I rolled and rambled over the Santiam pass to the ranchy subdivision outside Bend where my father lives to visit with him, my step-mom, and my step-sister Tara and her two kids. Good times. I hadn't seen Tara in like seven years and it was really fantastic to catch up. She's a bonafide supermom and powerful professional person. She also has some deadly accurate astrology which is online somewhere and I will find a link too, for all y'all star-watchers.
It felt really positive to reconnect with that wing of the fam again. They hosted a dinner party for a bunch of neighbors, and it was fun to mix it up with a crowd of relative strangers for a bit, hear what other people thought of politics, etc.
The drive over was also an adventure in chains and a brief near-blizzard. Driving through the beauty of the cascades, fir tries laid down with snow, craggy peaks swirling out of the clouds; it's some big beautiful country, prime Northwest.
And I'm back in the Euge now, ducking in for a night after closing out some gift buying. There's something deeply unsettling to me about the consumer season. It seems different from when I was young, though I don't really know how much has changed. I do know that I fear and loathe the word "doorbuster."