As August draws to an end and as Carol basks in the glow of the fun of her recent vacation on the Oregon Coast, she gave us siblings this prompt for our next assignment:
"Write about some of the memories you have when we all gathered at the Oregon Coast and share those memories and stories in your next post."
Christy wrote about the last time we all got together on the Oregon Coast in 2009, here. Carol's post is forthcoming.
Please, Sisters, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think some combination of members of our nuclear family were at the Oregon Coast together in intermittent years from 1980, when Mom and Dad came to see me in Eugene, through 2012, when Mom and I drove to Eugene to visit the Deke, Adrienne, and Jack and we took a day trip to Yachats and had a bite to eat at the Adobe Inn.
Looking back, I see I wrote about our family's time at Rockaway Beach in August, 2009, here, and I see I wrote then about what I was going to write about now for this assignment. Until now, I didn't realize that I think a lot about these family visits to the Oregon Coast and associate them with the way I have often felt like the family vagabond/weirdo. It's all right there in my August, 2009 blog post and so is my gratitude that, in 2009, I felt so much acceptance from our family even though I spent a lot of time by myself and had a lot on my mind that was troubling me during that very difficult year.
So, since I've already sufficiently tilled that soil, I need to take another approach to this assignment.
I'm tempted to write about the high anxiety I felt when our family gathered at the Oregon Coast. I was always nervous about whether things were going well for Mom and Dad, but especially Dad. Was this restaurant okay for him? Would the weather cooperate and give us (him) a gorgeous ocean sunset? Would he like the golf course in Waldport? If I bring food for us to eat, will he like what I bring (think cream of celery soup -- and the answer is NO!)?
But, enough of that. I want to write about a positive memory. Ha! I just went back Sibling Assignment #18, written in May, 2007, and I wrote then about, guess what?, my feelings of melancholy when our family gathered at the Oregon Coast, but also about a sweet memory I had about the morning Dad went for a walk and brought us back donuts. It's here.
Now, back in 2007, Carol wrote about hers and my seasickness when she and Scott E. and I went out on a fishing boat in 1982. It's hilarious and if you'd like to read it, go here.
We didn't catch any fish that morning. Carol and I never stopped throwing up long enough to really tend our poles, and even though he never got sick, Scott had no luck either.
So, we did what must be done at the end of a failed fishing expedition: we bought a salmon from a Yaquina Bay fish market.
If I remember correctly, later that day, in the late afternoon, Scott took over the cooking of the salmon.
He gathered wood on the beach and built a small campfire and when it had died down, he set the salmon he'd dressed and wrapped in foil in the hot coals and cooked it perfectly.
Back in those days, not only did I love salmon baked the way Scott did it, I also loved to eat salmon paired with Gewurztraminer wine. I guess the sweet meat of the salmon and the peppery and spicy elements of the wine worked for me and I remember feeling blissed out eating this fish, even if we didn't catch it.
I might be making this up. Maybe we didn't have Gewurztraminer with the salmon and maybe we fixed the salmon up in the cabin in the little oven.
But I do know that I associate that cabin strongly with Gewurztraminer wine, thanks to the first visit I ever made to this cabin in the winter of 1980.
Back then, married to Eileen, she and I joined with Barbara and John for a weekend at Yachats and we went to the store to buy some wine and gave Gewurztraminer a try and we loved it and it became our go to wine for the next couple of years.
I especially remember how we drank that wine in the cabin with a winter storm gathering over the ocean, the waves crashing, the wind roaring, and rain pelting the cabin and we got out the board game Sorry! and played "Screw You" Sorry! together. Any time we could thwart an opponent's advance to victory, we relished it, not with "sorry", but with "screw you" (or its f-bomb equivalent) and we had such a good time and enjoyed the Gewurztraminer so much that we had to go out into the storm and buy another bottle or two.
So, it was a tough morning out on that fishing boat, but a good dinner came out of it and, thanks to the Gewurztraminer wine and the salmon, I can enjoy some fond memories of days spent with people long removed from our family's life, but who added a lot of enjoyment to my life over thirty years ago.