had a meal resembling a thanksgiving dinner, compete with ice cream and fresh raspberries for desert.  The next morning we hopped back in our old Oldsmobile station wagon for the drive back to my grandparents house and then the further drive back to our home in Pasadena, California.

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