Sunday, July 1, 2018

Newport Days

Oh Newport! How beautiful you are again today!!

We woke up to another gorgeous day here on the coast for our Patty family reunion!

We started these gatherings when our kids were very small (Claire was just 9 months old on the first one, and she's almost 24 now) and continued them with everyone until a few years ago when those kids started marrying and having families of their own. It became hard to coordinate that many schedules, and find a place to hold us all.

But with mom's 90th birthday approaching in May, someone made the suggestion that we gather just the original Patty kids and their spouses and go somewhere to be with mom and dad.

That turned out to be the best idea ever!

Dave's brother, Steve, had friends who owned a house here in Newport so he checked with them to see if it was available for us to rent, and it was. So here we are, having THE sweetest time with each other.

Sisters of the heart! L-R: Kristi, Joyce, me

A long sandy beach is down the hill from the house, so we had all agreed last night to head down at 9 AM for low tide this morning. With it being a bit of a steep walk, mom and dad opted to stay here on an bench overlooking the beach and watch for us down below.

Walking on the Oregon coast is something I've been doing my whole life, and there's a part of me that comes alive when I get to feel the sand in my toes, and smell the familiar salty air as I listen to the crashing waves rolling in their never-ending way.

Another familiar part of the coast is how quickly the weather can change, going from sunny to misty in a matter of minutes.

As it did this morning.

In the space of just a few minutes, a low fog settled in, giving a familiar ethereal look to the coastline.

And that mistiness clinging to my glasses!

But part of the lore of the Oregon coast is being out in any and all weather, so this was just another chance to enjoy the beauty of it, mist and all!

And what could be better than walking it with my sisters?!

By the time we headed back to the house, the fog had lifted. So typical of the Oregon coast!

In the afternoon we headed down to old town Newport, by the bay. This is another place I've been coming my whole life.

It's not a trip to Newport without a trip to the saltwater taffy and caramel corn store downtown!

Newport is not just for tourists, but is also a working fishing town, which lends to an iconic sight, sound and smell in town. I just love being here!

We stood for a long time on one of the wharfs, watching a fishing boat disembark its catch of the day. The fishermen in the family enjoyed watching that!

Some of us non-fishermen types enjoyed coffee! 😉

There is plenty of "kitsch" in town, and I love finding it!

Mom found something special though - a type of jacket that she's been looking for over the past two years. I love the color on her!

It's also not a trip down here without this iconic photo!

There are 23 murals in old town Newport; I think this is the coolest one!

We headed back to the house and caught the end of a World Cup soccer game between Croatia and Denmark, watching Croatia win in a shoot-out. We're happy about that since we are rooting for Croatia!

Since it's Sunday, we then moved on to having a family church service, complete with music, sermons and prayer.

Josh gave us instructions for the sermon, saying that each of us could preach today! And what did we preach on?

What we've learned from mom's life, and how she's lived for Christ!

Everyone shared something meaningful, though not to elevate mom, but rather God's work in and through her life. It was powerful and precious!

I can't remember how we thought to take this picture, but one thing led to another and here we are: The "Married to Patty's" bunch!

Another take-out meal -- this time of local fish -- made for a wonderful dinner together. There is nothing quite like conversation around the dinner table, enjoying each other and all the interesting things we know and share with each other!

At past reunions we always cooked, but changing it up this time, making breakfasts and lunches together and then ordering take-out for dinner, was perfect for this family reunion! That way there was plenty of time for those lingering conversations in the evening that make time together so special.

By 9 PM we were once again out at the water's edge to witness yet another beautiful sunset on an incredible day.

This time we had to bundle up a bit as the temperature had dropped.

But that didn't stop us from having a load of fun outside as the sun set on our day!

Kristi captured this rather hilarious photo of the rest of us trying to capture Steve on his perfect "jump shot"!

And all the while, God put on a beautiful show for us!

It was so cold that we took turns ducking down behind a cement wall where the wind wasn't quite so stiff. We hoped that was allowed. 🤣

Eventually the cold won out and I couldn't take it anymore. Ever been on the Oregon Coast when the wind starts blowing?

Steve is saying, "It's COOOLLLLDDDD!"

I left the brave ones to finish out the sunset!

And watched them, from the warmth of inside, return victoriously afterwards!

A few good rounds of Scrabble, of various forms, finished out another incredible day at the Oregon Coast with our dear family.

Though this picture is a bit blurry, it perfectly captures the joy of being here together!

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