The Smith family got together at Christmas time for the first time in many years. We gathered in Grants Pass, Oregon, where our oldest son Lawrence has lived since his marriage. Tracy, our daughter , and husband Paul Wakefield travelled all the way from Australia for the gathering. Our youngest son Blair and wife Angela drove down from Vancouver as part of a trip along the west coast of Washington and Oregon. Gail and I flew down to Medford from Vancouver and were met at the airport by Tracy and Paul who had just arrived for the 40 mile drive to Grants Pass. Lawrence and his wife Summer and our only grandchild Forest completed the group when they were able to get away from their work.

We had rented a large home in the hills above Grants Pass, a sort of party home where we could concentrate all of the activities and goodies required for a Christmas vacation.

Grants Pass is a city of about 35,000 people. First buildings  built in the 1800’s at the end of a mountain pass which provided passage through the mountains for early settlers. It was named after the Union General, Ulysses S. Grant. It is normally a very dry area with high summer temperatures, but we experienced cool and damp weather for the most part, with some brilliant sunny days as well.

The weekdays were taken up by Christmas shopping and occasional drives through the beautiful countryside. Evenings we gathered at the party house to eat drink and be merry, combined with a few restaurant meals.

It was so damn nice to be surrounded by all the people that we love most and Gail and I were so happy that they made the effort to join with us. Distance and work schedules have always made it difficult for our family to get together.

All together for Christmas.

Youngest son Blair, Gail, Grandson Forest, DIL Summer, oldest son Lawrence, DIL Angela, SIL Paul, only daughter Tracy and Moi.

To the left a view of the spacious living room, complete with large TV, a fireplace and stuffed animals.

Each morning we were thrilled by wildlife cavorting in the front yard of the property. On the right of the photo a deer dances away as I emerged to take its photo. They visited almost daily and were relatively unafraid despite the occasional gunfire.

A large flock of wild turkeys numbering about 35,  walked down this road most mornings, the gals in the harem and the younger types pecked and gurgled their way along herded along by the larger Tom turkeys. This morning was fairly misty so you have to look closely to see the group just passing from the middle to the right side of the photo.

The photo on the right shows Gail in Lawrence’s Music Store, called Listen Here, in downtown Grants Pass.

Most members of our family (excluding Paul and myself) are committed cooks. On the left Lawrence and Summer work away under the watchful eye of Angela, and on the right Summer and Angela are back at it as Blair works his wonders. Rules of engagement had to be approved to keep the  number in the kitchen below three.

My beautiful daughter Tracy on the left retrieving goodies from the large fridge.

On the right, Grandson Forest demonstrates how much taller he is than I. He looks good in that moustache and trimmed beard.

Gail and I in Christmas red, cuddle with our first baby Lawrence, on the left

On the right, a five way chat with Angela on the left side absorbing all of the Smith lore and bull. Blair, Paul, Lawrence and I fill the air with it.

Christmas morning and time to open the gifts.

On the left, Summer and Forest begin, while Paul opens a book in the background.

On the right Angela enjoys watching Blair try something, looks like a phone.

Return to Potpourri
More Oregon