Monday, December 22, 2014

In which I take a trip to Uranus, among other places

Well, it would seem that all of the germy bugs I've evaded this semester have conspired to regroup and infect me this month. After succumbing to two bugs earlier this month, I came down with bug #3 this weekend. So much for my raw garlic regime. Its germ-fighting strength isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I didn't get a fever this weekend but my sleep has still been filled with sick-tastic dreams. Last night I had a dream I went to Uranus for the weekend. Apparently I'd found some sort of tube that transported people to different planets. Jackpot discovery.

While on Uranus I made a point of asking the planet's inhabitants if Uranus is pronounced "Yur-in-ous" or "Yur-anus." "It doesn't matter," they told me. "Whatever you'd like."

So there you go. Now you know. 

Fortuantely, I didn't get sick until my second day in Portland, so my first day here I got to enjoy a healthy afternoon in the brisk air at the Christmas tree farm with my mom, grandma, brother and his girlfriend. The rest of the Jackson troops didn't arrive until later in the weekend.

Here I am at the farm with my old friend, Mrs. T.

Mrs. T. and her husband own the Christmas tree farm. Mrs. T. has prayed faithfully for me for 29 years, and these days she writes me regular letters to inquire about my life and to tell me how she's praying for me.

I love seeing her when I'm home, and her Christmas tree farm is one of my favorite places in the world.

It's got a petting zoo complete with miniature horses, goats, sheep, and pheasants.

There are few things in this world as delightful as having a baby miniature horse nibble oats from your hand. It's giggle-inducing, to say the least.

The little horsie eating out of my hand was a NIBb.ler. He didn't need oats to induce nibbling. He'd nibble our fingers, knuckles and gloves whenever he could. Nibble nibble nibble nibble.

The goats were especially hungry little critters. Either that, or they were just goats. Goats are like the football players I shared a training room with in college: they like to eat whatever, whenever. And my, how the little goaties strained and pushed to get some o' them oaties. (Don't mind my cheesy rhyming. I'm in a cheesy rhyming mood. "Twas the Night Week Before Christmas" and all).

Try to win a staring contest with a goat. It's easy. If he doesn't smell food on you, then "he gone." (name that TV show).

I grew up going to the T.'s tree farm every year growing up. Everything about it gives me warm and fuzzy nostalgia.

This nativity scene in the barn makes me feel eight years old all over again:

Every year, after we'd chopped down the perfect Christmas tree, we'd gather around the fireplace near the nativity scene and sip hot chocolate while munching on miniature candy canes. Happiness must taste like hot chocolate and miniature candy canes.

This year, Mr. T. fired up the tractor to give us our own private hayride tour of the farm.

Mr. T. is driving the tractor that is pulling the hayride. Can you see his green hat peaking through the front window?

Well would you look at that: all three of these ladies have known me my entire life:

And I've known this handsome guy all his life:

He makes me laugh more than anyone on planet earth. Come to think of it, he also makes me laugh more than anyone on planet Uranus.

(How did you pronounce that now that you have official Uranean permission to pronounce it however you want?)

A hayride at sunset down a pine-scented lane is one of the best things of life. It was the perfect way to start my Christmas stay here in the Pacific Northwest.

Pine-scented, peaceful December 22nd to you, my friends.



P.S. How fabulous is my grandma?!:

P.P.S. Guess what I woke up to my second night here? A FIRE ALARM. Thankfully, there was no fire, and there were no trips to the ER.


© by scj


  1. Replies
    1. Ha! Good eye. ;) Alas, there were no peasants to pet, but pheasants there were aplenty.

    2. Oh, good. I was hoping it was a typo, and not what Mr. T was calling his workers these days.

    3. Nope, I can happily report he hasn't re-labeled his workers and stuck them in the petting zoo. ;)

  2. LOVE the pictures. And I'm totally relieved about the pronunciation of Uranus.

    1. Thanks, Dayna! It is a relief, isn't it? ;)