For the last couple weeks, I've been enjoying a great Christmas vacation in Oregon with most of my family. Abbie and Jack didn't join me, but they got to spend 3 weeks in West Palm Beach, Florida. Poor kids.
I made sure the end of my vacation would land on a very special person's birthday. My Mom. Not only is my mom one of the coolest people in the world, she also has an excellent job title: Burn Boss. Growing up in Montana, I was always proud that Barb Raible was my mom. She was famous for her kindness in the Swan Valley. I hope she's always famous for her story about nailing a bear's nuts to a tree.
My mom is a Montana Native who wasn't afraid to raise her kids in the backwoods at her family's homestead. It sounds like a crazy idea to me, but she made it happen - cooking over a wood stove every day and working at the Swan Valley Ranger Station to make ends meet. She was responsible for getting us out of Montana and onto Oregon. She went back to school in her early 40s, got a degree in Forestry from the University of Montana and moved the whole family to Oregon for a job with the BLM.
I moved to Oregon on June 14, 1990 driving a '73 Plymouth Duster with a homemade International trailer in tow. We certainly looked like we were from Montana when we rolled into town. We moved into a house on Felony Flats. My sister and I got jobs at McDonald's (Dad's advice) and started school at North Salem High school in the fall. I met many good friends at North Salem - Jess, Matt, Clint and Michelle becoming favorites over the years.
For New Years, Jess, Clint and I rented a condo in Bend, Oregon. Matt joined us on Friday after most of us experienced an Epic Powder Day at Mt. Bachelor. It was the first time we'd all been together in 9 years. We had a blast.
This vacation in Oregon has been very special to me. I've reunited with many old friends, enjoyed 2 epic powder days and had a great time with my Mom, Dad, Sister and her fiancé Mya.
As much fun as I've had, I'm looking forward to getting back to Denver and hanging out with my kids. January 2009 is sure to be one for the books. I start a new gig at a new office tomorrow. On Wednesday, the kids return from Florida to a mountain of presents at my house. My parents are coming to town next weekend, followed by a trip to Tahoe and a weekend in Steamboat to finish out the month.
Yeah, 2009 is going to be a lot of fun. Maybe I'll see you on the slopes.