A little about my trip, then.
The flight out was abysmally awful, as noted on yesterday’s entry. We went from the airport to The Professor’s grandparents’ house to touch base with them. His grandparents essentially raised the Professor – they formally adopted him, and he regards them as his parents while he sees his biological mother more as an aunt. Don’t misunderstand – he has a perfectly good relationship with his biological mother. He just doesn’t think of her as his mother. He adores and worries about his grandmother, who has some serious medical conditions. His relationship with his grandfather is strained though, due in no small part to me, I fear. The Professor is essentially the only son, and there were hopes that he’d be the one to see that the family name was continued (he was the only grandchild). If he stays with me, that won’t happen, and it disappoints his grandfather.
Anyhow, they were pleased to see both of us when we finally got there. The Prof’s grandfather, The ex-Marine, had been bitten by the aged family cat earlier in the day, and had only recently returned from the emergency room. They had wanted to keep him overnight, but he proudly announced that he wasn’t staying overnight for a cat bit, and just wanted antibiotics. Being a vet, I know how easily a cat bite can go south, and tried to emphasize to him how important it was to keep a close eye on the bite, and how it might have been a good idea to listen to the ER doctor about staying there overnight. I think he saw me as being somewhat alarmist.
At the end of our trip, we stopped in again for a brief visit before I had to go to the airport. We discovered that The ex-Marine had just gotten out from a two-night/three-day stay at the hospital, where they put him on antibiotics and fluids for blood poisoning. *sigh* I did warn him.
[Public Service Announcement: It is generally acknowledged that over 50% of cat bites become infected. I have heard some sources quoted that put that number over 80%. For any deeply penetrating bite, cat or dog, immediate medical attention should be sought. The sooner you begin taking antibiotics, the more likely you are to prevent a severe infection from happening.]
While in Oregon, we spent several days staying with one of The Professor’s aunts and her husband (not his biological mother). They have disassociated themselves from The Prof’s grandparents, for reasons that have not yet been made clear to me. This made things awkward when we returned to visit his grandparents at the end of our trip, since they wanted to pump The Prof (and myself) about our visit. I don’t want to become entangled in family politics, especially family politics I don’t fully grasp.
This aunt and uncle are artist/bohemian types, and are rather impressed that their somewhat shy and stodgy nephew has taken up with a woman fifteen years his senior and upped and moved across the country. They treated us both quite well while we were out there, but kept us (or at least me) up way too late. Their days, like The Prof’s, tended to start late morning, and they often didn’t go to bet until two or three in the morning. For the beginning part of my trip, it felt like I was going to bed at long past my stamina limits. Unfortunately, I somewhat adapted to their schedule, which only made returning to East Coast time that much more difficult when I returned.
We did several somewhat strenuous hikes, up to a fire tower, down to the edge of Crater Lake, and out to the shoreline through Dunes National Recreational Park. I managed to twist my ankle in Sisters (another story for another time), so the final two hikes were done with a swollen and somewhat gimpy foot, but I managed just fine. I’m just glad I had my hiking boots with me.
We passed through some lava fields close to his aunt and uncle’s house which were absolutely amazing. There are quite a few forest fires in Oregon that we saw huge smoke plumes rising from. There was enough smoke to turn the sunsets scarlet red. It was quite beautiful, until I remembered why there was so much debris in the air. I got a lot of great pictures that I’ll have to upload at some point to my DearDiary Album.
And now I’m back, and The Professor remains with his grandparents until the end of his month for a nice, long visit. I hate having him away, and I love having the time to myself. Consistency is not one of my fortes.