Robin and her Aunt Ruth, lakeside at the Oregon coast.
I've just returned from a flying visit to my Aunt Ruth in a little lakeside burg near the coast in the Pacific Northwest. Aunt Ruth is my mother's youngest sister and though she's been diagnosed with a variety of illnesses that would have knocked most others flat, she's still looking the picture of health and always has a smile on her face.
Markie, one of the cousins I've always felt close to, met me at the airport and transported me far out into the western regions so I could share a few days with my Aunt and my always-slightly-amused-by-life Uncle Joe--the first since we lost my mother Faye, Ruth's sister. As a hospitality gift, I brought along a two pound box of Sees Candy, the best chocolate in North America. (I thought I would help them out, by eating as much of it as I could so that they wouldn't have to worry about the calories.)
Along for the ride was Markie's friend, Logan the Dog, a calm and mannerly (Had I But Known!) Golden Retriever, who loves everyone but especially Markie.
Robin and some of her Oregon cousins, back in her days with KGW-TV. From left: Markie, Beth, Char, Robin, Tim, and Kenny. Missing from the photo are Barb, Sally, Tom, and identical twins Bruce and Brian.
It was great to see Ruthie again, whom I haven't seen since my parents were ill. It had been even longer since I had seen my Uncle Joe. "You look just the same," said Ruth. "Only now, she has a skinny lap," said Uncle Joe. Hmmm, I wonder what that means?
My Uncle Joe, at right, in his favorite chair.
Ruth is the mother of ten children, which I believe means she cannot be called unstoppable but can certainly be deemed unflappable. She has a strong faith, a strong marriage, and a family full of children so different, one wonders about the wild roulette of DNA.
Ruth and Joe in Oregon three decades ago, when I worked at KGW-TV and saw them often.
Ruth and Joe's marriage is still a loving one, a good thing since it produced such a clan--including two sets of twins (both fraternal and identical)--and a family that now encompasses seventeen grandchildren and a variety of great grandchildren, spouses, partners, step grandchildren, and other vanishing and reappearing family members that bring the annual reunion to something around forty, give or take the odd errant spouse or grandchild hiking the hinterlands of Hilo or the Kenai Peninsula.
Ooops. Aunt Ruth closed her eyes for this one!
We laughed, we cried, Uncle Joe turned out a terrific pork roast (who knew he could cook?) and on night two, we asked Logan the Dog to guard the house while we went out for a seafood dinner.
We must not have been specific enough in our instructions to Logan.
When we returned home I screamed bloody murder.
"Oh its horrible," I cried. "We've been robbed! Oh no!"
Ruth cowered in the doorway, afraid to enter, and Joe reached for his cell phone.
"No!" I said with great sorrow. "Don't call the police! Its the Sees! Logan ate the whole box!"
Logan had climbed up onto the dining room table, managed to avoid knocking over the remainder of Joe's Manhattan cocktail--and brought down the two pound box of Sees With Cream Centers and finished off the 90% of them we had not eaten--leaving behind just the box and the individual candy papers.
"Who me?" Logan looked the picture of innocence.
"Bad dog," I said, but with only a laugh in my voice.
Logan looked up at me with a sort of a "What?" expression, pretending he had no idea what could possibly be wrong.
"I'm just afraid he'll be sick," said Aunt Ruth.
But Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, would be proud. Some years ago, the great investor tasted Sees and liked what he tasted so well he bought the company.
Logan did not get sick. With the great Warren Buffett (no relation to Jimmy), Logan the Dog highly endorses Sees Candy.
Logan is a Retriever. And the opportunity he found, was Golden.
Merry Christmas to Aunt Ruth, Uncle Joe, and family. And Logan? Forget it. You've already had your present.