I’m sitting in our Shilo Inn room by the river in Bend Oregon after saying good-bye to Sarah with a surprise birthday song and cupcake at her work in Portland. We are heading south-ish eventually. After our video interview with the Master of Novices for the Oregon Province our journey this morning took us down the Columbia Gorge to The Dalles, a town along the river. Turning off I-84 we climbed into absolutely nowhere on State Route 197 toward Bend. Miles and miles of nothing but fields with the Cascades far off in the distance. There was hardly any traffic and I felt if we broke down and had to wander to the nearest farmhouse, we would be chopped up in little pieces by a family that did not take kindly to city folk. We passed through the little town of Maupin on the Deschutes River known for its river rafting. What was amazing was that this town just sprung up out of nowhere in the middle of nowhere.
We connected with the main highway US 97 which brought us back into civilization and rest stops. We arrived in Bend around dinner time (anytime is dinner time) and did our usual foregoing for a hotel or motel. We had been at Shilo Inns before so when we saw the sign we jumped. They gave us this sweet room that opens onto the river with tons of trees and stuff. It is very quiet. Instead of leaving for the Bay Area tomorrow we decided to wait an extra day. So that brings us up to date.
If also gives me time to reminisce about the grand event that happened 27 years ago today at around 6.30 in the morning. That was the morning that Sarah was born. I had already started back to school when it happened and it was before the school instituted Paternity leave for dads. So when labor started I had to call in for a sub. The morning was chilly as we drove from Concord to Kaiser Walnut Creek and Kathy was rushed into the delivery room in great pain. I was trying to crack jokes to lighten the situation but it didn’t work. There is nothing funny in the delivery room. The doctor looked half asleep and I was jumping back and forth between my wife and the birth canal. It’s hard to remember everything about that morning but I do remember a few things. My wife got me in a head lock blaming me for the pain and pounded me on the head swearing that this was the last time (Sean, my youngest, was born almost a year later almost to the day). Seeing Sarah’s head with its mop of hair slowly moving towards the new world filled me with excitement. I think I was the only one in the room who was excited.
I can only relate this as what I saw because no one else saw it, but when I held her for the first time and carried her over to be weighed, she grabbed my little finger and squeezed it, opened her eyes wide and gave me a huge toothless grin. That was it, we were bound for life. I think it is still that way. We are very much alike although I think she is more courageous than me. So there you have it. 27 years later we both smile and laugh a lot.
And so it goes….