“So Larry’s out of town for a week? Hmm. I’m guessing you’re bingeing a lot of Netflix? Smoothie for lunch and popcorn for dinner? Reading down that stack of books you’ve been “too busy” to read? Shall I go on?”

Yeah. No! It’s not like that. I have been busy. I mean, I have to water his plants in the greenhouse every day, plus take care of the chickens, plus hand-water all the porch plants, and clean cupboards and shelves, and wash my car and shorten those skirts which, I suddenly realize, have been making me look like a Sister-Wife. Eating tired stuff from the veggie drawer in the fridge. Okay, popcorn once. So far.

And I’ve been having adventures. Like flying to Seattle on a private plane for Will’s graduation, for example. Who does something like that?

Start at the beginning: it’s because of this golf event called The Black Butte Invitational that a group of men have been holding for 40-plus years. Occasionally, over the course of those years, one of the golfers has had to miss because schools just will schedule graduations without regard to other important institutions. But this year was exceptionally special because they’d had to miss the 2020. The Covid Year. And Seattle Prep wasn’t budging.

So how was Larry to be in Seattle Thursday night and in Black Butte on Friday morning? Turns out Tom, Will’s dad, in the event you’ve lost track, has connections to someone with a private plane. Who will allow others to hire the thing. As a favor. Just have to pay the pilot and the cost of the fuel.

“But you really hate to fly. Maybe Larry could just drive all night long and make it?”

That would be so wrong I don’t even have to tell you. Of course I can suck it up and ride in a stupid airplane of some unknown sort with a pilot whom no one has ever heard of. I’m not that lame. Even if my hair was on fire, as Jenny claimed early Thursday morning when I was simply trying to ascertain when I was supposed to be at the Corvallis airport waiting to board.

Here’s a photo of Will and his grandparents, in the Ederer front yard in Seattle.

Okay, wow: Later down the blog, friend Merris tells me that if I use photos which travel by text rather than email they arrive at better resolution. This girl knows her stuff. My blog has just been upgraded — thanks, Merris! Wait til you see her photos!

Here’s a photo of me and the plane, after successfully landing in Corvallis late Thursday evening: Hey! I can’t seem to make this photo move from my iPhone to my desktop, so you get this one in old-fashioned resolution. But that’s okay. You get the idea.

This return trip was made much easier after I learned that Melissa, the pilot, had, as her last gig flying commercial planes, flown Air Busses for Jet Blue. Probably knew how to handle this little puppy just fine.

Larry remained on the plane for a short hop over to Redmond, from where he drove on to Black Butte and was fully rested and on the tee for the start of the tournament Friday morning.

So that was Thursday. On Friday, two friends, Merris Sumrall and Julie Ball, came to visit at the farm. Merris is a passionate birder and wanted to explore the marshes of the Finley Wildlife Refuge just down the road from us. Julie and I were eager to go where she led! As it happens, there’s an auto route through the preserve, and we determined that would be the best way to reach our goals of optimum birding sites. A short walk to the Cheadle Marsh netted us several Egrets and a Bittern, photo courtesy of Merris:

So here are more of her photos, shot at a small viewing hut above McFadden’s Marsh:

Here’s a mother swallow feeding her babes tucked in the rafters of the hut:

Note: Julie also sent me a photo of the hut, but Julie’s camera is an iPhone, Merris’ camera is a CAMERA. Thanks to both of you.

Now it’s Saturday afternoon. While I wouldn’t call this an adventure, exactly, it was certainly a discovery worthy of the name. Marjorie and I had planned to go to the Peoria Farm market for some Oregon strawberries this morning, and find them we did. Along with an astonishing cluster of greenhouses brilliant with rows of bedding and potting flowers. Who needs Shonnards with this just down the road:

Okay, this one showed up from my iPhone . . . strange. But I feel that I have a wonderful new toy going forward.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I do have a stack of unread books to address this afternoon. At the moment, Fleishman is in Trouble, a Book-of-the-Month club selection. And yes, there still is a BOTM Club “Fleishman is an insightful, unsettling, often hilarious exploration of a culture trying to navigate the fault lines of an institution that has proven to be worthy of our great wariness and our great hope.” Whew. Really? The institution, in this case, is marriage. We’ll see.

Maybe I’ll take a nap first. Hmm.