Friday, May 31, 2013

Remembering Benton

We left Pasco, WA after lunch on a hot 90* day. This was the first we really needed to run the air conditioner! We drove about an hour east near Toppenish, where friends/cousins, Shane & Cindy live. Alas, no bountiful shade at their place either! So we escaped the heat in the cool, dim house. Visitors from CA were there with us for supper. 

smiling Cindy serving drinks in her kitchen

ham & cheese sandwiches, chips, apples, sheetcake & mini cupcakes

We all went in to Zillah for the viewing of sweet 7 year old Benton, who passed away after over 2 years of fighting cancer. The funeral was in the morning at 10am. We returned to the Zillah Brethren meetinghouse and sat in the crowd overflow (dining area) and watched the service on a screen. They had little memorial songbooks for each visitor with pictures on the front and back of Merle, Rachel, Wilson, and Benton. And Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of Heaven."  I'm not sure how many friends gathered to support the mourning family, but heard they planned on 800 for the funeral meal.

 crowd gathered at the graveside service

cemetery north of the church building

Our family returned to Shane's to share a blessed evening sharing with two other couples late into the night!

snuck in a load of laundry Sat.

Saturday evening mealtime on Shane's  front patio
(Gus the Bus in the background)

Nikita, Annie, Kaylea

Ethan, Hank, Riley
(the PPA in the background)

sweet shugie love

Shane serving Eric
Daylight hours are quite different here in the northwest than what we're used to; it has been getting light before 6am and night comes later than 9:30pm. In the spring! Makes for lovely long evenings!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pickling Plant Tour

Friday morning, May 10, our family met Doug & Pam and Steve & Charlene Lynch at Columbia Valley Family Farms pickling plant. We slowly walked through and observed the running operation. Quite different from a one person canning kitchen in a home! 

stacking asparagus piles on the conveyor

washing the veggies

placing a handful in the jars

getting just the right amount in each handful

ready for the hot liquid

pickling brine poured into each jar

watching the lids going on

observing the labeler

Caroline, Lindsay, Brooke, Pam, Riley behind the expiration date machine
(owners Bryan & Kevin in the background)

the beginning of the jar line

a closer look at the automatic spice filler

How fast can you put the packing box together?

Lynch/Bowman homeschoolers in the storage shed

Charlene sent us away with a box full of premium asparagus tops, washed, and cut for a future motor home meal. 
A great impromptu field trip with fun friends!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Uncle Harold & Aunt Mae's, Everett & Sandy's, RC Planes

Thursday morning, Shannon's cousin Bethany came out to the motor home for about an hour chat before she went to her nanny job. We had a relaxing morning of schoolwork and getting acquainted with the busy Wray family where Bethany has lived for the past 3 years. There was extra activity around the place because Everett's business, Garden Gate Nursery, was having special retail days right beside the house. The children took rides on the golf carts with and without customers. 

After lunch we spent the afternoon down the way a few miles with Great Uncle Harold & Aunt Mae. She showed us old black & white photos, family pictures, her bedroom sister display (my grandma was her sister), and other family heirlooms. She had some special antique dolls that we took pictures together with.

2 dollies and 1 real baby

Aunt Mae holding Great Aunt Ruth's doll

Uncle Harold talked to Shannon about their various travels and the history of Pasco while Aunt Mae served us chewy peanut butter cereal bars and apple juice. She blessed us with a cheery dish towel too!

We took the long way back to Everett & Sandy's, enjoying the orchard scenes around us...fruit trees, vineyards, and fields, all irrigated from the Columbia River water and Grand Coulee Dam. We enjoyed a delicious grilled chicken and wild rice dinner at the Wray's fixed by daughter-in-law Rochelle. And juicy sweet watermelon. The long table was surrounded by Everetts, Sandy's parents visiting from CA, Shelly & Eric, Bethany (& Laban came later), Jesse & Rachel, and Rochelle. It was a conglomeration of fun conversations.

The Wray's playhouse-Cora &Chloe peeking out up top

Garden Gate Nursery

Cameron took Riley out behind the nursery to an RC plane grass strip runway. There were 4 men and about 8 planes out for a fly on a hot spring day.

this one missed the runway and landed too quick on uneven ground-
broke the propeller & right running gear

Riley slept under the stars outside on the basement patio with Cameron and Chris.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pendleton Woolen Mill

Wednesday May 8 we took a tour of the Pendleton Blanket Mill. First we walked through the retail store, then went into the loud manufacturing area. We each had a headset to hear the guide's explanations over the roar of the machines. The colors of the wool were so vivid, I just enjoyed snapping photos and didn't listen too well to the history. We went upstairs first to see the wool being cleaned. Downstairs the automated looms were rolling out a blanket every 25 minutes. The newer machines could complete a blanket in only 12 minutes! The side scraps are saved for braiding rugs. There was a well lit space that a worker would hand sew any flaws in the finished product...looked very tedious to me! I'd never heard of Pendleton Wool, but it is evidently a quality product! We enjoyed the small taste of learning the process,  and in the town of Pendleton to boot!

Can you tell how tight my hand is clenching to Cora the Courageous?

watching the wool cleaner get out impurities

our friendly guide

Before leaving Pendleton we stopped at Cash & Carry to check this store out. We came out with cheese, apples, carrots, lettuce, and the steak rub that Shannon liked so well at Jenny's. Plus 2 cookies the check-out man threw in for the girls. Then we headed toward Pasco! Stopped and ate lunch at the small community park in Stanfield, OR and stopped again at Goodwill & Walmart in Kennewick, WA.

We set up the motor home at Everett Wray's and spent the evening at Kenneth & Teresa's. They had his sister Miriam and her family over for supper as well. We had a nice visit catching up with the Brubakers since their brief move to Pratt about a year ago. And a delicious meal, of course!

fellowship around the meal table