Labor Day Weekend on the Oregon Coast

Anyone do anything exciting for the holiday weekend?

I’m just returning from a brief visit to Oregon… something I’m reluctant to admit. Not because I have any major grievances with the Beaver State (cough — allergies, high property taxes, and an overzealous enforcement of speed limits — cough). It’s just that I was raised in Oregon, living there for 25 years. As a result, I have, I don’t know, approximately 12,137 friends and family members whom I would love to visit… some of who might actually like it if I dropped in on them. The earth’s rotational cycle being what it is, however, there are only so many hours in the day, which means I never get to see more than a tiny fraction of those folks… which in turn means that, by confessing to the fact that I was there, I now get to spend the next month or two apologizing to all of those folks I didn’t get a chance to see, while fielding hate mail from those who feel especially jilted.

Nevertheless, I believe in facing the music, as it were, so there you have it. The primary purpose for this particular visit was to catch a couple of Terry Brooks signings and to finally take a tour of the house he and Judine are building on the Oregon Coast. I’ve been promising to do so for about a year, you see, but couldn’t find anyone capable of bypassing the security systems set in place around the property. The night-vision cameras are relatively easy to disable, but those landmines can be a bit tricky. In any case, I finally came to realize that if I waited much longer, the house would be finished, and since Terry and Judine were planning on being in the area, this was my best opportunity.

Out of respect for their privacy, I won’t go into specifics, but let me say that the house is big, beautiful, and eco-friendly. It boasts a secret door, more mechanical rooms than I’ve ever seen before, and a water tank large enough to swim in. There will be an elevator, heated floors, and a sod roof. The storm blinds are like something out of Iron Man, capable of withstanding a tree branch traveling at 150-mph. (No, we didn’t get to test that theory, because the weather was fantastic, despite predictions to the contrary.) When the blinds are open… well, the view is simply breathtaking. Hopefully, they weren’t just joking when they invited me to come by again when it’s finished. Either way, I greatly appreciate the time they took away from their endless string of contractor meetings to give me the grand tour.

I did get to say hello to a number of friends who came out to Terry’s Beaverton signing. And I made sure to spend some time with my mother. Outside of that, it was a lot of driving (13 hours each way, plus a few two-hour stints in between), a lot of hiking (along the beach and up to the top of Multnomah Falls), and a lot of Tillamook ice cream (Marionberry Pie flavor). There’s more, but I have a flight to catch from L.A. to Denver for the Colorado Gold Writers Conference, and with less than a day to prepare, I need to wrap this up. So, thanks again to those friends and family members who allowed me to drop in on them without notice, and for being so hospitable. To everyone else, my sincere apologies. Hopefully I can catch some of you next time….

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