Monday was “Gramma Day,” so my girlie and I were on our way out to Sandy to visit my Grandma Trulove in Sandy. We missed our exit, and our car was being buffeted all over the highway due to the wind, so we pulled over to check a map and make a call and tell Grandma we’d be late. She was not feeling well and asked us to visit another time.

Vista House

Because the sun was brilliant, or maybe because we were out in the gorgeous gorge, we made a day of it.

The wind turned out to be frightful, however, albeit exciting.

At the Vista House, I didn’t even want to get out of the car. Neither one of us would attempt to open the doors, because we were sure the wind would rip them right off, so I drove to a different spot and turned the car around. Miss T was certain that she wanted to get out and play in the wind like some others who were there, so I finally acquiesced, and insisted that I accompany her if she got out of the car. I was so afraid of my heavy camera BLOWING AWAY that I left it in the car.

We crawled along a grassy area, clinging to rock wall for about 15 feet, when a particularly fierce gust dropped us both on our seats.

“That was a bad idea, Mom. I’m sorry,” says Miss T, “We have to go back.” So we kept our profiles low and used the rock wall to drag ourselves back to the car.

At the steps to the Vista House, one man leaned over a metal railing and held his legs out, and then let the wind hold him up. The wind blew his legs directly out to the side while he held on to the railing with his hands. This was insane wind!

Latourelle Falls

Inside the car, we recovered, while it rocked wildly. I suddenly felt as though the wind could push our car right off the 733 foot ledge, and wanted to get out of there! So we headed down the cliff and didn’t stop again till Latourelle Falls.

We read until we passed 200 pages in Inkheart, which Miss T is reading for a school assignment. Very entertaining book. I don’t know the setting, but it reminds me a lot of Provence, France. The days in the book were hot, and that “felt” good because the gorge in Oregon was cold.

There were trees down all over the place, because of the wind, and we had to proceed cautiously on the old Columbia River Highway. After we saw a couple of guys with a beautiful load of wood, we realized we should do the same, and gathered till the trunk of my little Saturn dragon wagon was full. Sedans are not as good for wood gathering as pickups, in case you were wondering.

Tuesday a new President was sworn in!! I’m so thrilled! No, in answer to my man’s persistant questions (and possibly yours too), no, I DO NOT think Obama is going to turn the world around and make us all rich and rebuild our country with his own two hands and make peace with the Arabs and feed all the Somalis. Look, a President is one man. An American President is a man tasked with leading a capitalist country, and thus is a man beholden to big business. On top of that, an American President in the 21st century is a man plagued with an old-school Congress that is first and FOREMOST concerned with it’s own interests, and only mildly concerned with leading our country, strengthening our economy, our addressing the interests of the American public.

In other words, I have very little expectation of any U.S. President. To think the President can do anything at all is asking a great deal of a person in that positon. Obama is doomed before he even begins, simply because of the system he must operate within.

I am still thrilled that Obama is President. He is a minority, which is going to change our world even if he fails miserably. He will probably not continue the paths begun by the Bush Administration, and I am glad because I didn’t like those paths. I don’t have any answers, I just think those ideas weren’t working, and I want somebody to try something else. Obama may fail too, but let’s give something else a try. I am thrilled because in his acceptance speech, he talked about mutuality. Bush would never say that, he might not even think it. However, I think it is a leap toward peace on earth for the leader of America to say out loud and on television, that we need a healthy coexistance with other nations. Not that we need their third-world fingers to sew us more clothes, but that we need their independent success.

In my opinion, it will be little stuff like this different goal of worldwide participation, that will shift the terrible violent destructive tide of our nation. I am not saying Obama’s gonna fix our problems. I am saying that it takes a different attitude to pave the way for peace and for growth and for prosperity. I am saying that it sounds like Obama has that attitude. I hope if that’s really how he feels, he can keep strong in the face of inevitable dissent from all the old-schoolers there in his midst.

braces!

Also on Tuesday, and more of an impact in our family: Miss T got braces! She’s been wanting them for a couple years. I’ve been waiting for when I can afford it. Well, for the fourth year in a row of considering braces, I am in worse financial shape than the year before. Her mouth is maturing and the time is now. So, here ya go, Chase Manhattan, my New Year’s gift to you.

She’s doing ok with them. Very excited, but sobered by the pain. From what I recall, it goes away in a couple of days. We’ll just put more thought into softer foods for awhile.

Ok, that should cover the news for the moment.

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