Friday, February 02, 2007

Back to my Oregon visit.

Laurie drove us down to Salem, the state capital, so we could see the memorial that has been put up for the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. She had brought paper and pencils so she could take rubbings of a couple of names on behalf of other families. It was a bit windy and we both stood there, holding the paper over the names while she worked. Maybe this looked a bit odd. It would be wrong to say that we were having a great time, but on the other hand we were pleased to be doing this. It is sad, but it is good to remember (which is the whole point of writing this blog, right?). Some memories bring us smiles, even in the midst of sadness. I took a number of pictures of the memorial which has a small wall with all of the names carved in, and space for more, though we hope it will remain empty . . . the rest of the memorial is a fountain with a statue of a soldier or marine and a map of the world spread out under the falling water. The state Capitol building is only a few blocks away, other memorials surround this one. That day, there was very little pedestrian traffic but you could see that it would be a peaceful spot to visit during good weather.

Once we'd finished there, we went to a quilting store and took solace in adding to our fabric stashes. Thomas understood retail therapy, and he also understood the importance of touching fabric: he was a very tactile kid. One of my funniest memories of him was seeing him crawl up to the vacuum cleaner when he was about 8 months old--he pulled a dust bunny off of the brush and sat there looking supremely happy that he had this nice soft thing to hold.

By now it was getting late. Time just kept slipping away and we wanted to visit Chase's grave. Clearly, we weren't going to make it before dark but we decided to do it anyway. Chase is in a place near Eugene so we headed north from Salem, determined to visit, despite the hour.


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