And right after Tani and family flew back east, another niece, this time the youngest of the next generation, arrived. Kate, along with her friends Cliff and Banshee, are on the Grand Tour (of the US). They have been on the road for two months, mostly camping, but sometimes catching up with friends and relatives and laundry and conversations and are now exploring all of Portland.
Kate is my baby brother Mike’s youngest child, so we feel like we are spanning more than just sibling and child generations in these visits. Kate is of an age with some of my siblings’ grandchildren. We are catching up with the width and breadth of the Oechler family, as well as some of Cliff’s family, which is as big and sprawling as my own.
First, you have to meet Banshee:
who is the coolest, least obtrusive dog I’ve ever met. He has spent most of his days with us, checking out the house between naps (he seems to nap more than I do, which is quite a feat). This morning, however, he got to play on the off-leash dog area on Mt. Tabor and so needed even more rest. He barely raised a head when Jer and I returned from the Barley Mill pub up the street, where we took Cliff and Kate for dinner.
Cliff and Kate had to take another look at Hawthorne, checking it out on a Friday midsummer’s evening, and we left them after dinner to do that scene. They had spent the afternoon at the organic brew fest in Overlook Park, so they are exploring the brewing scene in Portland quite thoroughly. Cliff is interested in both beer and geology, so Oregon and Portland are fine areas for him to check out:
I caught him while he was reading the sports page this morning — my apologies, Cliff, for the terrible photo. Operator ineptitude. But Katie was sitting right across from me, so I did a bit better with her:
A couple amazing things about our recent guests. They are all wired, in various ways, and do their tourist research on the web each night, planning out the next day’s activities. And they have the lightest footprint as guests imaginable. I guess it helps to be “incapacitated” (me) and obsessed with a Wikipedia project (Jer); the guests just naturally have to fend for themselves. And since they are family, they seem to be good at doing it, too. In addition, they are updating our city info nicely, so when I’m able to walk a bit more, I’ll have plenty of new destinations. –June