Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Open Letter....

Jeromy suggested I dumb this down to:


I, however, wrote this:

Keyed Car Causes Questions

An Open Letter to the Person who Keyed My Parents’ Car in the Balfour Golf Course Parking Lot:

Boy, did you ever pick the wrong car.

But first, some questions. Namely: why? After a slight interrogation, I have discovered that my congenial, laid-back parents didn’t park too close to you. They can’t recall stepping in your putting line on a green or failing to rake a bunker on the course during a golf game celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary this past Sunday, July 22. Neither one of them remembers a run-in with you near the pro-shop or the restroom.

And then, it dawned on us. It must have been their license plate.

Yes, the Subaru Outback that they drive is branded by an Idaho license plate. An American license plate. It was parked next to two other cars with Idaho license plates; cars belonging to the two other couples that went on this recent golfing odyssey with them. But here’s the thing: if you would have taken an extra ten seconds to ponder a more thorough destruction—weighing your options in the short time it would have taken to circumnavigate the entire vehicle rather than just damage the drivers’ side-- something may have caught your eye. You might have noticed the Subaru Outback you so violently defaced was purchased at a dealership in Calgary, Alberta. Would that have caught your attention?

Maybe that would have made you stop and think. Because you did, in fact, pick the wrong car. Of the three American cars you had to choose from, you picked the car belonging to a Canadian couple who has, for the lack of a better term, begrudgingly spent the last 20 years in the United States, brought here by a job transfer and kept here by the promise of retirement, which is a mere five years away. You picked the car of a couple who spends thousands of dollars every year touring your beautiful country, playing golf and making friends with locals all over the lower interior of British Columbia… people you may very well know. You picked the car of a couple who plans to retire to your area and finally return to the place that they still call “home.” And, most importantly, you picked the car of a couple who has chosen to keep their Canadian citizenship despite living in the United States these past twenty years, therefore rendering them helpless to have a say in this country’s political decisions that you so clearly loathe.

Would that have made you choose to let their car be? Would that have made you stop and think and refrain from not only causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, but from taking the additional step of leaving (and this is quite a ridiculous touch, by the way) a note with the word “***hole” written on it under their windshield wiper? Would it have?

For now, we prefer to think of this little note as a calling card. Because you are the one deserving of this title. Your simple-mindedness and ignorance can only be described as the behavior of an “***hole.” But unlike you, we know that your individual opinions, views and actions are not representative of an entire province or an entire country… just as my parents’ political views and opinions can not be ascertained by the license plate that happens to be attached to their Canadian car. The car that they bought with American dollars earned in the United States, but spent in your country, benefiting the Canadian economy. And since we all seem to be jumping to conclusions here: yes. I acknowledge that I too may be seen as jumping to conclusions: that such a destructive act was predicated by the mere presence of an American license plate. But this is the only conclusion that we can draw from the events of that beautiful day.

In closing, please let me say that the bewilderment of such a degrading, senseless act to such a harmless and un-American couple will fade with time. My parents will eventually retire in your general area, and I’m sure in the coming year and years ahead will continue to spend their time and treasure in your beautiful, friendly country.

That will probably have to wait a few months, however. Right now, they have a car to fix.

Angela Miller, Bend Oregon

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer Fun

Cameron, Ethan and Eva, respectively. On their Fourth of July Extended Weekend Break from Crawmers Critterz.

The status of things Green Around Here

When one's wonderful, adorable, well-intentioned neighbor offers to water your trees for you for no other reason than you're obviously not doing it yourself, one should pay attention.

I am currently making infrequent attempts to deep-root water this poor adorable tree, but sometimes (mostly) I forget. And besides, who knew you had to deep-root water trees? I never knew that. If it weren't for Darlene I'm sure this and its two weeping crabapple siblings would be campfire kindling by now.

Now THESE... I know you have to water. Sometimes twice daily. Which would explain how these plants might just make it through the summer.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fourth of July Update

Tip: When downloading pictures onto your harddrive, one should always remember to remove the little memory thingy from the computer before taking off for two days of family fun. As in, lots of good picture taking opportunity family fun.

Cameron took in his first local ball game on Tuesday night (July 3). The Bend Elks were playing the Spokane Riverhawks and Bob Thomas Chevrolet was giving out free tickets, so what the heck... we decided to go. Roped several other young families into going with us and -voila!- instant fun fueled by four kids under the age of four, cheap beer and wonderful weather. Pictures? Not so much. Shannon took a few, so I'll have to get those from her soon.

On the Fourth of July, Jeromy went to work in the morning and Cameron and I hung around the house, played cars (and trains!) and did about 35 loads of laundry. After Jeromy came home and cleaned himself up, we headed over to Mark and Charlotte's new house for the festivities, fireworks in the front drive and fireworks from Pilot Butte. Mark made four batches of what can only be described as Jungle Juice (I was a little skeptical at first) and so everyone ate, drank and was/were merry. The City of Bend's fireworks were great as usual this year and, to add extra excitement, the brush and trees on the side slopes of the Butte caught fire like they'd never caught fire before. To hear it from the wife of a Bend Firefighter... "yeah, Pete says we've gotten off pretty easy the last few years so we were due." As we drove home (45 minutes after the end of the show) the Butte was still ablaze.

Since I don't have any of these pictures to post, here are some from our Tower Theatre staff barbeque that my boss hosted on Friday, June 29.

Looking over his shoulder to make sure Madison is going to tackle him. It's all about the tackle.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Trains, Rediscovered

Aha! My evil plan worked. And it only took a great weekend in Hood River to get Cameron to rediscover his eleven billion trains upstairs.

A Day out with Thomas

Every summer, the Mt. Hood Railroad partners with the makers/owners/producers of the Thomas the Tank Engine super-franchise (you know the one... of recent lead paint recall fame...) and they bring a "lifesize" "Thomas the Tank Engine" to Hood River to pull five or six passenger trains up and then right back down, going backwards, a few-mile stretch of the railroad.

Which of course we parents eat up. Because, you know. Lifesize Thomas.

And also: here, take all of my money. Want More? Where's the ATM? (looks around wildly.)

We went last year, and met up with some friends from school: the Berglers and the Mawdsleys. This year, we met up with the Walleens, who quite possibly cuss AND enjoy their booze more than we do. Perfect! It's like we've found our dream friends.

Last year, I booked us in a vintage Pullman car, with small seats and tiny windows. We all very nearly melted. This year, I ditched the nostalgia and went for the open, breezy and not-so-safe open car, which despite my clutching to Cameron for dear life for 20 minutes, was quite a hit.


Sir Topham Hatt, the Superintendent of the Railroad

We hung out with Cooper and Marley (and Greg and Nichole) that evening. Cooper had these cool little bike-things called plasmas which are a hoot.

The next day, we found the World's Second Coolest Wine Tasting Place Ever.

We could taste/drink/buy wine AND pick the season's last of the strawberries from the U-Pick farm. We took some to school this morning and they are so good.

And also, all gone.

We Heart Hood River

If we could, we would move there.

I would play my (very, verrrrry ficticious) trump card (the "youmovedmetooregonsonowigettodecidewherewelivesothere" card) and we would go. In a second.

I would not, however, take up this: