A few weeks ago… bored with the constant Oregon rain and a wife stuck at home with THE WORST COLD EVER… DT dove into the portion of our garage devoted to golf equipment. Working through the spider webs and dust, he came up with quite a large stash of clubs, bags, shoes and balls that we would no longer use. The stuff was great quality (an entire set of Callaway irons!) – but what to do with these no-longer-used things? Dave found the perfect solution – The Children’s Course in Gladstone, Oregon.

Part of The First Tee organization, the nine-hole course in suburban Portland provides a safe environment for kids to learn the game of golf – and the life skills that usually surround learning the game of golf. Green fees are $5, but if you don’t have $5, I don’t think there is much of a problem. Don’t have a set of clubs? Look around – people bring their used clubs to the course. Find a set. Grab some balls and learn the ancient game. Play golf!

World’s Cheapest Golf Shop!

And a beautiful course for the kids to play. (Adults are welcome as well.) The First Tee has over 750 locations around the world, and nearly 5 million kids participate. You never know who could be the next Tiger Woods Arnold Palmer! If you have golf equipment you are no longer using, see if there is a location near you that could make better use of that old putter than you ever did.

Just saying.

As long as we were on the east side of the Willamette River (somewhere we rarely go unless we are going to the airport), we decided to have lunch at Bob’s Red Mill. If you are not familiar with Bob, you are in for a whole-grain treat. Bob Moore is an Oregon institution and one of our Most Famous Citizens. It is an interesting story. Bob was into whole grains and built a business around providing whole and stone-ground grains to like-minded consumers. Moore did very well with his business and expanded with a diverse variety of organic flours and grains, and then developed a huge gluten-free product line. In 2010, Bob Moore gave his company to his employees! If you are not familiar with their 400+ products – check-out their catalog. If you are ever in the Milwaukie, Oregon (SE of Portland) area, make a stop to their Visitor Center for a great healthy lunch.

The company store/visitor center has a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch until 3p. There is one tour daily – at 10a. Plenty of parking, but RV parking is limited to what is available on the street. Hit or miss. DT and I had nice sandwiches in the counter-service restaurant and then hit the shop. Nearly everything I usually want from Bob’s Red Mill is available at my local hippy grocer… but I suspect you folks in Duluth will have to mail order?

I’m like a kid in a candy shop. DT followed me around, happily toting my purchases. He knows he will be dining fine with foods from Bob’s Red Mill.

We ended up driving a circular-route today, returning home via downtown Portland. We followed this guy… who obviously loves his truck.

Keep Portland Weird.

And just so you all know I can take a photo while DT is driving 45 mph over the Ross Island Bridge… here is Portland in all her grey-sky glory:

Forget Pasadena – Portland is in the middle of the Rose Festival. One big problem? The roses haven’t bloomed yet. It’s too cold and wet. Oops.

Other news:

Our second-eldest Goddaughter, Natalie, graduated from high school this week. I don’t need to even mention where the darling girl will be attending college, do I? Didn’t think so. Natalie is a dancer and smarter than smart. Isn’t she pretty? (Takes after me, don’t you think?)

While DT was cleaning the garage of used golf equipment, I had the task of going through books from Lisa’s childhood. And my childhood. I am not one to keep things no longer used, but for some reason, books are not in the same category as golf clubs. I have kept the books Lisa loved as a child. 30 years ago. I also have a few classics from when I was a child. 55 years ago. Last week I shipped 27 pounds of books to Lisa for our future grandbaby to enjoy. Going through Lisa’s old books brought back so many memories. (How many of us can still recite Goodnight Moon? Raise your hands! Goodnight kittens. Goodnight mittens.) CorduroyWhere the Wild Things AreThe Very Hungry CaterpillarMadeline. What I wouldn’t give to have that little girl on my lap, one more time, even for ten minutes, reading to her!

Tonight, Lisa sent this photo of some of the books they have gathered for the baby – attractively displayed on the shelves in the nursery.

Made me cry. 

Made me cry because that baby boy is so loved already. Made me cry because I remember how many HOURS DAYS WEEKS MONTHS YEARS DECADES we read to Lisa. Over and over and over and over and over until I thought my eyes would bleed when she asked one more time, Mommy – readitagain! Made me cry remembering a little squirming girl on my lap, mouth open, eyes wide – awed by the tale she had heard at least five kazillion times before. Made me cry that even last week, Lisa and I were discussing the books we were reading (on our Kindles!) and knowing the love of reading  is a life-long gift. Made my cry with happiness knowing Our Little Guy will open his eyes and the first thing he is going to see from his crib is a shelf of books!

Okay, I need to go now, because I am a crying mess.

Until my next update, I remain, your “I’m looking for that little mouse” correspondent.

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