For the past four days, I have been in Bend visiting my mother, my brother, his wife, and their daughter.
I really like my family. They are clever, witty, caring, and just a joy to be around. It makes me wonder why I do not spend more time with them.
If things had gone just a bit differently, I would have spent a lot of time with them. My brother has lived in the Bend area for several decades. My mother bought a house and moved to Bend just as I was getting ready to retire.
You may recall that my entire family was planning on heading south to Mexico at one point. But those plans did not quite work out for the rest of my family.
If I had not committed myself to retiring in Mexico, I most likely would have ended up in Bend with the rest of the family. The winters are a bit cool for me. I actually came within hours of putting deposit money down on a new house when my mother bought hers.
Instead, I headed south, and they stayed here.
I would have come over to Bend earlier on this trip, but my brother was in Virginia until early January, and I wanted a chance for all of us to get together.
And get together we did. On Sunday I caught a shuttle bus over the Cascades and spent three days in true Cotton fashion celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays (inducing mine) at a series of Bend restaurants. To meet and not eat is to not be a Cotton.
My brother and I spent most of our time trying to transfer information from my old laptop to my new notebook. And then to get my telephone to synchronize with the notebook. It still has one glitch, but I will survive.
Other than that, we watched movies and basketball games, talked politics, and caught up on local folklore.
I wish I could have spent more time with them, but I still have several projects to complete in Salem before I head Souths again -- probably on 18 January.
So, back on the shuttle bus I will go. And wish that it could be half as nice as a first class Mexican bus.