Posts Tagged ‘tillamook cheese’

My family reunion was this past weekend. Every three years, the Melrose clan gets together for a fete of food and family. There’s usually at least one game of Mexican Train, a lot of cheese, and more laughter than one pair of panties can handle. We’re older now: we pee our panties a whole lot easier.

I won’t elaborate.

I’m sure you’re wondering how one family reunion can be associated with ‘a lot of cheese’. It’s easy: the family hails originally from The Cheese State and several members still reside there. And this year’s reunion was less than 100 miles from the Tillamook Cheese factory (the West Coast contingent’s rebuttal to Kraft and all those Wisconsin Holsteins). Wisconsin brought the cheese curds.

Why doesn’t Tillamook sell cheese curds? They’d make a killing. Cheese curds are awesome.

This is the first time the family has come to Oregon (or as my cousins from WisCONsin say, “Or-uh-GONE”). Which is why the West Coast side of the family imitates the nasally WisCONsin.

My cousins who live in California put this reunion together. I know: I live here. But my life went sideways after January 1, 2011 and my cousin Jan was just having way too much fun organizing. I was her “yes” person, a bobble-head who just nodded and did what she was told. Uncle Bob (Jan’s dad) picked out Cape Kiwanda. I’d never even heard of it.

Apparently Good Sam has.

Uncle Bob is 81 and we all felt he should have some say in the reunion even if he’s only related by marriage. He’s earned it. He’s been married to Aunt Phyllis for 59 years.

We bought them a cake to celebrate.

There’s a long story about the cake which is best left to another blog post. It has to do with Mick, the Australian GPS voice. It also has to do with having to change our panties. Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyl were very lucky to get a cake for their anniversary.

Aunt Phyl is the oldest of the Melrose girls. Aunt Donna is the middle child.

My mother was the youngest. They’re looking good for 83 & 81, aren’t they? Aunt Phyl is 2 weeks older than my dad.

The Melrose girls were hot in their day.

I arrived on Thursday evening after work. It was a harrowing commute down to the coast. Not really, I just wanted to say that. I took Oregon 18/22 through Dundee and made it through town in five minutes. It must be a personal record: usually the one stop-light in Dundee holds up traffic for a half hour either direction.

I drove into the setting sun on Oregon 130 and worried about deer (or elk) jumping out of the thick brush on either side of the 30 mph curves. There are exactly 4 one-lane bridges on that section of highway. It was scary.

Not really. I just wanted to say that. There was no traffic going west to tail-gate me and very little traffic coming east. There was only glare on my windshield.

It was wonderful to arrive and find my own personal cheering section when I tried to squeeze my car into the narrow slot left beside my brother’s gi-hugic diesel truck. Hey, as long as I didn’t hit anything and I could open the car door to get out, I was happy. But they cheered anyway.

That’s my family.

Snide, sarcastic, out-spoken. You have to have thick skin. You also have to understand it is all for comic relief. OK, some of it is catty (meow) but most of it is really just for comic relief.

Which is why Mick the Australian GPS Voice got fired on Saturday.

So what did we do for one weekend in Oregon?

Well… We did a few things.

We toured up to Tillamook (a post in which Mick gets a supporting role).

We surprised Aunt Donna.

We bought cake for Uncle BobĀ  Aunt Phyl (Mick, again).

We caw horses, elk, sandhill cranes, cormorants and and abandoned boat.

We watched the dories land on the beach at Cape Kiwanda.

We watched people get stuck in the sand on the beach at Pacific City. In cars. You can drive on the beach there. Or not: a lot of people got stuck.

We laughed a lot.

This is Jan. Jan laughed a lot.

This is Ellen.

She really did *not* pick her nose a lot.

Ellen – What ARE you doing in this photo??

I love my family…

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