Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Break 2008

Destination? OREGON HOME!
*Please feel free to click on links or pictures to see an enlargement*

During one of the most enjoyable weather months in Southern California, the Olin family tipped off their spring break just as the NCAA did for March Madness and decided to head for their river home in Central Oregon; They were very excited to be greeted with a similarly mild spring climate once on the river.

As luck had it, however, the Oregon winter season has been just as unpredictable this year as the inevitable Davidson vs. Georgetown upset of our country's annual collegiate basketball tournament. So, instead of the rhododendrons and dogwood welcoming them in full bloom (like last year), the Olins were surprised to find that the McKenzie Bridge, OR scenery to be EXACTLY the same as they had left it in January. Snow on the ground and snow falling from the sky. And oh how this filled their hearts with glee and rosy cheeks. Looks like someone forgot to turn the heat back on (thanks Mother Nature, way to pull a fast one on us all).

Nevertheless, Mountain Man and his fair maiden Dotty decided that this two-week getaway was going to be a fruitful one, complete with visits from friends and family and, of course, by their trusty, diligently hardworking, amicable son*.
*biases aside

The first thing to tell you about is that Jon's meticulous planning resulted in a wonderful visit by his mother, Wanda, and their long-time sailing friend, Marsha Furman, both of whom had yet to see the property since the construction was completed. In fact! this was Wanda's first visit to the river since 1983 (80's reference here). The weather was partly cloudy and cool the day they arrived, yet, it snowed off and on over the course of their entire stay with the Olin family. Wanda and Marsha stayed warm and were delighted to spend a few days in a winter wonderland.

Marsha is making good use of the new fireplace!

Grandma Wanda enjoying the snow

At the dining room table

The Olin's next pa
ir of visitors were Jon's brother, Jay, and his wife, Kris. The day they visited was sunny and beautiful. Grandma was bundled up in a down jacket and everyone took a short walk down to the river.

During the first week, Jon was able to
complete some odd jobs before the arrival of the "extra" help. The downstairs bathroom sink and granite counter top was installed and in a fury of creative carpentry and wood working zeal Jon "Mt. Man" Olin bucked up two trees and whittled himself a Illinois Illini statue in honor of his alma mater (which didn't actually make it to March Madness this year). Please feel free to come up and see this mammoth wood carving for yourself!

Moving on: By Thursday of the first week Christopher flew in from New York. After ten days of carousing around Alexandra's apartment and the rest of Manhattan, he was ready to round out his extended spring break with a little manual labor and some play in the snow. By Friday it was time for Grandma and Marsha to head back home and for the first 15 miles to the Eugene Airport it snowed heavily (see picture atop this blog). Everyone seemed to enjoy the beautiful, snowy countryside except for Dorothea, who was white knuckled and silent in the back seat (Marked improvements since our last foul weathered excursion)
Then, it was back to work. Jon and Chris began to prepare for a handful of tasks that occupied the remainder of the vacation: Finishing the yellow cedar ceiling in the Great Room (trim included), assembling and installing the ceiling fans, make a trip to the dump, installing the kitchen sink, constructing a kitchen counter top, install light fixtures in the master bedroom, spray painting the vents at the top of the chimney, clean out the gutters (which were filled with ice, leaves, and dead insects) and, finally, lay tile in the downstairs bathroom.

Olin family time management theory states that accomplishing just three of these tasks is not possible in one week. This theory, however, was utterly shattered as Jon and Chris were able to complete every single one of these tasks in six days.

During this time, Dorothea showed off her champion skills by pledging to do the following: Verathaning all the windows and doors in the house. A job likened to rearranging one's sock drawer a dozen times over (Thank you Jeff Marckese!). Dorothea also regularly cooked and prepared three delicious meals a day, did laundry, cleaned the house, washed dishes, and read. Correction: Dorothea read at night. After all her work was complete.

Needless to say, it was a very productive and fruitful spring break in Oregon for the Olin family.

Please feel free to view more pictures of our trip here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chris, this was wonderful to read and see! You are quite the comedian! This was the first of your blogs I have been able to access, since I work at a school district where blogs and other nasty things are blocked!! This time I forwarded it to my church office computer, where we just recently got on line. Jay and I are sorry we had to leave before you arrived! Kris