Who I reached by car. First, yesterday, I headed south and east of where I live to Happy Valley* to visit Ryan and Stacey, friends I know through (among other things) Twitter and the Portland Timbers's Timbers Army. Got to meet their kids, and give them gifts that weren't just for the kids: three of my books from childhood. One was about whales, one was the Return of the Jedi storybook, and one was about dinosaurs. The whale book was the big hit, which makes me happy: I love sharing why whales are fascinating.
Hanging out with their kids, one 6 years old and one at 10 months, helped me test: could I interact with kids without tousling their hair? Because I now honestly want to keep from tousling hair. Does any kid actually like getting their hair tousled? So I patted the 10-month-old's shoulder instead. Even though there's almost no shoulder on someone that young!
The rest of yesterday and much of today was spent with my folks out in Dundee, best known to most Portland people as "where the road to the central Oregon Coast narrow from 4 lanes to 2" (and is now known as part of the winery bit of Willamette Valley; Leverage's wine episode was shot a few miles past Dundee). Both of them just had birthdays themselves, Dad a couple of weeks ago, Mom Saturday, so we had a dinner to mark all that. Steak and potatoes and salad. We can be simple people with simple tastes, and we do not mind a bit.
I'd hoped to run into a cousin of mine Jeff who usually lives in New York City, since he and his boyfriend are in the Northwest, but the timing didn't work. We crossed paths somewhere, as his family picked them up in Portland late this afternoon, but before that I got out to visit all of them sans Jeff. They live in Dayton, on the road between Dundee and McMinnville. It was also a chance to visit with their two labs, both of whom had no problem with being petted (which I was glad to do).
My final stops before going home: For gas and sustenance, including treating myself to Sonic in Tigard. Again, simple people with simple tastes. Home now.
It was a "resting, visiting and reading weekend." This works for me and for my family and for a lot of people I know.
* A place which makes me want to say, in my best Lester Burnham, "Naming a town Happy Valley is, to me, just asking for trouble." Sorry, I shouldn't be that cynical. I'm not, really, but it amuses me to say it.