Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thirty Days Hath September, April, June, Dave & Paula!

As if we needed to be reminded, the Days Until Entering the Mission Training Center counter has ticked down to 30.  We're visiting kids and siblings, and are still trying to learn our future responsibilities.  We took the train from Seattle down to Portland yesterday, and I have to admit it beat driving or even flying.  
I kept waiting for something exciting to happen.
But, everything went really smoothly, we arrived having not had to remove our shoes once.  I missed the peanuts and Sprite served by a harried flight attendant trying to maintain her balance in a narrow aisle.
It has been a joyful reunion with Laura and Ben, committed Portlanders that they are.
We hope that all your trips in whatever conveyance go smoothly also.
Dave & Paula

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rain, Shmain!

Paula calls this Pacific Northwest Sucker Punch Weather.  She thinks that people happen to visit the area when it's like this, then decide to move to Seattle or Portland, and after they've burned all their bridges, Mother Nature has a big belly laugh and shuts it all down.
However, visiting my sister Bonnie and our son Sam before heading off for while, we've had great conditions, minus some warning mists.  (That's Mt. Rainier behind those clouds, by the way.)
The accommodations have been on the snug side, but overall OK.
It's been a good visit with Sam, who took us sailing on the Puget Sound yesterday.  I never envisioned having a kid who belonged to the Seattle Sailing Club.  We tried to act humble as we strolled past the riff raff.
That's Paula on the left under the 27 layers.  I suggested she start her Huancayo, Peru acclimatization regimen by wearing a bathing suit.  This suggestion was rejected and my arm still hurts where she punched me.
Sam is an engineer for Boeing, and so we got to visit the Museum of Flight on the company's main campus.  For me, an admitted airplane nerd, it was nothing short of a pilgrimage.  I was unsure about Sam's claim of having built all those planes, but I guess I'll have to take his word for it.
The aircraft designated as Air Force One, used by everyone from Dwight Eisehower through George Bush the First was open to tour.  It was a little spooky standing where Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office in 1963.  Paula wanted to see if haircuts still cost $400.00.
We are so happy to be able to see family and friends.  Meanwhile, we're trying to keep our eyes on the task ahead, preparing as much as we can.
We hope that the rain where you are holds off appropriately.
Dave & Paula

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What a Hassell!

We're visiting friends and family before taking off for three years, and we're in Ashland, Oregon for a couple of days, where Paula and a lot of others of the Hassell family were born and raised.
She comes from a long line of tinkerers and unofficial engineers; her Dad held a dozen or so patents, and his metal fabrication company still supports several of the family.  OK, does your place have a garage with a car lift? Huh?
Or a large poppy patch with ripening pods, brimming with, uh, never mind...
 The caloric imbalance continued, as did the efforts at evening it out.
Paula tried some fashion heating accessories, looking forward to the cool mountains of Peru.  She maintains that everyone will be wearing these soon.
On Saturday, we had a quiet visit to the cemetery where Mom & Dad Hassell and Paula's sister are interred.  It was established by early members of the Church in the area, and walking around, we got a summary of the early history of the area.
 After an over-sized Mexican lunch, Paula and her sisters bought some flowers.
 It's been a rich visit, and a chance to renew friendships within a great family.
To top it off, our kids located us and sent their Mom flowers, chocolates, 
and a verse for Mother's Day:
            "We hope there's enough air
             In the hills of Peru.
             Trust funds are nice,
             But we'd rather have you."
We hope that your reunions are good also.
Dave & Paula

Friday, May 3, 2013

Always an adventure with you, Uncle Mark!

That phrase has become part of the Henderson Family Lexicon, after indeed many adventures with my brother Mark.  He and his family live on a beautiful property on a hill overlooking Breton Bay on the lower Potomac River, and it's always exciting visiting them.
Luckily, the weather cooperated, so one beautiful afternoon my sister, her husband, Uncle Mark and I went sailing.  He's the extremely good-looking one on the right.  Oh, and everyone says we look alike.
Of course, any visit has to include a bike ride, so yesterday he thrashed me for 51 miles.
And nowadays, what good American doesn't own a personal drone?
When we arrived last Friday,we noticed that there were lines of white flour in front of each door upstairs, including ours.  When we asked, it came out that a four-foot pet snake was on the loose, and with the flour, one could detect which room the reptile had entered or exited.  So far, our flour is intact.
However, Paula has started having dreams.
Anyway, it's been a great visit, complete with more adventures.
We hope that you're having some also.
Dave & Paula

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

While we were in Rivendell...

For those of you who happened to be on Jupiter when "The Lord of The Rings" was flooding every form of media on Earth ("No, now you need the Super-Duper 29-DVD Extra Special Version with 4 days of additional footage!" and then it came in 3-D), we feel kind of like we've been in Rivendell.  You know, where the elves live, and everything is safe and wonderful, and... no?  You actually had a life during the frenzy?!
Anyway, we've been busy finding things at the house that we'll need, ordering things that we'll think we need, and visiting family and friends, all of whom have been way more kind than we deserve.  They've lent us their extra rooms,
let us dangle our feet in water not chilled by the Andes,
fed us,
let us attend really fancy weddings, etc., etc.  It has truly been a 'time out of time.'
The only thing that worries me is what happened after Rivendell.  I seem to remember some trouble they had with the locals.
We hope you're doing well in whatever refuge you find yourselves.
Dave & Paula